With the advent of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, there has been a significant impact on the world of finance, trading and exchange. Cryptocurrencies have come under the microscope and been subjected to a fair bit of opposition by financial authorities for their decentralized and unregulated system of currency, which bypasses the traditional banking system. It has the potency to make the traditional financial system obsolete and that makes the resistance by traditionalists understandable. However, there is one thing that cryptocurrencies have brought about into the world, which seems like a lucrative option for industries worldwide to consider adopting: Blockchain Technology.
All initial discourse on blockchain technology was done within the context of cryptocurrencies because that is what introduced the concept of blockchain to the world but its real value actually lies in its sheer versatility in transactional utilities. Blockchain is the main driving force behind cryptocurrencies but that is not all that its uses can be limited to.
Blockchains are essentially transparent digital ledgers which validate and verify transactions. This ledger exists and is maintained on a disparate, peer-to-peer network of computers. The ledger consists of facts which can be anything from monetary transactions as in the blockchain networks employed by cryptocurrencies, or it could even be something like content signature. The technology is understandably quite complex but it can be better understood as a network consisting of verified strangers.
The utility of block chain is more than initially anticipated within the context of cryptocurrencies. There are already signs of its extensibility in the form of the prototype platforms and applications that are already being deployed. There is work underway with IBM teaming up with seven European banks in order to develop a blockchain platform in order to greatly decrease the verification and transaction time of international payments while improving security and reducing costs significantly.
This opens a window to look at the possible applications of blockchain in other areas. Does it have applications in real estate? Can blockchain be used to vote? Can personal health data be stored using blockchain? Can we apply for a password using blockchains? Yes. Here’s a list of possible applicable venues for blockchain technology (there can be many more).
- Financial services can utilize block chain technology for asset management in trade processing and settlements. Insurance companies can use it within the context of processing claims and as IBM as showed, block chain can be used for cross-border payments.
- Smart Contract applications for block chain can include Block chain Healthcare, Block chain Music and even Blockchain Government.
- Smart property application of block chain can entail a block chain internet-of-things like smart appliances and supply chain sensors. It can also be applied for unconventional money lending systems.
It is a fact that some technologies are over-hyped from the moment they’re born just because they’re new while some tend to make a quieter appearance and then go on to become significantly important at a later point in time. AI is the technology which was born without making too much of a noise while blockchain came in with a bang. The combination of these two technologies will bring about revolutionary transformation. They will bring about a change to every industry in the world as we know it.