We have most certainly come across the term blockchain and other related topics such as cryptography, cryptocurrency, bitcoins and so on. I personally couldn’t differentiate among all these terms way back in 2014, but as the coins became so popular and on scene even in our local and online shops, learning and adaptability kicked in and now, I would like to share with you some ways on how blockchain is applied in real business putting aside all the other terms such as Bitcoins.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is Blockchain?
- 1.1 So, How is Blockchain Applied In Real Business Apart from Bitcoin?
- 1.2 Here are the 14 ways Blockchain is applied in Real Business
- 1.2.1 1. Media, Content Distribution, Authorship and Ownership
- 1.2.2 2. Banking and Cannabis (Cash-Heavy Businesses)
- 1.2.3 3. Precious Metal, Commodities and Real Estate
- 1.2.4 4. Data Management, Storage, Authorization and Authentication
- 1.2.5 5. Energy
- 1.2.6 6. Gaming and Gambling
- 1.2.7 7. Government and Organizational Governance
- 1.2.8 8. Internet Of Things
- 1.2.9 9. Market Forecasting, Trading Ownership
- 1.2.10 10. Social Networks
- 1.2.11 11. Network Infrastructure
- 1.2.12 12. Philanthropy Transparency and Community Service
- 1.2.13 13. Ride-Sharing Services (sharing economy 2.0)
- 1.2.14 14. Supply Chain, Travel, Healthcare, and Hospitality
- 1.3 In Closing
What is Blockchain?
Blockchain is the world’s leading software platform for digital assets. Offering the largest production blockchain platform in the world, they are using a new technology to build a radically better financial system where their software has so far powered over 100M transactions and empowered users in 140 countries across the globe to transact quickly and without costly intermediaries. They also offer tools for developers and real time transaction data for users to analyze the burgeoning digital economy.
As of today, the Blockchain company has 22,000,000+ wallets, 160,000 daily transactions, serving over 140 countries, and at the same time has powered over 100,000,000+ transactions.
Blockchain has raised over $70,000,000 from the leading investors in Silicon Valley, Wall Street, and London.
So, How is Blockchain Applied In Real Business Apart from Bitcoin?
In brief, I would say, there are several ways on how blockchain is applied in real business though, in this article, I will focus on the most commonly used, and proved solutions that businesses are implementing in there day to day operations. In my research, I discovered that come businesses where more comfortable using a specific service compared to another. Let’s say like in the trading of precious stones, gold, silver, etc.
Here are the 14 ways Blockchain is applied in Real Business
1. Media, Content Distribution, Authorship and Ownership
helps artists and creators to attribute digital art via blockchain. Ascribe’s marketplace allows generating digital editions with a unique ID and a digital certificate of authenticity to prove provenance and authenticity. It also allows to accept consignments from artists and transfer digital works to collectors with all the terms and legals.
is creating a global solution that simplifies music distribution and puts power back in the hands of artists and their fans. The platform uses bitcoin as its primary currency, and both artists and music buyers earn bitcoin automatically as part of the platform’s buying/distribution process.
is a music streaming, music retail (download), talent discovery and fan engagement platform that allows everyone – content creators and consumers – to make a living from music. The solution lies in the underlying peer-to-peer network (called MUSE) that PeerTrack uses to simplify, automate and remove much of the costly overhead. Other than the streaming and downloading of music, PeerTracks allows tipping, patronage and even the buying and trading of Notes of any artist.
is a smart content platform where anyone can join and earn rewards, collect, promote and share media and contribute to the network.
enables standardized metadata collection, storage and reporting for the music industry using blockchain technology.
2. Banking and Cannabis (Cash-Heavy Businesses)
is one of the examples of blockchain companies in the cannabis industry. Serica brings software engineering, crypto finance, financial custody, and blockchain technology to traditional custodian finance. It allows entrepreneurs to establish their business legitimacy through the largest network of verified customers in order to grow conversions, registrations, memberships and average order sizes. Serica’s Secure Socket Layering Technology encrypts all communications between a user’s personal wallet and Serica. Serica uses the blockchain in order to track and record every purchase of medical marijuana, providing businesses an easy way to accept payments online.
