Originally devised by the ingenious Satoshi Nakamoto (pseudonym attributed to an unknown person or persons who developed this instant technology), blockchain is not just a buzzword of tech corridors, rather a transformational technology whose reverberations are set to invade every possible field human beings currently depend on.
For starters, blockchain is a decentralized general digital ledger or a data structure that creates a registry of transactions and shares it among a distributed network of computers. There is no need for a central authority and the potential applications are innumerable. What’s more, this technology has no single point of failure or central points of vulnerability which can be exploited by hackers, rendering storage of your data far more secure and incorruptible than it can be through traditional methods of storage.
The technology’s penetration and value can best be summed up in TEDx Speaker Ian Khan’s words, who says: "Blockchain truly is a mechanism to bring everyone to the highest degree of accountability. No more missed transactions, human or machine errors, or even an exchange that was not done with the consent of the parties involved.”
Blockchain technology works best for cryptocurrencies that have already created a bedlam of virtual currencies in the financial markets. Nevertheless, what started with developing bitcoin (also popularly known as "digital gold"), has now progressed to finding new and improved uses for the blockchain technology. Discussed herein are multiple other areas where blockchain technology has been utilized and is set to become transcendental in its outreach and benefits.
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PATRON: PATRON calls itself a one-stop shop for social media influencer brands. A leading Japanese blockchain company, PATRON is set to build a decentralized influencer-marketing platform. There are around 8 million influencers in the world. Their business model is similar to Airbnb. Their aim is to create next-generation services for influencers that receive widespread fame domestically and internationally. The world population is its target. It intends to create a sharing economy mastering the credibility of P2P transactions. PATRON is where influencer’s SNS delivery frame are tokenized using blockchain technology. PATRON-ICO's founder and CEO Atsushi Hisatsumi has proven how influencer market is much deeper than just PR and show. Its administrative parent, Extravaganza, is a major player in software development and marketing technology.
IXO foundation: A new operating system for the impact economy, this new protocol is built using blockchain technologies, Web3 standards and impact evaluation protocol. It is one of the most exciting start-ups of 2018. It basically brings together individuals and organizations onto a single platform to login and records charitable activities, volunteering, and social contributions. Anyone can evaluate, measure and trade verified impact data and store the data in a decentralized Global Impact Ledger. These tokens or rather credits can be exchanged for funding at the Decentralized Impact Exchange. It fits in the UN Secretary General’s call in 2015 for a Data Revolution for Sustainable Development. With greater awareness for humanitarianism, the foundation believes that these tokens would become extremely valuable.
Simply Vital Health: Recent cyber-attacks on major medical facilities and hospitals have demonstrated the perils of outdated digital infrastructure. Blockchain technology could help create secure digital health records for every stage of a patient regardless of changes. SimplyVital Health claims to have built the first HIPAA-compliant blockchain for the healthcare industry that generates revenue. It is a healthcare solution, rather a customer-friendly database platform that empowers both providers and patients to access and share their healthcare data. Two products are at the helm of this blockchain solution. The first of these is ConnectingCare, where healthcare providers can receive incentives and compensation from insurance companies. It is like a rewarding system for healthcare providers for the quality of their service. Health Nexus, on the other hand, is the decentralized secure platform of health care providers for data sharing and collaboration for improved treatment results. With solid backing from the Yale University, it is set to enter the $300bn market.
Digital Asset: Digital Asset is a blockchain solution to financial institutions across global markets and has been hailed as one of the most promising investment destinations in the startup world. It boasts of some of the leading global investors such as Citi, JP Morgan, Accenture, BNP Paribas, IBM, Goldman Sachs and more. Digital Asset offers flexible infrastructure to share processes and data securely. It juxtaposes distributed ledger with financial modeling language. They claim to meet the strictest requirement of regulated marketing infrastructure. Their products are confidential, analyzable, auditable, and extensible, remove the cost of reconciliation and have synchronized workflows. This platform bypasses wasteful cost and risk and facilitates rapid product innovation.
OpenBazaar: This is a peer-to-peer application that connects people directly via a P2P network, where the data is distributed instead of being stored in a central database. Interestingly, OpenBazaar is a free open source software and not a company per se. With no monopolized control, each user who contributes to the network has control over their own store and private data. One can expect swift transactions at OpenBazaar using more than 50 cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Zcash, etc. The revenue model of this venture-backed enterprise is by selling value-added services to users.
Quite evidently, blockchain technology has touched new frontiers and is redefining the way people transact and do business with each other. Transparent and effective without the need for middlemen to monitor and execute transactions, blockchain in this present day and age finds maximum users in the finance sector, with international remittances surpassing millions in 2016 in the US itself. With the promise of enhanced security and more, this technology can be ideal for optimizing clearing and settlements, resulting in massive global savings annually.
The path for blockchain technology has been paved, it is only a matter of time before its functionality becomes more of an integral part of people’s lives than the shining promise it has been held out to be at the moment.