Blockchain Reality – For Which Applications is Blockchain useful?

20. July 2020 - from Pascal Marco Caversaccio

Editor's note: Not every product, service or business logic is suitable for a blockchain based solution. The third Blockchain Blog is dedicated to the sense or nonsense of blockchain based solutions. Pascal presents applications from 10 different sectors, for which the blockchain technology proves to be particularly promising.


When you think about blockchain, the first thought that usually pops up is Bitcoin. I have also caught myself doing it. And I am in the blockchain space since 2014 and I have been involved in many different ventures. Of course, this inevitably raises the question of how laymen can think further than just Bitcoin and cryptocurrency speculation.

Well, that is the purpose of this blog post. First, you have to understand that blockchain is much more than just Bitcoin and cryptocurrency speculation. Why is this the case? Well in very simple terms, the blockchain is a decentralised database. A cryptocurrency is therefore only an additional feature of the blockchain. Every product or service that relies on a database in the background can be based on a blockchain per se. However, the question that naturally comes up here is always the following: “Is the benefit of the blockchain technology in line with our product or service offering?”

To address this question, every company must be well aware of the values of the blockchain:

  • decentralisation,
  • immutability,
  • security,
  • traceability, and
  • transparency.

Once you grasp the basic understanding, you can think about whether there is a business rationale for a blockchain-based offering. You also have to realise that, depending on the use case, a blockchain-based solution may limit the flexibility for future product development. In general, I urge you to avoid the following mistake: Since many companies want to capitalise on the blockchain hype, they re-engineer their product to make it blockchain-compatible. This will fail in most cases! 

The goal of this blog is to highlight 10 specific sectors with particular blockchain use cases that have concluded that the application of the blockchain technology is highly promising for their business activities. Since we are still in the fledgling stages, and we are far away from being able to describe the projects as suitable for mass deployment, it is not possible for me to provide a conclusive assessment of the success or failure of these projects. What I can say, however, is that it remains exciting and I would urge you to continue to follow the development!

Industrien mit Blockchain Anwendungsfällen
Promising applications based on blockchain technology can be found in these sectors

Financial Services

  •  Coinbase is a secure brokerage platform that makes it easy to buy, sell, and store cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Tezos, and many more.
Coinbase Frontend
The Coinbase frontend makes buying and selling crypto currencies simple
  •  Uniswap is a fully decentralised protocol for automated liquidity provision on Ethereum. Through their protocol they empower developers, liquidity providers, and traders to participate in a financial marketplace that is open and accessible to all.
  • Augur is a decentralised prediction market platform that runs on Ethereum. In essence, users can bet on the outcomes of future events using Ether (Ethereum’s native cryptocurrency) or REP (Augur’s native cryptocurrency).

Real Estate

  • Crowdlitoken is a security token that combines the benefits of direct and indirect real estate investments, eliminating inefficiencies, reducing costs, and ensuring full transparency. The token is the digital form of a subordinated bond.
  • Atlant has developed a platform that uses blockchain technology to facilitate real estate and rental property transactions. By tokenising real property, assets can then be traded much like stocks on an exchange and transactions can be done online.

Healthcare

  • MedRec is the combination of a social need with a technological enabler: a blockchain-based system that prioritises patient agency, giving a transparent and accessible view of medical history.
  • Solve.Care is building an innovative blockchain-based healthcare platform for care coordination, administration, and payments.

Retail

  • OpenBazaar is building an Amazon-like decentralised marketplace where goods and services can be traded without intermediaries.
  • Loyyal is a blockchain-based universal loyalty framework that aims to allow consumers to combine and trade loyalty rewards in new ways, and retailers to offer more sophisticated loyalty packages.

Cybersecurity

  • Remme is a decentralised authentication system that aims to replace logins and passwords with SSL certificates stored on a blockchain.
  • CryptoMove is a software platform that provides a secure distributed datastore for keys, files, streaming video, or any other type of data. 

Government

  • e-Estonia refers to a movement by the government of Estonia to facilitate citizen interactions with the state through the use of electronic solutions. Part of these solutions shall be blockchain-based.
  • Democracy.earth is an open-source project aiming to enable the creation of democratically structured organisations, and potentially even states or nations, using blockchain tools.

Charity

  • BitGive aims to provide greater transparency to charity donations and clearer links between giving and project outcomes. To do so, they leverage the power of Bitcoin and the blockchain technology.
BitGive Frontend
BitGive enables Bitcoin donations

Transportation

  • IBM Blockchain focuses on a wide range of blockchain applications in the transportation and logistics sector. An example is blockchain-based vehicle leasing.
  • Webjet is developing a blockchain-based solution that enables efficient tracking and trading of the inventory of empty hotel rooms, with payment being passed fairly to the network of intermediaries involved in filling last minute vacancies.

Manufacturing

  • Storj is a distributed and encrypted cloud storage that allows users to share unused hard drive space. 
  • Provenance is a platform, powered by blockchain and open data, that gathers and shares key product information and journeys in a way that’s secure, trustworthy, and accessible.

Media

  • FilmChain collects, allocates, and analyses revenues in film, TV, and other digital media. The goal of the Ethereum-based platform is primarily to encourage transparency in the distribution process where stakeholders can be compensated without the need for a middleman.
Filmchain Frontend
FilmChain aims to promote transparency in the distribution process
  • Audigent is a new type of transparent data platform for advertisers in the entertainment, sports, and lifestyle space. Its approach purges fraudulent IDs and duplicates through verification and provides auditability across multiple blockchain ledgers.

It is truly exciting to see all these projects. I am convinced that not all of them are going to be successful long-term ventures, but if they indicate one particular aspect, then it is the vast industry agnostic potential that the blockchain technology has to offer.

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