From Preventing Identity Theft To Enabling Smart Transport: Interesting Blockchain Implementation Cases
If you are reading this, chances are that you already know at least something about blockchain technology. A lot of people learn about blockchain after they start exploring and researching the world of digital currencies.
Blockchain technology was initially made to support cryptocurrencies, starting with Bitcoin. Other well-known applications include such things as P2P payments and money lending, currency exchange, decentralized markets, storing information, and alike. However, due to the fact that blockchain can safely store large amounts of data and prevent anyone from changing or manipulating it, it has numerous alternative use cases. Some of them can be quite surprising, as most people would never think of applying blockchain technology that way. So, let's review the most curious ones.
Identity protection & verification
Ever since the world went digital, identity theft became a huge issue in almost every country around the globe. Too much private data can be accessed online, and for a skilled individual, doing so is easy, even if you think you are well-protected. Social media especially plays a significant role here, as we share a lot of our private data, and if someone were to study our accounts, there is a lot that they can learn and use against us.
The same is true for online data storages, where we put our most private and sensitive data, and then only protect it with a weak password that can be cracked within a few attempts. If someone thinks you have something to hide or that you have something valuable, a weak password will not stop them. As a result, having your identity stolen is a real issue that can happen to anyone who is not careful enough. However, this is where blockchain comes in handy, as it is much harder to hack. In fact, breaching blockchain defenses is not worth the trouble for most hackers, which leaves stored data safe by default.
The diamond industry has a big problem with so-called "blood diamonds", which come from war zones and are sold to finance-oppressive regimes. These diamonds often get a fake history because of forged documents, and they are later sold as clean assets. This will likely continue for as long as it remains possible, which only means more death and suffering for people in these troubled areas.
However, blockchain can help here as well, since it allows storing information about diamonds and tracking its history. Forging documents is impossible when it comes to blockchain technology due to its transparency. In the end, every stone and gem can have their digital footprint, and if unregistered stones show up, it will be immediately clear that these are blood diamonds, rather than those mined by authorized companies.
The food industry is huge, as this is one of things that humans truly cannot live without. As such, it includes numerous parties, from farmers and other producers to vendors, retailers, and finally — consumers. Naturally, it is important for us to know where the food comes from, its quality, the methods used for its growth, and more. Knowing such data can help us choose top-quality products, and in case of a food-related illness, the origin of each product can be traced, thus, appropriate measures can be taken.
Most of our food is handled and delivered by large companies that are usually the ones managing this data. Through the use of blockchain, this data can be secured with a certain dose of transparency as well, in order to satisfy consumers' need to know where the food comes from. At the same time, implementing blockchain technology can help even farmers, especially those in developing countries where the population is unbanked or underbanked.
In this day and age, when a lot of us continue to spend a significant portion of our lives surfing the Internet, it is important for creative and productive people to establish the ownership of their creations. Whether we talk about a video or audio recording, a written word or an image, there are numerous issues regarding content theft, licensing issues, and more.
This can also be solved via decentralized technologies by uploading proof of ownership to blockchain. As usual, this information cannot be modified, deleted, or manipulated in any way. It is a reliable and easy way of proving that you came up with certain content first, and it is even possible for content creators to make a profit by providing access to their data to interested parties for a small fee. The same process can be applied for protecting arts, various collectibles, and pretty much valuable things.
Many believe that the future of transportation lies in shared rides, as most of our vehicles already spend 90% of their time doing nothing. Yes, we take our cars to work, but after we get there, they usually stand in parking lots for hours. Thanks to shared rides, there will be fewer vehicles on the road, and those that are being used will do their job constantly, and will thus be much more useful.
This is smart transport in a nutshell, and it will improve the use of existing resources, it will be much more affordable, and everyone traveling in the same direction will benefit from it. So, how can this be improved with blockchain technology? Simple — it will eliminate any need for a middleman that will interfere in the process and make it more complicated and expensive.
Decentralization is a perfect solution for problems that exist pretty much in any industry. Whenever someone provides goods or services, they usually have no other way of reaching consumers but through middlemen that charge expensive fees, and damage a producer and a consumer alike. Blockchain will resolve this issue in every industry, including smart transport.
Clearly, blockchain use cases are numerous, and a new ideas appear almost every day. While researching and developing blockchain in order to serve these different purposes takes time, effort, talent, and more, we will eventually reach the time when all of this will be a common way of using this technology. Almost everyone agrees that blockchain technology is the next step in our technological advancement, and employing it is expected to significantly change our lives, as well as the future of businesses, for the better.