Banks are exploring various use cases of blockchain in areas like payments and settlement of currencies, asset registries, enforcement and clearing derivative contracts, regulatory reporting, KYC, AML registries, improving post-trade processing services, etc.
is a platform for moving, converting, transacting and holding any form of money or commodity. The company connects banks, credit and debit cards and bitcoin to digital wallets for free financial services and transactions. Businesses and consumers can fund their Uphold accounts via bank transfer or by linking a credit/debit card in addition to bitcoin.
3. Precious Metal, Commodities and Real Estate
enables individuals around the world to buy gold and silver bullion securely and efficiently. The company’s investor-friendly platform sits on top of global vaulting infrastructure, providing an online account for buying gold and silver and holding precious metals. Goldbloc, the company’s gold-backed cryptocurrency adds an additional layer of transparency and control to users’ gold investment. Backed by one gram of gold, the company believes its cryptocurrency to be the first step to bringing gold back into the monetary system.
The diamond industry is one of the biggest natural resource industries and makes a substantial part of the GDP in African countries and other major diamond-miners. The hallmark of the industry is that it is highly criminalized. Stones are small and easy to hide and transport. The best part for criminals is that transactions can be made confidentially and the sell returns the value over years. Diamonds are known to be involved in money laundering and financing of terrorism on a truly massive scale around the world.
Due to a range of challenges with diamonds business, one of the tech pioneers in the sphere is. The company provides an immutable ledger for diamond identification and transaction verification for various stakeholders, from insurance companies to claimants and law enforcement agencies. Everledger assigns a “digital passport” to each diamond that will accompany each stone as it is transacted and creates a unique fingerprint.
offers a simple user experience for securely recording, tracking, and transferring deeds with its SaaS blockchain platform. The company is helping real estate, title, and mortgage companies benefit from a clean record of ownership, reducing future title search time, increased confidence, and transparency. UBITQUITY’s platform is meant to be a parallel recording and tracking system to the current legacy paper one. When transactions occur all relevant information about the property are put on the platform.
helps housing associations and large property managers monitor the vital signs of their assets using smart home technologies.
4. Data Management, Storage, Authorization and Authentication
is one of the most notable blockchain companies applying distributed ledger to the non-financial market – in this case, data management. The company uses blockchain-based identity ledgers in database management and data analytics to support various applications. Businesses and governments can use Factom to simplify records management, record business processes and address security and compliance issues. Factom maintains a permanent, time-stamped record of data in the blockchain that allows companies to reduce the cost and complexity of conducting audits, managing records, and complying with government regulations.
An increasing number of organizations and political parties have proposed the creation of a blockchain-based system to build a fairer and more transparent voting environment. In 2014 the Danish political party, Liberal Alliance, proposed using the technology for e-voting.
One of Nasdaq’s latest initiatives aims to migrate proxy voting, used by shareholders, onto a blockchain solution. Nasdaq will test blockchain technology to “better manage and streamline the proxy voting process,” starting with a Nasdaq market in Estonia.
File Storage – Peer to Peer file sharing networks removes the need for centralized databases and heavy storage areas. IPFS (Planetary File System) – an innovative protocol is complimenting this big change.– is one of the startups seems to be using blockchain (as per their website)
With this use case, blockchain is not necessarily restricted to funds transaction, DLT can be used for the storage of all types of data and transactions in a secure and open way. Moreover, creating an identity on blockchain can give individuals greater control over who has their personal information and how they access it.
By combining the decentralized blockchain principle with identity verification, a digital ID can be created that would act as a digital watermark which can be assigned to every online transaction of any asset.
claims to be the only company in the world that is dedicated to the entire value chain in the energy industry. Founded in May 2016 by three founders with a complex background in the energy, financial and information industries, the lab is working on the energy revolution and is working with partners to develop a range of energy-based Internet technologies based on blockchain technology, covering energy production, consumption, trading, management and other links.
