For the majority of people, blockchain and Bitcoin go hand in hand. From the happy early adopters who became millionaires overnight to the newest investors hoping that history will repeat itself, those Bitcoin fans may have a vague understanding of the underlying technology and how it works, but the specifics of the blockchain are typically not as clear.
That is a shame, because there is much more to the cryptocurrency revolution than buying and selling products and hoping for higher and higher Bitcoin and Ethereum prices. In many ways, the underlying technology that makes cryptocurrency possible is even more powerful, and that blockchain technology is already disrupting entire industries. Here are 10 industries that blockchain is disrupting in a big way.
- Online security – It is no secret that cyber intrusions are running at a record pace, with rogue governments, hackers and profit-driven individuals taking advantage of lax security. In the near future, blockchain technology could enhance the security of those online systems, allowing everyone to breathe a sigh of relief.
- Banking and online payments – The rise of online payment apps like Venmo is the financial story of the 21st century so far, but security concerns have kept may would-be users from signing up. In the future blockchain technology could close this gap, enhancing the security of new online payment platforms and traditional banking as well.
- Politics and elections – Yes, politics is an industry; just ask any fundraiser. As the integrity of elections comes into question, experts are looking at the ways in which blockchain technology could be harnessed to make voting safer, more transparent and more secure. In the future, blockchain technology could also make the dream of secure online voting a reality.
- Supply chain management – Transforming raw materials into finished products and getting those finished products from the factory floor to customers’ doors is a complicated process, one with complexities that can drive up costs and drive inefficiencies. Blockchain technology holds the power to further automate supply chain management, speeding products from retailer to customer and lowering costs in the process.
- Business forecasting – Predicting what customers will want a year, or a decade, ahead is no easy feat, but the companies that do it best stand to benefit enormously. That makes business forecasting a vital industry, and blockchain technology could vastly improve the accuracy of those forecasts.
- IoT Security – As the Internet of Things continues to grow, security has become a real risk for homeowners and businesses alike. In the future, blockchain technology could improve that security and give buyers the confidence they seek.
- Contracts – Solid contracts are at the heart of the business world, but verifying the information they contain and identifying potential loopholes is a time-consuming manual process. Blockchain technology holds the power to make future contracts smarter, safer and better for all parties.
- Insurance – Gauging risk is a key component of the insurance industry, one that requires armies of actuaries and countless hours of painstaking labor. But blockchain technology holds the power to upend the risk assessment process, creating additional profits for insurance companies and lower premiums for the insured.
- Energy – The energy industry is a highly centralised one, and that leaves it open to catastrophic failure from accidents and deliberate hacking attempts. That makes energy a key target for the blockchain revolution, promising smarter, safer and more secure electricity delivery for consumers and businesses alike.
- Ride sharing – Ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft have disrupted the lives of taxi companies, but often at the expense of the people who actually do the driving. In the future, blockchain technology could offer truly decentralised ride share services, connecting riders and drivers without the use, or expense of a middleman.
If you know about blockchain because of Bitcoin, you are only looking at half of the story. There is much more to this powerful monetary revolution than commerce and investment, and the blockchain story could be even more exciting. If you doubt the reality of the blockchain revolution, just ask the leaders in any of the industries listed above.