Here’s How These 6 Major Industries Benefit from Blockchain Innovations
Blockchain is a decentralized network that allows users to send and receive digital assets. It can also verify large volumes of digital transactions around the world. But through the years, developers and investors have discovered that there is more to the public ledger than just being a means to transfer virtual funds.
The network can be used to store public records and validate documents as well. With these capabilities, major sectors have decided to adopt this growing technology. Among the major industries where blockchain integration is now a trend are as follows:
The public ledger can store and transmit high levels of data. By using this technology, banks can reduce costs and provide faster bank-to-bank transfers.
UK-based Barclays and Swiss bank UBS have been experimenting with the public ledger to improve their bank settlements and functions. Following this, Barclays released two patent applications in 2018which happened to be blockchain technology-related. Both applications are most likely to be for fund transfers and KYC procedures. One of the documents said:
“The use of a blockchain provides at least several benefits. These include its public nature, allowing any other party or entity from viewing the data and cryptographic verification of the data enabled by the digital signatures, hashing and layered nature of the blockchain. The transaction is a complete and verified unit of data in a form that may be added to the blockchain … Further or duplicate checks and work may be avoided, which can improve the efficiency of computer networks.”
Meanwhile, Swiss bank UBS believes that the growing technology can help streamline the bank’s procedures. UBS decided to seal a partnership with IBM to deliver international trade transactions under the blockchain technology.
Sergio Emotti, UBS Chief Executive Officer, said:
“I believe there is a future for blockchain technology and [that] technology will play a big role in changing and reshaping our industry.”
Meanwhile, other banks such as Deutsche Bank AG and HSBC have hinted on investing in blockchain startups such as R3 CEV to develop a frictionless commerce. This blockchain-based system was developed specifically for the banking sector to handle complex transactions and to limit the access to data.
In the field of education, Sony Global Education and Sony Corporation decided to create a system that runs on IBM blockchain to keep student activity records safe and open. The new system centralizes various educational institutions and enables the recording of digital transcripts and educational data.
Masaaki Isozu, Sony Global Education President, said:
“Blockchain technology has the potential to impact systems in a wide variety of industries, and the educational sphere is no exception when educational data is securely stored on the blockchain and shared among permissioned users. We are pleased that we have worked together with IBM to build a new system which can help effect real change in the education sector,”
There is also a blockchain innovation specially designed for the education sector. The EduCoin platform is a decentralized system that distributes educational contents to users around the globe. It provides online education services from different resources. It also gives students updated evaluations and assessments.
Another system that students can use is the Learning Machine. It is a system that uses a blockchain-anchored format to verify digital records. This startup is based on BlockCerts, an open source that allows the storing of credentials in the blockchain sphere.
Chris Jager, Founder and CEO of Learning Machine, shared why he decided to develop the startup. He said:
“We saw first-hand the difficulty of getting official records sent to admissions. These kids started to Snapchat their grades and send them in [and they] didn’t understand why it wasn’t that easy. Then when bitcoin started getting big, we were hanging around the Media Lab and we were thinking, ‘How cool would it be to use the blockchain as a decentralized verification network?’”
Learning Machine is offered as a new system in some universities. It keeps not only student performance records but also diplomas, medical records, and driver licenses.
On October 22, 2018, Learning Machine posted on its official Twitter account that it was able to “provide certification for medical training.” The tweet read:
“Proud to be working with @theFSMB in providing certification for medical training! Great interview and nice recognition of our partner #malta in leading the way for public sectors. #ssi #digitalidentity #GoodID”
Proud to be working with @theFSMB in providing certification for medical training! Great interview and nice recognition of our partner #malta in leading the way for public sectors. #ssi #digitalidentity #GoodID https://t.co/lLV5fdlyIx
— Learning Machine (@LearningMach1) October 22, 2018
Blockchain technology is being used in the health sector as well. Guardtime, a cyber-security firm, sealed a partnership with the Estonian e-Health Authority to use blockchain as a means to secure health records. Through the Guardtime Keyless Signature Infrastructure, patients can now check their healthcare records, and doctors have unlimited access to the information of their patients.
