Blockchain & Smart Contract Use Cases
How the disruptive technology can help with solving real-world problems.
So we all have heard of Bitcoin and I’m sure by now you have heard of the technology behind Bitcoin which is called Blockchain. You’ve probably heard how great it is and with its speed, security, and a decentralized database system. But what about real life use cases. Where is Blockchain being used and who is planning to use it? Let’s explore some of the use cases.
Supply chains usually involve so many variables that it is difficult to have a software solution that follows a product from A to Z. For example your food at a restaurant. If you order something organic, there is no way of truly knowing it is organic or where it came from. With Blockchain each software would be connected and unable to be edited.
IBM has already partnered with Walmart to create a solution for their pork which comes from China. Their goal is to create a system that will allow people to trace their food back to its origins. More and more companies are realizing the demand for transparency.
For manufacturing industries, Blockchain is going to make the supply chain more efficient. This is due to its uneditable block system. Products can be tracked and traced much more efficiently with reduced human error.
Government and Voting
It is no secret that our governments are inefficient. Many voting systems are still using paper methods and the ones that don't have high-security concerns. If Blockchain is being trusted by the biggest banks, then we really need to consider it in our governments. Since voting seems to be the biggest concern that people have, this is where blockchain is already being tested.
West Virginia is testing Blockchain to allow those serving overseas to vote. Ukraine just launched a voting trial using NEM blockchain. Africa is exploring blockchain along with NGOs to fix their completely broken system. Blockchain is perfect for voting systems.
Each block is almost unhackable due to it being directly connected to the previous and block after. It is also much faster than any other software that we’ve seen before. This means real-time updates are completely possible.
Another area where Blockchain could help in the government sector is with contracts. Local and federal governments hire many contractors for many different projects. This creates a mess of paperwork and to this date, there is not a perfect solution to organize these. With smart contracts, these contracts can be forever securely stored, readily available, and unable to be edited. This is important to government contracts as they are much larger jobs and complications can take years to show themselves.
We saw the ridiculous mess and wasted money with the relief in Puerto Rico. Many donors are getting tired of not knowing where their money is going. Now with Blockchain things can be tracked. Blockchain will give donors the ability to trace their money. It will also give NGOs the ability to track their items. Many items that are donated disappear on the way to where they are going. Blockchain is decentralized and will give NGOs the ability to know exactly where everything is at all times. It will also allow them to know exactly who receives the items using smart contracts.
OneRelief is a nonprofit that is using Blockchain to collect micro-donations for relief projects. IATI is a new data-sharing platform that is working to create transparency between donors and nonprofits. There are already 600+ nonprofits working with IATI and testing the Hyperledger software.
At the moment, B3i (The Blockchain Insurance Industry Initiative B3i) members are Achmea, Aegon, Ageas, Allianz, Generali, Hannover Re, Liberty Mutual, Munich Re, RGA, SCOR, Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance, Swiss Re, Tokio Marine Holdings, XL Catlin and Zurich Insurance Group. The original five members were Aegon, Allianz, Munich Re, Swiss Re and Zurich.
It is assumed that blockchain and smart contracts will improve the efficiency of the sector to 30%. It is expected that in 2018 more and more insurance companies will be involved in the study and use of new opportunities. According to the results of testing and according to experts’ forecasts, there are at least three ways of usage the technology to improve the quality and development of the insurance industry.
Five insurance giants launched a Blockchain initiative in order to explore the possibility of using technology in insurance and launch it as a basis for the insurance concept. But the first digital contracts were signed by American International Group, Standard Chartered Bank and IBM.
Another American insurance company Risk Cooperative plans to introduce blockchain technology into the field of cyberinsurance.
Media and Entertainment
A recent article that went viral shed some light on the music industry. The article stated that only 12% of the $43 billion music industry revenue went to music. Talk about a bad deal! The reason for this low percentage is middlemen. The people that have wedged themselves between the musicians and the listener are making out like bandits. This could all change to Blockchain. Blockchain has the ability to put the power back in the artist's hands. With Blockchain artist will have the ability to get paid directly and instantly. Since Blockchain is also decentralized it will relinquish control from the middleman. This could create a fair playing ground for all.
Many artists are upset with their terms and often do not trust the distributors. With Blockchain and smart contracts, trust isn’t necessary. Every transaction is securely recorded and uneditable. Many speculate that this technology could be applied to streaming services for movies, shows, and even articles; giving creators access to a wider audience and more kept revenue.
Any recent college student who has juggled Blackboard, some other program, and the college’s outdated attendance/grade login will greatly appreciate an updated solution. Many Universities are exploring Blockchain and hoping it will reduce students anxiety. Students are already plagued with student debt, ridiculous workloads, and part-time jobs… the last thing they need is a complicated system that doesn’t work half the time.
Universities are exploring Blockchain and it’s capabilities. Their goal is to use Blockchain’s speed, transparency, and security to create a new system that holds all. The fact that most colleges still rock a big server room is another problem that blockchain can help solve. Blockchain is decentralized, so connected educations systems, like the NY SUNY system will be able to have a much smoother solution.
When people hyped up the internet; people doubted. When people hyped up the possibilities of the mobile phone; people doubted. Now we live online and your phone does more than 30 devices before. Those who doubted got behind and eventually had to update. Blockchain is no different. Blockchain is a new way to software, and it is much better than what we had before. Just like the internet and previous coding languages, blockchain is opening up many new opportunities for a more secure, more transparent, and decentralized world.
The article was originally published at https://www.velmie.com/post/blockchain-smart-contract-use-cases
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