Hackernoon logoBlockchain Technology Use Cases: Going Beyond Cryptocurrency by@nancyrean

Blockchain Technology Use Cases: Going Beyond Cryptocurrency

Nancy Rean Hacker Noon profile picture

@nancyreanNancy Rean

Nancy Rean is an avid reader and a writer by heart. I am a contributor writer.

Did you know that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are NOT the only innovations that were made possible thanks to Blockchain Technology? 

In fact, blockchain offers other essential features too that are being increasingly used by countless businesses to harness the power of this technology. The concept of how it works seems complicated, and it undoubtedly can be.

Yet, the core concept of blockchain technology is quite simple. Simply put, it is a type of database, which collects information and stores it electronically on a system. By creating a “chain” of data, the previous data which is safely saved in “blocks'' cannot be altered or removed. With the help of blockchain, the need for a third-party to handle risks related to your transactions can be eliminated.

Tracking Online Orders

Here’s an example.

You order a phone online.

On receiving the delivery, you realize the box does not include a phone charger that it should have. 

Now, assuming the online store does not have a refund policy, not much can be done about it. 

Alternatively, what if there was another way of bypassing this whole problem? Blockchain technology helps you steer clear of such inconveniences, as it enables traceability and ensures the security of transactions across the entire supply chain. One company making use of blockchain technology for exactly this purpose is Walmart.

Walmart uses a blockchain distributed ledger to track and connect with all parties involved in delivering pork-related food around China.

Here, this technology is assisting Walmart by reducing the likelihood of data inaccuracy and tampering throughout the process 

Voting Software

Let’s move on to the next blockchain application example - Voting.

Voters submit their voter ID, which is verified and submitted via EVM (Electronic Voting Machine). Unfortunately, fraudsters can easily hack the electronic voting machine or manipulate the vote count with a centralized system. However, a blockchain-enabled decentralized system ensures fair elections and eliminates this vulnerability. 

Many financial institutions are also using blockchain technology to improve their back-office systems, reduce their costs and increase efficiency. One example of banks using this technology includes Swiss investment bank UBS Group AG, which plans to make cross-border trades through tokens called “Utility Settlement Coins” for record-keeping. 

Other blockchain applications that you may want to look into are listed below:

  1. Insurance companies: For eliminating forgery and avoiding false claims
  2. Real estate: Blockchain technology in this industry eliminates the need for exchanging money  
  3. Healthcare: Blockchain is incorruptible, decentralized, and transparent in nature, allowing hospitals to maintain patient data securely. 

Unique Security Characteristics of Blockchain

Blockchain Technology assists companies by recording the transactions of digital assets being exchanged between any two parties. some high-level security characteristics of this technology are listed below:

The Ledger 

This is where all the transactions in the blockchain are being recorded. The ledger, which is a chain of blocks including all the information, is immutable.

Confidentiality 

Blockchain enables only users of the ledger to view only the authorized transactions.

Digital signature

The exchange of transactions involves using unique digital signatures that serve as proof, which in turn leads to accurate record management by avoiding fraud.  

Privacy in Transactions

Blockchain networks are public databases that imply that the transaction history of the network can be viewed by anyone having an internet connection. It is important to note that users can gain access to transaction details. However, they cannot identify the user of that transaction. Although blockchain networks are confidential, It is a common misperception that they are anonymous as well. That is not the case. 

Consistency

All the data within a blockchain is accurate, timely, consistent, and complete. 

Cryptology

Blockchain uses hash-based algorithms that enable transactions to take place securely by producing content-based fixed hash.

To Sum It Up

Although there are substantial plus-points of using blockchain, a number of challenges also arise from its adoption.  To encounter them, it is essential to establish when making a private blockchain which platform would suit best for deployment. Even though transactions in the blockchain are secure, vulnerabilities within the infrastructure may be used by scammers with ill intent. By having integrated security within the infrastructure, you can: 

  1. Prevent both, users and admins, from gaining access to sensitive information
  2. Reduce chances of data or applications being changed by fraudsters 
  3. Lessen the risk of encryption keys being misappropriated by using employing the best security standards

Thanks to these capabilities, the entire blockchain network can benefit from the added layer of protection that is needed to combat cybercrimes and attacks.

After deliberating over this throughout the post, you must have realized that Blockchain Technology is about much more than just Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. 

With the potential to ensure better security in monetary transactions and bringing a revolution in supply chain management, mastering blockchain could prove to be a game-changer for your industry.

Nancy Rean Hacker Noon profile picture

@nancyreanNancy Rean

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Nancy Rean is an avid reader and a writer by heart. I am a contributor writer.

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