Over the past year, we have transferred several of our products to the blockchain – the conclusion of smart contracts and the minting process of the Power Minter are already fully working on the blockchain, and our efforts to transfer the PLC Minting Bot to this technology have now reached the final stage. As a result, the passive income of our users is now autonomous and completely protected from any external circumstances. But what other applications are available for this technology that made such a big splash a few years ago? How does it transform different areas of our life? This is what we will find out in today’s article.
So, blockchain is a technology that allows you to create a decentralized database using the latest advances in cryptography. With this technology, it is now possible to record and verify the data exchanged by users, without the involvement of a third party, such as brokers or banks. The security of the exchange is ensured by the fact that all operations are entered into a database that cannot be changed. Any user in the network can view this data.
The most popular applications for blockchain technologies are programming and finance. For example, blockchain is used for cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Etherium. However, the possibilities of the blockchain have not yet been fully realized: its application is possible in various areas of the economy, business and in our daily life.
A system for personal data storage and management
Cryptocurrencies were originally created as an alternative form of money that would not be controlled by the government. However, the application of blockchain technologies in public administration has turned out to be one of the most promising areas of use. They can help protect personal data, particularly when transactions are concluded with an electronic signature.
Technologies for storing the personal data of citizens indicated in passports, driver’s licenses, and other documents already exist. For example, the South Korean company Iconloop is preparing to launch a blockchain-based mobile driver’s license system.
Another example of a project in this area is THEKEY. The company is developing an identity verification tool that features blockchain-based dynamic multidimensional identification. THEKEY is more reliable than the technologies used today, providing a convenient user interface and fully meeting the requirements of government agencies. In addition, this authentication method will be cheaper to maintain.
Banking and economic regulation
One of the goals behind the design of cryptocurrencies is the limitation of the influence of the government on the economy. For fiat currencies, the issuer – a certain country and the government of the country – can have a significant impact on the exchange rate, including the ability to control it. Financial institutions have no less influence on the economy: for example, Wall Street players are blamed for the sharp drop in stock prices of high-tech companies in 2000-2002. The Blockchain is already being used wherever it’s necessary to reconsider the balance of forces in the market and the influence of institutions on the exchange rate of a particular currency.
It’s still difficult to predict the future development of the market, where cryptocurrencies will replace fiat currencies. Will the same cryptocurrency be used around the world or will there be different cryptocurrencies in each country? How will this market be regulated? However, there is already an inequality in the distribution of cryptocurrencies: only a small number of users hold a large amount of cryptocurrencies, so they can theoretically manipulate the rate. For example, Tesla’s recent investment in Bitcoin caused the price of the cryptocurrency to jump 13% overnight.
J.P. Morgan, one of the largest US financial holdings, is already using its own blockchain platform to process private transactions. The system is called Quorum, and it’s based on Ethereum. Quorum smart contract technology enables transparent and cryptographically secure transactions.
Santander Bank was one of the first to use blockchain to secure its international payment services. Launched in partnership with Ripple, One Pay FX already allows customers to securely transfer funds across Europe and South America. Santander is also introducing a new blockchain-based shareholder voting mechanism, thanks to which the process will be carried out in real time, and it will be impossible to bribe votes.
Changes in the economies of different countries affect the global economy – the macroeconomy. Today, transferring money to another country is a complicated operation. However, with the use of blockchain technology, such transfers become much easier, which contributes to the establishment of closer international trade relations.
In a number of cases, governments can use the blockchain to fight against money laundering and combat the shadow economy. Cryptocurrency transactions are completely transparent and verifiable. However, if cryptocurrency developers choose to keep users anonymous, such applications are unlikely.
Various government industries
Blockchain technologies are already being applied not only in economics, but also in other areas controlled by the government, such as:
The most obvious use of blockchain in this industry is the storage and transmission of patient data. This technology is gradually replacing traditional medical records. Blockchain simplifies the verification of medical documents and the exchange of patient data. At the same time, the anonymity of the patient is preserved and it becomes possible to transfer data of patients selectively.
The second important area is testing new medical drugs and processing the results of these tests.
Solve.Care is a project that was launched with the mission to decentralize healthcare management and other benefit programs around the world. Using the blockchain, Solve.Care provides direct communication between patients and medical institutions, simplifies the delivery of benefits and payment for services. The company’s ultimate goal is to provide access to healthcare to everyone, more efficient healthcare administration, timely payments to service providers, overall optimization of management and cost reduction.
Another healthcare project, Medicalchain, prioritizes the interests of patients. The company’s goal is to create a single version of patient health data that can be easily shared across the network. Using blockchain, Medicalchain connects pharmaceutical, research and insurance companies with patients so that they can securely access the data they need.
As in healthcare, blockchain technology is already being used in education, primarily for data accounting. Blockchain makes it easy to transfer a student to another educational institution, provide him with financial aid and rewards for hard work.
