Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are thought to be one in the same, but they should not be mistaken as so. This valuable technology has implications that go far beyond finance. Blockchain can spur innovations that address some of society’s most glaring inefficiencies. Issues such as cutting costs, reducing delays, and upholding the integrity of data need to be addressed. It may disrupt countless industries, including healthcare, real estate and government, in all the best ways.
Blockchain is a decentralized network of computers that securely stores blocks of data. It’s secure, fast and free of control by a central governing body. Thousands of independent computer systems uphold a blockchain network, improving the integrity and security of the data stored on that network.
Real-world challenges that could be addressed by revolutionary applications of blockchain technology include:
- Manually filling out health forms takes up a lot of time and often causes duplicate information to be provided to each network visited. Blockchain applications make accessing past healthcare records a quicker process, which reduces patient wait time and avoids duplication on records.
- Unsecured systems, the disconnect between healthcare networks and manual document management generate risk of privacy breaches. Data stored and securely encrypted on a blockchain network significantly reduces the risk.
- In real estate, the coordination of many stakeholders (banks, real estate agents, mortgage brokers, lawyers, etc.) is time consuming and costly. Blockchain technology requires less of a need for intermediaries. This results in less time and money spent on consultants to broker a transaction.
- Real estate information is currently centralized and prone to manipulation between stakeholders. This increases the possibility of inefficient and potentially inaccurate sharing of information. A decentralized and open property market blockchain database where information is published by the public rather than a central body provides transparency around validity of property data.
- The manual voting process is time consuming, expensive, and subject to delays and inaccuracies. Votes that are stored on the blockchain network are protected by encryption. This would also allow votes be conducted on a smart device, which saves time and public resources. In addition, votes are processed efficiently and accurately, and results are published in a timely manner.
Making data highly available requires investing in and maintaining redundant infrastructure. Blockchain technology makes the lives of IT administrators easier. They function as a decentralized database that automatically distributes data across nodes. This provides better data availability than a centralized database. It also doesn’t require an extensive investment in infrastructure to scale data hosting.
Special Report: Blockchain World
With blockchains working their way into so many industries, it’s important to find out all that you can about how this technology works and what challenges it may be able to solve for your business. Find out how you can pre-order our 3-course series on Blockchain here, coming at the end of this month.
Crofts, Benjamin; Lam, David; Kosmatos, James. (29 Jan 2018). Solving real world problems with blockchain. Digital Pulse.
Tozzi, Christopher. (26 Apr 2018). Real-World Blockchain Use Case: Efficient Data Management. ITProToday.com.