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It is believed that blockchain will radically change the economy of the country and the way trades are conducted on daily basis. We can clearly delve the difference in how trade was carried and how it is done if we check-in to the past when the internet was the latest phenomena. The rise in the blockchain technology is seen as the greatest invention after its introduction on the internet. And it is expected to enrich the online business.
The decentralized network is an old concept. Something which dates 50 years back. The internet is on a decentralized network. But there is a difference in the decentralized network and decentralized software. Until this decade, the decentralized software was hard to implement.
The centralized software could easily carry a various form of transactions but to think about a decentralized distributed network is a job of Satoshi Nakamoto. If it is that difficult to implement, why would you want a decentralized software? You do it because of stability, scalability, and innovation. If there is nobody in the middle, everybody stays happy.
Blockchain expert Melanie Swan expresses “We should think about the blockchain as another class of thing like the Internet—a comprehensive information technology with tiered technical levels and multiple classes of applications for any form of asset registry, inventory, and exchange, including every area of finance, economics, and money; hard assets (physical property, homes, cars); and intangible assets (votes, ideas, reputation, intention, health data, information, etc.). But the blockchain concept is even more; it is a new organizing paradigm for the discovery, valuation, and transfer of all quanta (discrete units) of anything, and potentially for the coordination of all human activity at a much larger scale than has been possible before.”
Since the blockchain connoisseurs are in the positive connotation of the technology, many companies have started to use the blockchain as their base technology. Although the success of blockchain is credited to the cryptocurrency giant, i.e., Bitcoin, the constant modification and late realization have let the people understand its actual use. And trust me, it is much more than just the cryptocurrencies - thanks to its avant-garde reach.
Let’s go through some of the use cases where blockchain can be proved as a remarkable crutch to the businesses:
Some people are in a belief that blockchain will do to banking what internet has done to the media. There are several countries which have a poor banking sector. The blockchain technology changes the Financial Industry by promising to give financial services to those who don’t have access to the bank accounts including those who in the third-world country don’t have bank accounts. Applications like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies empower the people to send and receive the money on the network without the need of central operator or approver.
One of the advantages of the blockchain technology lets cross-border transactions to be carried out instantly with a very low fee. ABRA is one of the startups which make the remittance a piece of cake. Here, blockchain is used as the underlying technology which to stash cash deposits and facilitate cash transfers between any two smartphones. Users can execute this process where they can withdraw and deposit cash at "Abra Tellers" which can be individuals or businesses. The company does not ever actually keep the user or teller's money unlike other digital payment services like Paypal.
Although many say that banks will be affected by the introduction of the distributed ledger, what if banks start using the software based on blockchain technology? What if they promise for providing the same services like those of the decentralized network? Banks like Barclay are already using this technology to have faster transactions and make their business more secure. Banks are also investing in the startup projects of the blockchain. It is estimated that 30% of the banks will use the blockchain by the end of 2018.
With the blockchain technology, transactions are recorded in a permanent decentralized ledger and are monitored securely and transparently. All the actions can easily be checked through this ledger which stores the data forever. This can greatly reduce time delay and human mistakes. It can also be used to monitor the costs and labor. Basically, it can be a detector at every point of the supply chain.
There are companies which are using the blockchain to drive the supply chain management. Walmart is using the blockchain technology to track the roots of their products. The technology could make it easier for customers to know about where their food comes from and could guide them in making decisions. Similarly, companies like FedEx (shipping giant) has already given a nod to a blockchain-powered program to help resolve their customer disputes.
With the in-depth detail which the eternal distributed ledger gives, it will be easier for companies to detect whether their product is having an environmental impact. As it records all the data at every point of the supply chain, even about waste and emissions, it can be of a great advantage.
Even waste management industry acknowledged the significance of the blockchain network. A waste management initiative started by Recereum has developed a blockchain-powered platform which promises to reward the cryptocurrencies to the “planet saver”. Now, this is historic. Right?
Blockchain will change how we do research, consulting, analysis, and forecasting. Online platforms like Augur are looking to create a global decentralized prediction market.
Here is one of its instructions “You make your predictions by trading virtual shares in the outcome of events happening in the real world. If you buy shares in the correct outcomes, you'll win real money profits.”
This technology can also be used to monitor or place bets on any sports or event or elections in a decentralized way.
Companies like Samsung and IBM want to create a decentralized network of IoT devices using the blockchain. What would it do? The devices would communicate directly, update software, manage bugs, and monitor energy usage.
The blockchain and the smart contracts are revolutionizing the insurance industry. The global insurance market is strictly based on the trust management. The blockchain is a new way of managing trust and it can be used to verify many types of data in an insurance contract. Like the insured person identity. Database systems like Oracles can be integrated to real-world data with smart contracts. This can be useful for any type of insurance that relies on the real-world data.
A few things that blockchain technology can influence include:
Every ledger utilizes the blockchain technology which provides insurance companies, traders, consumers, financiers, nominees, and law enforcers with the details of the item, their authenticity, their ownership, and existence.
The blockchain technology can be utilized for automatic payment for parking, tolls, and fuel. UBS is already investing its brain in creating such a transport related wallets.
The Final Call
To ask about the advantages of the blockchain technology is similar to asking what can internet do in a particular field. The reason why blockchain implementation will be successful in all the fields is that most of the fields need data and ledger. The field which has “value transaction” will need a distributed ledger. But it is advisable to not use the blockchain technology if there is a better and simpler way of solving the problems by using conventional technologies. Before implementing it, one should make sure that do you really need your system to be distributed?