Blockchain technology has completed its transition from geek tech to mainstream acceptance. From banking to healthcare, blockchain business applications are transforming the way data is stored, accessed.
With 84% of companies already dabbling in blockchain technology, opportunities in this nascent market are there for the taking.
In this article, we will look at more than a few blockchain business ideas. We delve into real-world applications to see the impact it is having across a wide variety of industries.
Blockchain Business Opportunities
Assessing how can blockchain be used in business is like shooting at a moving target. The use cases just keep on coming.
The blockchain uses we will discuss here include the following:
- Smart Contracts
- Connected Car
- Internet of Things
- Marriage Certificates
- Food Safety
Let’s get started.
Nevermind that blockchain — the backbone of Bitcoin — was created to circumvent traditional financial institutions. Or that banks originally feared obsolescence if unregulated currency ever went mainstream.
Blockchain, it seems, now has a new friend, and it is none other than the global banking system.
Blockchain Brings Banks Together
In 2017, a consortium of the world’s largest banks joined forces to exploit the benefits of blockchain technology. The consortium, known as the Unity Settlement Coin (USC), includes the following member banks:
- Credit Suisse
- Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
- State Street
USC is a digital currency created by Switzerland’s UBS bank, in conjunction with UK-based Clearmatics. By exploiting the benefits of blockchain technology, USC partners expect to make it faster and safer for central banks to settle transactions.
Wall Street Getting Chained Up
Meanwhile, Wall Street has formed its own blockchain consortium, The Wall Street Blockchain (WSBA).
WSBA is a non-profit trade organization dedicated to helping participants adopt distributed ledger technology and smart contracts. By educating partnering financial firms on blockchain technology, WSBA helps financial institutions to confidently and competently adopt blockchain solutions.
The full-court adoption of blockchain by major banks and Wall Street firms represents a tremendous opportunity for blockchain development in the financial industry. Now that banks have decided that they had better stop fighting blockchain technology and start adopting it, the door is wide open for companies that can provide blockchain solutions to financial institutions large and small.
Anytime the question arises how can blockchain help business, smart contracts end up a part of the answer. These “mini-programs” automatically execute agreements between various parties when certain conditions are met.
Applications for Smart Contracts
What kind of agreements? All kinds. Stock trades, real estate transactions, and supply chain management are just a few of the many applications for smart contracts.
Since smart contracts execute automatically within a blockchain, there is no middleman to manage the transaction or collect fees. You could think of a smart contract as a peer-to-peer legal agreement. However, they can do much more than represent legal contracts.
Here are a few examples:
- Royalty distributions in the entertainment industry can be automated.
- Medical records can be secured by smart contracts so that only certain persons can access them, and only under predefined conditions.
- Public transportation scheduling can be automated according to pre-programmed rules.
- Property titles can be automatically managed and transferred
- Loans can be processed automatically.
Blockchain for business applications invariably requires automation. Smart contracts are the key to making that automation flexible. scalable, and secure.
The automotive industry expects the connected car market to exceed $219 billion by 2025. The road to mainstream adoption of IoT vehicles will be paved, in large part, by blockchain technology.
Blockchain Applications in Automotive
Blockchain will serve the connected car industry in many different ways. Each of them provides a golden opportunity for 3rd-party development in the year ahead:
- Automating supply chain management tasks.
- Facilitating the encryption, transport, distribution, and storage of the massive amounts of data connected cars generate every minute.
- Serving cloud-hosting services for OEMs and 3rd-party service providers.
- Tracking vehicle location, operation, and maintenance throughout the vehicle’s lifetime.
- Keeping V2V and V2I data secure from cyber criminals.
For companies looking to catch a ride on blockchain, there is no better place to innovate than in the connected car market.
The blockchain impact on business is being felt nowhere more than in the healthcare sector. From patient admittance to recording surgical results, every patient represents a torrent of data that must be kept accurate, accessible, as secure.
No technology can satisfy the requirements of healthcare like blockchain.
Blockchain Applications in Healthcare
Unlike conventional medical record databases, every entry or modification becomes a new, sequential data block within the blockchain. Whether entering new patient data or updating a patient’s contact information, every change becomes a new record with its own date and timestamp.
Blockchain business examples in healthcare abound. Here are a few ways blockchain technology is already being used to keep us well:
- Storage of patient medical records.
- Tracking data through clinical trials.
- Providing healthcare provider directory management.
- Automating insurance approvals and providing eligibility information.
- Tracking inventory for medical devices, supplies, and equipment.
The healthcare blockchain market is both open to innovation and lucrative.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) technology cannot be over exaggerated. With everything from cars to connected homes hooking up, the market for technologies to support IoT is enormous.
Blockchain Applications in IoT
The IoT market is slated to top $2.48 trillion in revenue by 2022. An increasing number of tech companies are looking for ways to carve out a share of that market. the result is that blockchain business use cases are now entering the landscape.
One of the best opportunities awaits innovators who can make IoT data move more quickly and remain secure using distributed ledger technology.
Here are a few applications where blockchain is being used to make IoT fast, flexible, and secure.
- Automating community solar energy cooperatives.
- Hosting unit-tracking platforms for law enforcement.
- Hosting and automating smart city Internet of Infrastructure (IoT) processes.
