Blockchain is best known as the technology behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ripple, but it is MUCH more than that. Let us learn the numerous other dimensions of the Blockchain technology.
First of all what is Blockchain?
Blockchain is a distributed digital ledger of economic transactions that can be used to record anything of value, not just financial transactions. Blockchain makes the transactions transparent, decentralised, efficient and secure. Records maintained once on the blockchain platform can not be changed, hence this technology provides safety from outside threats.
Varied uses of Blockchain other than in Cryptocurrencies:
- Supply Chain Management: Transactions can be transparently and securely recorded with visibility for all. This can greatly reduce cost, time delays and human mistakes. With the help of Blockchain technology we can also verify the authenticity of the products by tracking them from their origin. Some startups working in this domain are- Fluence, Skuchain, Provenance.
- Predictions/Forecasts: Many Blockchain startups are looking forward to create global decentralised prediction markets. Such a market/platform can be used to monitor bets on anything from sports to stocks to elections in a decentralised way.
- Transport: Blockchin technology can be used to create peer to peer ride sharing apps wherein both the riders and the car owners can arrange terms and conditions in a secure way with eliminating the third party providers. Arcade city is one such startup working in this area.
- Cloud Storage: The data that is present on centralised servers (Eg: iCloud, Aadhar biometric data) is vulnerable to hacking and data loss. Using Blockchain technology allows the data of users to be more secure from outside threats. Storj is an example of decentralised data storage using this technology.
- Charity: The charities today are plagued by corruption and inefficiency. Using the distributed ledger facility of Blockchain allows the donor to track where their money has gone and ensure that it lands in the right hands. Bitgive foundation has taken a step in this direction.
- Elections: Many times the contesting parties in an election have been accused of rigging the election. The Blockchain technology can be used for voter registration and vote counting to ensure that no voters can be duplicated; and that no votes are changed and removed once entered into the system. Creating a publicly viewable ledger of votes would make the election process completely transparent and trust worth.
- Government: Dubai is aiming to put all its government documents on the blockchain by 2020. This will help to eliminate bureaucracy, corruption and make the processes faster and more efficient.
- Music: Blockchain startups are aiming to eliminate the middle man (contract companies) and get the singers directly paid from their listeners by using Smart Contracts. Smart Contracts also automatically solve the licensing issues.
- Real Estate: The real estate sector suffers from corruption, frauds and sluggishness. The Blockchain technology can make the transfers and transactions more trust worthy and speed up the processes by eliminating the need for paper backed contracts. It can also help in authenticating the ownership and documents.
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Author | Akanksha Goel