by Adrian Savarese
Every time that we heard about blockchain, our mind automatically thinks about cryptocurrency.
Let’s talk for a minute, about what blockchain is and where it may be useful outside of the cryptocurrency space.
A blockchain is a mechanism for creating a distributed ledger, that multiple parties can participate, view and audit the data contained inside each block.
The second generation of blockchain allows developers to write and run programs inside a block. We call that “Smart Contracts”.
Nowadays with Smart Contracts, a world of possibilities has opened and we now have the possibility to create secure and decentralized applications.
A few companies and startups are already working with different MVP or initial developments base on blockchain, here you have a few examples:
Initial coin offerings
The $5.3 billion boom in ICOs in 2017 challenged traditional venture capital. ICO is a digital crowdsource funding model that uses smart contract and cryptocurrency.
The insurance industry spends tens of millions of dollars each year on processing claims. Not only that, it actually loses millions of dollars to fraudulent claims too. Smart contracts could also help improve the process of claim processing in many ways.
Blockchain can be used to validate a voter‘s identity and record their vote. This information could then be used to initiate an action after all voting had ceased. Since the blocks within a blockchain are impossible to alter once they have been recorded, manipulation of this record would not be possible.
Transport and logistics
The transport and logistics sector is becoming increasingly digitised as supply chain management and visibility remain as important as ever, and both are key areas that can be improved by blockchain.
The execution of digital payments via blockchain-based smart contracts is just around the corner. Smart contracts allow payments to be processed automatically when certain pre-defined conditions have been met. These conditions may include automatic payments when new contracts are approved or sending automatic payments when goods have been shipped and received.
Blockchain is a promising technology that is moving beyond cryptocurrency into more mainstream applications in business. The technology is still in its infancy but will become more mainstream as companies better understand how blockchain can be adopted into their services and products.