Blockchain is already revolutionizing industry, not just finance

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The blockchain is often associated only with cryptomonnaies speculative who launched the technology in the mainstream press: mainly Bitcoin. However, the result of this exposure is the relative oblivion of blockchain technology itself, as well as its real-world applications that are happening now.

Bitcoin is far from overthrowing gold or replacing fiat money , but some of the benefits of a large, immutable, incorruptible data ledger are slowly starting to show. Here is a brief list of industries that are already seeing their efficiency increase and their technology grow thanks to this technology.

LOGISTICS AND SUPPLY CHAINS: AN UNFALSIFIABLE PROVENANCE

The inherent inviolable nature of blockchain makes it a fantastic platform on which product supply chains can operate. This tool would make it possible to ensure with certainty the origin of each material and each component of a given product.

One of the companies that does exactly that is VeChain, a company that is developing its own blockchain for supply chain management. The company is currently based on the Ethereum blockchain, but plans to set up its own main blockchain network by the end of Q2 2018. And if their broad development plan is to be believed , VeChain still has a lot to do.

WaltonChain is another company trying to create more connected and rigorous supply chains. Also based in China, WaltonChain appears to have much more state support than VeChain, with some commentators claiming the company will be an integral part of  China's important “  New Silk Road ”.

While the two companies in the supply chain are largely synergistic, WaltonChain generally focuses more on business-to-business commerce, while VeChain focuses more on business-to-consumer commerce.

VOTING: CHEAPER REFERENDUMS

The cornerstone of the democratic process is to ensure that people can vote independently for the candidate who represents their interests. In this regard, the Blockchain makes it possible to keep an immutable record of the votes cast in an election, which makes it inviolable.

Horizon State , an Australian company, is at the forefront in this area. It is currently deploying its voting software in Indonesia, which will make voting more secure and cost effective. However, Horizon State does not focus solely on national elections, and its co-founder Jamie Skella has offered several other applications of secure voting, including to reduce costs and red tape generated by referendums.

CONTRACTS: THE ADVENT OF SMART CONTRACTS

The legitimacy of contracts depends on that of their mediator. In most modern situations, this role is taken on by a bank or a government, although in the future we might increasingly give this role to blockchain.


The idea of ​​a "  smart contract ", in which two parties agree to a contract backed by the blockchain, is an essential feature of the Ethereum platform. This is not only because smart contracts define rules and sanctions like a traditional contract, but the Ethereum blockchain automatically enforces these obligations if the terms of the contract are met.

While cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin will one day allow you to buy homes in good standing, smart contracts on Ethereum will allow you to automatically make mortgage payments.

But smart contracts are important for something other than these functionalities, as this technology has the ability to take some of the power away from centralized institutions (e.g. banks and governments) and put it in the hands of individuals. In this sense, smart contracts embody one of the founding principles of blockchain and cryptocurrency.

COPYRIGHT: SIMPLIFICATION AND DEMOCRATIZATION

Copyright and online download services have had a checkered history, to be polite. From Napster to Megaupload to The Pirate Bay, people have always looked at the internet as a way to grab something without necessarily paying for it.

Some companies, such as Binded , use blockchain technology to create individual digital signatures for photographers' work. The idea is that once a digital signature has been created and immortalized on the blockchain, no other individual can appropriate the rights to it thanks to the evidence provided by the Binded blockchain.

This technology is not exclusive to photos, and we will no doubt see other areas of copyright (such as code, music, or movies) protected by new services. While copyright is now mostly used by large companies ( sometimes abusively ), blockchain allows small players to prove indisputably that they own something online.

DATA STORAGE / DATA ACCESS: A NEW LEVEL OF SECURITY

Anyone who's watched a good heist movie knows how expensive it can be to put all your eggs in one basket. This is also true for the digital space, where websites are constantly the target of hackers , and where databases are regularly hacked.

The blockchain makes it possible to offer almost absolute security in the storage of data, and several start-ups are trying to exploit this characteristic. In the field of medical data storage, the use of blockchain makes sense: it would ensure that a patient does not reuse the same prescription, while ensuring that his data remains private. Companies such as Medicalchain have developed technology for this specific purpose.

Tamper-proof, automatable, free and accessible to all: blockchain technology is interesting in many ways, and not just for creating cryptocurrencies. If bitcoin had the merit of popularizing the concept, it also made people forget that this technology can have very many applications. We are only seeing the beginning, and if one thing is certain, it is that we have not finished hearing about blockchain.

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