One of the applications of the technology is the digital diploma verification. MIT and Learning Machine have developed Blockerts, which allows students and universities to secure data related to virtual certificates and degrees. The developers claim that Blockerts makes it possible to link any type of document to any blockchain.
Blockchain technologies are already being developed to introduce individual labeling for each product and track the route of its movement. This is especially important for natural, perishable goods.
Blockchain is already being used in agriculture to monitor the state of plantings, to report on the fulfillment of state requirements for product quality.
JD.com is a Chinese e-commerce giant that uses blockchain technology to track beef products. For example, the supply of Angus beef from the Australian company InterAgri is already controlled using a distributed ledger.
CNH Industrial NV is working with IBM to develop a blockchain solution that will improve farm management. The main focus of CNH Industrial NV is the production of agricultural equipment. The company believes that the new technology will expand the available range of services and provide farmers with a comprehensive solution that will aid them in inventory management.
Developments geared towards reforming the traditional approach towards energy with blockchain technologies are already under way, which makes sense as blockchain simplifies the distribution of electricity through a network of distributors, stimulating the development of this network. Users who generate surplus energy, for example from solar panels, will be able to sell it to their neighbors. We already have access to technologies that enable the creation of software to sell electricity without the participation of public corporations.
Siemens Energy has developed an automated payment system for utilities. The blockchain allows you to pay for services as you use them. Siemens implements a model where profits are calculated immediately when the service is sold and operational risks are shared between customers and service providers.
Grid+ is engaged in wholesale electricity sales using Ethereum as a payment platform. The decentralized structure allows any user to sell surplus energy to other customers in the network. The company expects to reduce the cost of services for end users by about 40%.
Blockchain technologies are associated with artificial intelligence, since they provide fast processing of a large amount of data: more than a million variables can be processed simultaneously on the blockchain network. This speed of operations is necessary to create more sophisticated artificial intelligence.
AICoin is one example for the use of artificial intelligence in the blockchain industry. As part of this project, the developers have created learning models that are able to determine patterns in fluctuations in the cryptocurrency exchange rate. Thus, machine learning technologies allow traders and investors to significantly reduce risks and increase profits.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things is a network of devices that enter into complex interactions to provide user comfort, such as automatically reheating lunch when you get home from work. The blockchain is already being used to create a network of devices that can freely interact with each other and ensure the security of this network.
The IOTA project is one of the most promising in this area. The secure and fast Tangle protocol at the heart of this platform provides system scalability and does not require additional mining costs. IOTA partners include Microsoft and the Volkswagen concern, which plans to manufacture self-driving cars based on the platform.
Modum is another IoT blockchain project. This startup is working to improve the supply chain of goods. With the help of IoT devices and smart contracts, Modum makes it possible to receive real-time data on the location of goods, tracking the conditions of transportation, while also guaranteeing the authenticity of the goods.
Initially, blockchain was created to provide a secure connection on a network of devices. Enhanced security is crucial in all areas of technology development: artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, etc.
The blockchain is already being used to store data in a decentralized way. It provides effective protection against distributed denial of service and DDoS attacks. In such attacks, hackers overload a centralized system, for example by sending massive requests to a site in order to hack it. If the system is decentralized, then hackers are much less likely to succeed in copying, damaging or destroying the data.
MobileCoin is a startup that aims to make it as easy as possible for businesses to use cryptocurrencies. Cryptographic algorithms allow all data to be stored in an encrypted form between two peers. MobileCoin can be easily integrated into WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or Signal. Increased security and ease of use allow companies to maintain transparent reporting while saving time and resources.
Marketing and advertising
With blockchain technologies, companies can optimize the processing of customer data and efficiently customize ads for each customer, as well as determine whether they receive likes and reposts on social networks from bots or from real people.
The developers of the Rebel AI platform have created a cryptographic ad verification system that should help fight spam and fraudulent ads. Marketing agencies are assigned unique identifiers to ensure that your ad is safe. Rebel AI provides a robust system that displays all participants in the ad supply chain, along with metrics: ad duration, interactions, and more.
Blockchain startup Lucidity is developing a platform for marketers that stores and validates every marketing event to ensure data transparency and reliability. Smart contracts provide real-time information about ongoing ad campaigns, track payments to ad publishers, and prevent fraud by flagging fake bot views. Toyota is already working with Lucidity.
Although many experts from both the private and public sectors are still arguing about the future of cryptocurrencies and the effectiveness of implementing blockchain solutions in various fields, this technology is already changing the modern IT industry. Perhaps the blockchain revolution is passing (or has already passed) unnoticed by end users, who primarily evaluate the utilitarian pros and cons of specific proposals on the market and often ignore the technology at the heart of the product. The main criteria are costs, efficiency, usability and security, not the specific type of distributed ledger.