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Seven Blockchain applications that have nothing to do with finance

Blockchain technology is mostly known for allowing the use and application of cryptocurrency. But what about the other use cases outside bitcoin, where it is also present and game-changing?

Jueves, 2 Agosto, 2018

blockchain

Although it is considered as one of the most revolutionary technologies today, it can be tricky to understand due to its complex nature. Reducing the explanation to its core, Blockchain tech creates open decentralised databases where a series of blocks, that contain information, are built like a connected chain.

A “blockchain” is a digitized public ledger accessible to all participants. This record can be verified by the community, and thus is prevented from theft, since data is not located in one place but shared by many.

In this tech, third party organizations may no longer be necessary. For instance, one example to explain this lies in money transactions - from one recipient to another – where agents or middlemen are often involved. That is one of the key components of this technology’s success: it completely eliminates intermediaries with a disruptive proposal.

Finally, Blockchain tech has arrived in our daily lives mainly through Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It is the foundation on which this digital currency is built. But besides this financial nature there are many other applications in which this technology is taking shape nowadays. As stated in Blockgeeks, “the early internet dealt with intangibles. (…) This modern internet deals with assets”.

 

But what kind of applications of Blockchain tech are getting popular these days?

 

Smart Contracts

Complex transactions often need a contract to underline the responsibilities of each part. A smart contract, as defined by Hacker Noon, is a “computerized transaction protocol that executes the terms of a contract.”

These smart contracts exist within the decentralized database and its positive traits can be explained through crowdfunding. Platforms like Kickstarter help founders get the investment they need to launch a particular product or service. Kickstarter serves as a third party between founders and donors, and acts as a “centralized” authority.  

With a smart contract, the funds would be held in this decentralized storage with no single owner. Proof of progress or any other clause stated in the contract would allow founders to finally receive their requested funds.

 

Smart Property

As stated in Fintechblue, smart properties are an extension of smart contracts. Bring those decentralized concepts into objects and add Internet of Things tech to further advance in our relationship with physical things.

Everything that is rented today (houses, spaces, cars, bicycles…) could be accessed through this revolutionary perception of the smart property, legally enabled by a previously acknowledged smart contract.

Managing property rights with smart properties could extend the use of credit. Car or real estate loans would be easier to perceive, since lenders could restrict access if, for instance, payments are missed.

 

Distributed storage

Every day people generate tons of data with their computers, smartphones or any other devices. Cloud technology helped storage some of the valuable information, photos, etcetera; without the need of acquiring physical hard drives to place it.

Again, services like Google Drive or Dropbox are centralized and somebody’s dear graphical memories held in one of these companies servers. Blockchain already provides methods of distributed storage where data is highly encrypted. You can also rent your excess storage in your computer through companies like Storj. As Hackernoon describes it, it is the Airbnb or Uber for digital storage.

 

Voting

The United States’ 2016 election was plagued with suspicion and malcontent. After traditional vote-counting systems were replaced by electronic devices, the shadow of the doubt rose again through hackers.

Blockchain, as mentioned in the prestigious Forbes magazine, may have provided an unhackable and highly secure method of voting. In the cryptocurrency field, Blockchain acts as a public ledger. The same concept can be translated to elections, where votes can be tallied and voters identified to raise the standards of democracy.

 

Identity

Blockchain technology can be used to gather information about our identity and then deliver some concrete facts to companies that may need them in order to complete some transactions or processes. For example, letting know a bar tender you are of legal age when purchasing alcohol.

This tech is particularly interesting when it comes to refugees and immigrants. TheNewArab says that Blockchain can provide solutions that bring “transparency and traceability to the process of recordkeeping”. These identification documents could replace all forms of physical IDs.

 

Power distribution

Energy consumption is basically consistent of a grid of generating stations owned and operated by companies that produce and sell this energy to consumers. As stated above, Blockchain technology is specially aimed at reducing (or even removing) third parties from the equation.

Local renewable power, like solar panel grids owned collectively by a neighbourhood could bring this peer-to-peer concept to power distribution and consumption. Energy would also be traceable in order to improve the grid or estimate how much each participant is providing or consuming.

 

Blockchain Government

It may look like science fiction today, but Blockchain tech applied to public services could someday be the norm. In fact, there are real cases of this application and adoption is getting higher. According to a research made by IBM Blockchain - titled Building Trust in Government: Exploring the Potential of Blockchain - it could be helpful to “transform regulatory compliance, contract management, identity management and citizen services”.

Non-monetary uses like these could create a pool of open data provided by governments that, according to a report from McKinsey and Company, would save the world $2.6 trillion. The adjective used to describe what these changes may bring is “responsive”. Citizens almost never get the opportunity to interact with the data provided by their governments.

 

Blockchain technologies in ISDI

ISDI included in March 2018, in order to develop innovative applications, a new way to authenticate students’ degrees. Blockchain tech will allow alumni and companies to verify the courses taken by these professionals in the mentioned educational centre.

It is the first Spanish Business School to include a website where this type of data can be safely stored and checked for authenticity, all with the groundbreaking open-source technology Ethereum. The concept deals with the idea of every student having an online ID that could later take advantage of the Blockchain tech. Nacho de Pinedo, CEO of ISDI, stated that they are creating an opportunity for both students and companies to “have a safe tool, unhackable and impossible to manipulate to prove in an easy way if a professional has acquired any of the ISDI’s degrees”.

 

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