Blockchain technology is changing the world, bit by bit, block by block. In recent years, the word "blockchain" has become an integral part of the business community. A number of companies are integrating blockchain-based solutions – and a number of FinTech startups are also adopting this technology. However, FinTech is not the only sector in which blockchain technology is limited.
Let's take a closer look and let's understand what it's blockchain – and how blockchain technology is helping the way businesses in various industries do business.
What is Blockchain?
While most people have heard the term blockchain in the context of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, it is necessary to understand that cryptocurrencies are just one aspect of blockchain technology. The applicability and the case of use for blockchain go far beyond cryptocurrencies. Blockchain technology can be used for various other purposes, mainly with regard to authentication, monitoring and data verification.
Technically speaking, a blockchain is an open and distributed ledger. However, to simplify things, blockchain platforms can be used to transfer money, or they could be used to run automated programs known as smart contracts, which work on a predefined set of rules and regulations.
In recent times, companies have integrated blockchain technology at a fairly rapid pace – and have proven to benefit from it. One of the greatest examples of this is the Long Island Iced Tea Corp. which has been renamed to 'Long Blockchain'. after he suddenly decided to switch his business from a beverage company to become a company that would work on blockchain-related businesses. The company stocks increased up to 238% following this announcement.
Blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies have also been exploited by companies like Kodak and Atari, which are practically old and have "washed" brands in the markets. However, both these companies saw significant gains when they announced their plans to launch a blockchain-based cryptocurrency at the start of this year. However, this is an example of companies trying to use blockchain technology to attract the attention of the markets.
Blockchain in business
Several innovations in the automotive industry have been carried out by the integration of blockchain technology. Some of the biggest players in the automotive industry like Porsche, Ford and BMW are the pioneers of the integration of this technology on their cars and car management systems. These companies are experiencing various aspects of a car, from apps that can unlock car doors to patents that speak of a more fluid navigation system through car-to-car payments.
Some companies in the automotive industry are also promoting various start-ups creating competitions and giving them guided assistance for the development of certain types of applications. BMW's team-up with Bloom is one of the best examples of such a team-up. Interestingly, BMW is also making use of a cryptocurrency-based system to track mileage on a blockchain platform.
The aviation and airline industry is among the biggest benefactors of the blockchain revolution. Some of the biggest names in the world, such as Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa and some Australian airlines, are working on the development of blockchain-based platforms to improve the overall travel experience of their users. While a concept that has been proven around quite often is that of loyalty points, members of the industry continue to experiment to come out with new and innovative solutions.
Lufthansa even organized a "blockchain challenge" that would help improve the aviation industry. The Australian airport of Brisbane has become the most cryptic airport in the world, since practically everything, from a plane ticket to a cup of coffee, can be purchased there using only cryptocurrencies! Blockchain is becoming bigger and bigger in the aviation sector with every passing day.
Transformation of food products
Blockchain has made important steps forward also in the food processing sector. Consumers will soon be able to track down where their vegetables were grown and where they were all kept before reaching them. Companies like IBM and Walmart are working to develop blockchain-based solutions for the food industry.
Blockchain technology is also used in the food industry to authenticate the claims of certain food products such as "organic", "vegan" or "cruelty free". While it is easy to print it on a can, a blockchain check can help provide a greater level of credibility to these products. In addition, blockchain verification can also guarantee users that the product complies with all government regulations.
Another use of blockchain technology is in the agricultural sector, where commodity markets develop on a blockchain that would help connect farmers directly to buyers so that they could get a better deal on their products. In addition, in some countries such as India, blockchain technology is used to help farmers obtain crop subsidies.
Finance is where it all started. Blockchain, and in particular cryptocurrencies, were created because the developers felt that the financial sector was too centralized and that more power was needed in people's hands. This came in the context of the global economic crash of 2008. However, instead of replacing the existing financial order, blockchain systems have become part of it – in the end. Today, a number of banks and financial organizations are looking at blockchain technology – and even cryptocurrencies – to expand their business offerings.
Blockchain-based systems help banks transfer money from one account to another easily and at lower costs, particularly when it comes to international remittances. Ripple's blockchain platform has been particularly among the biggest names in the finance world.
A number of banks around the world have shown an active interest in adopting blockchain-based technologies. The Bank of America in particular, was at the forefront of this – as the bank has filed the largest number of blockchain patents when it comes to a banking company and is among the top five names when it comes to filing blockchain patents in general . Other financial giants like JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs have also shown an active interest in the world of blockchain technology.
