5 Industries Being Disrupted by Blockchain
Even if you are not a cryptocurrency enthusiast, and you are not interested in becoming a contributor, you have to appreciate the technology that makes it all possible – the blockchain. To put it simply, blockchain is a virtual ledger that records everything in a secure and transparent way. The data in question is distributed in an interlinked network of computers, owned by none other than the users themselves.
As Joe Lubin, co-founder of Ethereum, once explained: “There won’t ever be a single, powerful entity that controls the system or controls gatekeeping into the system the way blockchain does.” The technology has no central authority. Trust is established only through collaboration, so for example, users no longer need a bank to make a money transfer or a real estate agent to facilitate the transaction when buying a home. The concept of a decentralized platform has the potential to revolutionize almost every traditional industry.
If you add features such as immutability and transparency, the blockchain has the appeal to be used in various business sectors all across the world. Several industries have already started implementing it in order to disrupt their traditional ways. Early adopters will have a significant advantage in figuring out how to move to the next level, so the race for tangible results has already begun. In this research article we look at some of the industries that have already started to utilize the blockchain technology and explain how they can benefit from it.
When talking about industries that are being disrupted by blockchain, banking is probably the first one on the list. Several big players have already started investigating potential applications that will help them shift their business to a more decentralized approach. The blockchain technology is very safe, secure and transparent when it comes to exchanging data, information or money. Since it is distributed, there is no single failure point, and each transaction can be stored in a way that is very difficult to corrupt. The technology is also relatively cheap, because it can secure transactions without the involvement of a large number of human intermediaries, lowering chances of errors and frauds along the way. Due to the elimination of intermediaries, the system can also facilitate payments faster than almost any bank.
Blockchain is already making its way into the day-to-day legal practice around the world, and it’s not just a technology that lawyers are learning about for their clients. Soon after the Ethereum blockchain introduced a feature called “smart contract,” it started being used by law firms to draft new kinds of contracts, record commercial transactions, and verify legal documents. With smart contracts assets can be transferred automatically once certain conditions are met, allowing for disputes to be resolved directly and efficiently, saving a great amount of work. This innovation could also bring an end to escrow accounts – situations where an intermediary holds funds and distributes them only when certain conditions, described in the contract, have been met.
As carbon emissions and climate change news piles up, more and more ordinary people are becoming aware of where their energy comes from. With the application of blockchain, households could soon have more control over their energy sources and consumption. Tokenizing renewable energy will allow wind, solar and hydro producers to connect directly with contributors willing to pay for the right to consume clean and renewable energy. This shift could stimulate renewable energy projects and start the transition away from carbon-emitting electricity production.
As a decentralized ledger technology, blockchain can also allow people to trade energy among themselves. For example, a household with solar panels installed on their building could sell all unused energy to their neighbours. Transactions could easily be managed and stored on a blockchain. This way a local community market for renewable energy is a real possibility and with it a new energy sharing economy.
Supply Chain Management
Not an industry per se, supply chain management is the management of the flow of goods and services and is therefore used in almost every type of business known to man. By using the blockchain technology, supply chain companies can track different types of products from their raw resource phase to the final phase, ready to be sold to the end consumer. Besides the origin, the technology can also be used to monitor quantity and quality, making the supply chain process more transparent than ever.
If something should go wrong during the distribution path, products can be tracked from the beginning to discern where the issue arose. This way food distribution crises can be averted by tracking food supplies from farms to shelves, much like Wal-Mart is doing with their lettuce. Using this technology, companies can also track origins of foodstuffs such as coffee and even raw materials such as diamonds to check their integrity and find out whether no human rights were actually violated along the product path.
The blockchain technology also has the potential to revolutionize the media and news industries. We have already written about some of the problems the mainstream media face nowadays. By promoting features such as transparency and trustworthiness, blockchain could easily disrupt the current news and media landscape. This is exactly why we are developing BLOCKBIRD – a platform that aggregates, evaluates and enriches all of the relevant crypto news and information coming from any part of the world wide web.
We are using artificial intelligence together with the help of our users’ voting and ratings to recognize manipulated news. We can do that by observing the community response, source reputation, content processing, and pattern repetition of the spreading news. The blockchain technology allows us to enhance our product by enabling the credibility of voting and ratings on the platform. When we store the rating results on the distributed ledger, we make sure they are transparent and immutable. It also allows us to reward our community. If you are interested in knowing more, visit our website, read the blueprint, and become a part of the BLOCKBIRD movement