There has been a lot of hype on the topic and there are many reasons to look into a blockchain initiative. However, many of these explanations expect you to run before you can crawl, so to speak. At MIBAR, we’re about more than that.
Following our last blog on the terms and talking points that enable blockchain, we’d today like to look at why this matters.
Why Blockchain is Secure by Design
Why is blockchain considered so secure? Think of it like getting a contract notarized—except instead of one notary, you have tens of thousands of them who verify that something took place, store a copy of the contract in their file folder, and can pull it up and compare it at any time. The next contract is built on top of this one and so on and so forth.
This is what makes blockchain impossible to change or reverse—once information is there, it stays there. You can’t go back in and manipulate it somehow, post creation. Since information is timestamped and stored across devices, any change would you to simultaneously hack every single device that stores the copy of a transaction.
A Variety of Uses from Contracts to Healthcare to Commercial Fishing
The reason blockchain is so hyped isn’t only for its existence as a decentralized monetary vehicle. Smart contracts are being implemented in financial services, healthcare, and even in the commercial fishing industry to implement an airtight and secure verification system.
With a variety of industries who serve to gain from using blockchain enabled processes to verify, process, and manage recordkeeping, companies are taking up its use:
One of those processes that could apply to nearly any industry, blockchain is increasingly leveraged in the supply chain to shrink the globe. With more parts coming from more places, sourcing generates a lot of data that needs to be tracked and verified. From automotive manufacturing to sourcing to recall readiness, companies and governments are turning to blockchain.
Use of blockchain could simplify the supply chain, increase visibility for vendors, owners, and regulators, and increase safety for all those involved.
Like use in the supply chain, banking and finance were among the first to see a use case in a verifiable, process-driven, and cost effective way of running transactions. Blockchain enables you to do instant transfers across borders, with minimal fees and maximum verification.
Leading financial institutions are trailblazing with the use of blockchain, removing friction and doing more, faster.
One of the most prevalent industries where companies can gain from blockchain is healthcare. An industry that relies on a lot of paperwork, data, and records, blockchain can deliver accuracy and control when it’s needed most.
Patient consent and health data exchange
Mitigating paperwork and keeping patient information straight is often a challenge. With blockchain, every patient record reflects the best-known medical facts — from genomics data to diagnostic medical imaging — and can be reliably transferred when needed, with no need for a central gatekeeper.
Clinical Trial Management
One of the most important and data-intensive processes in the medical world is the use of clinical trials to approve medicines and treatments. Blockchain tools, in concert with electronic data capture (EDC), can allow clinical data to be automatically aggregated, replicated and distributed among researchers and practitioners with greater auditability, provenance tracking and control compared to complicated, conventional systems.
Outcome Based Contracts
One of the biggest forces in healthcare has been the push for outcome-based healthcare. Pushed by federal initiatives and those looking to make the most of their healthcare spending, outcome-based contracts in blockchain are finding that blockchain can increase value.
Providers ranging from pharmacies to hospitals can offer healthcare to consumers with a fee-for-value model instead of fee-for-services, and reduce the complexity of records.
As vehicles become more complex and technologically-enabled, tracking movement from parts suppliers and manufacturers to customers and safety regulators is a necessity. For example, vehicles increasingly need to incorporate secure, seamless mobility services, handling micropayment and other interactions with ride-sharing services, smart transportation infrastructure and electric vehicle charging. Blockchain makes this possible, handling anything from toll payments to package drop off verifications.
We rely on government to accurately record and track our homes, businesses, cars and more, verifying ownership and ensuring smooth financial transactions. Governments have been looking at blockchain initiatives for everything from voting to asset registration to fraud prevention.
One of the greatest use cases for government is digital identity management. Blockchain enables government agencies to create a single, trustworthy collection of digital identity documents. These documents make it easier for government officials to reconcile data conflicts and provide citizens with control over their own identity.
Learn more by viewing IBM’s videos on blockchain use cases.