The blockchain is a relatively new technology that is changing the modus operandi in many industries across the board. An increasing number of industries have begun employing blockchain technologies to streamline processes, improve business models and reduce costs.
Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that supports cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and other digital assets by providing a mode of data transfer and recording that is auditable, safe, and resistant to alterations. Given the efficient way in which blockchain applies to the business model of today, the technology is set to disrupt a lot of industries in the coming years as many ventures are already adopting it. Here is a look at ten industries that are the most likely to be disrupted by blockchain technology in the coming years;
1. Money transfer and payments
The current business framework relating to money transfers is going to experience change thanks to decentralized systems of payment like bitcoin. Blockchain technology provides for a money transfer service that can facilitate cash transfers almost instantly and at low fees. The transfers can be done domestically and across borders too, which makes it applicable for a wide spectrum of transitions. Abra is a prime example of how efficiently the system works. The startup was able to raise $12 million for its payment service that would use bitcoins.
2. Real Estate
The process of buying and selling property is currently marred by many bottlenecks that can be done away with once cryptocurrency takes over as the main form of payment. Some of the challenges with the current system include fraud, lack of transparency, lengthy paperwork, and blunders in public records just to mention a few. When blockchain is adopted, it will eliminate the need for paper-based record keeping. The fact that it also provides verifiable and accurate document keeping with the ability to track the history of transactions plays into its favor. This means that the transfer of land titles and property deeds is made much easier and faster.
3. Gift cards and loyalty programs
The two main reasons for adopting blockchain in this sector are fraud prevention and cheaper costs. Blockchain will make the whole system much more secure since there are fewer intermediaries dealing with the issuing of cards. Gift cards that run on blockchain will be more efficient and cost-effective. The unique verification features of blockchain technology also prevent fraud while reducing costs.
4. Online gambling
From dice games, slots and lotteries, crypto-currency is making its way into online gambling and users as well as developers consider it a welcome development. The introduction of blockchain into the world of online gambling is mainly because of its efficacy. Edgeless Casino and vDice are among the first online gambling sites to apply the Ethereum blockchain in their wagering games. VDice, for instance, is differentiated from its peers by the absence of accounts, servers or deposits. The entire game is played in the blockchain and therefore no one can control it; not even the developers. The adoption of bitcoin gambling comes as a challenge to the rest of the gambling industry as it has been known to lack transparency. As more online casinos adopt bitcoin gambling, the whole industry will revolutionize, to the advantage of gamblers as they will be able to wager online from wherever, which is not possible with the fiat system that is currently the mainstay. A list of new Bitcoin casinos can be found at Crispygamer.com
5. Ride sharing
The change in this field has been spearheaded by an Israeli startup by the name La’Zooz. It has its own proprietary crypto-currency like bitcoin which it uses for payments. Clients can exchange coins and share the cost of a ride. You earn coins when you let the app track you. It is basically a seamless transition of procedures from finding a ride to paying and sharing the costs, thus free of hassle and fraud.
6. Online music
Blockchain technology has also seeped into the music industry as startups are providing solutions to musicians such as direct payments and automatic licensing. Contracts run with blockchain allow artists to share their music directly with fans without the involvement of the record company. It is a simple and fast way of reaching out to fans and cuts out middlemen and
7. Cloud storage
Data stored on a central server is predisposed to loss and hacking, not forgetting the aspect of human error involved. Blockchain technology gives cloud storage the security and robustness it needs to grow even further. With blockchain technology, the idea of cloud storage being the safest is feasible.
In about 2 to 3 years, blockchain technology will be the go-to source of information in aviation. One of the most important factors about blockchain technology that promote its adoption in the industry is tracking. The tracking of engine parts is a lengthy process at the moment, and it creates loopholes and inconveniences at many stages. With the blockchain, there is a single ledger that all involved parties can tap into conveniently.
Counterfeit drugs are making billions for fraudsters and the sales of fake medicines could go up to US$75 billion in a few years. This is a whopping 95% rise from what we have today. In an effort to curb the excessive fraud in the health sector, the FDA requires drug manufactures to create an electronic, inter-operable system that can identify and trace prescription drugs. The system the FDA is referring to here can easily be built using blockchain technology and is already in the early stages of development.
QR and barcodes are the main modes of product identification in the manufacturing industry; however, these have become prone to fraud thanks to the ease by which the codes can be duplicated. This has created market worth half a trillion dollars for counterfeit goods. A blockchain that is immutable can be used to track goods and is the only way to curb the fraud, which often involves luxury commodities.
The blockchain technology has a wide spectrum of applications that touch on all spheres of business and industry. It is only a matter of time before the technology becomes the main form of tracking, fraud prevention and secure transacting; and that is just a small part of its
potential, a tip of the iceberg, as it were.