Blockchain beyond Finance: 5 industries to reap the benefits of Blockchain.
Any discussion on blockchain technology, ushers in a parallel discussion on Bitcoin, and its mysterious origin. It’s interesting how a technology that was initially discovered and evolved to support bitcoins and cryptocurrencies, has today emerged into something significantly bigger.
Blockchain technology is transforming industries – it’s a security aspect extending to a world beyond that of banking and finance, with more and more industries recognizing its merits independently. Ease of payment processing, smart contracts, transparency, efficiency, data integrity, and security – we are talking about disruption and collaboration through a single technology.
Blockchain adoption by industries: How blockchain is likely to disrupt and collaborate with these industries
When it comes to how blockchain technology is transforming businesses, it comes down to the unique strengths of the tech. While there are software and deep tech that are currently being used to simplify tasks and activities across industries and businesses, blockchain scores above them with its uniqueness for being:
- Decentralized: All data is stored in blocks inside a single blockchain. There is no single ownership but access rights are provided to all within the particular blockchain network.
- Immutable: Once stored inside a blockchain, data cannot be tampered with, i.e. it can be updated, but all information about the old transaction stays recorded.
- Transparent: All transactions made using blockchain technology is transparent. Privacy of the individuals making the transaction is maintained, but the details of the transaction are available to all.
With that in mind, let’s have a quick look at how blockchain is leaving its footprints in some of the major industries.
Blockchain in Real Estate
Real estate is a highly complex industry. There’s paperwork and documentation required, titles, legal requirements, involvement of multiple parties such as buyers, agents, escrow, notaries, attorneys, etc. – all in all making it a time consuming, costly and at times risky affair. And that’s something blockchain technology can ensure to do away with.
Adoption of Blockchain technology in the real estate sector can resolve all of that and more. For instance, with blockchain technology in place, the role of the “middleman” or real estate agents can be done away with completely. Not only will it save buyers from paying massive fees as “commissions” but will also save on time, with the deal being made directly between the buyer and seller.
In this respect, blockchain technology can effortlessly be applied to three areas in the real estate industry:
- Property titles
- Smart contracts
Considering the regulations and legal work required in real estate acquisition, it might be some time before blockchain becomes the industry norm – though the beginning is already in place.
Blockchain in Healthcare
Innovation in the healthcare sector is already in full swing – and blockchain is taking health care to the next level. Valued approximately at $34.47 million, blockchain development technology in healthcare is estimated to grow by CAGR of 70.45% (2018-24). (Source: As published in Peerbits)
To assess how blockchain technology can disrupt the healthcare sector, one must understand the vastness of the healthcare sector which makes it challenging for industry-wide acceptance and integration of any new technology. For instance, wearables have already made its impact on the healthcare industry, electronic health record (EHR) and AI-based medical examinations are gradually making its presence evident in hospitals and healthcare systems. And in that respect, the integration of blockchain though sluggish is effective.
For instance, the pharmaceutical sector, especially the logistics and supply chain part of it, is one area that can benefit manifold from blockchain solutions. Authenticity of drugs and traceability is crucial for providing better health care. Considering the availability and transportation of rare drugs across borders and physical conditions, blockchain technology can come in handy to track and trace drugs across destinations. By integrating with other modern deep technologies, such as IoT, all information and transaction details can effectively be traced and provided, leaving little room for negligence and non-compliance.
Similarly, when managing patient data, blockchain technology can be used to ensure additional security, data integrity, lack of tampering or unauthorized updates and transparency. This is more relevant in case of medical insurance and claims, where all relevant details about patient and transactions can be made available.
But when it comes to the healthcare sector, blockchain technology has its own set of challenges. For instance, there is no established process or standard currently, making it a time-consuming process to integrate blockchain into legacy healthcare systems. Additionally, the healthcare sector worldwide is run by a complex mix of private and public players and government institutions. All of this makes it challenging and often tedious to seamlessly integrate blockchain into existing processes.
Blockchain in Education
The role of blockchain technology in the education sector is gaining prime momentum of late. In 2018, EdTech investments reached a staggering $16.3 billion (Research by Metaari) with technologies like artificial intelligence drawing maximum interest.
There are several ways in which blockchain technology can impact the education sector and help it to grow and adapt to changing times. Take the instance of library management. Modern libraries are not just about physical books and magazines; it’s also digital. And readership is not just restricted to campus premises. With blockchain in place, all historical data can be recorded and stored in blocks, with transparency and access to anyone in that public network. Details pertaining to availability, estimated date of issue, publication, etc. all can be made available without hassle. This will not only help in saving costs and time but will streamline the process as well.
Blockchain technology can also be used to keep certificates and transcripts secure. With blockchain, the information can be stored in blocks, that can securely be accessed (by authorized personnel) from multiple locations. Also, using DLT, the data is never lost and stored permanently in blocks. School transportation and ridesharing is also something that can benefit with blockchain technology.
Considering the evolutionary nature of blockchain in EduTech, many companies are exploring its possibilities through mobile applications. There are several mobile app development companies working on apps that integrate blockchain and related deep tech to offer improved solutions for the education sector.
Blockchain in Supply Chain
When it comes to traceability and cost-effectiveness, blockchain tech is making a massive impact on the supply chain sector. Using blockchain technology it is convenient to track and trace the movement of goods from place of origin to consumption, manage inventory, procurement, storage, stock, estimates, transportation, payments and more. The process automatically ensures transparency, traceability, and efficiency, making it secure and accurate, all the more for large freights and shipments, across multiple locations.
Blockchain for supply chain management especially logistics can be a real game-changer. For instance, the technology can be implemented to list in a shared ledger, all activities related to a particular shipment. Details made to the ledger can be updated, checked and validated instantaneously in an error-free manner. The tech’s decentralized nature makes it secure, with information being available to only relevant participants; the system of ‘hashing,’ makes sure that data is not tampered (including financial records) and is made available to all in the public address.
The rise of blockchain in the SCM sector has not reached its full potential yet but is picking up pace. Moreover, with the additional integration of AI and IoT tech, this is one sector that can surely benefit and gain from the blockchain tech…
Blockchain in Accounting
The accounting sector is about to begin a new era with the integration of blockchain technology. Blockchain, as feared by many, is not a threat to accounting; but an opportunity to make better use of resources, save on time, ensure accuracy and transparency of data.
With the help of smart contracts, accounting firms can have more security and transparency while sharing data and financial records. Similarly, using Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), accounting firms can ensure that regulatory security compliances are met, minimizing the scope of fraudulent activities.
Is Blockchain a matter of ‘concern’ or celebration?
Blockchain technology though making some game-changing impact across major industries is not without challenges. The disadvantages of blockchain technology, though few, have raised eyebrows at times and is something industry leaders and business decision-makers will have to collaborate and find a solution to.
For instance, when it comes to software upgrades, it poses a major challenge. The software currently being used across industries and organizations is often incompatible with blockchain. Integration with blockchain will not only call for tech upgrade but also involve a monetary aspect, including investment in resources and training collaborators, partners and vendors for being able to adapt and use blockchain.
That being said, blockchain without a doubt is a revolutionary technology – and we can only expect great things from it in the future.
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