- Offering trust and verification solutions to the IoT industry.
- Executing smart contracts between components of the IoT infrastructure.
The IoT market and blockchain make a perfect marriage of technologies. Innovators who can join the two together will have no problem breaking into this ripe market.
In today’s global environment, threats of terrorism require every valid solution we can throw at them. Few concerns are more pressing than controlling who crosses our international borders.
Blockchain Advantages for Passports and Visas
Because of its many security features, the adoption of blockchain for travel passports and visas is inevitable. While counties are, so far, slow to transition to digitized passports, many are considering it. Eventually, most will have no choice.
The advantages that blockchain-based travel authorization offers are manifold and include:
- The process of receiving a passport can be reduced significantly.
- The same information is available to all authorized users in real time.
- Changes that suddenly limit or restrict a person’s right to travel become effective immediately.
- Travel providers can automatically check a customer’s travel authorization before selling them a ticket.
- Authorities can quickly track suspected terrorists’ travels in real time.
Don’t toss out your old passport just yet. But a digital version is on the way.
Something as simple as a certified marriage certificate can become a major frustration when you need one in a hurry. Traditionally, getting yours meant going to a government office to make the request. Then there is often a waiting period of up to seven days.
Blockchain Marriage Certificates Already Available
Washoe County, Nevada (USA) has simplified and modernized the process by putting marriage certificates on the blockchain. Still, in the pilot phase, the county has contracted with a blockchain firm to develop a custom blockchain solution for them.
The digitized process for obtaining a certified marriage certificate includes:
- Placing an order for your certificate by phone or mail.
- Your certificate is created on the Ethereum blockchain and assigned a cryptographic hash.
- A copy of your certificate is emailed to you as a PDF.
- The PDF can be shared, and verification credentials are included in the file.
Blockchain may not make marriage any easier, but at least it makes it more official.
Of the many business applications for blockchain, the insurance industry presents one of the best opportunities for disruption. Blockchain can easily organize, track, and secure data. It can also execute agreements. All of these can benefit every kind of insurance.
Blockchain Advantages in Insurance
Here are just a few advantages insurance companies are already reaping from using blockchain for insurance:
- Processes are simplified.
- Turnaround times are reduced.
- Improved efficiency and risk management mean reduced premiums.
- Fraud detection and prevention is greatly improved.
- Policy information and owner health/driving history is available to authorized parties.
Regulatory compliance remains the primary challenge to full adoption. Even so, there is no stopping the disruption that is sure to transform the industry.
No one wants to think about it, but everyone needs it. A will that is. Without an official will and testament, the government — not you — decides what happens to your assets and belongings.
Blockchain Advantages in Estate Management
While a conventional paper will is better than nothing, blockchain offers something better: digital estate management. Here are some of the advantages blockchain offers:
- Secure storage of information regarding bank accounts.
- Information regarding grave location and pre-planning can be stored in a centralized location.
- Storage of information regarding how the owner wishes the property to be distributed.
- Direct storage of digital assets, such as cryptocurrencies and stocks.
- Smart contracts minimize the need for attorneys.
Blockchains solves another problem, too. They can keep all of the information inaccessible until the owner’s death.
There’s more history to the food you eat than you may know. Of course, meats, fruits, and vegetables all must be grown, transported, and processed before arriving in your grocer or restaurant, but there’s more to the story.
What you may not realize is that each stage involves a myriad of safety processes that must be followed. A failure anywhere along the way can introduce foodborne pathogens, or make the food unsafe in other ways.
Blockchain is the ideal technology to keep the world’s food supply safe. What makes it so is blockchain’s ability to enforce process compliance. Indeed, food safety represents one of the hottest blockchain business trends.
Blockchain Advantages for Food Safety
Blockchain business opportunities are also prevalent in the food industry. A few examples of where blockchain can detect breakdowns in the food supply chain include:
- Detecting that a grower failed to perform soil testing.
- Detecting that the air conditioning failed on a tractor-trailer delivering food to market.
- Identifying delays in shipment that could reduce food’s shelf life.
- Detecting failed quality checks during food processing.
- Reporting a failed sanitation inspection at the restaurant.
Using smart contracts and IoT technology, blockchain can keep an eye on your berries from the tree to the table. If any safety step gets missed along the way, smart contracts will not let the berries go any further.
Blockchain is already getting the attention of major players in the food industry. Walmart and Nestlé have joined with eight other companies to form the IBM Food Trust. Working with IBM, the consortium of 10 companies plans to use blockchain to make food supply chains more accountable, and our food safer.
How Ignite Can Help
The blockchain business potential is beyond comprehension. With the power of DLT to benefit nearly every aspect of our professional and personal lives, blockchain based business opportunities have only begun to be explored.
But capitalizing on business opportunities in blockchain isn’t easy. To tap this market, you need a technology partner who knows the way. That is where Ignite comes in.
We offer world-class outsource development solutions for emerging markets such as blockchain. Our expertise in Automotive, Cloud and Fintech technologies enable us to innovate competently across a multitude of industries.
Whether your offerings involve banking, smart contracts, connected car, healthcare, or IoT, we stand ready to be your technology partner.
We invite you to contact us for a no-cost consultation. Start making your blockchain business impact today.