Within the energy industry, there are other areas where talented entrepreneurs found a way to apply DLT. Among interesting examples are:
, a decentralized energy data exchange platform, hosting a range of applications to facilitate energy data analysis and benchmarking, smart grid management, trade of green certificates, investment decisions and energy trade validation.
by is based on an open-source, cryptographically secure decentralized application platform. Its business logic layer delivers real-time metering of local energy generation and usage as well as other related data. This open energy platform is transparent, auditable, non-repudiable, peer-to-peer and cryptographically secure. Friction in the market is reduced by allowing different classes of users to transact openly on the platform.
6. Gaming and Gambling
Blockchain even found its fans in gaming and gambling industries with some colorful examples, proving that there are no limits to the fantasy of imaginative entrepreneurs.
is a virtual world in which players can own tiles, farm them for blocks and build things. The entire state of the world is held in and all player actions are made through the decentralized, trustless blockchain.
Made possible by smart contracts and oracles in the blockchain, theis a platform that lets eSports players challenge each other on the field and win rewards. The company has built a decentralized eSports reward platform that every gamer loves.
claims to be the most honest social invitation game you will ever see because no one can change the logic. Even the owner or developer. It’s an Ethereum algorithm based on contract verified by . It’s an invitation-only game that rewards gamers with Ether from each invited participant up to 7 levels. The idea is to invite and build your own Etheramid network.
7. Government and Organizational Governance
Not only has blockchain been applied to ensure the transparency and integrity of the political system, but there is also a project called, the world’s first virtual nation. BITNATION has citizens, ambassadors, partners and locations all around the world. There are no entry barriers.
is another interesting case – the company has built a platform to reshape the way citizens interact with their government representatives. Advocate is the only “always on” platform that works in both campaign and governance (coming soon) phases of government ensuring continuity amongst supporters and reducing the need to campaign in cycles.
There is also a governance platform– a coalition of globally accessible governance services forged out of smart contracts that live on the .
As for solutions for effective governance within organizations, there are such examples as(technology helps automate the mechanics of forming, funding and governing your company), (provides a complete blockchain governance platform for organizations), (allows people around the world to build companies online) and more.
The blockchain can improve record keeping in the public sector. It helps to reduce fraud and corruption by substituting the system with a transparent, distributed ledger. Blockchain can be used for vehicle registries, digital identities for individuals, voting records and benefits disbursements etc.
E-voting –offers a secure and transparent online voting solution that uses and to ensure that election results are honest and accurate. The company is developing an online open source voting platform that provides transparency into election results by allowing voters to independently audit the ballot box.
8. Internet Of Things
, a San Francisco-based technology company , signaling a major step forward in the growth and interoperability of the consumer Internet of Things. Built on the Ethereum blockchain, the registry stores the identities of physical items, initially consumer goods and collectibles embedded with BLE and NFC microchips. In doing so, a secure, interoperable digital identity is established and new, proximity-based consumer engagement opportunities become possible. Chronicled has open-sourced the project under the Apache License.
is building the first decentralized IoT stack, to ensure that devices can securely communicate and transact value without any siloed infrastructure required.
connects the Internet of Things to real-time analytics performed on the edge node. It is a hub that links the home network to the cloud and electrical devices around it.
Telecom – Blockchain can support Internet of Things (IoT) applications by supporting transaction processing devices. The distributed nature of the ledger can foster coordination among multiple devices.
Media – Media sector applications include low-cost micro-transactions that can be processed without the fees that existing payment networks require. A newspaper website can charge readers per page or per article rather than per month. The blockchain can secure intellectual property and creative digital products like music and images etc.
9. Market Forecasting, Trading Ownership
is an open-source, decentralized market prediction platform built on the etherum blockchain. It allows users to trade on the outcome of events, and for the market to then leverage that crowdsourced information. Augur plans to use decentralized public ledgers to create a way for anyone in any field, from finance, healthcare and governance, to tap into the collective forecasting power of a global user base.
