Over the year, Blockchain Technology has penetrated into industries in domains as varied as finance, healthcare, government and manufacturing. The technology within the context of business applications is proved to be very effective in reducing the business running costs, increased trust in the system and streamlined processes where there are multiple parties exchanging data, money and time.
Let’s have a look over some of the use cases.
1. Banking and Payment
Problem: The current structure of inter-bank payment relies on third party to maintain a central ledger, which is the record of authority. Banks typically need this third party as they don’t trust each other who in turns charge hefty fees and transaction usually takes extensive amount of time.
Solution: Blockchain as a technology provides core models and functions of a bank to store, transfer, receive, send, and process payments. With the distributed ledger to record and maintain the payment transactions, blockchain will eliminate the need to approve transactions via third party thus pushing faster payments at lower fees.
Problem: Insurance companies faces numerous challenges ranging from complex compliance issues, fraudulent claims activities, third-party payment transactions and handling huge amount of client data. Additionally, movement to digital platform has left insurers wondering how to streamline processes thereby securing sensitive information.
Solution: Blockchain has the ability to resolve the issues related to accountability, transparency and superior security helping insurers save time and money, as well as improve customer satisfaction. A shared ledger and insurance policies executed through smart contracts can bring efficiency, less paperwork and eliminate common sources of fraud for criminals to make multiple claims across different insurers for a single loss giving new dimension to insurance industry.
3. Supply chain
Problem: The key challenge faced by supply chain industry where it gets complex for both supplier and customer to track items shipped and the middleman who make the chain lengthy and time consuming. The vast chain and trace-ability issue creates a friction in this supply chain which increases the uncertainty and stops the chain from moving as desired.
Solution: Blockchain can improve the trace-ability in supply chain by allowing inventory to be tracked from orders, production to end users delivery. Usage of smart sensors can provide a wealth of data such as location, environmental condition and even product quality with more information and real-time updates on product status. This would bring confidence in consumers that they are purchasing legitimate products and supply chain process will speed up along with precise decisions to reduce delays making it agile. Further, Blockchain has the power to disrupt the whole supply chain, industries and ecosystems with the help of trace-ability, avoiding delays and lesser paperwork.
Problem: It goes without saying healthcare industry plays vital role in any economy. Since the sector is poised to maintain the regulated costs subsequently finding difficult to deliver high-quality care to the clients. Most of the hospitals do not have system that tracks the patients’ information loosing connectivity (of past treatment) and is halting connected healthcare. This lack of transparency to track the patients’ data and providers can sometimes stifle the information flow which can even cost a patients’ life.
Solution: The potential of Blockchain is far more than potential to provide a brand new model to securely store and maintain a single version of truth. Blockchain can provide platform which have the ability to support the entire life-cycle of a patients’ record. Leveraging the Blockchain technology doctors, hospitals, laboratories, pharmacists and health insurers can request permission to access a patients’ data to serve their purpose and record transaction on the distributed ledger.
5. Real estate
Problem: The real estate industry has become much more complex and challenging due to paper based work, time consuming due- diligence processes and involves a lot of middleman, including brokers and banks. Typically the method includes engaging agency to locate property, placing and accepting the offer, engaging third party assessor for the inspection of property to ensure valuation is correct, approach banks for home loan and visit the state corporation for registration making the whole process lengthy and tedious.
Solution: Blockchain and smart contract challenge to reinvent and digitize the real estate world by issuing digital contract, recording and managing lease and purchase contract, peer-to-peer digital transaction making the industry faster, reliable and more efficient.
6. Identity Management
Problem: The internet was originally introduced as a peer-to-peer network infrastructure, connecting millions of computers together; meaning that any user could connect and communicate with any other user without relying on an intermediary. As and when the usage of internet increased and became privatized thereby giving emergence to third party intermediaries becoming more fundamental to the internet’s structure. This intermediaries gained control over everything from issuing website security certificates to patrolling access to the World Wide Web to curating individual online identities. The centralized control of these intermediaries, breach of data and the harvesting of our personal information with our knowledge demands a different platform for cyber security.
Solution: Blockchain technology can vastly improve system with the data stored on decentralized public ledger rather than hackable servers and the personal information entered into the blockchain remains firmly in one’s control, with no incentive or even capability for outside data harvesting. The information stored on a blockchain is cryptographically secured and cannot be altered, deleted or harvested, thus making massive data breached very difficult and theoretically impossible.
Problem: Over the years, business needs have evolved from revenue settlement to sharing of confidential data from one place to another. In this whole procedure, both the parties face certain issue like- leakage of information, payment scams, Identity thefts and payroll Fraud. This hollow structure in Business practices needs to be addressed to make system more versatile and secured.
Solution: Blockchain technology can be very effective in reshaping this hollow business structure by establishing secured business network allowing one to share and record information with multiple business entities in decentralized way. Further, establishing quicker transactions from all over the globe that too in seconds rather than days or weeks.