Blockchain is a technology that turns both currencies and commodities into a digital form and ensures that all transactions are properly conducted and recorded. It allows one person to trade with another without relying on a middle man like a bank or a company to process the transaction for you.
There is increased growth of blockchain companies because of the advancement of technology, and if you find yourself interested in cryptocurrencies, you might want to check it out.
Blockchain Technology & its Implications
To take part in the Blockchain, you must own digital currency, commonly known as Cryptocurrency (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple), and can be bought using ordinary money (Dollars, pounds, euros, etc.). What is stored on the Blockchain need not be just a monetary unit – it can be put to all other interesting uses.
It is now possible to sell your excess solar power back to the grid, cutting out the middle man. It’s called peer-to-peer trading and it’s fast becoming a reality with start-ups like Power Ledger trialling ways to counter power bill hikes by putting the power of energy generation into the hands of consumers.
The company has developed a software which reads the outputs of electricity meters and can therefore measure the amount of energy that is consumed or generated. Those two pieces of information are then recorded on the Blockchain and used to move energy from one person to another via a unit called ‘Sparkz’, which is a digital representation of energy.
For greater flexibility in the electricity grid system – Blockchain technology
“Blockchain and Cryptocurrency really makes the concept of peer-to-peer trading and the ability to support distributed renewables a global possibility.”Power Ledger co-founder David Martin
“By opening it up to a Cryptocurrency, it allows us to make the applications interoperable – so a peer to peer trading application in Australia may over time be interoperable with an EV charging application in America or an asset germination event in India,” he added.
In the 2016 election, Democrats and Republicans questioned the security of the voting system. The Green Party called for a recount in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. Computer scientists say hackers can rig the electronic system to manipulate votes.
The ledger would prevent this since votes become encrypted. Private individuals can confirm that their votes were counted and confirm who they voted for. The system saves money, by the way, for the government, too.
How the US government is using blockchain to fight fraud | Kathryn Haun
Blockchain Cross-Border Payments
The global payments sector is error-prone, costly, and open to money laundering. It takes days if not longer for money to cross the world. The Blockchain is already providing solutions with remittance companies such as Abra, Align Commerce and Bitspark that offer end-to-end Blockchain powered remittance services.
In 2004, Santander became one of the first banks to merge Blockchain to a payments app, enabling customers to make international payments 24 hours a day, while clearing the next day.
Personal health records could be encoded and stored on the Blockchain with a private key which would grant access only to specific individuals. The same strategy could be used to ensure that research is conducted via HIPAA laws (in a secure and confidential way).
Receipts of surgeries could be stored on a Blockchain and automatically sent to insurance providers as proof-of-delivery. The Blockchain ledger could also be used for general health care management, such as supervising drugs, regulation compliance, testing results, and managing healthcare supplies.
Blockchains are where digital relationships are being formed and secured. A consortium of the largest banks in the world, as well as several insurance companies, led by a startup, is seeking to build a platform to establish new digital relationships between banks themselves.
Their approach to securing these new digital relationships is a combination of Ricardian contracts and coded business logic. In short, this version of smart contracts seeks to use information and documents stored in Blockchains to support complex legal agreements.
Simple introduction to smart contracts on a blockchain
“Smart contracts solve the problem of intermediary trust between parties to an agreement, whether that is between people transferring assets like gold, or executing decisions between two parties in a betting contract,” explained Vitalik Buterin, a founder of Ethereum.”
Blockchain Insurance Management
Insurance claiming process can be a frustrating and thankless procedure. Insurance processors have to wade through fraudulent claims, fragmented data sources, or abandoned policies for users to state a few, and process these forms manually. Room for error is huge. The Blockchain provides a perfect system for risk-free management and transparency. Its encryption properties allow insurers to capture the ownership of assets to be insured.
InsureX – A marketplace for insurance based on blockchain
Key problems in the music industry include ownership rights, royalty distribution, and transparency. The digital music industry focuses on monetising productions, while ownership rights are often overlooked. The Blockchain and smart contracts technology can circuit this problem by creating a comprehensive and accurate decentralised database of music rights.
At the same time, the ledger can provide transparent transmission of artist royalties and real time distributions to all involved with the labels. Players would be paid with digital currency according to the specified terms of the contract.
Music2020 – How can blockchain help the music industry?
A tangible or intangible property, such as cars, houses, or cookers, on the one hand, or patents, property titles, or company shares, on the other, can have smart technology embedded in them. Such registration can be stored on the ledger along with contractual details of others who are allowed ownership in this property.
Blockchain in Real Estate
Smart keys could be used to facilitate access to the permitted party. The ledger stores and allows the exchange of these smart keys once the contract is verified. Making property smart decreases your risks of running into fraud, mediation fees, and questionable business situations. At the same time, it increases trust and efficiency.
Although the future potential of the Blockchain implications is still unravelling, Blockchain uses are allowing people to secure digital relationships that were impossible before. The Blockchain has the potential to be a powerful tool for improving business, conducting fair trade, democratising the global economy, and helping support more open and fair societies.