Who today would not know about Cryptocurrency or at some time point would have had some interest in Bitcoins? If you have ever heard about these, then you would have definitely heard about Blockchain and Blockchain applications. A lot is happening in the Blockchain world and for you to understand that, you must know some basics of Blockchain. So, by the end of this article, you would be well versed in the basics of Blockchain and several Blockchain Applications. The topics covered in this article are: What is Blockchain? How does it work? Top 15 Applications in Blockchain Conclusion
In simple words, Blockchain is a digital way of saving information in a way that it is nearly possible to change or hack that information. So, Blockchain can be referred to as a digital ledger that records information electronically or a distributed database that is distributed across all the nodes in the computer network.To understand even better let’s see how a Blockchain is different from a typical database. So, while a typical database stores information in forms, a Blockchain stores or collects information in blocks. These blocks have their storage capacity and all of them are closely linked with each other. So, whenever a new block is filled it becomes a part of the Blockchain and you can always find the timestamp of when that block was added.
No doubt, Blockchain is often referred to as the future of the internet because of the marvellous services it provides. It can create a repository of data that is not only accessible worldwide but is extremely secure, unfilterable, and uncensorable. So, it is considered that Blockchain is something that will contribute to building the internet's third generation.
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Blockchain also known as Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) because of its attributes works in the following simple steps:
The first step is the initiation of a transaction. Here, initiation means that two parties involved in the transaction meet and undergo a digital transaction. This digital transaction could be an exchange of digital currency or some other valuables.
The transaction that happened in the previous step becomes a part of the pending transactions which in turn makes a block. Now, this block is sent to the network of the Blockchain system of all the participating computers.
Now, the transaction is evaluated and verified by the participating computers. It is checked if the transaction is valid and in accordance with all the rules. Once there is consensus among all the computers, the transaction is considered verified.
Every verified block has a cryptographic hash with which it is timestamped. Also, these blocks have a reference to the previous block’s hash which in turn makes a chain. This chain is a chain of records that binds all the transactions closely making sure that the data stays untampered.
Lastly, the transaction is executed when the valuable assets or digital currency moves from one party’s account to another.
Now, that you know what is Blockchain and how it works, let’s have a look at the applications of Blockchain
Here, in applications of Blockchain, let’s have a look at the top 15 of them.
One of the most popular applications of Blockchain is money transfers. Blockchain technology makes money transfers cheap and more reliable than by any other means. Blockchain transactions prove their worth when it comes to offshore transactions which usually take days and are expensive too, but with Blockchain, they can happen within minutes.
Blockchain Technology doesn’t stay limited to money transactions but can also provide security to other technologies. One such widely accepted technology is the Internet of Things (IoT). While IoT is gaining popularity, the risk of using it is also increasing as the system can be hacked and data can be accessed by the wrong sources. So, here Blockchain can be used to protect data from breaches and securely store passwords on a decentralized network which otherwise is stored on a centralized server.
Though the use of Blockchain in the Healthcare sector is still new, there are a lot of significant contributions that the technology is making. Not only does the technology provide a streamlined business process or help in smooth access to information but also makes sure that the personal details of patients are securely stored.
Another application of Blockchain comes with the tracking of weapons where it could be used to prevent the sale of illegal weapons. The technology can be used to track weapons from their place of origin to their final destination and the best part is every transaction that happens in the process is recorded.
NFTs or Non-Fungible Tokens is one of those Blockchain applications that has been widely accepted by the world. NFTs refer to digital items, which could be GIFs or music or any videos that are being sold on Blockchain as now owners can claim the full rights of their digital assets. Some of the most popular NFT companies or ecosystems include Candy, Dapper Labs, and Pixura.
Another application of Blockchain is in the Insurance sector where smart contracts can be used to provide transparency to all the stakeholders and these contracts make the overall process faster too. Also, once all the information is stored over Blockchain, no customer can make a duplicate claim.
Real estate is all about hefty transactions which involve a huge amount of paperwork. But, with Blockchain technology, all the transactions can be secured over the decentralized server making the entire process secure, smooth, fast, and accessible.
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Blockchain is known to keep data far more safe than traditional methods in decentralized systems so it is widely used to secure personal information like bank details, social security numbers, passwords etc. The information can be securely accessed by the involved stakeholders, especially in industries like healthcare, travel, and finance.
There are a lot of things that can be sorted using Blockchain in voting like nobody will be able to vote twice, no tampering of votes will happen and only the eligible people can vote. Most importantly, with Blockchain voting with just one button click can be enabled which would not only increase the number of voters but will also reduce the overall cost incurred in elections.
Blockchain Technology contributes to tracking items that are being transferred through a supply chain company or any logistics. The technology makes it exceptionally easy for both parties to stay in contact as the flow of information becomes smooth as now every detail is stored in a public ledger. Also, the data with the company is extremely secure now and cannot be altered. Most importantly, it increases the sense of trust between Logistics and Supply Chain Partners as the flow of information becomes accurate and up to date.
One of the less popular applications of Blockchain in the music industry. Here technology can play a vital role in managing content creation, licensing, distribution, usage, and payments. It will enable musicians to have more control over their musical assets and how they want to distribute them.
Blockchain is also used in the gaming industry where users can now play and earn easily. The technology has given rise to a term called “Crypto-games” where users can play a game, win and earn cryptocurrency. Then this digital currency can be either used to buy something in the game or can be encashed too. Furthermore, Blockchain makes it easy for gamers to become a part of virtual gaming events or tournaments.
Blockchain can be used to prevent money laundering by making sure that the data is not manipulated. The technology stores all the information in a digital ledger which is extremely secure and can only be accessed by identified users. These identifications will be based on biometrics taken by the users so if any financial theft happens, these users can be tracked and held responsible.
Blockchain has great applicability in the media domain where a lot happens concerning data privacy, intellectual property, and royalty payments. So, Blockchain can be used to bring the media out of this problem and enable a smooth and secure flow of information, especially payments. The technology will also enable advertising companies to figure out who their right customer is and musicians will not have to worry about their royalties.
Blockchain contributes a lot when it comes to cybersecurity. With the technology coming in, now the transactions don’t need to happen over traditional methods but can happen over the Blockchain where the transactions are protected by cryptography which makes the entire system immutable. For example - Mastercard today uses Blockchain for secure transactions and also enables the exchange of currency without any interference from the central authority.
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By now, you would be well versed with everything you need to know about Blockchain and Blockchain Technologies. In the beginning, you learnt about the basics of Blockchain and how it is revolutionising the world. Moving forth, you learnt about the five steps in which Blockchain technology works.
Once you knew the basics of Blockchain and how to implement that, you went on to check the applications of the technology. In that section, you became well versed with the top 15 applications of Blockchain and how it is accepted across the world.
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Some of the best applications of Blockchain include Money Transfer, Internet of Things (IoT), Cybersecurity, Healthcare, and Non-fungible tokens.
Some of the most popular examples of Blockchain applications include Mastercard and BitExchange.
Blockchain is used across the globe for securing data, financial exchange, real estate, and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). Not just Blockchain is also used in segments like healthcare, insurance, media and advertisement, fundraising, and secure token offering.
Blockchain is being used in various industries like travel, healthcare, finance, and education as the technology helps them securely access the data, identify information, and let the right stakeholders access it smoothly.
Blockchain is the future or you can also refer to it as the “creation of the third generation of the internet” because of its worldwide accessibility, extremely secure and unfilterable environment, and transparency.