Is Blockchain All Good?

By now you have probably heard something about the technology that has been taking the world by storm. Blockchain tech is a fairly simple idea, but it has had quite a big impact.

It represents the internet as it was originally intended to be – a free zone, managed by the users and without a central controlling authority. Despite everything that we “know” about securing data online, this system is more secure. A recent infographic crafted by the bitfortune team shows us that this superior security can be applied to many different industries and sectors, such as healthcare, supply chain management and even voting.

Think of it as a beehive, without a queen bee. When the bees have honey to store, they build cells. Each cell is built on the foundation of the one before it. You cannot remove a section of the comb without destroying its structure, and the contents of the cells can be seen by all.

That’s a very simplistic analogy, but an apt one. Blockchain tech works the same way. Every piece of data is added to a new block. This block is indelibly linked to the one before it. You cannot remove any block without destroying the entire chain.

It is this permanency that is one of the primary reasons that the tech is taking off in the way that it has. Imagine it for yourself – with any network based on the tech, the data would be permanently recorded and open for view by authorized members.

This could have some real advantages for you and it’s only one of the 16 blockchain disruptions you’ll find in the infographic. Say, for example, you wanted to try your hand at a spot of gambling. Currently, your best bet is to look at reviews of online betting websites to find the best bet.

But, with blockchain tech, you could go a step further – check out the reviews, and also a history of payouts, etc. It would all be recorded there, and you could go back as far as you wanted to. This transparency is a great way to keep companies honest.

And, of course, though we have given the example of online gambling, there are plenty of other potential uses for the tech as well. It could be used to maintain the chain of evidence in a criminal case, or be used as a way to confirm the supply line for goods.

One potential application is in the healthcare industry. Imagine if every prescription filled was added to a registry that could be accessed by authorized pharmacists and doctors. This could help to curb the abuse of prescription and scheduled medicines, because it would make it impossible for people to visit a few different doctors and pharmacies to get prescriptions filled.

There are a lot of potential applications. But, are all of them going to be good? There is no doubt that the benefits far outweigh the potential downsides here, but let’s play devil’s advocate for a second.

Let’s say that the system is implemented by the police, or by credit bureaus. That would mean that if you were arrested at any time, or if you hit a bad patch in your credit history, it would be permanently on your record.

Now, while this is no doubt a good thing when it comes to habitual offenders, what effect does it have on the person that makes a once-off mistake? Will her past keep coming back to haunt her? Could companies use it as a reason to deny employment, or charge higher interest rates, for example?

So, there are advantages and disadvantages to the system. Overall, the good should outweigh the bad, but it will be interesting to see what treatment these issues receive going forward.

Infographic Source: BitFortune.net

Blockchain Disruption Infographic
Blockchain Disruption Infographic

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16 Blockchain Disruption

Blockchain is one of the most revolutionary technologies to emerge in recent years. Many experts believe it will change our world in the next 20 years, as much as the internet has over the last two decades. Let’s find out how businesses from top industries use blockchain technology.

What is Blockchain Technology?

It is a decentralized ledger of all transactions across a P2P network.

How Blockchain Technology Works?

  • Transaction request
  • Broadcase to a P2P network
  • Validation of the transaction and the users status
  • Combining the verified transaction with another one to add a new block of data
  • Transaction is marked complete

Why Use IT?

Using blockchain technology participants can confirm transactions without a need for a central clearing authority.

Blockchain Properties

  • Mutual & Distributed: Owned equally by all.
  • Ledger: They are immutable tamper proof records.
  • Public: Anyone can read and make legitimate changes to the chain/records.

Why Businesses should use Blockchain Technology?

  • Time and cost efficiency
  • Fraud reduction
  • Security
  • Smart Contracts
  • Transparency
  • Privacy
  • Records keeping
  • Decentralization

Blockchain enhances business performance

  • Blockchain reduces the costs of the total amount for cross-border payments by 2%-3%.
  • Blockchain storage costs can reduce the price of cloud computing up to 50%-100%.
  • 70% potential cost savings on business operations.