Guardtime also tied up with Instant Access Media, a platform that eliminates healthcare issues such as medication adherence, prescription abuse, and insurance fraud. The Instant Access Media platform uses blockchain-based electronic health records.
With this partnership, Instant Access Media can get the highest level of security for its platform. @IAMHealth4Life tweeted on September 14, 2018:
“We are proud to have a respected company like @Guardtime as our partner. With #Blockchain-based Electronic #Health Records, our users’ data is protected by the highest level of security. Find out more about this disruptive technology: https://buff.ly/2QuexTW”
We are proud to have a respected company like @Guardtime as our partner. With #Blockchain-based Electronic #Health Records, our users' data is protected by the highest level of security. Find out more about this disruptive technology: https://t.co/Jcf3Sza4tv pic.twitter.com/yXMd3Zr6I5
— iAM (@IAMHealth4Life) September 14, 2018
DocuSign is a company that specializes in electronic signature technology. The company decided to expand by integrating the Ethereum blockchain into its system. Now, DocuSign users can have evidence of their agreement on blockchain. Also, documents stored can now validate independently.
Ron Hirson, DocuSign Chief Product Officer, said:
“For customers that opt-in, DocuSign will compute a one-way cryptographic hash fingerprint for every completed transaction, and write the value to the Ethereum blockchain — the most popular blockchain for smart contracts in our view.”
Blockchain technology is used in digital advertising as well. Brave blockchain browser is a platform that eliminates the issues in display ads such as waste bandwidth and intrusive ads. Even Popular Science, a renowned science magazine, believes that Brave can be the next Firefox and Opera. In one of its articles, the mag said:
“The Brave browser emphasizes security and privacy. To start with, it comes with a built-in ad-blocker (just remember to whitelist the sites you want to support) so pop-ups can’t weigh down your browsing and websites can’t track you as well. For even more control, Brave features advanced security settings.”
Apart from its advanced security, Brave has a token called Brave Attention Token (BAT) to pay online content creators. The browser also started working with Civic, a digital identity firm, to have an identity verification service. Brave announced the partnership in a tweet that read:
“We’re excited to announce that we will be working with @civickey to offer secure identity verification services on our publisher platform.”
— Brave Software (@brave) September 21, 2018
The Opus platform is an Ethereum-based network that lets listeners play any song they want while the artists receive revenues. Since there is no central server on the blockchain network, the costs will lessen, giving artists more funds for their hard work. Listeners can also create a playlist to get paid. The player is downloadable on iOS and Android devices.
Mycelia is another Blockchain-based project targeted to musicians. This project lets artists have control over their songs and get paid fully. Mycelia founder Imogen Heap shared her experience with Mycelia through a blog post on Harvard Business Review:
“Two years ago, the penny dropped for me as a musician when I was introduced to Ethereum. Soon after discovering Ethereum, I dreamt up a music industry ecosystem that I called Mycelia, and used my next musical release — the song Tiny Human — as an excuse to explore the potential of blockchain further. It was very basic — no licensing terms were exhibited — and it raised little money, due in part to the fact that you had to have an Ether wallet with Ether in it before you could purchase the track. Nonetheless was a first step forward that generated a lot of steam for those in the business of music and blockchain.”
LenderBot is a micro-insurance platform that uses the blockchain technology for service contracts, rentals, and purchases. The platform was developed by Deloitte professional services firm, Stratumn Blockchain technology startup, and LemonWay insurance platform. With LenderBot, users can place records in the blockchain with unlimited access.
The platform also allows borrowing and lending of valued items. Once the lender and borrower have agreed on the terms, the blockchain technology will come into action and act as a third party in the contract.
Richard Caetano, Stratumn CEO, said:
“This transfer of confidence is reinforced by the use of cryptography and time-stamped data in the blockchain. This guarantees data protection and traceability of every step in the subscription of the insurance contract”
Lenderbot also has the Trusted Workflow through which each participant can append the necessary information. All transactions are done through Facebook Messenger.
These six sectors have proven that blockchain technology is not limited to providing decentralized transactions. The public ledger continues to show it is a marvel that can be used in different sectors to give convenience to users around the world.
Now that more people are aware of the capabilities of blockchain, it will be no surprise if more sectors start integrating the decentralized network into their systems.