Blockchain is a decentralized database technology that is designed to offer safe, secure, and unchangeable transaction records.
Simply put, Blockchain is a data structure using which we can store and authenticate data in a decentralized manner. It’s more like peer-to-peer architecture, with its mechanisms providing data security.
It was with the advent of cryptocurrencies (a peer-to-peer electronic money system) that blockchain came into prominence. However, there seems to be a branding issue with blockchain, which is believed to have arisen from its close link with NFTs (nonfungible tokens) and cryptocurrencies.
What is blockchain? A blockchain is a distributed database that maintains blocks—a list of ordered records that keeps growing continuously. These blocks are connected, and each block has a timestamp, a cryptographic hash of the preceding block, and transaction data.
With the core characteristics of blockchain technology being decentralization, automation, transparency, and immutability, it is applied to a range of industries, eventually creating several modern use cases. Let’s take a look at the popular blockchain use cases and industry applications.
Top Blockchain Use Cases
Being a general-purpose technology, blockchain is applicable across different sectors.
Due to their permanency, distributed nature, and transparency, blockchains have been considered highly secure. In fact, there isn’t any centralized database to breach or a central entity to attack, making it extremely challenging for criminals to force an entry.
Inventory management and asset tracking that make use of IoT are the two common uses of blockchain when it comes to supply chains. It is also used in IoT devices to record measurements captured by the sensors in any place, be it on a NASA drone surveying the moon, the Amazon jungle, or a manufacturing plant.
Blockchain is a great way to accurately document transactions in the world of cryptocurrency and offer privacy for the parties involved.
NFTs, an acronym for non-fungible tokens, are blockchain—based tokens; each NFT represents a distinct asset-it could be digital content, media, or a piece of art. A blockchain actually secures the NFT’s ownership. Moreover, blockchain technology makes ownership transparent and thereby secures the investor.
Real-world industry blockchain applications
Here are some significant applications of blockchain in both the public and private sectors.
Well, the possibilities of blockchain applications in healthcare are endless. There are many potential use cases, including protecting healthcare data, managing electronic medical records, safeguarding genomic information, and keeping track of diseases and outbreaks.
In government agencies, there are several blockchain use cases, such as personal identification security and voting applications. Blockchains can hold digital IDs, passports, and certificates of any kind, as their data cannot be manipulated.
Blockchain technology is used in different types of financial applications, including trade finance and banking. Blockchain simplifies financing processes by streamlining financial transactions. It saves a considerable amount of time on these processes.
Supply chain management
Blockchain is a great fit for supply chain management because international supply chains are complex, lack visibility, and have no central authority.
Media and entertainment/Gaming
Gaming and the media and entertainment industries are rich platforms for blockchain use. The industry of video games is quickly adapting to the use of blockchain technology, especially NFTs.
As far as the media and entertainment industry is concerned, a blockchain-based platform allows artists to self-publish, upload their original works, manage distributions, and control licensing options. Moreover, blockchain technology programs royalties for every piece of content into a smart contract, which, upon usage, can be automatically paid out to the creator.
Today, blockchain technology provides endless possibilities across industries, and companies are working to make the most of the technology to create new revenue streams instead of suffering from disruption.