Blockchain Adoption

  • 9 out of 10 agree that blockchain will disrupt the banking and financial industry.
  • One-third of C-level executives are considering adopting or are using blockchain technology.
  • 15% of healthcare applications have adopted blockchain for commercial development in 2017.
  • 80% of bankers expect to see commercial adoption of blockchain technology by 2020.
  • 13% of senior IT leaders say that they have a clear plan to use blockchain for their business.

Interesting Fact

Microsoft and Accenture teamed up to create a prototype Blockchain based ID system for a United Nations project aimed at providing legal identification to more than 1B people in the world in 2018.

A look at how companies are using Blockchain Technology

1. Banking

  • Faster transactions
  • Cost reduction
  • Improve security
  • Record keeping

Implementation Facts

  • 90% of major North American and European banks are exploring blockchain solutions.
  • Blockchain’s potential for reducing bank infrastructure costs is 30%.
  • The banking sector can achieve 10% headcount reduction with the introduction of blockchain in the KYC procedures, which means $160M in cost-saving annually – Goldman Sachs Report.

Adopters

  • The central Bank of Lithuania
  • Deutsche Bank
  • DBS Bank
  • Royal Bank of Canada
  • SCB

Interesting Fact

Annual savings potential for banks using blockchain technology is $8.12B.

2. Cyber Security

  • Decentralization
  • Accurate tracking
  • Confidentiality
  • Smart contracts
  • Protected communication
  • Reduce or eliminate fraud and errors

Implementation Facts

  • Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) uses KSI (Keyless Signature Structure) to protect sensitive military data.
  • Nebulis uses the Ethereum blockchain and the IPFS (Interplanetary File System) to make its DNS infrastructure immune to DDoS attacks.
  • REMME’s blockchain can authenticate users and devices without the need for a password.

Startups/Business

  • Cuardtime
  • Gatecoin
  • Ripple
  • Blockcypher
  • REMME

Interesting Fact

By applying blockchain to the clearing and settlement of cash securities, the industry could save around $12B in fees, capital charges, etc.

3. Supply Chain Management

  • Reduce or eliminate fraud and errors
  • Improve inventory management
  • Reduce time and increase efficiency
  • Improve customer engagement

Implementation Facts

  • IBM and Maersk are creating a new blockchain company that will apply blockchain technology to global shipping supply chains in 2018.
  • FedEx has launched a blockchain-powered pilot program to help solve customer disputes in 2018.
  • British Airways tested using blockchain to manage data about flights between London, Geneva, and Miami in 2017.

Startups / Business

  • Skuchain
  • Blockfreight
  • Clause
  • Deloitte Luxembourg
  • Earth Bening

4. Networking and The Internet of Things

  • Improve security
  • Trusted data exchange
  • Autonomous functioning of smart devices
  • Privacy techniques protect information about device interactions

Implementation Facts

  • The IBM IoT filters device events and sends only the required data to the contract.
  • Samsing and IBM used blockchain technology for ADEPT that create a decentralized network of IoT devices in 2015.
  • Mendix is combining IBM Watson IoT and IBM Blockchain to create a mobile-first tracking solution with an immutable ledger of events in 2018.

Startups / Business

  • Slock.it
  • Filament
  • IOTA
  • Moeco.io

Interesting Fact

  • IBM invested $200M in blockchain-powered IoT in 2016.

5. Insurance

  • Transparency and relevant record keeping
  • Reduced cost and time of processing insurance claims
  • Reduced opportunities for insurance fraud
  • Improved customer engagement

Implementation Facts

  • 56% of firms said they recognised the importance of blockchain.
  • Tradle is developing blockchain solutions using know-your-customer (KYC) data.
  • Blockverify offers a service for users to check for stolen or counterfeit goods and fradulent transactions by storing the history and supply chain in the blockchain.

