The roaring success of “digital gold” Bitcoin has many organizations vesting their interests in cryptocurrency. For instance, US-based firm Long Island Iced Tea Corp.’s shares rose to 289% after it rebranded itself as Long Blockchain Corp. The company is going to partner with/invest in firms that develop Blockchain. Also, Dubai’s government’s transactions such as bill payments, visa applications, and license renewals are going to be Blockchain-driven by 2020. Blockchain consists of blocks or a continuously growing list of records that are linked and secured by cryptography. At present, Blockchain technology is finding several uses that can disrupt the way the world functions. Let’s take a look at some of the industries, which are leveraging this technology to conduct huge volumes of digital transactions.

1. Financial Services

The first and the most obvious use of Blockchain usage is in financial services. Barclays was the first firm to carry out a trade transaction using the technology. It helped them cut down the time from 7-10 days to under 4 hours. That’s some achievement for sure! Fintech company Thought Machine is all geared up to bring forth a Blockchain bank. It’s going to offer Vault OS, which is a special next-generation OS for banks for supporting a complete range of banking services. The system is going to be inherently secure owing to cryptographic ledgers and Blockchain-style technology, which is going to benefit the customers. Finance is a mere beginning as the technology is all set to solve some of the most challenging issues we have on hand. This takes us to the next point.

2. Elections

Who would have thought Blockchain can change the way the world votes? You heard it right. Blockchain can be employed to cast, track and count votes. Voters can check the transaction of their vote anonymously, lending never-before-seen authentication. This is how the technology is going to surge ahead and nip fraudulent elections in the bud. It has already been implemented 3 years ago when Danish political party Liberal Alliance became the first ever organization to use Blockchain’s secure e-voting system in 2014. Something along similar lines is followed by a Blockchain voting startup Follow My Vote, which has come up with the alpha version of end-to-end Blockchain voting solution. These examples hint at the winds of change that make ensure that governments become more transparent to the public than ever. Also read: 3 startups are using blockchain tech to improve the lives of millions

3. Education

When it comes to education, an institution, a group of institutions, corporates, and several other bodies, can use Blockchain. To begin with, it would ease the steps required to verify academic credentials, get rid of excess paperwork and reduce manual work to a great extent. In August 2017, Sony announced that it was working with IBM for building a suite of educational services using this very technology! Also, the European Commission’s latest report points at the several ways education and the Blockchain technology are going to be interlinked. Imagine a future sans physical certificates to accredit qualifications, which will make several lengthy processes a breeze!

4. Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT and Blockchain are two of the most promising technologies and it would be interesting to see them come together. Blockchain being the public ledger for a massive amount of devices will make the central hub redundant. This will enable devices to communicate with each other autonomously. Take the instance of the IBM Watson IoT Platform, which has a built-in-capacity. This lets users add IoT data to a private Blockchain. This data remains protected and is shared between business partners involved in the entire transaction. The chink in the armor is the 51 percent attack problem. That is, if 51% of the processing power in a network plans to change a transaction, it will lead to the acceptance of the change. We have to wait and watch how this common challenge is tackled in the future. Also read: Blockchain tech will disrupt education in more ways than we expect

5. Cloud Storage

Cloud storage also finds many takers with several firms shifting to the cloud. Decentralization, true redundancy, cost reductions and total privacy makes Blockchain a safe bet for the cloud. Connecting both these technologies lead to wonderful revelations, as exemplified by Sia, which is taking cloud storage to another level. It’s completely private and gives no other party access or control to any files. Additionally, when you’re seeking an affordable alternative to cloud providers, Sia is your best bet as it is completely open source and is about 10 times less expensive than other cloud storage providers. Since it stores minuscule pieces of files on several nodes across the globe, it assures highest possible uptime.

6. Entertainment

The entertainment industry can also benefit majorly by deploying Blockchain. StreamSpace is one of the noteworthy blockchain startups with a focus on on-demand video streaming. Security from piracy as well as the opportunity to control the distribution of such videos along with different price settings are the noteworthy changes that we can see in the near future. This will facilitate seamless access to some of the best content online. While reducing piracy is one of the mainstays, there can be many other effective ways to use Blockchain in entertainment. For instance, iProdoos is a Blockchain platform, which will launch in 2018 and bring together talent for premium TV and film production along with crowdfunding. Also read: VR and AR content are about to become more exciting This takes us to the next point.

7. Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is no more an alien term to commoners, who are well-aware of the crowdfunding platforms online. We saw an intersection of Blockchain with crowdfunding when BRAID became the first major feature film that was financed via a token crowdsale. This took place on the Ethereum Blockchain via a $1.7M campaign on Weifund. This is how the crowdfunding industry is going to provide the pledgers or investors to directly fund various entrepreneurial ventures with seamless integration of Blockchain.

Wrap up

Blockchain is comparatively a new concept and will evolve in time. While these are our picks, the technology stands to affect several industries starting now, as startups push for transparency and trust. Let’s see what the future holds! ---- Editor’s note: e27 publishes relevant guest contributions from the community. Share your honest opinions and expert knowledge by submitting your content here. Featured Image: 123RF