In the minds of many people, the term "blockchain" is still associated with the circulation of digital assets. However, the possibilities of the technology are much wider: today it is used in medicine, logistics, at purchase and sale of precious stones, and, of course, in the fintech sector. The security and transparency of the blockchain can be useful in any activity where there is a high risk of fraud and errors while transmitting information.
Today we will tell you where a distributed ledger is already used, what problems it can solve, and where its implementation will be most promising in the future.
According to IDC Health Insights, blockchain technology can take hold of the healthcare industry by 2021. With its help, the storage of patient data, medical history can be systematized and become available anywhere in the world, the loss and falsification of medical documents can be eliminated, the supply chain of medicines from the manufacturer to the points of sale can be controlled and much more.
Thus, Estonia has implemented blockchain solutions on a national scale. The country launched the eHealth Foundation which has digitized all citizens' medical records for more convenient interaction with doctors. And the international company FarmaTrust uses a distributed ledger for tracking pharmaceutical products quality during deliveries, which helps to reduce costs and waiting time for subsidized medicine, to exclude its counterfeiting.
Meanwhile, in Russia, the United Medical Corporation has developed a program for tracking drug circulation in hospitals using the Ethereum Blockchain as a Service based on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.
In civil aviation, blockchain testing was carried out back in early 2017. Since then, many airlines have actively taken advantage of distributed blocks, which solve the problems of analyzing pilots’ of private companies proficiency, identifying tourists, offering an accelerated passport verification process, and much more.
The Russian airline S7, for example, uses blockchain to issue and sell tickets. Such transactions are carried out on the basis of Ethereum, which reduced the purchase time from 24 hours to 23 seconds. And New Zealand's largest airline, Air New Zealand, has implemented the technology so that customers can track their luggage, and insurance companies can instantly pay compensation if it is lost.
Companies specializing in commercial transportation are already willingly implementing blockchain, because this technology contributes to the creation of absolutely transparent deliveries, and also protects the interests of both the owners of the goods and the end consumers. And the decentralized applications developed for this make it possible to understand where the order is at a specific time frame and in what conditions it is stored.
For example, the well-known North American retailer Walmart has implemented the Food Trust blockchain solution in the food delivery process. And Nestlé uses the same tool to manage the supply chain for ingredients such as milk or palm oil. In this way, the company wants to show what their products are made of.
The Everledger project uses a distributed ledger in the diamond industry. Blocks store data on the origin of a gem, its color, transparency, cutting, weight and other information. And Maersk, together with IBM, launched the TradeLens logistics system based on the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain to track shipping freight traffic and exchange customs information between participants in the supply chain.
Counter-piracy and copyright
It happens that creative works are pirated by third parties. Even worse than that, scammers can use them for commercial purpose to gain their own benefit. However, the blockchain is able to solve this problem: the product only needs to be stored in one of the blocks of the chain. The material is hashed, the date and time of encryption is entered into the block, which assigns the rights to only one genuine author.
In addition, blockchain allows to fight illegal downloading of content from the Internet. By placing it in a distributed block, the owner can track content usage. For example, one of the largest television providers in the United States Dish Network has filed a patent application for a new "anti-piracy system" on the blockchain, which allows owners to embed a unique identification mark in the code of the work. This will help to better monitor and enforce proprietary rights by alerting authors when their content is being used without permission.
Blockchain has the potential to dramatically improve the legal landscape, and it can have the greatest impact on the voting process. The technology will eliminate fraud and falsification of voting results, provide an opportunity to vote from anywhere in the world, and speed up the counting of votes.
Previously, the authorities were inactive about the idea of using distributed ledger technology, but the leaders of the state of West Virginia conducted the first experiment with remote voting on the blockchain and claim that they will use the technology during the US presidential elections in 2020.
In many countries, corruption is still a problem. Due to the high risk that funds allocated for charity will be stolen on the way to the addressee, companies often refuse to provide sponsorship at all. However, the blockchain gives transparency to this process and allows donors to track their spending.
For example, Aidcoin platform, developed by CharityStars, provides interaction between charities, commercial institutions, celebrities and allows all participants to independently monitor the transfer of donations.
There are many more areas in which blockchain has already been applied: it is used by companies dealing with data management, energy, entertainment and games, taxation, forecasting, network business and many others. And every year the number of industries and the latest developments based on distributed ledger technology is growing.
CTO of IQeon Yuriy Navadvorski spoke about some areas of blockchain technology application at the Career Today conference. Watch the full performance of the expert and find out why it's important for technicians to start interacting with technology today.
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