While some mainstream financial institutions in the U.S. were initially reluctant to delve into the cryptocurrency market, they were much less reticent about exploring the possibilities inherent in blockchain technology. Blockchains allow for cryptocurrencies to function, but their functionality has applications beyond cryptocurrency. Even if digital currencies fade from interest, at this point, it is unlikely blockchain technology will face the same fate.
A blockchain is a system for recording information; as a technology, it is innovative because the information in a blockchain is stored in such a way that makes it difficult or impossible to change, hack, or cheat the system. Therefore, blockchain technology is of particular interest to companies that want to ensure the quality of their data.
- Blockchains allow for cryptocurrencies to function, but their functionality has applications beyond cryptocurrency.
- According to a report by Report Linker, the global blockchain market size is expected to grow from $1.06 billion in 2020 to $10.45 billion by 2025.
- Banking and payments companies have already demonstrated major interest in blockchain technology.
- Using the distributed ledger's unique verification ability, insurance companies could independently verify data within contracts to facilitate a smoother process at every stage of the game.
- With blockchain, various aspects of governmental procedure could be streamlined, thereby decreasing bureaucratic holdups and improving information security and transparency.
According to a report by Report Linker, the global blockchain market size is expected to grow from $1.06 billion in 2020 to $10.45 billion by 2025. Furthermore, in 2018, John Bates, director of product management for Adobe, said that blockchain technology is “on par with technology like personal computers and the Internet."
Businesses have already explored the ways that blockchain can revolutionize the way that cross-border payments are facilitated, the way that identity and data secrecy can be enhanced, and the way that smart contracts can extend functionality into the mainstream business world. Below, we'll explore some of the industries that blockchain may soon help to revolutionize.
Banking and Payments
Banking and payments companies have already demonstrated major interest in blockchain technology. With blockchain, users around the globe could gain access to banking opportunities they wouldn't otherwise have. Particularly, individuals in developing nations and without standard banks readily accessible can make use of blockchain to access these services. Partnering with digital currencies, blockchain could allow for instant transfers of money between countries and without major fees and delay times.
Insurance as an industry is primed for the integration of blockchain technology. Using the distributed ledger's unique verification ability, insurance companies could independently verify data within contracts to facilitate a smoother process at every stage of the game.
Around the world, ensuring that voting processes are fair and accountable is a major concern. Some have posited that blockchain could help to enhance this process and increase reliability and security. Using blockchain technology, voting processes could potentially improve everything from voter registration to vote counting. The blockchain's distributed ledgers are publicly accessible and immutable means that it would increase transparency in the process. However, a 2020 report from MIT raised serious concerns about the security of blockchain voting.
Some companies have already made use of blockchain technology to develop global decentralized prediction markets. Aside from these types of wager systems, there are other forecasting applications for blockchain technology besides these types of wager systems, though. Indeed, blockchain could help streamline data organization in forecasting ranging from traffic models to the weather.
For many, the word "government" is synonymous with bureaucratic slowdowns and red tape. Beyond that, many aspects of government are neither efficient nor transparent, meaning that they are also susceptible to corruption. With blockchain, various aspects of governmental procedure could be streamlined, thereby decreasing bureaucratic holdups and improving information security and transparency.
Crowdfunding has risen to prominence in the past several years to become one of the most popular ways for individuals to raise funds for all kinds of projects and goals. At the source of crowdfunding is a relationship of trust between those seeking to fund a project and others willing to contribute donations in support of those goals.
Crowdfunding sites typically sustain themselves by charging fees for their services, acting as a middleman between project developers and givers. Blockchain could help reduce the need for a middleman, better connecting project managers to those willing to give in an efficient way.
Individuals shoppers, either at a brick-and-mortar store or online, place their trust in retail systems. With blockchain, buyers and sellers could potentially come together directly, eliminating the middleman and keeping prices competitive. Smart contracts could also be developed to enhance this process and increase security as well.
Real estate as an industry is susceptible to both bureaucracy and fraud because of a lack of transparency. It's common for there to be mistakes in the public record, too. Blockchains could help to speed up the real estate industry and keep the record honest. By reducing the use of paper and assisting in the process of tracking and verifying ownership, blockchain systems could improve real estate in numerous ways.
The Bottom Line
Of course, there are countless other industries that could stand to benefit from blockchain integration. As more and more companies open up their doors to blockchain and its possibilities, it's almost certain that the above list will grow even longer. One thing is for certain: blockchain technology is here to stay, and its impact on the world will continue to grow as the technology also grows.