It is possible that blockchain applications can make life easier. This is because for much of what you do every day will be:
A previous post gave a general list of blockchain applications. This post will give more information.
The University of Piraeus made the following diagram that shows the general categories for blockchain applications. The type of blockchain applications that may be made available in each the categories is given below.
Business and industrial applications
The type of blockchain applications for the business and industrial category are:
- supply chain management
- energy sector.
Supply chain management
The following are the two most important outcomes for blockchain applications in the supply chain:
- Blockchain applications in the supply chain will let buyers and sellers transact directly. Thus, it will not be necessary to use an intermediary. The result will be lower costs and shorter delivery times.
- The security and auditability for blockchains will help to identify counterfeit products. This is important for food safety and pharmaceuticals.
The following are the two most important outcomes for blockchain applications in the energy sector:
- Blockchain applications in the energy sector will make new business models and marketplaces, such as local or regional ownership and grids. These energy communities can better operate a safe and efficient utility.
- Blockchain applications can be used for to certify the type, such as fossil fuel or green energy, and geographic location for energy production. Thus, the energy production will be less harmful ot the environment.
Governments are trusted to manage and store official records for citizens and enterprises. The security and auditability for blockchains will help governments decrease corruption and make government services more efficient.
The type of blockchain applications for the governance category are:
- public administration
- electronic voting (e-voting)
- notary and law
- proof of existence
- identity management
A blockchain application that uses smart contracts (SC) can connect a record to real-world contracts. Blockchain applications can increase the trust of citizens in their government because:
- it will be easy to file a document
- the stored documents are secure
- the time to locate and authenticate documents will be short
- the cost to complete government services will be low.
Because a blockchain is an open-source application and can be independently verified, it can have the following results:
- make the voting process easier
- decrease the cost of elections
- increase the trust and confidence in the results.
Notary and law
There are three primary blockchain applications for legal documents:
- proof-of-existence (PoE)
- proof-of-ownership (PoO)
- proof-of-integrity (PoI).
A PoE blockchain shows the existence of a document and its creation date. It does not show the contents in the document. A PoO blockchain is used to show a transaction made between individuals and/or companies. This information can be used to show proof of ownership. A PoI blockchain is used to verify if a document, record, agreement, or contract is authentic.
These legal blockchain applications are used to certify the contents of documents. Since the information stored in the blockchain can be verified and audited, dispute resolution for transaction becomes easy and the conflict decision is trusted.
Proof of existence
It is thought that one-sixth of the world’s population have no documents that can prove their existence. Blockchain applications can be used to show accurately who someone is and contain the following personal information:
- date and place of birth
- contact information
- credit record and other important information.
Internet of things
The type of blockchain applications for the internet of things (IoT) category are:
- electronic business (e-business)
- distributed device management.
Retails businesses will use IoT blockchain applications to do e-business transactions. In these applications an IoT device connects directly to a user’s cryptocurrency bank account. The IoT device could be a vending machine, an electric vehicle charger, etc.
Distributed device management
IoT companies can use blockchain applications to optimize their operations to decrease production time and costs. It is possible to automate an operation with an IoT blockchain application. The following are the two examples:
- use a “smartgrid” with interconnected smart devices and SC to route the workflow
- use a distributed networks of RFID sensors to prove provenance in the manufacturing process. Thus it will not be necessary for a third-party to give authentication.
A blockchain is a distributed ledger and data management is its most important property. The type of blockchain applications for the data management category are:
- human resources
- data distribution.
Blockchain applications are used in Human Resources (HR) because blockchains are:
Blockchain applications in HR are used to:
- store records of current employees
- help HR become more efficient to hire new employees.
Blockchain applications for secure data distribution are used to exchange data between enterprises as well as internally within an enterprise. These blockchain applications are used in “big data” solutions. The decentralization of the data makes blockchain applications for data distribution efficient. Although the data is decentralized, these blockchain applications use cloud storage and/or external hard drive storage.
The type of blockchain applications for the healthcare management category include:
- storage of healthcare records
- automate the processing of health insurance claims
- to share patient medical data.
But to manage a patients’ healthcare records (EHR) is the most accepted healthcare management blockchain application.
Privacy and security
The type of blockchain applications for the privacy and security category are:
- secure storage
Blockchain applications are thought to be the most secure to keep data private. They are more secure than the hardware and software solutions that are used at this time. The secure storage blockchain solutions are used on:
- distributed computer networks
- IoT devices
- mobile phones
- radio networks.
A transaction on Bitcoin is pseudonymous and transactional privacy is one of the most important unsolved problems in blockchain applications. The possible solutions include:
- mixing services
- zero-knowledge proofs.
A mixing service breaks the connection between your old address and the new one. A mixing service will transfer a cryptocurrency from X input addresses to Z output addresses. It sends cryptocurrency from you to other people, and their cryptocurrency to you.
A zero-knowledge proof is a type of cryptography that keeps secret the information about a transaction. In a zero-knowledge proof, one party (the prover) proves to a different party (the verifier) that they know a value V, without it being necessary to give the value V.
The type of miscellaneous blockchain applications are:
- charity and philanthropy
- manage event tickets
- environmental management
- to share computational resources, such as grid and cloud computing.
Blockchain integrity verification applications are used to store transaction information related to the creation and lifetime of products or services. The type of blockchain applications for the integrity verification category are:
- intellectual property management.
Counterfeit integrity blockchain applications are used primarily by banks to prevent fraud.
Insurance integrity blockchain applications are used to
- become more efficient
- automate some operations where possible
- decrease the time necessary to process a claim
- decrease cost.
Insurance companies use integrity blockchain applications:
- in sales
- to underwrite contract
- for customer onboarding
- to process claims
- make payments
- to transfer asset
- for reinsurance.
The for intellectual property (IP) protection for digital assets are used to:
- authenticate ownership
The digital assets that can use integrity verification blockchain applications are:
- online broadcasts
- video clips
- digital images
- digital music files
- other licensed or brand-sponsored content.
In the future, financial blockchain applications will be used in different part of economy, such as:
- general banking and business services
- The securities market and their derivative contracts
- capital markets and financial auditing.
But, at this time most blockchain applications in the financial category are:
- prediction markets.
Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin are the most valuable cryptocurrencies. These cryptocurrencies are primarily used for digital payments and are used globally. A second use for these cryptocurrencies is an investment.
Financial blockchain applications are used in prediction marketplace systems (PMS). A PMS is an exchange markets used to predict the outcome of an event. The participant in a PMS get a financial gain for correctly predicting future real-world events. There are largest prediction markets are for:
The type of blockchain applications for the education category are:
- certification management.
In a blockchain application used for storing reputational rewards, a teacher lists the learning achievements of students. In a blockchain application used for educational certificate management the following information is listed:
- board accreditations and certifications.
It is possible that blockchain applications can make life easier. At this time, only a small number of blockchain applications are being used. But it expected that more blockchain applications will be used in the future. This post gave basic information about the different blockchain applications in the following 10 different categories.
- business and industrial
- internet of things
- data management
- healthcare management
- privacy and security
- integrity verification