Blockchain technology found its origins within the world of Fintech as the base technology which was powering the world’s first cryptocurrency Bitcoin. The fact that blockchain was invented to underlie a new form of money made its concept become synonymous with cryptocurrency itself. And it was only after a while that blockchain technology started to be seen as something entirely different than Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. It has since been recognized that the decentralized ledger technology can be utilized in many other industries other than the Fintech sector.
To highlight the versatility of blockchain technology, here is a look at a few industries where blockchain has had an effect beyond Fintech.
One of the best examples where blockchain technology’s power is being fully leveraged is the supply chain sector. Operations in the supply chain sector can potentially see a revolution with the advent of blockchain technology. In fact, there are major companies that have already started to use blockchain to improve the supply chain management.
The global giant IBM has entered into partnership with Maersk, which is the world’s largest company that operates container shipping. In this symbiotic relationship, the tech giant and the supply chain industry giant have come together to facilitate global trade with blockchain. The distribution network which is spread across the world is expected to see better coordination from one point to another.
In the traditional manner of operations, communications could have easily become confusing due to the very extensive network with so many parties involved worldwide. By making use of the IBM-Maersk blockchain solution, shipping companies will be capable of running a system which is immutable. Every transaction will be added to a public ledger system which is distributed across the whole supply chain network and cannot be retrospectively changed.
The tamperproof ledger system augmented by the fact that there is no need for tedious paperwork will make the whole process more streamlined. All the associated costs that the companies have been incurring due to the previously inefficient supply chain systems will be reduced to make the whole operations more profitable.
With the genuine products being sold from one part of the world to the other, there is also the problem of counterfeit goods being received by businesses and homes every year. With nearly $500 billion in counterfeit goods being circulated annually throughout the world, consumers are no longer tolerating the absurd situation. This is severely damaging for the retail industry and this problem can be rectified by leveraging the power of blockchain technology.
Since blockchain involves a sense of record keeping from the start through to every step till the final product is delivered, it adds the prospect of accountability which is not really there in the online e-commerce industry. Blockchain technology can be used by operators in the retail industry to make sure that the products being sold by them come from authentic sources.
The retail goods which are being taken from the source and delivered to the consumers can even make use of scannable tags. The blockchain network having everything logged into the distributed ledger will ensure that the retail industry becomes free of any tampering or malicious activity that promotes counterfeit goods.
Highlighting the diverse capabilities that blockchain offers across different industries, we can take a look at the decentralized technology making inroads even in the gambling industry. Ever since the internet came along, the concept of online gambling has become very popular. The digital realm offering convenient options to play your favorite casino games was initially an odd concept but has become a full-blown class of the gambling industry.
With blockchain technology coming into the picture, things have taken a different turn altogether in the world of online gambling. Cryptocurrencies provide the gambling industry with a payment option that can run as an alternative to the fiat currency system and the advantages of using virtual money instead of fiat are numerous.
· It allows gamblers to fund their accounts without having to submit a shred of their personal identification documents.
· Cryptocurrencies have much smaller fees and they offer very quick deposits — thus becoming ideal for the movement of small to medium amount of funds.
· The fact that cryptocurrencies are not governed by laws of specific countries made the prospect of online gambling a whole lot more accessible than the fiat currency system did.
The relationship between blockchain-powered cryptocurrencies and the gambling industry is turning out to be a perfect match. In fact, Malta, one of the pioneering countries in the world of gambling is planning to legalize the use of Bitcoin in online casinos and is now looking into the best options to make that a reality.
Lastly, with the implementation of blockchain in gambling the industry has also benefited from the aspect of transparency which was previously not there. This makes gambling a fair experience. Without the aspect of accountability, gamblers would not have been sure that the house is playing by the rules.
These were just three of the examples of the diverse usage of blockchain technology and how it is affecting industries other than Fintech. With more and more tech-savvy entrepreneurs and businesses pushing the boundaries, it only remains to be seen how far the use cases of blockchain can stretch and how much it will become a part of our lives moving towards the future.