The Internet of Value
The brightest hours of Bitcoin and his fellows are yet to come but undoubtedly Blockchain’s characteristics have the potential to be the catalyst of an Industrial Revolution 4.0. Blockchain enables new ways of defining & transferring value while building virtual trust between various parties. Public Blockchains will help us solving real-world pains like stagnant productivity & banking the unbanked. New fintech applications have the potential to solve many issues of today’s banking industry. The cryptocurrency list is nearly endless but which popular industries are most likely to be disrupted rather today than tomorrow?
Logistics and Supply-Chain-Management
This industry sector includes all processes in the supply-chain from rising raw materials, transporting, packaging and verifying until the fully packaged ready-to-buy products in your shop. Logistic and assurance companies like Maersk or DNV GL are currently part of this massive industry sector. Blockchain-based logistics management offers new levels of efficiency & transparency to its distributors and customers.
One example is the cold-chain-logistic solution of Vechain & DNV GL. The Chinese startup is already working in cooperation with major logistic & assurance companies like DNV GL, Kühne & Nagel and local grocery stores in China. They have developed a solution for convenient food, sensitive for temperature. IoT-sensors placed in containers, trucks and storage rooms along the supply-chain measure the temperature and store all data directly on the Vechain Thor Blockchain. Consequently, the consumer is able to simply scan a QR-code on his (e.g. Sushi-box) and immediately sees if his meal was handled, transported and stored correctly with the right temperature. Due to the fact that all data is stored on the immutable Blockchain, everybody can be sure that no data is tampered or distorted.
P2P Energy Trading
Today we handle our energy-supply centralized. Profit-orientated companies are providing energy for whole populations but the sector is strongly changing since the liberalization in the late 90’s. The new trend goes to alternative energy sources and decentralized models.
A startup called Power Ledger, located in Australia is developing a completely decentralized peer-to-peer energy marketplace where every energy consumer can be an energy supplier too. Power Ledger firmly believes that the future belongs to renewable energies like solar power systems which ultimately leads to everyone producing his own electricity. Power Ledger wants to support this trend with a fitting platform. The idea is that people can connect to each other without any hesitance transferring as much energy as needed. All without central intermediaries, without fees and with immediate pay-outs through their own cryptocurrency called „Sparkz“.
Digital proof of ownership
Today’s available tools of securing digital proof of ownership are highly ineffective, cost-intensive and unreliable. Most internet users misunderstand the usage of digital data or cannot actually reach the original owner. On the contrary, right-holders got very few options to actually protect and track their digital property. Copy track solves this pain with their solution offering a decentralized register for digital property. Right holders have various tools to track, manage and secure their digital content while potential users can easily identify the owner. Payments can be executed fast at low-cost through their own cryptocurrency.
New decentralized fintech applications may disrupt institutions that have been influential for several hundreds of years, the banks. With the invention of Bitcoin, the first transnational currency was born and its future looks promising.
Bitcoin and other alternative coins enable immediate and secure transactions no matter what amount you are planning to send or who you are. There are no authorities collecting personal data or expecting certain requirements. You are in fact able to transfer billions of dollars from the US to China completely for free. Poor people would be given the possibility to own an account to execute microtransactions worldwide for free. The only thing required is an Internet access. Nowadays, banks have no interest to offer such services. Blockchain would open these doors.
Of course, regulatory bodies have to first specify the statutory framework. Money laundering and tax evasion are still major concerns for governments. KYC-processes will be applied on various levels and will probably be the security standard for all cryptocurrency exchanges in the near future. Nonetheless, the disruptive force of cryptocurrency and its potential for our future is truly amazing.
The decentralized ledger of Blockchain is destined to transform this industry and ensure the patients quality healthcare data accessible at every time, everywhere. At the moment, clients have no access to any health records or historical data about past doctor reports, specific diagnosis or the last tooth extraction. Dentists, surgeons & specialized doctors are all storing their data separately on central servers independently from each other. The need of a database is imminent for patients as well as for the healthcare industry itself.
It is a time-consuming and cost-intensive procedure for doctors to get information about their clients’ past medical records. Creating a database that secures all health-related data of all registered clients which at the same time enables the clients to securely access their health history, is a game-changing idea. Once again Blockchain is in the pipeline to get things wrapped up.
A project called Medical chain is currently aiming for a decentralized database storing all data concerning your health on a public Blockchain with integrated security layers. Not only that, but they are also developing IoT healthcare sensors which directly store measured data from doctors on the Blockchain. Thanks to the availability of different security layers doctors can then adjust which data is destined for whom. They can create different security layers for clients, other doctors or insurances as well. The decentralized aspect of Blockchain makes sure that the database is invulnerable for data leaks or potential hacks and that no data gets distorted.
All examples above just display a minuscule part of all present Blockchain applications. The Supply-Chain-Management sector itself is currently working on over 150 different Blockchain use-cases and there are still more to come. It is difficult to keep track of all recent developments in the sector but what we assume is that Blockchain disruption is inevitable. Higher efficiency, more trust & transparency will shape our future economy.
Written by Ato Herzig