Blockchain is a distributed, digital and decentralized ledger that has given rise to most of the virtual currencies we have today. It is this technology that has enabled logging of transactions without the presence of a single authority or intermediary. Which means a bank is not required for transactions.
So, why is there a lot of hype around the blockchain?
Blockchain started off as a plan to remove problems that existed in the current system of banking. Banks were considered as a third party whose involvement was rather unnecessary in transactions and with the emergence of blockchain, this problem was solved. For instance, it would not take more than five days for transactions across borders. At the same time, the risk of tampering and fraud was also eliminated.
Apart from cryptocurrencies, there are quite a lot of other uses of blockchain technology. As time goes on and technology evolves, the applications of blockchain are increasing rapidly. This is primarily because consumer awareness around the benefits of blockchain is improving.
Blockchain technology is applied in:
1. Monitoring supply chains
Blockchain is considered to be particularly very handy in monitoring supply chains. It eliminates the paper-based work, which means businesses are able to pinpoint inefficiencies in the supply chain. And now, it can also locate them in real time.
Consumers and businesses can simultaneously see products from the perspective of quality control, as the products go from creation to a retailer.
2. Digital identities
Nowadays, more than a billion people are facing identity challenges all over the world. This is something that Microsoft is aiming to change. For instance, it is making use of an Authenticator app to create digital identities. These identities are currently under use by millions of users.
Such identities will make it easy for people living in impoverished areas to find access to various financial services. Similarly, it would make it easy for them to start a business, for instance.
3. Sharing of data
IOTA cryptocurrency recently demonstrated that blockchain can be used as a middle party to move and store data for use in a wide number of industries. In this regard, a Data Marketplace was launched with the prime purpose of sharing user data.
4. Digital votes
Voting fraud is very common these days, especially in underdeveloped countries that are still reliant on traditional methods of voting. This is a problem that blockchain can solve with great ease. Since it is transparent, regulators can verify if anything has been changed. Therefore, it makes it virtually impossible for one to tamper with the data, making voting a fair affair.
5. Real estate, auto, and land transfers
Blockchain has always aimed to eliminate the need for paperwork. This is because the trails of paper usually result in confusion, wastage of time and inefficiency of the process. As a result of this, blockchain can be used to store titles of land, houses or cars. These titles that are stored in the blockchain network can be transferred with crystal-clear legal ownership status.