Blockchain is starting to have a revolutionary impact on the finance industry and other areas of society as people wake up to its wide range of applications. Some of the areas of application for blockchain are finance/banking, law, government, health, Internet of Things, digital identity, cyber security, media/entertainment, verified data and Ethereum. Here we examine some of these in greater depth.
One of the most important sectors to date for blockchain use has been the Fintech industry (finance/banking/insurance/fintech related products). Financial institutions are examining how blockchain technology which provides the framework for digital currency can revolutionise finance. The payments sector is one of the biggest likely to be impacted due to blockchain’s ramifications for transfers, infrastructure and global reach. Other areas of potential include micropayments which allow very small payments to be made online, for example. Mobile money is another important application, and advances are being sought in this area already.
In the legal arena, blockchain shows significant potential in terms of the applications it could bring. Smart contracts benefit from blockchain and can be put in place without third parties. However, there are ramifications that still need to be cleared up, such as money laundering issues and other criminal uses. Other benefits include bringing verifiable audit trails for insurance or archiving contracts, and there are many more in this sector.
Governments are already considering the blockchain applications that may be beneficial for them. Blockchain brings the potential to simplify processes, data flow and infrastructure. However, the current infrastructure is not well designed for this and much work is needed to achieve alignment with existing systems.
In the health sector there are also very beneficial examples of potential applications of blockchain technology. One example is the build of apps on infectious disease tracking sites to include Bitcoin donation functionalities. This could increase aid funding in the case of health crises.
These applications aside, digital identity is considered one very important area where blockchain can add considerable value. While living in the west, people are generally not very aware how big an issue identity can be for those that do not have evidence of theirs. The best example of this is the case of refugees. Many such individuals move to new countries and are undocumented. This creates numerous identity issues which could be solved through the use of a digital identity system, driven by blockchain. These are just a few of the blockchain applications that could change our world in the years ahead. Discover more blockchain applications.