Blockchain use cases
One of the beauties about blockchain is that the data held within it can represent anything in the real world and the technology ensures the availability, integrity and transparency of this data. For example, monetary values, shares in a company, value, titles, contracts, votes, and many more things can be represented on Blockchains. The potential use cases is great, and new ones are being discovered regularly.
Lets have a look at some of the ones that have been discovered so far.
Blockchain enables automatic contracts that do not require an authority to ensure that each party has complied with their obligations. These contracts can self execute whenever a condition has occurred. Ethereum is the best known blockchain platform for smart contracts.
Peer to Peer payments
Blockchain supports the sharing economy by enabling payments between parties without the need for a middle man to validate the transaction has occurred and to provide trust. Due to blockchains transparency and immutability, governments can use this aspect of the technology to stamp out money laundering and fraud. Bitcoin is the most famous example of this.
Blockchain enables crowd sourced funding of projects and startup companies without the need and cost of third party organisations. Already hundreds of startup companies have raised funds via this mechanism, and it likely that our next Facebook and Google will be launched by this mechanism.
Elections and poll taking
Blockchains features of transparency, accessibility, immutability and unstoppable availability are ideally suited to recording results of any type of vote including govornment and corporate elections.
Supply chain transparency
Blockchains transactions are time stamped and cannot ever be deleted or changed. Recording the all aspects of a supply chain on blockchain will give consumers unprecedented confidence in the origin and authenticity of goods.
The cloud has provided organisations with unprecedented flexibility and speed to change. Blockchain technology promises to up end the current cloud business models by replacing the current providers dedicated infrastructure with low cost distributed providers of storage and compute whose cost of infrastructure has already been sunk. Maidsafe is a leading innovator in this space.
Using smart contract technology payouts for events occurring can happen automatically without requiring trust and using new business models that succeed at lower costs and with lower margins than those required by traditional suppliers. Everything from gambling to financial derivatives can be coded on the blockchain.
Intellectual property validation
Blockchain technology can be used to provide an indisputable and transparent record of intellectual property such as trademarks, patents, copyright and creative content. In conjuntion with smart contracts, payments for use can be automated.
Internet of Things
For mass IOT adoption to occur there needs to be a low cost ongoing operational management, device to device payment, and device to device contract solution in place. Blockchain is this solution.
Anything that can be traded in digital form including stock markets, futures, and intellectual property can be traded peer to peer on the Blockchain, without the need for a third party exchange to faciloitate the trade provide trust and take a fee.
Blockchain technology allows individuals to own their identification and prove to third parties who they are. In conjunction with transparent transactions, this use case of the technology can also seamlessly facilitate AML and KYC obligations at low cost.
Blockchain technology is ideally suited for recording titles of ownership that multiple parties require access to. Property titles, car registration etc can be simply recorded on the blockchain and accessed by the applicable regulators in a simple and friction free way.