Blockchain has successfully improved data management and protection, better healthcare technology, transparency in government policies, better assets management, effective IoTs applications, financial services implementation, and a plethora of other services.
However, before we can explain how blockchain applications can and are transforming society, we will have to take you back to the basics - The Internet. Today, the internet works with assets, items of value that you want to be stored securely. With the help of blockchain, these assets are encoded and stored where they can be safe, transparent, and accessed at a later time.
Storing these assets in blockchains, in turn, protects your business transactions, prevents thefts, reduces errors, fastens processes, and simplifies business deals. In a nutshell, blockchain has changed how business transactions are conducted and managed.
Blockchain is the general term for this new technology, and these life-changing functions are carried out in blockchain apps. According to Dictionary.com, an application is a program or piece of software designed to fulfill a particular purpose. So these blockchain applications are programmed to meet a specific goal in society.
Blockchain Applications in Government Electoral Votes
Ever wondered what technologically-advanced countries use to vote and ensure free and fair elections? Well, elections can now happen via a blockchain application called blockchain ledger.
In 2016, the USA used a blockchain ledger to conduct a free, fair, and transparent election, and here is how the blockchain ledger works:
- It prevents hackers from rigging electoral votes by encrypting each vote.
- It ensures that civilians can confirm that their votes were counted for whom they voted by providing a transparent system.
- It creates a medium for free and accessible government-sourced data to civilians over the internet, which according to a 2013 report by Mckinsey, can increase global revenue by $2.6 trillion. This data from the blockchain ledger is crucial because it ensures that civilians can investigate government and large corporations, as well as create data-driven strategies for their businesses.
Another big one for blockchain technology is the use of smart contracts (mentioned later) in government and for business transactions. These smart contracts are used between two parties to ensure that both parties keep their end of the deal without risk.
Blockchain Applications Revolutionizing the Financial Sector
The difference between a blockchain application for finance and a traditional financial system is that the latter is error dense, annoyingly slow, and cumbersome. Meanwhile, the former is not only cheaper but more effective and transparent. Hence, blockchain applications for finance have been used to produce innovations like smart bonds, which automatically pays bondholders once the terms of agreements are met. These are merely smart contracts, which self executes and does everything digitally.
Other areas the financial blockchain application works are:
Insurance: The blockchain technology effectively processes insurance claims with zero risks and 100% transparency. This eliminates fraudulent claims, distorted or fragmented data, and facilitates ownership of assets capture for insurance.
Foreign Payment Systems (FPS): With the financial blockchain application, across-border payments has never been more effortless. The software essentially merges blockchain to payment applications, where foreign transactions can be performed within 24 hours. This is a massive improvement as it would no longer take days for across-border payments.
Cryptocurrency: Also known as electronic or digital coins used for transactions. Again, they are fast and protect your operations from being monitored, either by the government, fraudsters, or hackers. And with a blockchain record, you can keep track of your digital coins. It also stores valuable information about the money availability, the sender and receiver's reputability, and the legitimacy of the transaction request. Thus, eliminating fraudsters and ensuring a smooth, safe, fast, and simple transaction.
Blockchain IoT (Internet-of-things) Transforming Society
Internet of things (IoT) is any device that is connected to the internet and each other. For instance, a phone connected to the internet becomes more than just an object. A TV that can access the internet becomes more than only a TV. Even a car that can access GPS becomes more than just a car. They become the Internet of Things (IoT), also known as smart devices.
When you think of IoT, think of a self-regulated inhouse temperature system that can adjust the temperature based on the outdoor weather. Or an office printer that can order more cartridge from amazon when it runs out. These are just a few of the revolutionary technologies that blockchain Internet-of-things is already achieving with its applications.
Another application, albeit, used industrially, is the blockchain IoT supply chain sensor that creates end-to-end visibility for companies. Regardless of their location, company employees with access to these applications can see all aspects of their supply chain, from production to the final supply. According to a survey by Deloitte, out of 99 leading supply chain companies in the world, 44% are already using these supply chain sensors, and 87% plan to be entirely IT driven by 2020.
Identity Protection Through Blockchain Applications
Identity theft is getting more and more prevalent today, and if your identity is not protected, it can be stolen. Hence, a blockchain identity protection application.
Here are some ways that blockchain applications have revolutionized identity protection:
Passports: With digital passports, you can prove their identity both online and offline. For it to work, you must take a photo of yourself and then stamp the photo with private and public keys, which helps in proving the legitimacy of the passport. The passport can then be stored in a blockchain ledger with a bitcoin address and public IP address that can be confirmed by other blockchain users.
All Certificates - Birth, Death, Weddings: Certificates are proof that an event occurred, like, being born, getting married, and or death. Certificates give us the right to vote, work, and live as citizens in specified countries; hence, their importance. With a blockchain identity application, the records needed to prove these certificates have been issued and exist become encrypted. Thus, ensuring its safety and empowering citizens to access crucial information about themselves at any time confidently.
IDs: We all have identifications - Driver’s Licenses, Social Securities, and so on. IDs prove we are who we say we are, and grants us access to places where necessary. With a blockchain ID, all other physical identifications can be integrated into it, to form one ID. This digital ID, albeit in beta form, will be used for anything and everything you can think of, as the world is becoming digital-driven. The blockchain digital ID is a secure open-source application and protected by a transparent blockchain ledger account.
These and many more reasons are the ways blockchain technology is revolutionizing our society. However, it is important to note that for blockchain technology to be a success, node-to-node networks have to agree to ethical standards of working.
Autor-Bio Dominic Beaulieu is a gaming enthusiast turned tech writer who covers variety of topics like design, development, etc. He uses his experience in translation at TheWordPoint translation service as a localization specialist and counselor.