All transactions in the current digital economy rely on trust – whether it’s an email service provider ensuring that our emails have been delivered, a social network like Facebook telling us that our posts about life events have only been shared with our friends, or a bank confirming us that the money has been delivered reliably in a remote location. We live in a scary digital world because we rely on a third party for the security and privacy of our digital assets. However, these third-party sources can still be hacked, manipulated, or compromised.
Here is where blockchain comes in handy. It is a technology that can revolutionize the digital world by enabling a distributed consensus in which every online transaction involving digital assets, both past and present, can be verified in the future. It accomplishes this without jeopardizing the privacy of the digital assets or the parties involved. Blockchain technology is notable for its distributed consensus and anonymity.
Blockchain was largely thought of as a technology that would disrupt the banking and finance industries. But blockchain is set to transform almost every sphere of life. Now with the arrival of the metaverse, blockchain is becoming even more significant. The proliferation of cryptocurrency-based transactions and the growth of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have created a strong dependency on the implementation of robust blockchain technology.
The following are the seven industries that blockchain will transform.
Blockchain will change the way commercial banking works. Sending money to someone through a conventional banking system is chargeable. Different banks levy different charges, rates, and hidden fees. Even the transfer time is tedious and long. A simple cross-country digital transfer should take seconds, but it could take days with a traditional banking system.
Transactions are made on a blockchain network between digital wallets with blockchain technology. There is no central authority like a bank to mediate the transactions. All nodes, computers, or systems on a blockchain have a record of all transactions. The consensus of all nodes of the transaction enables the transaction’s success.
The ledger that maintains the transactions is a distributed one. Every node has a copy of it. It is immutable and indestructible. No user can corrupt this ledger of transactions, unlike a bank where a single person can commit banking fraud.
Corporates around the world are constantly fighting hackers. Governments are investing billions of dollars to safeguard their digital assets. But data breach continues to happen. Blockchain technology is projected to enhance cybersecurity by protecting data from being tampered accessed by unauthorized persons.
The distributed decentralized nature of blockchain allows this. There is no single entry into the system, and all information is encrypted using cryptographic algorithms. Malicious data breaches can easily be detected using the power of consensus.
The attack surface is low because there is no central authority regulating the system. Hackers cannot access a single point and sabotage the entire network. By storing data and applications on the blockchain, IT assets are safeguarded by blockchain consensus and access principles.
3. Supply chain management
Blockchain technology finds its applications in the supply chain. For example, when food is ordered and delivered, and if the food has been spoilt, there is no way to determine what caused it. But with blockchain, this is possible. The restaurant staff can go through transactions to fulfill this order. The transactions are stored as ledger entries on the blockchain. The source of the problem can be identified. There is transparency in all processes that happen in the supply chain.
If there was a problem with the storage service provider’s equipment, this could have been why. If there was a delay with the vendor that supplied the food stock, this could be another issue that could have caused this problem.
Corrupt or compromised healthcare data could lead to wrong diagnoses and fatalities. Because healthcare data is stored in centralized locations and files, the possibility of data theft or breaches is imminent. Blockchain can reduce incidences of data theft in healthcare by storing healthcare records as blocks across a blockchain.
Even when entering medical data or information, blockchain can assist in verifying the accuracy of the data entered. It will become the first line of defense against entering erroneous data. Blockchain can also reduce and eliminate the occurrences of counterfeit medication. Integrating blockchain with the medical supply chain can help achieve this.
All of this can be done without any latency of interoperability and integrating medical healthcare data into a hospital management system.
In many countries, the issue of fraudulent manipulation of votes creates anomalies in the voting system. It can even sabotage and change the destiny of a region or country. The counting of votes is still circumspect. This is true, especially in developing countries. Because vote-counting is centralized, there could be chances of negligence or fraudulent counting.
Blockchain can erase all of these issues. Online voting can be implemented using blockchain technology. People can vote online without revealing their identification credentials to any voting authority. They can only identify with the blockchain system.
Governments can also maintain digital registries of voters. Each voter will have a unique ID. This can prevent one voter from having multiple identities and using that to make multiple votes.
Although insurance can be tied to banking, it is not a subset of banking. Insurance has its own set of processes. Blockchain for the insurance industry can use smart contracts triggered by events. This will lead to better efficiency in the back-end processes. Blockchain can also enhance disintermediation in the insurance sector. Insurance companies can have better processes for risk assessment and pricing. With blockchain, insurance companies can formulate newer types of insurance products.
7. Transportation and logistics
Blockchain can help with freight tracking. The technology can work with IoT, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to help transporters get updated and accurate information. Blockchain can also help improve fleet efficiency and vehicle performance. Carriers can easily onboard goods and commodities using blockchain. They can estimate capacities better and prepare their infrastructure in advance. The decentralized nature of blockchain makes it impossible to falsify any such information.
Blockchain smart contracts can revolutionize the transportation industry by connecting all parties involved in the freight and shipment, including the customer. All the parties receive updates on the progress of a shipment. All this information is decentralized and accurate.
Blockchain is more than just a distributed ledger with a consensus system. Blockchain is also about smart contracts and cryptocurrency. Polkadot is one of many competing blockchains attempting to build a cryptocurrency ecosystem. You can buy Polkadot with a credit card or your preferred mode of payment!
Blockchain technology has a futuristic model that can be integrated well with data science, big data, artificial intelligence, IoT, and machine learning to name a few. Blockchain will soon become commonplace.