Now that we have learned blockchain technology, it is time to dive into practice. What exactly can we do with blockchain? What are blockchain applications that we, as a society, actually benefit from?
This chapter gives examples of blockchain applications in logistics, the financial sector, governments, real estate and much more.
- Real estate
- Internet of Things
The global real estate industry is poised for a revolution. By implementing blockchain within the real estate industry, new revenue models can arise in which buyers and sellers come into contact with each other. Because data on the chain is immutable, property ownership can change without needing an expensive lawyer, broker or notary.
Blockchain uses the real world.
Another important application of blockchain in this sector is the possibility of selling parts of a real estate object. This will be able to attract a whole new market of investors. Investors who need more resources to buy an entire house can invest in a fraction of a home or apartment.
The development of blockchain applications within the real estate industry can also ensure that there will be a tiebreaker of market leaders. The current market leaders must switch quickly and adapt revenue models to new possibilities. If they do this, they may retain their market share. We also saw this when the internet was on the rise. Companies that joined too late lost their position in the market or went bankrupt.
In America, several states already consider real estate transactions via Smart Contracts as legal.
Internet of Things
There are also interesting blockchain applications for the Internet of Things or IoT. The Internet of Things refers to the fact that more and more everyday devices are connected to the Internet, from telephones to televisions and your refrigerator or lighting.
The total market for IoT applications is huge. Research has shown that an estimated 2 billion devices are connected to the internet worldwide. In certain countries and regions, an average person already uses almost 1 Gigabyte of data daily. A new society in which a whole network of smart devices is created that is constantly connected and, to us, is closer than we can imagine. However, it is very important that this process works quickly and that all data is secured. This process opens the door to new blockchain applications.
Future IoT networks will benefit from data being stored on the blockchain on a large network of computers and nodes.
The most obvious blockchain application is making payments. This was also the first application in the form of Bitcoin. Almost every major bank in the Netherlands and other parts of the world works on blockchain applications and cryptocurrency. We previously reported that Rabobank is developing its crypto wallet.
A public ledger can be the solution for international payments. Currently, in some cases, it takes up to 3 business days for global bank payments to be processed. If information and balances are stored in the blockchain, there is no need for an umbrella bank to approve transactions. This allows transactions to be processed practically instantly at much lower costs.
In many Third World countries, the population needs help accessing their own (bank) account. Cryptocurrency can allow these people to open a financial statement and participate in local and international trade and economy.
In the global healthcare industry, blockchain applications can regulate almost all processes more efficiently and securely. Together with banks, medical organizations are most concerned with developing a renewed healthcare system. Several large parties, including Deloitte, are investing millions of euros in new blockchain applications that can improve healthcare.
The improvements are mainly in the sharing and processing of medical data. Currently, this is done based on various databases. Almost every instance has its environment where data is stored. For example, every insurer has its own data centre, as does every hospital or medical practice. This means that sharing information is cumbersome. It takes people and costs a lot of money to maintain and secure any system. We are now considering bundling all these different data centres on one blockchain. This provides many advantages. For example, an insurer can immediately see when a customer has had an operation and directly reimburse the insured’s costs.
By bundling all medical information of agencies on a shared blockchain, agencies can more easily access the necessary data. This leads to a more efficient, cheaper and better healthcare system
In most countries in the world, there is a democracy. Here the people can vote on referendums and which party(s) will govern the country. In almost all countries, this voting is still done with pen and paper. Votes submitted are then counted by hand by volunteers who must be assumed to be objective. In other words, an enormously fraud-prone process.
In the article about blockchain technology, we read that information on the chain cannot be adjusted afterwards. A possible blockchain application is to record incoming votes directly on the chain. As a result, the number of votes cannot be tampered with, and the counting of votes is no longer in the hands of a central (corrupt) organization, as in some countries.
Dubai is the first city in the world to transfer its entire administrative infrastructure and economy to the blockchain in the short term.
Logistics can also benefit greatly from this technical revolution, especially in the case of international shipments and production processes. In the case of international shipping, a lot can go wrong. Goods can be damaged or even lost altogether. When all information within the transmission process is stored on the blockchain, it can be immediately checked where things went wrong and which party is responsible for this.
This also provides advantages in the case of food safety. A large chain like Mcdonald’s receives food products from many different suppliers. Suppose all data is recorded on the blockchain. In that case, it becomes immediately clear when products are exposed to temperatures higher than allowed without the supplier being able to hide or manipulate that information. A cryptocurrency that specifically responds to the logistics sector is Vechain.
Luxury brands that suffer a lot from cheap counterfeit products, such as Louis Vuitton, can use blockchain by monitoring the entire production process and storing it on a chip. Customers can check the product’s authenticity by reading the chip and seeing where the bag was located and produced.