The applications of the blockchain

Blockchain is more of a basic technology, with the potential to create new technologies and new foundations for the global economy and social systems, but also a destructive technology that attacks the traditional business model

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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The applications of the blockchain
© Chris McGrath / Staff Getty Images News

Blockchain technology has great potential to transform business operating models in the long run. Blockchain is more of a basic technology, with the potential to create new technologies and new foundations for the global economy and social systems, but also a destructive technology that attacks the traditional business model.

The use of blockchain promises to bring significant improvements to global supply chains, financial transactions, accounting assets and distributed social networks. This new technology can be integrated into different areas and its protocols make it easier for companies to use new methods to process and manage digital transactions.

Some examples include: payment systems and digital currencies that facilitate crowdsales, implementation of the prediction market and generic governance tools. The blockchain can be used as a tool to certify the certain date of a document and that it has not undergone any changes.

This application of the block chain, obtained by entering the hash of the documents to be certified, is called notarization. An example of this use is the notarization of the movements of trucks carrying earth to a construction site, to ensure compliance with environmental constraints and standards.

It can fill the need for a trust service provider, provide for less litigation capital to occur, and has the potential to reduce systematic risk and financial fraud. Automate several processes that previously took a long time to do manually, such as enterprise integration.

Most applications of the blockchain include cryptocurrencies such as: Bitcoin, Blackcoin, Dash and Nxt and blockchain platforms such as Factom as a distributed ledger, Gems for decentralized messaging, MaidSafe for decentralized applications, Storj and Sia for distributed cloud storage and Tezos for decentralized voting.

The new distribution method is also usable and available in the insurance field such as peer-to-peer insurance, parametric insurance and micro insurance. Banks are also interested in this new technology due to the fact that it speeds up back office settlement systems.

Other fields such as the collaborative economy and IoT can benefit from blockchain technology as they involve many peers to collaborate even online voting applications. It can also be used to develop information systems for doctors, increasing their interoperability and security.

Several blockchains have also been developed for storing data, publishing texts and identifying the origins of digital art. Banks such as UBS have opened research centers dedicated to blockchain to explore the various implications this new technology can have in the arena of financial services and to increase its efficiency and reduce its costs.

A further application has been suggested to ensure spectrum sharing for wireless networks. Finally, we mention LBRY, which exploits this methodology for file sharing and which led to the birth of Odysee in 2020.

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