Financial and non-financial industry is buzzing about Blockchain. It is arguably the most disruptive and the most important discoveries of our age.
What is BLOCKCHAIN?
Blockchain is a shared database or ledger technology for managing and recording transactions with no middle-man (or intermediaries)
Think of Block chain as giant digital spreadsheets shared by everyone in a decentralized network.
Blockchain = Distributed Ledger. The ledger can only be changed when there is a consensus among the group. That makes them more secure, and it means there’s no need for a central authority to approve transactions.
Blockchain is not Bitcoin. It is technology behind Bitcoin.
A few “BLOCKCHAIN USE CASES” across industries
- HOTELS: Everyone knows Airbnb, $65 billion dollar startup. But it now has a competitor in Slock, which is eliminating middle-man leveraging blockchain allowing renters to use their smartphones to lock and unlock apartments. Great concept leveraging smart contract (a feature of “Bitcoin 2.0” technologies such as Ethereum), check out here. It’s only a matter of time when hotels chains will replace front-desk with robots and blockchain for all transactions. The key difference between Airbnb and Slack is that Airbnb has intermediary and Slock does not.
- FINANCIAL: P2P payments Circle uses blockchain to send money anywhere, in any currency, without the friction (transfer delays and fees) of traditional clearance options like Western Union. Money could be in bitcoin or debit cards, credit cards like Visa/Mastercard — all this enabling faster, transparent cross-border transactions.
- CONSUMER GOODS COMPANY: A common use case for consumer – IBM + Samsung partnership, ADEPT: Detecting problems in washing machine i.e. autonomous maintenance. Checkout Samsung WW9000 washing machine that detects low detergent, automatically contacts the supplier with whom you have a contract, places the order and initiate transfer of payments and delivery. ADEPT (Autonomous Decentralized Peer-to-Peer Telemetry) uses BitTorrent to share files, Ethereum for smart contracts and TeleHash for peer-to-peer messaging.
- UTILITY COMPANY: German power company, RWE, changing energy delivery using blockchain. The POC is “car charging” with the charging station acting as a point at which both customer authentication and the processing of payments takes place. Read more.
- ARTS: Ascribe allows artists to claim ownership and issue numbered, limited-edition prints of all kinds of artwork in their digital form using the Blockchain. It even includes a marketplace and assists in buying and selling art through their website, removing the need for escrow.
- DIAMONDS: Everledger is using industry’s expensive fraud and theft problem – tracking individual diamonds from mines to consumer. Legality of diamonds is always a big question with proof of ownership locked in paper, and difficult to track. Stolen diamonds are floating in market too. So, Everledger went on to create tamper-proof digital ledger for diamonds. Read more.
- MEDICAL: Genecoin – helps back up your DNA on blockchain. Supposedly, there are medical use case for keeping DNA handy.
- CONSUMER, LAW ENFORCEMENT: UProov – helps timestamp your photos and videos and put it on blockchain. In this day and age, is no limit to the situations you can find yourself in needing to prove something that happened around you.
- MUSIC: Ujomusic – liberate musicians from being under the thumbs of overbearing music labels and streaming services. Artist creates a song it will be stored on the blockchain with its own unique ID and a blockchain value.
As you can see, the blockchain innovation is not just in financial industry, but all the more in non-financial industries.
What is the biggest “value prop” for blockchain?
Tamper-proof, speed, transparency, security, low-cost.
The ability for all kinds of data to be stored and time stamped on it, in a way that no one can delete, censor, nor edit, is far more useful than many can imagine.
Other Distributed Ledger Technologies
Anything where you need an accurate record, a blockchain can be useful. So, use caseS will continue to evolve and be used across industries. Blockchain, in about 5-10 years, will be as significant (or as common as) as databases are today, for every organization, in my opinion. To learn more, click here.
What do you think? Will this technology sustain? Will Bitcoin take over payments industry in future? Please chime in with your thoughts.