Despite the popular conviction that blockchain technology is only designed to perform cryptocurrency transactions and earn bitcoins, blockchain continues its entry into many areas of life: social media, gaming, healthcare, real estate, and others. The technology intends to enhance work efficiency, cut costs for businesses and improve customer experience.
Blockchain can be explained as a digitalized database and it belongs to digital ledger technology (DLT), which implies no central data store or administrative functionality. Why is it an advantage for an enterprise? Decentralization along with transparency, gives every single participant an opportunity to view all recorded data, ensure its security and track important information.
Here are areas blockchain has already entered and has proven that this technology is worth relying on.
Supply chain management, for instance, is a major yet vulnerable part of the workflow of many companies. Parties participating in the process often don’t interact with each other directly and still apply paper-based methods of information collection and storage. Blockchain offers complete elimination of paperwork: documents flow becomes automated, digital certification is employed as well. More importantly, each authorized member of the supply chain can track the product from the manufacturer to the consumer and prevent counterfeit distribution.
Several American retail giants that encountered foodborne illnesses outbreaks and further food recalls, have implemented blockchain technology in their food supply chains. Before, tracking one product took around 7 days minimum, and these days a food item’s provenance can be identified for a few seconds.
Thus, blockchain solutions made the process of recall faster, more efficient, and cost-saving. Meanwhile, customers have also experienced blockchain adoption in their hypermarkets. In Walmart’s Chinese stores, for example, they can scan the QR code and get all the information about the product: from the farm location to the inspection certificates.
Healthcare is the field where blockchain-based solutions have established themselves as a highly secure and transparent way of keeping electronic health records (EHR). Both doctors and patients receive authorization to access the records and use them when necessary. In the same time, blockchain solutions are powered by smart contracts which enable EHR data privacy protection. Healthcare device data and clinical research are encrypted, insurance can be executed and stored, too. Another use case is prescription medicines and equipment supply chain control.
E-commerce increasingly requires blockchain technology. Again, supply chain is a crucial aspect here: monitoring goods and managing supplies are often challenging tasks but blockchain helps businesses manage their inventory more efficiently. Consumers who trust their money and data to e-commerce organizations are concerned about data security and transparency but this issue can be addressed with blockchain development. Even slight changes in transaction are obvious on a blockchain, and tracking who made a mistake is not a problem anymore. It is also possible to perform crypto payments.
The next area is actually related to cryptocurrency transactions. DeFi, short for decentralized finance, doesn’t only include simple assets transfer, but also refers to more complex financial use cases. The implementation of blockchain contributes to intermediary exclusion and, consequently, reduces costs. All transactions are encrypted and immutable, multi-step authentication mechanisms make the system hard to access for unauthorized members. Among recent novelties is the opportunity to turn to P2P lending services and digital banking.
Social media has potential to be affected by blockchain as well. Along with its global popularity and the ability to connect people around the world, social media is still vulnerable to account hacking, identity leakage and copyright infringement. To tackle those issues, blockchain offers author rights protection, digital identity verification and unbiased licensing.