This article was written by Patricia Jones.
The advent of the digital age has led to several innovations which will play a huge role in the future of international society, and one of these blockchain technology. The concepts that fuel its implementation were widely popularized by a cryptocurrency known as Bitcoin which has slowly grown to become one of the most popular names in the IT world over the course of the past decade.
Bitcoin is doing what no other form of currency has been able to do in recent years- bringing disruption to the international financial structure by providing a secure, more standardized alternative to traditional currency. Fueled by blockchain technology, this boom in its popularity has brought the attention of industry at large to the attention of the world, and looks to fundamentally change how digital exchanges occur internationally. As such, blockchain is moving beyond the finance sector and quickly finding a home across multiple verticals.
Verticals Impacted by Blockchain
- Healthcare– We can make use of blockchain technology to preserve a patient’s privacy while allowing doctors and healthcare institutions to access a patient’s medical history and prior conditions through blockchain networks. Not only is this a more secure approach to maintaining patient records, it practically mitigates any possible errors such as misplacement, wrong diagnosis, etc. It allows different stakeholders in the blockchain network to access the information from a single place, and even provides patients the chance to monetize their patient records for the sake of research. An example of this is MedicalChain which functions as a healthcare data exchange platform.
- Supply Chain Management– Making huge waves in retail, investment and insurance, blockchain allows individuals to create and preserve documents on a single platform with a universal access point from the network, making them both immutable and exempt from tampering. Impersonation and falsification is much more difficult now, due to the Smart Contract systems being implemented, which preserve and record all transactions on the network, allowing them to be appended but not altered. This allows close examination of a particular exchange or transaction, and its entire history across the network. Some projects include Vechain and Origin Trail which focus on creating in-depth exchange and contractual data
- Cyber Security– Forgery and impersonation is a threat well known to authorities and the decentralized nature of blockchain greatly assists in preserving a set of credentials which can be accessed by network stakeholders, and hackers find it impossible to access due to the lack of a centralized point of weakness. Forgery and impersonation can be greatly mitigated through this. Users can store their personal information and documents on the blockchain, accessed only through a single digital key on an immutable ledger. Some enterprises making grounds in this regard are Civic and Uport, which are design to preserve and secure individual identity and personal information across a blockchain platform with a single point of access.
- Education– Researchers indicate that the use of blockchain for their educational experience provides some unique benefits which translate well into their daily lives. Academic credentials and degrees are being stored across shared blockchain networks to ensure these documents are not misplaced and remain preserved. Additionally, academic credits during transfers or upon course completion can be done seamlessly after a preliminary verification process, allowing students to make the transition with ease. Some notable enterprises for this application are BlockCerts, GradBase and Stampery.
- Energy Market– Basic commodities like electricity can stand to benefit from decentralized control, and liberate them from enforced rates by large corporations. It allows blockchain stakeholders to use their own solar panels to trade electricity just like any other commodity, and they can conduct the transaction and maintain records on the blockchain network itself. This greatly empowers those who seek reduce costs and improve efficiency by not having to rely on a central grid and relying more upon individual needs and capacities. Some companies like Power Ledger and Grid+ are widely impacting lives with their enterprises.
Originally posted here.