Trading Ownership in online marketplace (Example –Ownership of any digital property can be established in a peer-to-peer decentralized fashion. Blockchains will be applied to establishing and trading ownership over anything on the internet. This opens up the potential for pre-sale tokens representing ownership of tickets, merchandise, products, subscriptions, even rights to influencers’ time, to be created, distributed and then exchanged on a platform that supports this method.
10. Social Networks
According to, open-source DSN allows different servers to be linked through the same software. It is a kind of social network that is able to ensure strong privacy standards because user data can’t be stored or controlled by any central agency or owning company (which is the case with Facebook and other classic social networks). So far, decentralized social networks ( ) are at a very early stage of development. Here are few examples that have been by professionals: , , , and .
DSN enthusiast,, Founder of , predicts that the future of social networks lies in decentralized platforms. As Sengbe , “…decentralized social networks are going to become the norm, based on the reward incentives they will work. <…> A generation is starting that may never use Facebook because they can’t understand the concept of feel-good likes over monetary likes.”
11. Network Infrastructure
is a platform and a programming language that makes it possible for any developer to build and publish next-generation distributed applications. Ethereum can be used to codify, decentralize, secure and trade just about anything: voting, domain names, financial exchanges, crowdfunding, company governance, contracts and agreements of most kinds, intellectual property, and even smart property thanks to hardware integration.
offers blockchain as a platform for financial institutions and is working on a smart contract platform that allows for digitizing and representing workflows in a secure, private and efficient way.
12. Philanthropy Transparency and Community Service
Charity programs rarely provide donors information on ROI of particular projects, which creates obstacles for cultivating trust and getting people to donate funds. Fortunately, blockchain technology can be helpful in building transparency into operations of charities and allowing donors to track how successful their funds have been applied. Among interesting companies applying DLT to governance and transparency of charities are, , , by BitGive Foundation, a donation platform for nonprofits to provide transparency and accountability to donors by sharing financial information and direct project results in real time.
13. Ride-Sharing Services ()
One of the most important properties of blockchain technology – the elimination of the need for central authority and middlemen – could become a backbone for the real sharing economy, or sharing economy 2.0. In the current model, every ‘sharing economy’ service has a central authority, while similar services built and operating on blockchain technology would directly connect supply and demand in the most efficient manner.
In the ride-sharing industry, for example, Uber and Lyft and two dominant players leading the pack. Both are brands that consumers and drivers trust to match supply and demand. Soon enough, blockchain could fundamentally transform the model with the next generation of companies taking over the niche.
If you can authenticate a driver or rider without Uber, which is what very early-stage playersand are hoping to offer, Uber and Lyft become unnecessary for drivers to share their profit with.
14. Supply Chain, Travel, Healthcare, and Hospitality
While companies likeand offered solutions for diamonds and digital artwork industry to fight counterfeit, in the food industry, there’s , one of the most interesting initiatives aimed to create .
The way Provenance aims to bring transparency into supply chains is by implementing supply chain certification on the blockchain.
The company suggests that every step of the supply chain carved into the body of the blockchain will allow to securely audit all transactions that brought the final state of being into effect, i.e., to inspect the uninterrupted chain of custody from the raw materials to the end sale.
Travel and Hospitality – A shared distributed ledger can simplify the settlement process. Blockchain technology can support loyalty points programs that include a more advantageous accounting of liabilities, real-time updating of points balances and improved points management across franchised operations.
Healthcare and life sciences – blockchain technology can secure digital assets. Blockchain can be used to store healthcare records. The cryptographic security can enhance records security while the unalterable and absolute nature of transactions can make claims processing more efficient. Blockchain-secured health records could make it easier for patients to share records with numerous providers while keeping control of the records.
As mentioned in the start of this article, there are several other reactions on how Blockchain is applied in real business. There are statements that mention that the whole idea is half-baked. Blockchain use cases are emerging weekly, but this technology is not applicable to all business and operational problems. It’s worth examining both the underlying benefits of blockchain as well as the associated challenges before we adopt this sensitive and useful concept.
Performance and functionality need to be improved when it comes to blockchain technology. Look for blockchains to evolve and for database companies such as Oracle to take a particular interest and involvement in how they evolve.