Have you heard about ‘blockchain technology’? You might have heard this term but do not know what exactly it means. We will first try to understand the actual meaning of the word ‘blockchain’ and then briefly discuss the blockchain technology. Finally, we will throw light on its uses other than cryptocurrencies.
Hint: It’s just not only about bitcoins & cryptocurrency. The technology is much bigger than that.
‘Block’ refers to the transactional records and ‘chain’ refers to the databases used to store these. So, the blockchain technology refers to a structure which stores the transactional records of people in some databases in a network. This idea of block chain was first conceived as the mechanism supporting Bitcoin. Satoshi Nakamoto has devised it as an immutable ledger of transactions that chains together blocks of data using digital cryptography.
Most of the time people assume blockchain and cryptocurrencies like bitcoin to be the same. Cryptocurrencies are just the currencies which depend on this technology for the security purpose. But blockchain does much more than cryptocurrencies.
Let’s discuss the top ten uses of blockchain technology other than the cryptocurrencies –
1. Provides Security to Decentralized Private Records
The blockchain encrypts data records of each and every individual. Nowadays the industries are leaving the practice of giving responsibility to the third parties to secure their databases. Under blockchain technology, data of each member is secured with the help of a key.
This key is unique for every blockchain member, so the act of stealing someone’s private information by a cybercriminal is impossible. This is the reason why blockchain technology is considered hundred percent secure. Blockchain allows the employers to securely share their transcripts. So they do not require faxes which are sometimes unreliable.
2. Administration of Government Benefits
The blockchain technology proves very beneficial in regards to administration of government benefits. Some of the main government benefits are Medicare, welfare programs, social security, etc. For this purpose, the blockchain makes use of digital identities stored in it. Also, the digital disbursement on the blockchain helps beneficiaries to receive payments readily.
3. Smooth Business Transactions
One of the biggest challenges almost all the organizations face is managing the expenditure. This can be overcome if the organization owns any technology which is capable of making instant payments, automating smart contracts and activating shipments. Block chaining made transaction processes fast by connecting sellers and buyers. Also, it reduced the errors to a large extent.
4. Data Storage
Blockchain is a boon in case of data storage. It is not only less expensive but also highly secure to store data by adding this technology to it. It also offers integrity to data storage solutions. Data which is stored in a centralized manner is more prone to hacking.
Blockchain reduces this risk as it stores the data in a decentralized manner. It will be more difficult to hack into and wipe out all the data on the network, whereas a centralized data storage provider may only have a few points of redundancy. The technology allows greater access to data as it is not reliant on the working of any one organization.
5. Track and Locate In-Use Products
Let’s take an example first. Suppose you are a car manufacturer and developed a blockchain that focuses on quality. It consists of the public regulatory body, part suppliers, sub-assembly makers and quality control providers. What this blockchain does is readily and effectively exchanging the defective parts, if any.
One of the best services offered by this technology is the tracking and locating of in-use products and materials very easily. It ensures high quality and more safety of the product.
6. Execute Collateralized Loans
Blockchain plays an important role in processing the loans faster. It executes collateralized loans with the help of smart contacts. The smart contacts are responsible for pushing certain things like release of collateral, service and repayment of the loan, margin call. Consequently, good rates are offered by the lenders.
7. Avail Autonomous Marketplaces
The blockchain technology adds autonomous marketplaces for assets. It facilitates the enterprises, organizations, industries, etc. in terms of viewing their asset’s value in a multi dimensional manner. So the blockchain manners have much more than the face value of an assets. Since the software is self-controlled, so it does not require third party intervention to keep an eye on the transaction.
8. Provides Transparency to Customers
We have seen how smart contracts aid in the better functioning of blockchain technology. But it’s uses are not limited to that work only. It helps the blockchain in providing transparency to customers as well as insurance providers.
For example, A customer cannot make duplicate claims for a single event. It is because the blockchain records all claims of the users.
9. Reduce Piracy
The most effective feature of blockchain is that it prevents a file from being saved more than once. So, it protects artist royalties and decreases piracy. It ensures that the artists are paid for developing music and film files. These are the ones which are distributed over the internet and are tracked by the blockchain technology. After tracking timely payment with transparency is assured by smart contacts.
10. Identity Information
The blockchain technology is widely used in voting. In the first step, personal identity information is saved on the blockchain. In the second step, it facilitates the voters to vote on their smartphones. As a result, a greater number of persons have access to voting. What it leads to is that it keeps the people away from voting twice, reduces cost and saves time. The saved information is also used to test.
The blockchain technology has only been around for a dozen years, and businesses are still exploring new ways to apply the technology to support their operations. As it is very advantageous for a business, an enterprise, an industry and an organization. It reduces fraud or more specifically cybercrime.
Also, it saves the expenditure, appearing in several operations, to a level. It adds speed to operations and transactions as a result of which the beneficiaries get funds more quickly.