What are the Best Applications of Blockchain Technology?
Significant innovations bring many benefits, and blockchain technology is not an exception. Gradually, it’s getting more popular, and the recognition it has fought for many years to gain by being utilized in various industries and proving that it has the potential to change the world. This article discusses the use cases of blockchain technology and lists some of the most prominent companies and applications in different industries using blockchain to improve their services.
Table of Contents
What is Blockchain Technology Used For?
Blockchain technology is a distributed ledger that was first created to enable cryptocurrency transactions and store records of ownership of digital assets, making the system difficult to get hacked. Overall, it has shown itself to help provide efficiency, transparency, and, most importantly, data security, which has resulted in blockchain application use cases expanding into various industries.
Blockchain application use cases vary from processing transactions more quickly to being leveraged in government activities to streamline operations. Although blockchain is still the foundation of cryptocurrencies and tokens, its applications are getting accepted as valid and valuable tools in various industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, retail, real estate, and entertainment — and the list doesn’t end there.
Blockchain Application in Banking and Financial Services
Payments and Cross-Border Transactions
Financial institutions and banks have struggled with inefficiencies such as slow payment validations and settlements, transparency and liquidity problems, and flaws found within their security systems for a long time.
In contrast to traditional banking services, blockchain applications have many uses for money transfers. They reduce costs for users and firms and improve the process of payments by enabling instant cross-border transactions.
Blockchain applications provide real-time verification of cross-border transactions without intermediaries. They don’t require third-party authorization, which speeds up the transaction process that takes up to seven days to complete with traditional systems.
Ripple is a blockchain-based payment network and protocol created by Ripple Labs Inc., a US-based company and one of the best providers of crypto solutions that collaborates with over 100 financial institutions and banks. The network connects banks and payment providers via RippleNet and focuses on instant cross-border transactions. Ripple also has its cryptocurrency, XRP.
Algorand is the first-ever permissionless proof-of-stake blockchain cryptocurrency protocol. It’s a scalable, secure, and decentralized platform that aims to solve scalability problems and has low transaction costs. Algorand’s native cryptocurrency is called ALGO.
A peer-to-peer transaction is an electronic money transfer from one person’s bank account to another through a P2P payment application. Compared to traditional exchanges, P2P crypto exchanges offer better opportunities, such as lower fees, global transactions, high-level security, and better exchange rates. They also reduce the number of intermediaries, allowing users to receive money directly from other users.
Bybit is one of the fastest-growing P2P cryptocurrency exchange and trading platforms, with over 2 million registered users. It features an easy-to-use interface allowing users to easily buy and sell their funds at an agreed price.
Paxful is the world’s leading P2P crypto exchange platform in the US. It has more than 350 payment options, such as online wallets, bank transfers, and so on, allowing users to buy and sell digital currencies with everyone and everywhere.
Trade finance refers to the financial instruments used for domestic and international trade and commerce. Although it reduces the payment risk and the supply risk in trade transactions, there are also risks faced by finance providers, such as fraud risks, compliance risks, and so on. Blockchain can reduce these risks and simplify and speed up the trade process by removing intermediaries.
Komgo is the first blockchain-based decentralized network that digitalizes trade finance and allows traders and over 150 companies to transact in a secure environment. Komgo offers letters of credit, receivable discounting, better communication, an end-to-end communication channel that protects users from fraud attempts, and even a know-your-customer (KYC) solution.
Blockchain Application Examples In Business
Supply Chain Management
Blockchain applications can improve supply chain transparency, reduce costs, and enable accurate tracking in the shipping industry, which will help suppliers, customers, manufacturers, and retailers track their items from production to delivery or use in real-time.
FedEx, one of the largest companies in the world focused on transportation and e-commerce, has launched a blockchain-powered program to share shipment information with suppliers and retailers to help them monitor shipments within their tracking systems and solve customer service problems.