Startups / Business

  • Blocksure
  • Pantera
  • NETKI
  • Tradle
  • Blockverify

6. Private Transport & Ride Sharing

  • Reducing time for lease/rent/procurement
  • Blockchain smart contracts
  • Direct connection betweek drivers and riders
  • Transparency of customer base

Implementation Facts

  • Arcade City and Chasyr allow independent drivers to build their own transportation businesses and set theor own rates.
  • InstaRyde has expressed interest in using blockchain to become more transparent and speed up transactions in 2018.
  • LaZooz fills empty seats with passengers in need of a lift in real-time.

Startups / Business

  • Arcade City
  • InstaRyde
  • Chasyr
  • LaZooz

7. Cloud Technologies

  • Reduce costs
  • Resistant to cybercrime
  • Security protection system

Implementation Facts

  • 50K+ farmers have joined Storj’s P2P network, which hosts 30 petabytes of data in 2018.
  • The total supply for FileCoin is 2B filecoin.
  • Siacoin will be worth $0.0546 in 2023.

Startups / Business

  • Storj
  • MaidSafe
  • FileCoin
  • Sia
  • iExect

8. Charity

  • Transparency of transactions
  • Publicly shared financial reports

Implementation Facts

  • The Water Project, focuses on delivering clean water to Sub Saharan Africa, began accepting bitcoin in 2014.
  • Antiwar, the top source for antiwar news and analysis in all the U.S. Empire, started accepting bitcoin in 2012.
  • Save The Children started accepting charity in bitcoins via BitPay in 2014.

Startups / Business

  • Aidcoin
  • Giveth
  • Alice
  • BitGive

9. Voting

  • Security and integrity
  • Transparency

Implementation Facts

  • Sierra Leone is the first country with blockchain-verified electronic voting in 2018.
  • Russia tested blockchain to protect 2018 presidential exit poll data.
  • The blockchain allows for the creation of publicly viewable, time stamped and signed transactions (records) that cannot be altered or deleted.

Startups / Business

  • Voatz
  • Follow My Vote
  • NASDAQ
  • Democracy Earth

10. Government

  • Eliminate fovernment/third party involvement
  • Reduce corruption at the state level
  • Secure assets and assure data privacy
  • Enable transparent, fast, cost-efficient transactions
  • More opportunities for companies to manage their assets

Implementation Facts

  • Dubai is aiming to put all its government documents on the blockchain by 2020.
  • GovCoin is a UK-based company that is helping the government to distribute public benefits using blockchain technology.

Startups / Business

  • Blockchain[X]
  • KSI
  • DC Blockchain
  • Civic Ledger
  • Bitnation

11. Healthcare

  • Complete medical histories of patients for us by phusicians
  • Reduced time and increased efficiency in providing quotes
  • Tamper-resistant means of storing medical histories

Implementation Facts

  • The goal with MedRec is to give patients and their providers one-stop access to their entire medical history across all providers.
  • SimplyVital Health has two health-related blockchain products in development – Connecting Care and Health Nexus.
  • PokitDot use blockchain to provide a secure network for all sources of patient data, from EMRs to medical devices and pharmacies.

Startups / Business

  • MedRec
  • Factom
  • Uledger
  • Astri
  • You Base
  • Pantera
  • NETKI
  • SimplyVital Health

12. Energy Management

  • Improve transaction security and data quality
  • Promotes alternative energy sources and shared energy
  • Reduces transaction costs and settlement time

Implementation Facts

  • The decentralized nature of the blockchain enables innovation in the transaction process.
  • Solar Coin and Bankymoon solve power shortage problem with bitcoin donation method using smart meter in 2017.
  • KEPCO announced plans to build electric vehicle charging stations using blockchain technology in 2017.
  • KWATT (by 4NEW) coins will be used for buying and selling the energy generated using nothing but waste.

