Four Ways Blockchain is Doing More Than You Think
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies continue to create significant hype in the investment community. And while these coins have proven extremely popular with the wider community, many people view the technology behind the coins as even more promising. If you’ve been researching cryptocurrencies for a while, you’re probably well-aware of blockchain – the revolutionary technology behind Bitcoin.
Blockchain provides a decentralized, peer-to-peer network in which transactions can be recorded and validated. New blocks are formed to record new transactions, which adds to the already existing chain of transactions. Because the entire network has to validate the transaction, it creates a secure and irreversible way of performing transactions.
And while much of the focus on cryptocurrencies has been about making money from the increases in value of the currencies, there is much more going on behind the scenes. In this article, we’re going to take a deeper look at four ways that blockchain is doing more than you think. We’ll analyze current and prospective ways blockchain has the ability to alter markets and processes.
Travel Cost Reductions
If you think travelling is expensive, you’re not alone. But much of the added expense of travelling comes down to third-parties, middlemen, and transaction fees across borders. Blockchain is offering a unique way for certain companies to escape the constraints of international travel costs. In addition, this will help you reduce the overall costs of your travel, as benefits will be able to be passed onto consumers in a competitive environment.
Winding Tree is one crypto startup that is aiming to try and change the way companies approach transactions and costs. They’re using an internal blockchain network and cryptocurrency that allows agents and travel providers to exchange for flights and hotels without the cost of middlemen or currency exchange. It has the potential to greatly reduce the costs of travel.
Blockchain has the ability to help agents and travel providers cut down on their administrative costs. In a competitive market, this will naturally see some costs also being handed down to consumers. This is extremely promising because many major airlines have already signed up for the network: Lufthansa, Swiss, Brussels Airlines, Air New Zealand, and a range of other travel providers are already partnering with the blockchain company.
Blockchain is also emerging as a potential major player in the identity security industry. Many countries have begun to consider blockchain passports as a means of identifying travelers – Dubai is already in discussions for implementing blockchain checks at their airport.
With thousands of lost/stolen passports being used around the world each year, blockchain would be able to help individuals secure their identities, and speed up the process of checking individuals at customs gates and immigration areas. All your personal information would be encrypted and stored on a digital device, the ledger would ensure that only the person with the rights to your identity can use it. It could greatly reduce fraud, as well as eliminate the hassle of losing a passport.
It’s not just passports that will benefit from this technology – other types of identification, such as your driver’s license, may also see influence from the blockchain sector. While nothing is set in stone, the amount of development in this industry indicates there will be substantial expansion in the coming years.
The healthcare industry is not something we typically associate with blockchain, but there appears to be plenty of individuals who are motivated to implement blockchain into healthcare data management. At present, healthcare data is extremely disjointed and insecure. If you’re a patient, you want to be certain your different doctors or healthcare providers have everything they need to assess you correctly. You also want to make sure if you change doctors, cities, or countries, your new healthcare providers will have access to your correct and full data.
Many people believe blockchain can solve some of the problems that healthcare data currently has. People believe it can securely store all of your data on the blockchain, which can then be used to verify all of your information whenever you provide permission. It could also help better verify prescriptions and other sectors of regulated healthcare.
One of the most popular applications of blockchain that has been gaining serious traction in the business community is the concept of smart contracts. Smart contracts have been a desire of the cryptography community for a while, but they’ve only really become plausible because of the introduction of blockchain.
Traditionally, contracts are extremely complicated and require expensive middle men to arrange and enforce. If someone in the contract disobeys stipulations, it may end up costing serious time and money to resolve the conflict. Smart contracts store information on the blockchain, transactions occur automatically and stipulations are built into the contracts – if a problem occurs, penalties can be automated. In addition, if an event occurs that triggers a clause in the contract, such as a particular date, the contract will activate the action immediately.
It’s a great way to decrease cost, increase efficiency, and ensure that contracts are honored in the most appropriate manner. This has the potential to completely revolutionize the way that businesses approach their contracts. It also has the potential to help cross-border transactions increase their ability to be enforced. As everything will be built into a predetermined code, there is no way of escaping the ramifications of a contract.
If you’re interested in what blockchain can do for the world, it’s important to look outside of just cryptocurrencies. While Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have revolutionized the way we think about money, the technology behind them will have an even greater impact in the world. There are tons of startups that are already working at implementing blockchain in creative ways.
The four examples we’ve overviewed in this article are just a fraction of what’s really going on in the industry. Over the next five years, we’ll probably see substantial blockchain implementation across a variety of different industries.