The health sector is another area that has a lot to take advantage of by implementing blockchain technology. Names like Deloitte and IBM have said that there is enormous potential to use blockchain technology in the health care world. Blackberry is another name that has been recently in the news to help develop a blockchain-based medical research platform.
One of the main uses of blockchain in healthcare is to manage a patient's records. This ensures that hospitals and healthcare professionals can easily access a patient's medical records – and the patient can also be assured that his private medical records would remain safe.
In addition, blockchain technology can also be incorporated by hospitals to ensure that their supply chain management systems function properly and that all stocks are maintained. The ordering and inventory monitoring process could be automated on this platform. In addition to health care, the insurance industry is another area in which the blockchain can help to bring forward several positive changes.
Retail companies are already making use of blockchain-based platforms to improve their customers' experience. Walmart is one of the biggest names when it comes to using blockchain technology for retail buyers. The company has registered a large number of patents, including those related to improving supply chain management, delivery systems and fresh food monitoring.
One of the biggest uses of blockchain technology in the retail sector has been seen in the form of loyalty rewards. The apps that manage customer loyalty points are built on blockchain systems. In addition to this, providing retail buyers with an incentive in the form of a cryptocurrency token is another concept that has been gaining ground in recent times. Instead of providing them with effective discounts, some stores are providing cryptocurrencies on the purchase of a product, making it a win-win situation for both parties involved.
In addition, the retail sector also exploits blockchain technology by providing users with a complete proof of ownership that is secure and transferable. This is especially useful for high-end items and expensive products like cars, jewelry, etc.
The blockchain revolution has also affected the communications industry. A number of startups are working to develop products aimed at communication: be it organizational communication, private communication or even advertising and broadcast communication.
Several decentralized blockchain-based applications are being developed that help companies improve their internal communication. Information can be transferred and shared within the company network with a much higher level of security than ever before. Furthermore, there has also been an increase in blockchain-based communication applications that offer a high level of privacy. Numerous cryptography and blockchain projects are also under development, focusing specifically on advertising on social media and advertising on content platforms. There is a profound impact of blockchain technology in the communications world.
Rise of Blockchain Startups
Blockchain startups are all the rage these days! While traditional companies did not look forward to experimenting with blockchain technology, or were creating patent-seeking research wings, it is startups around the world who are implementing this technology.
These startups are helping large companies seamlessly integrate blockchain technology. They are providing cryptographic cryptographic transfers platforms, producing technologies that could make blockchain networks faster and less congested, improving the way people advertise, improving the way people monitor supplies, making implementation easier. decentralized applications or simply making it easier for customers to access digital assets on a blockchain network.
Bitcoin mining startups are also on the rise. People have realized how precious cryptocurrency mining can be, thanks to the use of tools such as a Bitcoin mining calculator, as they can now calculate their profits over the long term and in the short term based on the price of the currency and other factors such as energy consumption, etc. Individuals are exploiting cryptocurrencies, but so are organized business units.
Over the years, a number of major companies have shown interest in blockchain startups. Blockchain companies have raised large funding – and some have even been acquired by those looking to integrate blockchain-based services into their business model.
Conclusion: Blockchain in administration
After the blockchain in the business, the next step forward is the blockchain in administration.
While the examples mentioned above show how companies can take advantage of blockchain technology, there is another major player who benefits from the blockchain boom: the government and civic administration systems. Governance and administration can be standardized using blockchain technology – infusing transparency and accountability in the system.
While the blockchain revolution began as something that has been whispered in technology circles, it has expanded from technology to finance and from FinTech to the rest of industries. Today, corporate giants such as IBM, Walmart, Bank of America, Alibaba, Mastercard, etc. They are trying to overcome one another when it comes to the number of blockchain patents they possess.
Blockchain technology is gaining mainstream popularity at a rapid pace. Even regimes like China and India, which do not necessarily approve cryptocurrencies, have taken blockchain technology well. China is even developing Xiongon, an intelligent city that would be largely managed by blockchain-based smart contracts. So, blockchain technology has a unanimous approval from all over the world.
Industry experts call it "Web 3.0" and this really is the scale on which this technology operates. Companies are climbing on the blockchain bandwagon – and for all the right reasons, because nobody wants to be left out of this technological turnaround, which will probably change the way we operate in the next decade.
Is your business ready for blockchain?