While Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, etc.) determined and secured their place on the modern market after dominating the financial headlines worldwide the whole year, the main focus switched to Blockchain technology. One of the reasons is that all these digital currencies are based on this technology. Instead of seeing it only as the fuel behind Bitcoin, people started to recognize Blockchain's huge potential and its application to other major things, such as banking, industry, government, healthcare, and many other areas.Chief representatives of Banco Santander say that the potential of Blockchain technology cannot damage capital markets, but only improve them.
Blockchain in Banking
Blockchain technology has many potential uses in the world of finances and banking. The most important areas are international payments, capital markets, money laundering protection, and insurance.
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As this technology is a form of shared database that contains transaction data entries that have to be confirmed and encrypted, it provides a way to create a proof log of transaction activity in an efficient and secure way. This characteristic makes Blockchain ideal for international money transfers. There are already some major banks that publicly declared the interest in the potential of this technology when it comes to the payment system.
Chief representatives of Banco Santander say that the potential of Blockchain technology cannot damage capital markets, but only improve them. However, they still see this technology way more complex than those that already exist in payments space. The main focus of Credit Suisse is also on the use of Blockchain in capital markets and corporate banking. In 2016, startup Axioni, which creates Blockchain solutions for capital markets, won investment from famous JPMorgan.
When it comes to fighting money laundering, the most important tool that Blockchain can provide is the encryption, which can be a constructive element in this battle. This technology is made for record keeping, which supports KYC (Know Your Customer) protocol. It's the process that helps businesses to identify their clients.
Talking about insurance, the best Blockchain application for it is smart contracts. Blockchain's smart contracts enable customers to manage claims safely and transparently. All claims and contracts are recorded on the Blockchain and are validated by the network. This way, the system would automatically eliminate invalid claims.
Blockchain can be use in supply chain management, healthcare, real estate, and energy.
Blockchain in Business
Supply Chain Management
Blockchain's ledger can make a great use of tracking goods and items as they move and change locations in the supply chain. Using this technology in transporting goods would be very useful for allocating products that have just arrived at the port to different shipping containers. In any case, Blockchain is a good thing for tracking, organizing data and putting it to use.
Blockchain in Healthcare
Intel is the major chip developer and the company that is worth $ 167 billion. PokitDok is the company that develops the software and operates the healthcare transaction services. These two companies have officially announced the partnership, using the blockchain technology in order to create more efficient platforms for the companies in the healthcare industry.
In April 2016, Hyperledger, the Blockchain's consortium which is governed by Linux Foundation, announced the launch of Sawtooth Lake, developed by Intel, to secure the safe transfer of digital funds for major business companies and organizations.
Within the Hyperledger consortium, members of corporations and financial institutions can recommend the use of platforms and protocols based on Blockchain. Once the proposition is made, it is considered by the Technical Committee, and if it's accepted and approved, it becomes the official Hyperledger project.
As the Committee approved Intel's proposition last year, they immediately started developing and using Sawtooth Lake. The board of the Open Source Technological center in Intel claims that the Blockchain technology can help in securing the safe transfer of digital assets between both known and unknown users. Intel and Hyperledger believe that this partnership could significantly improve the safety, scalability, and privacy of transactions in corporations and small businesses.
PokitDok and Intel are currently developing the Blockchain platform DokChain which will be installed on Sawtooth Lake with a goal to secure the decentralized and transparent infrastructure for healthcare companies.
The statistics show that an average homeowner sells the home every 6 years and that the average person moves around 12 times in a lifetime. As the overall number of movement is huge, Blockchain could be used to execute financial part of the job, minimizing the risk of a fraud thanks to its encryption. It would also ameliorate and speed up the whole process of selling and buying property.
Energy supply transactions could be quite quickly executed by using a Blockchain technology. What it can also do is being used for billing, metering, and clearing processes. There are also numerous other options for using this technology in the energy area, such as renewable energy, emission allowances, documenting ownership, and many other uses.
Blockchain in Government
Blockchain technology could find great use in government for actions such as record management, identity management, taxes, voting, and legislation.
This technology could easily take over tasks of national and local governments such as keeping a record of birth and death dates, marital status, or even property transfers. We all know that this process nowadays is quite difficult as some documents from earlier times exist only on paper. In many cases, citizens have to go in person to local governments to change their status, which only brings frustration. So, Blockchain would largely simplify this process and avoid any frustration.
Using Blockchain technology for identity management would be possible only with enough information recorded on the Blockchain network which would allow citizens to provide only minimum information to prove their identities when needed.
The process of filing taxes, where the human error is always a possibility, could be changed by using Blockchain. It would be less possibility of mistakes, the process would be much faster, and more efficient regarding the amount of data stored on the Blockchain network
After all these advantages and good characteristics that Blockchain technology can provide, many experts believe that the future of voting is in this technology. It would be a fast system of counting with no mistakes included.