How could blockchain impact me?

Many people don’t understand how the blockchain technology works or how it can benefit their lives. Here, we take a look at the potential impact and benefits of blockchain.

Blockchain has been proven to benefit and potentially revolutionise the way the financial sector works, including many other industries. But how does blockchain impact individuals?

There are endless possibilities for the ‘common man’ when using blockchain. Many are unaware and believe blockchain should be left for the experts or developers to use. But as we have seen from the number of benefits it has within society, this is not the case.

But how does blockchain technology work?

Think how reliant society is on data. Data makes blockchain technology work. However, in the general public’s perception, blockchain is still closely associated with Bitcoin, which has experienced a wild ride over the last 12 months, as its price nearly hit $20,000 before stumbling down to less than a quarter of that value.

How is it different from other technologies?

One of the central differentiators of blockchain technology is its reliance on a completely decentralised network of computers to validate the transactions or data inputs on a shared ledger. Instead of the main server acting as the guarantor of the data, the idea of a decentralised network that could validate transactions based on a mathematical verification mechanism to which all computers/servers agree to uphold was the driving force behind blockchain.

Fully decentralised and replicated across thousands of nodes, blockchains are virtually unhackable. This technological feature has attracted the attention and investment of powerful organisations in banking, insurance, and legal services industries.

Healthcare

Blockchain technology could help cure diseases and improve medical treatment across the world, according to a top tech entrepreneur. Blockchain will allow data to be examined for commonalities to help combat diseases and improve treatment without encroaching on personal details.

With new regulations coming into effect, blockchain technology will also provide companies with full transparency and immutability throughout the supply chain. This will hopefully reduce the number of counterfeit drugs being produced and sold to the consumer.

Digital identity

As the World Wide Web is an open space, it makes it very prone to hacking. This makes digital identity a prime concern for everyone, and blockchain could be the solution.

A defining feature of blockchain technology is the immutability of the data it contains. Once that data is recorded and validated by the whole network, it can no longer be changed. The underlying implication of the immutability of records kept on a blockchain is that those records are trustworthy on their own. No central bank or regulatory agency needs to stand by them. Unlike people, data can be trusted.

Use cases

Blockchain has the following potential digital identity use cases:

  • Passports
  • IDs
  • Birth certificates
  • Wedding certificates

Digital voting

One of the largest barriers to a successful democracy is having a transparent voting process. However, by using blockchain, this is possible. Blockchain is able to keep a tally of the votes being made, enabling voters to track and count the number of votes occurring. This way, everyone can agree the final vote is legitimate as they can count it themselves. This makes for a very trustworthy voting system.

Countries have already started experimenting with blockchain in their voting systems, including Switzerland. In Zug, a blockchain-based eID system has been tested since late last year, while local officials in Schaffhausen began a blockchain-based trial in December, giving residents access via their smartphones to local tax, employment, road traffic, child protection, planning, and other department information. Businesses will also be able to use the eID service.

The Swiss government is looking to boost electronic voting in the country, with the aim of launching it in two-thirds of its cantons by the end of next year.

Payments

Blockchain technology allows for cryptocurrencies to be built. Cryptocurrencies are tradeable digital assets built on blockchain technology which only exist online. Having these cryptocurrencies available now means we can pay for a number of things in a safer, much quicker way.

Here is a list of a few places that accept cryptocurrencies:

  • Museums
  • Flights & hotels
  • Travel
  • Shopping

 

And the list goes on, read more here:

 

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