As a distributed ledger technology, blockchain has brought about an alternative way to record and transfer data in a safe, immutable system. Since records of data on the blockchain are transparent and secure, it opens up new possibilities in our workplace. Blockchain has effectively given us an alternative way of transferring data, cutting down administrative work and human error. It’s no surprise then, that some of the top industries are seeing change thanks to this new system.
Banking and Payments
Undoubtedly, banking and payments are the first industry to be affected by blockchain’s technology. Satoshi Nakamoto founded the Bitcoin and blockchain with the intent on creating an alternative payment system. Blockchain effectively cuts out the fed, the banks, and other middlemen and allows anyone to send money across borders more quickly and cheaply.
When Bitcoin started getting more popular, governments and banks were alarmed since they were unsure of what changes the blockchain will bring to the economy. Now, some banks are starting to accept the blockchain and work with to embrace this change. Transactions between banks are often slow, tedious and costly, and the blockchain technology can help solve this problem. Although banks have yet to hop on to utilising blockchain, 9 out of 10 executives have expressed an interest in adopting blockchain into their banking processes.
Currently, Ripple (XRP), is in a great position to bring about change in banks. Ripple is known as the “bank’s cryptocurrency” and has raised $55 million from global banks. It is confident that its technology can reduce banks’ operating costs by 33% and transactions can be made ‘in seconds’. Technically, Ripple doesn’t use blockchain but it does use a distributed consensus ledger through a network of validating servers and crypto tokens (XRP).
Like banking, blockchain has the potential to speed up transactions and cut off third parties in the process of buying and selling real estate. With smart contracts, blockchain can effectively change the way businesses develop and sign contracts. Smart contracts built on the Ethereum blockchain enables real estate contracts, escrows, property records to be completed and transactions to be made without any human intervention. There will be no lengthy administrative processes and no expensive attorneys to pay.
Additionally, smart contacts can ensure transparency, prevents fraud and human errors in public records. It is a more accurate means of tracking records, ownership verification and transfers deeds in a timely manner.
Transportation and Logistics
One of the greatest challenges that the transportation and logistics industry faces is disputes for payments. A report has stated that each day about $140 billion is tied up in these disputes. Additionally, shipments often go through a long chain of organisations before they can be cleared. A study revealed that a refrigerated shipment had to pass through more than 30 different organisations and more than 200 different communications. Imagine if there were a few small hiccups along the way — massive delays will result.
Blockchain’s shared digital ledger can benefit the transportation and logistics industries in many ways. It can greatly reduce payment disputes, making it difficult to falsify records. Additionally, the transportation and logistics industry can also benefit from smart contracts developed on the blockchain and reduce the time it takes for a simple shipment to be cleared.
Healthcare, another industry which is filled with legal processes, might also see a change in light of blockchain’s technology. Hospitals and clinics have lots of sensitive information about their patients and are always on the lookout for secure platforms to share and store data. Due to outdated infrastructure, hospitals are often the target of hacking.
With blockchain technology that aims to improve data security and storage, the healthcare industry can greatly benefit from utilising blockchain. Medical records can be stored and shared between professionals and patients securely. When records cannot be easily tampered with, it can also improve data accuracy and diagnosis.
Gem, a blockchain firm, aims to solve these problems that the healthcare industry faces. It hopes to utilise the blockchain technology and connect hospitals and clinics to a secure infrastructure.
Through its public ledger and smart contracts, blockchain has opened an alternative to how businesses and industries are run. Problems and inefficiencies that have plagued these industries now have a new solution, thanks to blockchain’s technology. Although the technology is still relatively new, the potential change that blockchain can bring about is extraordinary.