Blockchain technology has rightly been called the most disruptive tech to have emerged this century. It has gone beyond its original ambition of being just a mode of monetary transactions. Today, various industries across different sectors are looking towards leveraging the distributed ledger to improve their business models.
Here are the top 5 ways in which blockchain applications have been developed successfully.
Blockchain as a digitised, secure and tamper-proof ledger has the power to enhance security and accuracy in the financial services ecosystem. Add to that the absence of any middlemen, which further brings down transaction costs, and you have greater efficiency too. The banking industry has so far been the prime investor in blockchain technology. Banks like Santander and American Express have adopted Ripple’s inter-bank monetary transfer system. Startups like R3 CEV are working with a consortium of banks with 80+ members to develop Corda, which is a blockchain operating platform for the financial markets.
The distributed and permanent ledger can be used to document transactions, track assets from manufacturers to warehouses and finally to the hands of the customer. This will reduce human errors, time-delays and eradicate the role of third parties to a certain extent. Provenance is a startup that is building a traceability system for businesses, helping them engage with their consumers through extensive data, while also providing the entire supply chain network.
Blockchain can enable healthcare institutions to share data across various participants in the industry, including doctors, insurance companies, hospitals, paramedics, and more, without the fear of the data being compromised. Diseases will be diagnosed faster and treatment procedures will become cost-effective and faster too. For instance, a startup called Gem is using an Ethereum-based blockchain platform to enable universal data sharing in the healthcare sector. Gem, along with Tierion, another blockchain startup, has recently collaborated with Philips Blockchain Lab to build innovations in this area.
An accurate and immutable transaction record like blockchain will support data analysis and forecasting in a huge way. It could also allow forecasting operations to use machine learning algorithms for accurate and targeted predictions. This will be hugely beneficial for the research and development sector, financial analytics and stock trading. Augur, built on the Ethereum blockchain, is an example of such a system, which enables users to forecast events in a decentralised setting.
Blockchain tools can be used to support the voting process. It can provide infrastructure to cast votes fairly, tracking them and even counting them. This will reduce voter fraud and foul play. Voter identities will also be kept safe. In the future, we might see governments using this tool to create a verifiable audit trail. Many companies are already using it for their own internal voting processes during board meetings.
The applications of blockchain seem endless. As the technology gains wider mainstream adoption, the value of cryptocurrencies in the trading sector will also flourish. People will actively invest in them to create a diversified portfolio of assets.
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