Breaking down how we’re using blockchain technology is business all the time
In the current state of the cryptocurrency world, it’s not uncommon to hear skepticism about bitcoin or another currency, but optimism about the technology. The technology behind the bitcoin boom, distributed ledger technology, also known simply as “blockchain” has many uses. On top of the obvious uses like maintaining a ledger for a cryptocurrency being bought, sold, and traded, what else does it do? How are we using blockchain in real life? Let’s take a look at how blockchain is used all the time, and where there are more applications possible.
Quick Overview: What is Blockchain?
Before going over some examples, let’s just clarify what exactly we’re talking about. When we say “blockchain,” we’re referring to the underlying tech of a cryptocurrency. The blockchain is a large public ledger that is decentralized and updated by those in the network. This is the reason you need to wait for confirmations sending a bitcoin, and why miners make money. This ledger can record an incredibly high volume of transactions, regardless of location, and remains decentralized to additionally protect against fraud.
How is Blockchain Used Now?
Besides the obvious examples of maintaining the bitcoin network and the networks of other cryptocurrencies, there are a lot of other real world use-cases for the technology. Any time we’re talking about new people or new technology impacting a market, we tend to call them a “disrupter.” Well, blockchain is one of the biggest disruptors in the financial technology sector. Let’s see how it’s already being used now and some other uses for it in the future.
It only seems fitting that with the birth of the technology being with cryptocurrencies that it be used in the financial sector. Banking and finance are really the largest industries looking at implementing blockchain in the near future. In fact, many have already. Though it might not be the most exciting portion of finance, blockchain is used in settlements and clearing payments on the back end of financial institutions. On top of the regular financial needs, some companies are even using blockchain to help with identity verification and requirements for banking individuals.
Real estate is another traditional industry where we can see how blockchain is used to better it. At the heart of distributed ledger technology, the main focus is information. Information being decentralized, shared, and accessible by all parties involved is crucial. Because of the information-driven nature of blockchain, it can be utilized to keep updated listings and other important data available for those involved in real estate. By maintaining an updated multiple listings service (MLS), blockchain technology can improve on the current structure for sharing data in the industry. Companies like REX MLS are already tackling this now and disrupting industry standards. Shared databases and information across the industry can even spread into a record of titles of ownership and transactional records as well.
Remember when we talked about the payment processing strength of blockchain in the financial industry? Well, that same concept is being used by the human resources (HR) industry as well. Though it may not be what one immediately thinks of in the HR world, payroll can pose a significant pain point. We’re using blockchain to improve here as well. Payroll is typically not terribly difficult or expensive when done in the same country, but cross-border payments are very different. This is where companies like Bitwage come into play. By utilizing blockchain technology, HR professionals are now finding easier, more cost effective ways to handle payroll obligations to those outside of the country.
Media and Entertainment
How do we pay the ones creating work that we love? This has remained one of the fundamental pain points for the media and entertainment industry for quite some time now. So much so, in fact, that entire platforms are being built to help solve this issue. Companies like Patreon, Indiegogo, and GoFundMe have worked on rewarding those creating work that the public wants to support. But how are we using blockchain to improve in this industry?
A great example of this being improved on with blockchain technology is the potential of the Open Music Initiative (OMI). The OMI is looking to use a blockchain-based solution for paying out royalties and funding to creators and artists. By using a blockchain-based network with smart contracts, artists and creators will be able to more effectively be paid for their contributions and supported for future content creation.
How Else Can Blockchain Be Used?
We can see all kinds of real world applications of how blockchain is used, but that’s only the beginning. As the technology continues to grow, we’re likely to see a significant amount of growth in its adoption and usage as well. Industries all over the world are constantly finding new and innovative ways to bring blockchain to work for the. What about your business?