Could Blockchain Revolutionize Your Industry?
Disruption is key to the progress and development of any industry, and the emergence of blockchain technology is set to shake up more than just banks! The idea of blockchain technology disrupting and revolutionizing is relatively new, but large corporations are starting to take note and play around with the technology for their business. Here are five industries that are ripe for blockchain disruption.
Logistics and shipping
Currently, the traditional structure of logistics and shipping mean that there’s plenty of layers that need to work in tandem, but it may not necessarily be the most efficient. As products must pass through several processes before being sent to customers, the introduction of blockchain could help to speed up the workflow. Theoretically, blockchain implementation will ensure that records are entirely accurate, with no products overlooked before delivery.
The nature of blockchain means that the entire industry and all its layers will be accountable to customers and the general public, allowing for accurate tracking of shipments. Smart contracts can also be programmed into the blockchain which will help to validate successful deliveries automatically while “missing” products can also be tracked, minimizing losses and tightening up the delivery process.
Accurate, up-to-date medical records can be stored safely in a blockchain and transferred to authorized parties with ease and efficiency. The integrity of the blockchain ensures that forgery and tampering of information are impossible, meaning that records can be universally accepted and shared within the industry.
Beyond this, financial information can also be tied to individual profiles to create a multi-use profile. This could potentially be used to recommend treatments or hospitals based not just on need, but also affordability. The issue of spiraling medical debt could also be alleviated, with patients and families now able to make fully informed decisions as they now have all the information they need.
At its core, the insurance industry is based on managing trust. Rates and packages are offered based on historical financial and health records, both of which are susceptible to forgery and manipulation. Similarly, potential customers can often be wary of the services provided or hold deep-rooted mistrust towards financial service providers.
Smart contracts could potentially improve the efficiency of the claims process for both parties. For customers, they will no longer have to wade through long, confusing contracts, while insurance providers will not have to worry about devoting resources to combating fraud. The blockchain could be designed to only release payment for valid claims that meet specific criteria, while also weeding out multiple claims for the same incident.
Accounting and auditing
On a foundational level, transactions recorded on the blockchain create verified records that cannot be altered or removed. As all funds going in and out should be logged automatically and accurately, this eliminates the need for manpower to oversee such menial tasks.
Regarding integrity, companies using blockchain technology will have to maintain a single, joint ledger which is publicly accessible. As all nodes on the blockchain work to verify the data, the accuracy of the records is guaranteed. In addition, this makes for an audit trail that is very easy to follow which ensures that tax returns or dividends are paid out correctly and automatically, eliminating financial spider webs that game the system.
On a governmental level, the idea of implementing blockchain technology in voting systems could change the way society views the process. Accusations of vote manipulation and election rigging is not just an issue lobbied in less developed nations; even the last US presidential election in 2016 suffered such allegations.
An immutable ledger viewable to all would represent a huge step forward for integrity at the polls. Using digital identification, votes would still be able to be cast privately but with verification by the blockchain. More importantly, phantom votes cannot be added to the tally, and existing ones cannot be modified.
Fundamentally, the idea of data that is recorded automatically and accurately is applicable and desirable to every single industry today. Both government and private service industries stand to benefit from blockchain implementation; the only questions that remain are when and to what extent?
Cover image from sector.ca