Blockchain technology isn’t merely the public ledger that keeps track of your Bitcoin balance. It’s a versatile framework for handling data, encryption, and security that can be applied to many different industries. Organizations around the world are starting to see this and have their top people working on new applications every day.
The banking industry is one that is being thoroughly revolutionized by the advent of blockchain technology. As cryptocurrencies are beginning to become evermore legitimate competition for fiat currencies, the industry is starting to adapt to rather than resist this new way of handling finances.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies already provide attractive options for transferring money, with lower costs per transaction in many cases. The other key advantage is that there’s no risk of failed payments, like in the case of bounced cheques or insufficient funds returns. There’s still room for improvement here, though, with transaction speeds being the main concern.
Many established financial institutions are starting to either make partnerships with existing cryptocurrencies or initiating research into developing their own. JPMorgan, Citi, and Wells Fargo already implement blockchain technology in some capacity, with further adoption to come in the future.
Purchasing a property is often a complex task that involves coordinating roles and responsibilities for many separate parties. There’s the buyer, the seller, their agents, their lenders, and so on. Smart contracts are an aspect of blockchain technology that could serve to simplify the process.
A smart contract is an agreement within the blockchain itself that will have certain actions it can take and certain conditions. This could allow for the title of a property to be transferred when payment is received. This is what paper contracts are supposed to do, but they can only compel parties to act after the fact through legal action. Instead, smart contracts are fully automated.
One major benefit of implementing blockchain technology in real estate is that it will provide a secure and immutable record of all transfers and transactions. You won’t have to rely on paper records to determine ownership. The chain of previous owners will be safely stored in the blockchain.
Supply Chain Management
You might buy a home once every several decades, and so the number of records you’ll need is relatively sparse. But what about industries that go through millions of transactions every single day? Supply chain management has always been an incredibly complex task, and it’s one that blockchain technology could make a lot simpler.
Companies rely on a wide variety of software and protocols to keep track of what is going where and when in supply chain management. Blockchain technology could ensure much more reliable record-keeping and produce a record that can be monitored by all parties involved.
Making automated record-keeping more reliable will help reduce waste and mitigate the impact of human error. The benefits go beyond even that, though. Blockchain technology can make it impossible to spoof supply chain information, helping ensure that fair trade sourcing is actively enforced.
Blockchain technology is unique because it is decentralized. It’s used in cryptocurrency to provide security over a person’s money even without physical control by implementing reliable encryption. These same principles could someday be used to secure all kinds of sensitive data, as well as identify fraudulent activity like the Yuan Pay Group trading scam, which was recently exposed.
Consider money kept in your bank account. It’s conceivable that somebody could gain access to the bank’s systems and simply replace the numbers in your account with a zero. The decentralized nature of blockchain technology prevents any such occurrence from happening, stopping any access to your cryptocurrencies without your private key. Records, identification, and any other personal information could be secured in a similar fashion.
The applications for higher security are practically limitless. Much like in supply chain management, organizations can implement chain-of-custody for sensitive information like medical records. We’re already seeing organizations implement blockchain technology for shareholder voting. This ensures vote collection is completely secure. How long will it be until we’re using this technology in actual elections?
What’s Next for Blockchain Technology?
While some applications of blockchain technology like banking and cybersecurity seem clear, people are coming up with innovative ways to apply the same principles to other areas. It’s hard to say just how much of an impact blockchain technology will have in the future.
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