We are now at a very important point in time. Institutions are taking massive positions of their balance sheets to buy Bitcoin while retail crowds are slowly starting to take notice. Cryptocurrencies are not just a profitable investment opportunity but a completely new technology that has the potential to completely change the world as we know it.
And while most people are still entertaining the idea that the technology is meant to enhance financial transactions in the form of alternative payment solutions, others have already understood how blockchain can be implemented in many other industries.
In this article, we discuss the basics of blockchain technology and the industries which are already getting disrupted. Let’s start with the basics.
What is blockchain technology
To keep the definition short and easy to understand, we can talk about the blockchain as a tool to track information. This tool can be accessed by anyone and cannot be tampered with, as it has no central authority that controls the way actions are taken.
Bitcoin uses blockchain technology to “stack” virtual blocks of transactions upon one another, all of which are confirmed within a particular amount of time. Everyone can track any transaction on Bitcoin’s blockchain by checking the most recent activity of the blockchain and identifying the participating wallets.
While the decentralized ledger is transparent, it is also anonymous. Users cannot see the people behind the wallet addresses, which offers an additional layer of privacy. So anyone can participate in the network and anyone can track older transactions, by looking at previous blocks.
This opens up a whole new range of use cases that can be applied across several industries. From tracking the authenticity of products and streamlining healthcare systems, all the way to eliminating forged resumes, we are now seeing the concept evolve into the mainstream. And in the next chapter, we will introduce you to some of the industries that benefit from it.
Industries that Blockchain technology is disrupting
While blockchain technology can be improved in pretty much any industry that requires some form of tracking, the following ones are the most sought after at this early stage:
Creative Industries (Art, Music, etc.)
Over the past few years, we have seen slow growth in the concept of non-fungible tokens. And since 2020, this trend has exploded in popularity. Today, NFTs are expanding across different creative industries and are perceived as the next revolution in the way we perceive and track value. According to many analysts, anything that holds value and is not yet digital will eventually become an NFT. At the moment we are seeing a massive shift from physical art purchases to digital art purchases with some pieces ranking up to millions of dollars. Each piece is linked to a unique wallet address that can be tracked on the blockchain of the underlying cryptocurrency project, in order to track the authenticity and value of the asset.
Several educational institutions are already seeking tracking solutions for their internal data. For example, there is currently no transparent, publicly accessible ledger that lists and tracks certifications of university students. Just imagine how much easier it would be for an HR manager to track and confirm this type of information when looking into candidates they want to hire. The same concept can be applied to other educational facilities, which can even reach the level of elementary school.
Supply chain management
Supply chain management stands for the process of tracking a product through all the stages of its development. It is a very important breakthrough that enables customers to track authentic products without being worried about counterfeits. It is also a great solution for merchants that are currently losing business due to the growth of the black market.
There are already two projects that are revolutionizing supply chain management in luxury markets: VeChain and Omisego. Both of these cryptocurrency projects are already testing out their solutions in order to get a better understanding of the ways they can further improve before rolling their solution out to the public.
Finally, let’s briefly touch upon the logistics industry. This sector can be linked to supply chain management and is more often seen as a subcategory to the former. While it’s pretty hard to see how new coins and growing cryptocurrency prices can form a link with product transportation, the underlying blockchain technology can be used to accommodate the growth of both.
More specifically, it is easier to track each vehicle of a fleet as they are going about their day-to-day deliveries, which also being able to better organize the transportation of such vehicles. Finally, in case of missed parcels or claims of damaged products, it is much easier to track (even by the customer), which party is responsible for the issue.