Cryptocurrency has been big news ever since Bitcoin exploded in 2017.
And while it’s exciting to hear stories about people becoming millionaires off a small investment, there’s an even more exciting piece of technology behind it: Blockchain.
Blockchain is the system that makes cryptocurrency possible. It is a public, encrypted database that allows data to be copied and transmitted faster and more securely than ever before.
Because it is public, everyone can see the transactions at play. However, it is also anonymous: users are encrypted with a numerical address. And while that has huge implications for cryptocurrency, there are a number of other uses for blockchain. Here are a few interesting possibilities, briefly explained.
Tracking the Food Chain
Thanks to documentaries like Food Inc, many consumers have become much more concerned and diligent about where their food is coming from.
This in turn has led to the rise of the Farm-To-Table trend, where restaurants source their foods from nearby independent farmers instead of giant corporate factory farms. But many of these restaurants aren’t exactly forthcoming.
However, IBM has recently introduced Food Trust, a system that uses blockchain technology to track ingredients every step of the way.
In addition to boosting consumer trust, this can also increase efficiency, maximize freshness, and minimize food waste.
Paving Way for the New Ballot Box
In these days of hacked ballot boxes and voter suppression, governments around the world are trying to find safe, secure, and anonymous solutions to protect their elections. But the new ballot system, driven by blockchain, could well be the answer to such rigged systems. Offering hope in that direction is how West Virginia completed its first run of blockchain-supported state elections. The blockchain-based mobile voting platform, developed by Voatz, was only available to a select group of voters. They included the following groups: Deployed military members, other citizens eligible to vote absentee under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA), and their spouses and dependents.
Because of blockchain’s encryption, there’s no way it can be hacked into. Because it’s public, there’s no chance that the results can be tampered with. And since users’ identities are hidden, it’s completely anonymous.
Once blockchain technology is implemented into elections, it may pave way to a new era of democratic freedom.
Devising a System for Protecting Workers
Today, we truly live in a global economy. Our homes are filled with goods made in other countries.
While outsourcing is a great way for corporations to save money on production and offer low-price goods to consumers, it often comes at the expense of those workers’ rights.
These workers often work in abusive conditions for next to nothing. Unsurprisingly, when the news breaks of these conditions, customers revolt.
In an effort to increase transparency, some companies are using blockchain to log their outsourced contracts. This transparency creates accountability, protecting workers overseas.
Revolutionizing Real Estate
Everyone needs a place to live. But renting or buying a home is a bloated process, filled with middlemen.
Airbnb has already changed the hotel industry, allowing direct contact between guest and hosts. Soon, blockchain may do the same to real estate.
Instead of dealing with real estate agents, mortgage agencies, and bloated banks, blockchain could allow buyers and sellers to make transactions immediately. And because blockchain transactions are public, there’s no need to verify the sale.
Steering Better Foreign Aid
When disaster or war or famine strike, millions of innocent people rely on the generosity of other parts of the world.
But often, resources given with the best intentions are withheld from those who need it. Corrupt governments interfere and steal from those in need.
Blockchain can help track donations every step of the way, ensuring that everything ends up where it’s supposed to.
And, What’s Your Use Case?
There’s no denying that blockchain is revolutionizing the world. How you take stock of it and use it to your advantage depends on your understanding of the tech as well as analyzing its feasibility. It’s a good thing to be in the know lest you get lost in the flux!
If you want to know how blockchain can help your business keep up with a changing world, get in touch with us and we will help you take the first step of your blockchain journey!