Blockchain technologies have emerged in our decade as a new forefront for the technological revolution. There are hundreds of use cases for blockchain technologies, but before jumping into them let’s understand what exactly IS blockchain.
A Simple Explanation What Blockchain Is
Blockchain technology is simply a clever way to get different people to create one common version of something when they do things on the internet. Single versions of things are important for use cases, like finding out if Robert paid Brian and only Brian for that pizza (and whether he didn’t copy her money and also pay someone else).
Why We Need Blockhain
During the pre-blockchain day’s, there was no single way to get many people to create something singular. We would usually have to put our trust in one person or a representative (e.g. a bank) to create and maintain the singular versions of things we needed. There are many shortcomings when it comes to trusting a single individual – what if they don’t uphold their end of the deal, what if they change the terms, etc. It can also be costly since they can charge us money to do certain things at unjust values. Potentially, an individual has the power to hurt everyone else involved – the old way of doing things. Blockchain technologies allow users to overcome the hurdles of trusting a single entity – blockchain does everything required.
Basically a blockchain is a database where you can rely on the records/entries to be legitimate since falsifying them is extremely expensive and requires consensus. The older an entry is, the more expensive it becomes to manipulate it. In a traditional database, the records can be manipulated by the administrator of the database at will.
Uses Cases for Blockchain in Healthcare & the Media Industry
Blockchain technologies have the power to transform health care altogether. The patient would be at the very epicenter of the healthcare system, and privacy, security, and interoperability of health data would be improved drastically. Electronic Medical records would also be more secure, efficient, and disintermediated, which would allow for a new model of health information exchanges. Finally, of utmost importance is the fact that transparency would be also boosted substantially. There is a lot of room for experimentation when it comes to Blockchain and healthcare.
Ownership rights would be much more controlled. All legal proceedings and compensations for artists would be implemented using smart contracts. There would be no third party in the media field; as a result, content would be available internationally in a cryptographically secure way.
How Blockchain Could Bring Back Trust Into Elections and the Financial Market
The blockchain protocol is a means of logging and verifying transparent and wholly distributed records among all users. Blockchain in voting could completely transform the voting process as we know it. Traditionally, individuals at voting centers count all the votes. This is already a danger to democratic voting since the votes could be tampered with. Thanks to blockchain enabled e-voting, individuals would complete the entire process of voting on their own. The records can not be tampered with because the voters would be able to access their votes, and they would see that it has been changed. Blockchain enabled electronic voting would also take the trust away from central entities, such as electoral authorities, and allow the development of a completely tech-enabled community consensus.
People are sick of waiting three business days or for the weekend to pass for a simple transaction. The time required for inter-institution transactions to settle is pretty long because they have to verify if the sum of transactions is authentic and finally deliver the actual funds. The cost associated with the mentioned points is relatively large because a middleman takes care of this, usually clumsily integrated. There are also many points of trust that create a lot of risks.
Banks all over the world use ledgers that keep track of accounts and the sums in them. On a network, all these banks communicate these ledgers. Of course, the entire system is protected with encryption, but that alone does not suffice for full protection. Hackers can break into the network, alter the ledgers, and make it so that sums go into their accounts. With blockchain, the mentioned risk would be tackled since it takes a lot of money to alter the ledgers when it comes to blockchain. Simply said, if you had enough money to alter the blockchain, you would not be trifled with such tasks since you would be one of the wealthiest people in the world.
Can Blockchain Help In Cybersecurity?
Since there will be no single point of failure, hacking would be completely fought off since the ledger is immutable. A majority vote is required to make changes on the blockchain, one that hackers would have an excruciatingly hard time doing. As a result, IP-based DDoS attacks would be fought off.
Other Uses Cases for Blockchain
Before talking about other use cases of blockchain, it is important to talk about the real heroes of blockchain that allow all kinds of transactions to take place – the market of cryptocurrencies, which itself is built on blockchain. Such a regulated exchange enables people to partake in blockchain projects (buy their coins), so it’s still powered by the people. Let’s look at some more use cases, and how blockchain can change the world for the better.
In the scientific/medical research world it is very hard to believe what any paper’s real motive is. For example: Is this drug really harmless or was the research funded by a pharma company? Due to the massive amount of corruption (the group who paid for the research want the outcome to go a certain way, otherwise funding is cut), it is very hard to believe most of the peer reviewed scientific journals.
As such, if there were to be a distributed and transparent system for funding scientific research, where the money can be tracked and validated, this could be HUGE for research. For example, for tax reasons many people need/want to make donations. They could donate to this fund, and be 100% sure of where the funding was going and that will grant them access to vote on which topic/field of research the funds would be utilized for.
Another example would be the vape industry.
The UK government has publicly maintained a stance stating that vapes are 95% safer than traditional cigarettes. The government is launching a new campaign to try to convince the UK’s smokers that vaping is not as harmful as smoking and a good way to quit, in a bid to counter the scepticism generated by some scientific studies and media headlines.
Let me state that again – “in a bid to counter the scepticism generated by some scientific studies and media headlines”. The tobacco industry is actively funding projects to incriminate the vaping industry in it’s dangers. See what happened? With blockchain, the true perpetrators of all scientific works would be seen instantly, with people understanding where the funding is coming from – thus understanding the motive. If an anti-vape campaign is funded by the tobacco industry, it is understandable that their motive is to diminish the vape movement.
This is Blockchain
As such, blockchain is a relatively new technology. People do not fully comprehend the power blockchain has, the power to change the world for the better. There are hundreds of use cases of blockchain, with just a small sample of them discussed in this article. Cloud storage, charity, wills and inheritances, travel, gun safety, law enforcement, and many other fields can truly become the best version of themselves by allowing blockchain to govern them – people to govern them.