How Blockchain Is Changing Our World
It's quickly becoming apparent that blockchain technology is about far more than just Bitcoin. Across finance, healthcare, media, and other sectors, innovative uses are appearing every day.
Here are some examples of blockchain in use today. While some may fail to live up to their promises, others could go on to become household names if blockchain proves itself to be as revolutionary as many are predicting.
Cybersecurity. Guardtime – This company is creating “keyless” signature systems using blockchain which is currently used to secure the health records of one million Estonian citizens.
REMME is a decentralized authentication system which aims to replace logins and passwords with SSL certificates stored on a blockchain.
Healthcare. Gem – This startup is working with the Center for Disease Control to put disease outbreak data onto a blockchain which it says will increase the effectiveness of disaster relief and response.
SimplyVital Health – Has two health-related blockchain products in development, ConnectingCare which tracks the progress of patients after they leave the hospital, and Health Nexus, which aims to provide decentralized blockchain patient records.
MedRec – An MIT project involving blockchain electronic medical records designed to manage authentication, confidentiality and data sharing.
Financial Services. ABRA – A cryptocurrency wallet which uses the Bitcoin blockchain to hold and track balances stored in different currencies.
Barclays – Barclays has launched several blockchain initiatives involving tracking financial transactions, compliance and combating fraud. It states that “Our belief ...is that blockchain is a fundamental part of the new operating system for the planet.”
Maersk – The shipping and transport consortium has unveiled plans for a blockchain solution for streamlining marine insurance.
Aeternity – Allows the creation of smart contracts which become active when network consensus agrees that conditions have been met – allowing for automated payments to be made when parties agree that conditions have been met.
Manufacturing and Industrial. Provenance – This project aims to provide a blockchain-based provenance record of transparency within supply chains.
Hijro, previously known as Fluent, aims to create a blockchain framework for collaborating on prototyping and proof-of-concept.
SKUChain – Another blockchain system for allowing tracking and tracing of goods as they pass through a supply chain.
Blockverify - A blockchain platform which focuses on anti-counterfeit measures, with initial use cases in the diamond, pharmaceuticals and luxury goods markets.
Transactivgrid – A business-led community project based in Brooklyn allowing members to locally produce and cell energy, with the goal of reducing costs involved in energy distribution.
Charity. Bitgive – This service aims to provide greater transparency to charity donations and clearer links between giving and project outcomes. It is working with established charities including Save The Children, The Water Project and Medic Mobile.
Retail. OpenBazaar is an attempt to build a decentralized market where goods and services can be traded with no middle-man.
Blockpoint.io – Allows retailers to build payment systems around blockchain currencies such as Bitcoin, as well as blockchain derived gift cards and loyalty schemes.
Media. Ujomusic – Founded by singer-songwriter Imogen Heap to record and track royalties for musicians, as well as allowing them to create a record of ownership of their work.
It is exciting to see all these developments. Not all of these will make it into successful long-term ventures but if they indicate one thing, it’s that blockchain is presenting a vast potential to many industries.