Connect with us

Data security

Beyond cryptocurrency – 3 industries reaping the benefits of the blockchain boom

Published

on

In 2008, blockchain was invented to serve as the public transaction ledger for the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. While Bitcoin’s popularity demonstrates blockchain’s usefulness in tracking and supporting monetary transactions of digital currencies, many advancements have been made to the underlying technology over the last decade, extending its potential and use cases across virtually every industry. Today, technologists from academia, startups and Fortune 500 companies alike, are experimenting with new ways to apply blockchain to transform operations through greater transparency and accuracy.

Following are three major sectors of the economy harnessing the power of blockchain to solve everyday, real-world problems.

Healthcare

Despite incredible advances in surgical technologies and astonishing medical breakthroughs, the healthcare industry is rife with operational inefficiencies due to fragmented, antiquated data systems that don’t communicate effectively. Further exacerbating the issue is the fact that a significant amount of data is still stored in paper form and transmitted from provider to provider via fax machines, a technology most industries put to rest decades ago.

By integrating blockchain, patients, hospitals, insurance companies and others participating in the healthcare value chain can seamlessly share access to their networks without compromising data security, patient confidentiality or integrity. There is so much potential for the technology that internationally acclaimed institutions like The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai are dedicating teams and significant resources to evaluating the biomedical and healthcare use cases.

With blockchain, doctors can finally get back to focusing on what matters most – patient care.

Education

Similar to health care, much of the documentation done in the academic sphere – from primary school through university – happens via archaic data systems that aren’t designed to communicate with one another, let alone external entities. Verifying academic credentials and transferring student records are no exception and are, perhaps, two of the easiest pain points solved with blockchain.

The privacy-preserving, highly secure and immutable nature of blockchain makes it a natural fit for effectively streamlining the verification processes and significantly curtailing fraudulent claims of unmerited educational credits, a pervasive problem that can tarnish an organization’s reputation and cost them millions in wasted resources and legal fees. According to the 2018 Annual Employment Screening Benchmark Report by HireRight, fabrications are commonplace and often center on educational credentials. More than 80 per cent of employers reported catching a lie or misrepresentation on a resume or job application and nearly a quarter reported finding invalid education credentials.

Many educational institutions have already taken notice and are implementing blockchain solutions to improve operations and reduce costs. For example, Massachusetts Institute of Technology started issuing digital certificates to some graduates last year and Central New Mexico Community College, the first community college to offer digital diplomas, has even taken blockchain integration one step further by accepting tuition payment in crypto.

This is only the beginning and I expect that we will continue to see a great deal of innovation in this sector along with rapid implementation.

Real Estate

If you’ve ever bought or sold a property – or know someone who has – you’re likely familiar with the severe lack of transparency at all stages of the sale as well as the copious amount of paperwork required to complete the complex and costly process. Add to that numerous middlemen and opportunities along the way for human error, fraud and misinformation and the need for a modern-day overhaul seems obvious.

Beyond merely using cryptocurrency to purchase property, blockchain’s potential for reducing friction with transactions of all kinds and automating record-keeping tasks has significant implications for the brokers and agents, local governments, investors and attorneys involved in residential as well as commercial real estate. The technology and its inherent transparency and immutability make it easier to accurately register property records and transactions, execute deed transfers and expedite closing times.

Blockchain isn’t the panacea for all that plagues the global real estate market, which is expected to reach $4.3 trillion by 2025, but it does show significant promise for drastically reducing headaches as well as the time and money spent on real estate transactions.

As you can see, blockchain is on its way to transforming many of the world’s largest industries. The aforementioned examples are just the tip of the iceberg for what is to come, as individuals and institutions continue to pour resources into exploring ways to use this emerging technology.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about why cryptocurrency is the peoples’ currency, please upvote my panel in the SXSW PanelPicker and leave a comment about why this topic interests you. Check out Bitcoin IRA’s other SXSW panel about building the right compliance department here. Voting ends on Thursday, August 30 (9:59 PM PT) so make sure to get your votes in before then.

Continue Reading

Latest

Companies