Blockchain has been around since 2008. However, it has really burst into our collective consciousness over the last couple of years. Initially invented to act as a virtual ledger for Bitcoin transactions, it has evolved far beyond what was envisaged when it was launched. For the uninitiated, blockchain is simply a shared digital ledger. Unlike traditional databases, Blockchain is an immutable and transparent public ledger that does not allow data to be modified or deleted retrospectively. It is clear the technology has revolutionary applications that will transform entire industries. Certainly, corporations, businesses and governmental and other institutions are now racing to adopt it. Here are 5 industries that will be transformed by Blockchain.
The world of finance and banking is going to be turned upside down by Blockchain. Blockchain was designed to facilitate financial transactions, and it is a perfect system for processing payments and money transfers. Payments can be made almost instantly, anywhere in the world – to vendors, suppliers, employees et al. Using the tech also eliminates the need to use third-party financial institutions. Companies and individuals are freed from having to pay any transaction fees to banks and other organisations. As the ledger cannot be tampered with, there is no longer any requirement to reconcile documents, which could completely revolutionise the process of auditing as we know it. Blockchain will also allow more financial services to be automated. With the potential savings, it’s no surprise that so many businesses are looking to use fintech development services.
Real estate transactions are currently very complex affairs. There is a mountain of documents and red tape to contend with. As a result, currently little can be done without the help of various third parties – agents, brokers, lawyers and banks. However, Blockchain can change the nature of these transactions, as everything could be processed directly between buyer and seller using the tech. Listings, legal documentations and financial transactions could all be handled on the Blockchain. The role of middlemen could be pared back or even eliminated. The process of selling and buying would be cheaper as the various fees charged by third parties would no longer be required. And certainly, with less people to deal with, everything would happen a lot quicker.
The adoption of Blockchain technology has major implications for the legal sector. One of the major changes will come in the field of legal contracts. Even in this digital era, contracts haven’t really moved with the times. They still largely involve hard copies of multiple pages, with signatures from all parties needed to make a legally binding contract. And not only are there lots of pages, but also lots of various legal and admin staff too. Much like real estate, all the people that need to be involved create a lot of red tape, which is costly in terms of time and money! Blockchain tech promises to completely transform this process with ‘smart’ contracts. Everything is digitised, and contracts are written by code as opposed to a team of people. As soon as agreed obligations are met, the terms and conditions of the contract are automatically executed in a fully automated manner. Many legal disputes will simply not exist in the future due to Blockchain.
Blockchain tech is a superb fit for the healthcare industry, given the huge number of medical records and other data they generate. Blockchain is also an exceptionally secure environment. Patient data can be safely stored in an immutable database, accessible only by patients and agreed healthcare providers. Paperwork will be streamlined and centralised, meaning great financial and time savings for the industry. Blockchain will also be a perfect database for the growing number of specialised medical devices to connect to and transfer individual health data, recorded in real time.
Supply Chain & Logistics
Almost all products and services that are purchased have a chain of businesses behind them. With globalisation, this means that today’s supply chains are usually very long, and very complex. Large amounts of documents and transactions are generated for even relatively simple products. Unsurprisingly, many things can go wrong – missing parts, damaged components, erroneous or missing paperwork and delivery issues. And these days, theft and fraud are increasing too. Identifying and eliminating these issues is extremely time-consuming, and very costly. Blockchain offers the means to change all this. Using this tech, companies will have a shared and immutable digital ledger. Every part of the supply chain will be recorded in real time and logged. At every stage, the exact state of the product can be seen, and any problems easily identified and corrected.
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