It is not surprising that many people who hear the word Blockchain Technology associate it with Cryptocurrency. After all, Blockchain Technology is the backbone of most Cryptocurrencies. Using its decentralised public ledger, Blockchain keeps a record of all transactions transacted in cryptocurrency in a secure, and immutable way.
But Cryptocurrency is not the only application of the technology. Blockchain Technology can also be used in Property Management, Smart Contracts, Electoral Voting, and in Supply Chain Management
Cryptocurrency is a form of digital currency that is transferred electrically through a network of computers. It was built to solve the problem of bank-delayed money transactions and third-party negotiations involving money transactions. Third-party negotiations have been found to be unsafe recently therefore cryptocurrency was created to safely make a purchase or transfer money that is much harder to track.
Because of the obvious security and privacy concerns involved in Cryptocurrency, it employs the use of Blockchain Technology. With Blockchain, the “blocks” store the transaction information, the participants involved in the transaction, and a unique cryptographic code called “Hash” that distinguishes one transaction from another.
These “blocks” are then verified by a network of computers and added to a “chain”, and once added, they can neither be changed nor deleted. In the case that they are changed, all subsequent nodes following the changed node should also be changed. This makes the technology impossible to hack hence a perfect fit for Cryptocurrency.
The process of physically recording your rights to a certain property, whether tangible or intangible, can be costly, time-consuming, and exhausting. Furthermore, due to human error that might be generated in record-keeping, tracking the ownership information can be a futile task that can lead you to lose your property.
Using Blockchain Technology however within the real estate or intellectual property industry would be beneficial. Any form of data can be easily viewed and managed through an open-source ledger. Because of this ‘digital ledger,’ managers can account for the ins and out more easily and quickly. This decreases the risk of property owners being exposed to fraud, identity theft, shady business mediations, and untransparent property transactions.
Any real-world issues that we face can be countered with blockchain applications making financial services more efficient, reliable and safer. Blockchain-based applications can collect huge amounts of data (big data in other words) but still record and track them all with little margin of error making property management easier and more efficient.
Physical contracts have their own share of difficulties. Other than one party failing to uphold the negotiations in the contract, there is also the possibility of fraud, downtimes, and untrustworthy third-party involvement.
Smart contracts or digital contracts are self-automated computer programs designed to enable parties involved in a contract to carry out the terms of a contract agreement. This prevents all these problems associated with physical contracts. In other words, smart contracts act as an individual’s digital identity.
The digital identity would then be added into a Blockchain application to ensure the terms of the agreement in the contract are carried out in a smooth, transparent, and automatic way. If one party fails to uphold the contract, the smart contract will automatically eliminate the contract and refund the other party making it faster and more efficient than physical contracts.
To get rid of the election fraud and low voter turnout in Electoral Voting, Blockchain can be introduced in the voting process.
With Blockchain Technology, once the votes are cast, they are stored in “blocks” and then added to the Blockchain. Once the blocks are added to the chain, it will be extremely hard to change them and, if one block is changed, other subsequent blocks are also required to be changed.
This would therefore make it almost impossible for the electoral results to be tampered with. Plus, the transparency involved in Blockchain will make it easy for Voting Regulators to observe any changes made in the network.
Supply Chain Management
Products sold from a company do not always make their products or materials. They collect materials and products from another company in order for your product to be created or given to you as a final product. There is a chain of suppliers found within a company which eventually contribute to the final product.
For this reason, if one supply industry fails to deliver, or if there is delay or disagreement in the supply chain, the brand can incur losses which is why keeping on top of it is crucial. This is where Blockchain Technology comes in.
Blockchain Technology can prevent all this by facilitating real-time tracking of goods within the supply chain. This allows the consumer and easy allocation of goods to different companies and providing a dynamic way of organising tracking data.
Blockchain can help companies verify the originality of the products they produce by keeping a record of the origins of the materials from the supply chain.