Startups / Business

  • Conjoule
  • Greeneum
  • Grid+
  • Electron
  • MyBit

13. Online Music

  • Validate and register transactions
  • Transform publishing
  • Revolutionize the monetization of music
  • Payment

Implementation Facts

  • PledgeMusic have published a comprehensive blueprint a globally decentralized blockchain in 2015.
  • PeerTracks introduced the concept of “artist tokens”, a limited and tradable cryptocurrency that artists hand out to their fans in 2016.
  • BitTunes offers a bitcoin-based peer-to-peer file-sharing platform that enables ordinary people to become a distribution channel for their own digital identity.

Startups / Business

  • PledgeMusic
  • PeerTracks
  • BitTunes
  • Mycelia
  • Consensys Suite
  • dotBlockchain

14. Retail

  • Transparency in logistics, ability to store and track all data
  • Proof of ownership and resale
  • Better tracking of buying habits
  • Increased trust due to decentralization

Implementation Facts

  • McDonald’s plans to accept bitcoin by the end of 2018.
  • Argos are set to begin accepting Bitcoin payments by late 2018.
  • Overstock.com started accepting bitcoins in 2014.

Startups / Business

  • Provenance
  • Everledger
  • Ascribe
  • Loyyal
  • OpenBazaar

15. Real Estate

  • Increased transparency in all the records
  • No third parties, and therefore reduced cost
  • Automated payments to property investors
  • Prevention of fraud
  • Smart contracts

Implementation Facts

  • Lake Tahoe property was sold for 2,739 bitcoins, or $1.6M in 2014.
  • Bitcoin-realestate.com is using bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin for buying and selling.
  • Manhattan Real Estate started to accept bitcoin in 2014.

Startups / Business

  • Ubitquity
  • Propy
  • SafeChain
  • Atlant

16. Crowdfunding

  • Online and offline payment processing
  • Better business processes
  • Efficiency in supply chain management
  • Tokenization of assets

Implementation Facts

  • The Starbase platform brings full transparency to a project’s members and assets.
  • Acorn uses the decentralized blockchain for transaction verification / storage.
  • WeFunder, first equity crowdfunding platform, started to accept bitcoin in 2016.

Startups / Business

  • Starbase
  • Acron
  • CoinStarter
  • Businefy
  • Waves platform

The Rise of Blockchain Globally

Blockchain Stats

  • In terms of its development, blockchain is where the internet was 20 years ago.
  • Ethereum from March 2017 to March 2018 grew nearly 12 times.
  • In January 2017, bitcoin’s value represented over 90% of the cryptocurrency market.
  • 81% of people who bought crypto did not go into debt to do so. Coindesk’s 2018 Blockchain Industry Report.
  • The size of the entire cryptocurrency market as of March 2018 is nearly $330B.
  • The estimated worth of the global blockchain technology market will be $20B by 2024.

5 Blockchain trends to watch for in 2018

  • Blockchain will move from pilot to production.
  • Blockchain will come into its own as an asset-tracking tool.
  • Use of zero knowledge proofs will grow.
  • There will be a crash sometime in the next few year.
  • Blockchain networks will learn how to enforce the rule of law.

Predictions

  • 55% of healthcare applications will have adopted blockchain for commercial deployment by 2025.
  • The blockchain space will expand by 42.8% on average every year to 2022 (Netscribes prediction).
  • Cybersecurity legend John McAfee predicts bitcoin could hit $1M by 2020.
  • At least 25% of Global 2000 companies will use blockchain services as a foundation for digital trust at scale by 2021.
  • Distributed ledger technology could reduce financial services infrastructure cost betweek $15B-$20B per annum using blockchain by 2022.

Published by Nishitha

I am done with my Physiotherapy Graduation. And I always try to share Health and technology tips with people. Apart from Physiotherapy and being a tech savvy, I do explore more on Technology side and I keep sharing my findings with wider audience.

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