Updated: Oct 18, 2019
Blockchains have been around for almost as long as Bitcoin. However, in the early days, the focus was largely on the cryptocurrency instead of the technology powering it. Blockchain is the technology of trust. It has the potential of changing the way people transact, interact with individual governments, verify the authenticity of goods, and so much more.
Blockchain technology effectively combines the power of the internet, with the offered security of advanced cryptography, for providing a safer and faster way of verifying key information to establish trust. While blockchain was originally designed for building digital currency, the technology is now finding uses in other potential industries.
This article will explain the way blockchain technology is changing the world, and explain some real-life noteworthy applications.
How is blockchain tech shaping the world?
The social impact of blockchain tech is already being realized, which may very well be the tip of the iceberg. Cryptocurrencies were designed because of doubts on the existing banking infrastructure, after the unfortunate 2008 meltdown.
Here are some ways in which blockchain technology has changed the world and shall continue to do so:
1. Banks will soon be redundant
Multiple digital currencies have already entered the mainstream with their digital wallets, numerous Point-of-Sale utilization, provision of loans, and rollout of ATMs. These features are a game-changer when you consider that 2 billion people in the world, have stepped away from their bank accounts completely, as they embraced blockchain currency.
2. Aid in the development of countries
Blockchain technology is considered to help developing countries on the same scale as cellular phones. It was easier for the masses in developing countries to acquire cell phones, rather than create an expensive infrastructure for landlines. The same holds for blockchains as well. There are numerous crypto tokens to help the under-banked or unbanked, enter formal monetary systems.
3. Wrestling control from the government
There are many countries where cryptocurrencies and blockchain tech have already wrested control from the governments, at least in financial matters. And, it is expected that more people shall embrace decentralization provided by blockchain platforms that maintain security, privacy, and transparency.
Also, blockchains don’t necessarily have to work against the government. They offer solutions that can make administration and governance much easier. For instance, after myriad identity theft cases that have been in the news in recent years, blockchains offer the perfect solution for gaining the trust of the masses, to reveal their information more comfortably.
Life-changing Examples of Blockchain Technology
Blockchain technology has pervaded all facets of life and strata, in industries and enterprises. Here are some innovative ways that organizations are using blockchain technology to offer new solutions to old problems.
FinTech or financial technologies are typically used by financial institutions and banks, which allows them to provide efficient transaction options to consumers and businesses. However, unlike other platforms, blockchain technology has molded to a great extent to serve as a secure and trustworthy foundation, facilitating funds transfers.
For instance, TransferWise, a money-transfer platform, can provide the same services as banks in terms of international currency exchanges, except it does it in less than 24 hours, and for a fee that is up to 90% lower than those charged by banks.
Another Amsterdam based payment platform called Adyen, which offers an omnichannel checkout app to companies (across the world), which allows them to accept payments for their goods and services, in any currency and format.
FinTech supported by blockchains has helped make the global marketplace much smaller.
2. Food Inventory Tracking
With an increasing interest in fitness and medication-free health, more and more consumers are questioning the time it takes for food (including meat and produce) to reach the supermarket or restaurant. Food suppliers must maintain records of the journey, from farms to the end retailer and all the multiple distributors' stop, in between.
A Blockchain Food Safety Alliance will soon be formed, which will ensure better accountability of sanitation conditions, as commodities travel from one stop to the next. A coalition of food suppliers, including Unilever, Nestle, Dole, and Walmart have teamed up with IBM and Tsinghua University National Engineering Laboratory for E-Commerce Technologies, to make this a reality.
Another blockchain application, ripe.io, aims to transform fresh produce food supply chain by ensuring data transparency, during the transfer from farm to fork. This application is created to encourage food safety and increase visibility, by collecting and authenticating data, such as shelf life, origin, growing methods, and trade history.
3. Cyberspace interaction
There are billions of consumer-advertiser interactions hosted on the internet each day. But the current system that details targeted messaging through social media platforms and search engines has its limitations, primarily in the fields of fraud and transparency.
To combat these limitations, one of the co-founders of Mozilla, created Brave, which is a blockchain-enabled internet browser. This browser which has been launched and is in operation elevates the relationship between users, publishers, and advertisers to a whole new level.
BitClave is another company that delivers a similar decentralized search engine, which directly connects consumers and businesses, thus eliminating the pesky middleman (such as Google and Facebook). Through these blockchain applications, business advertisement spends reach the target, and consumers receive more value from their results.
The Bottom Line
The world has barely scratched the surface of the immense potential trapped within, blockchain technology. It won’t be long before, other innovators from various industries discover new and unique ways to tap into this potential. The blockchain world is taking humanity on an exciting and thrilling journey, where the fun has just begun.