Even though blockchain has been a part of business and industry for the last 10 years, they are still regarded as some kind of esoteric technology. Perhaps, it has to do with their association with computer science and advanced mathematical skills. In recent years, some organizations have adopted this technology for various reasons, but the adoption still remains minimal.
Below we have highlighted areas where adoption of blockchain can prove to be highly beneficial and effective.
Today, energy generation and distribution are monopolized in several countries. In the process, consumers have to pay high energy bills. Blockchains are making energy distribution more efficient, thereby reducing the energy bills of the consumers. In recent times, many individuals have started putting up solar panels on their rooftops to generate power.
Owing to the blockchain technology, they can trade surplus power with their neighbors and record the transactions on the digital ledgers. This means that all such transactions will be publicly verifiable and permanent. In the case of traditional electricity generating companies, when power is traded from one entity with another, often such transactions are opaque and full of mistakes. This means that the end consumer ends up paying for the inefficiencies of the power companies. This inefficiency will go when blockchains are adopted by not just the individual consumers but also the big companies.
There are lots of inefficiencies in the standard supply chain process. When goods are despatched from factories to the consumers' location it passes through warehouses, custom depots, toll points, retail shops etc. At each of these points, a fresh transaction takes place and an invoice is generated. In many cases, these transactions are incorrectly recorded. Sometimes, genuine goods are replaced with contraband and nobody gets to know about it. This is how inefficiencies creep up in supply chains.
Many companies like Walmart (NYSE:WMT) are using blockchains to reduce these inefficiencies. Whenever a transaction takes place, it is recorded on the digital ledgers and there is no way these transactions can be erased or modified. Each of these transactions is verified by all the users on a block. Companies like DeBeers also uses this technology to ensure that no 'blood diamonds' get into its trading system. Similarly, Walmart keeps a check on its product outsourcing using these digital ledgers. If a certain food product has to come from a supplier in China, the company ensures that the right product comes into the supply chain. Likewise, all payments and receipts are verified by the company on its private blockchain.
Medical and health insurance sector professionals must also adopt blockchains. There is a high need for adopting this technology in the medical insurance sector. There is a lack of transparency regarding the benefits of reaching the ultimate beneficiaries. Since several intermediaries are involved, there are several inefficiencies in the health insurance delivery process. Blockchains help in making this process efficient. Just as in the case of supply chain companies, here to the blockchains verify the users and the transactions.
Similarly, this technology keeps medical records secure. Many medical companies say that their records and other critical information are often stolen by rival companies. Blockchain can prevent this kind of pilferage. Another used case of blockchains in the health sector is tracking the despatch of medical samples. For example, when a blood sample is sent from a patient to a lab, it passes through several hands. Blockchains verify each individual user so that the entire despatch process is dependable and leak-proof.
Blockchain - A Revolutionizing Technology
It is high time that governments worldwide realized that blockchains are meant to make lives simpler. The technology reduces the need for intermediaries and brings down transaction costs. Unfortunately, many governments believe that blockchains are all about illegal activities. But, if this technology has to succeed, its biggest adopter has to be the government.