Crowdfunding platforms are websites that enable businesses and start-ups to get financial backing from many people willing to help and donate. Besides fundraisers and donors, crowdfunding platforms are also packed with scammers who create fake profiles and raise funds for people who will never get the donated money. These websites don’t have control over them.
Blockchain technology can reduce these problems by using smart contracts that provide security, protect fundraisers and donors in these situations, and help crowdfunding platforms get funded faster by increasing the visibility of various projects.
PledgeCamp is a crowdfunding platform with blockchain-powered escrow features that offer transparency through smart contracts and build a secured website focused on accountability.
Blockchain applications are wildly used in the healthcare industry due to their ability to protect patient health information, uphold privacy when sharing data through hospitals, laboratories, and other healthcare systems, reduce costs and improve performance and tracking. Blockchain can help examine and identify dangerous mistakes that significantly impact the industry.
Blockchain supply chains can also help the healthcare industry by enabling patients to track their purchased items from the first stages of the production and shipping process.
Chronicled is a technology company that uses blockchain technology in its MediLedger network. It acts as a bridge between trading partners and enables automation between them and medical institutions without any party sitting in the middle.
Chronicled’s vision is to provide a platform that will increase the effectiveness of care in the healthcare industry.
MedRec is another good application in the healthcare industry. It’s an AI-powered record management system that handles health records and uses blockchain technology to manage data sharing and authentication. It keeps track of critical medical data such as blood pressure, oxygen saturation, etc.
Blockchain intelligent contracts help MedRec to create a data management platform for patients. Its cloud-based system connects users with their doctors, which allows them to collect and share their symptoms, exam results, and diagnosis.
Over the past few years, the real estate industry has undergone drastic changes due to the pandemic creating obstacles to buying and selling homes. Many landlords and estate agents have begun using blockchain technology to solve legal complications associated with buying and selling homes.
Blockchain has impacted the industry in many ways, from optimizing house sales by quickly verifying finances to providing transparency throughout the selling and buying process.
Propy is a decentralized real estate marketplace with a decentralized title registry system. It automates the real estate sales process, providing self-driving transactions for agents and home buyers using blockchain technology and allowing them to transact entirely on the blockchain.
Blockchain Application Examples In The Public Sector
Government and Voting
Blockchain can even be used in the government. Some government and state agencies are already using it to protect and manage government and citizen records and data, improve the security and transparency of state tasks, reduce fraud and even eliminate corruption in government agencies.
Blockchain technology can also simplify the voting process of elections by allowing it to be done on mobile phones while providing security.
Voatz is a for-profit application that makes voting more accessible by enabling citizens to vote in elections using their smartphones. Using blockchain, identity verification, and biometrics, Voatz streamlines the voting process and secures your vote.
- Follow My Vote
Follow My Vote is another online voting platform that aims to improve the voting systems in elections. It’s an open-source virtual blockchain ballot box that can be accessed via any device.
Last but not least, several blockchain applications can be found across the media and entertainment industry. They reduce costs, maintain data integrity, and, most importantly, protect IP (Intellectual property) rights of the content, which is one of the key concerns within the industry. Blockchain allows creators to digitize their media and store IP rights on an immutable ledger.
Ujo Music is one of the best examples of a platform where artists can store their digital assets. It uses Ethereum Blockchain and digitizes artists’ and musicians’ music rights and metadata. All of the uploaded content belongs to the artists and proves their ownership.
Examples of entertainment blockchain applications include Steemit, a well-known blockchain-based social media and blogging platform. It incorporates features of Reddit, another social media platform, such as the feature of upvoting and downvoting content, having discussions, submitting content, and so on. Steemit encourages users to create content by rewarding them with a STEEM cryptocurrency.
Blockchain will take many years to enter our economic infrastructure, but its decentralization is already being carried out extensively. Blockchain technology’s impact is prominent in numerous industries, from changing how transactions are processed in the banking industry to preventing an artist’s content from being duplicated in multiple locations. It will continue to rise in the coming years.