Can Blockchain Technology Be Used For Things Other Than Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is perhaps the most publicized use for blockchain technology. Perhaps this is why most people assume that cryptocurrency and blockchain are the same. In this article, we will show you that blockchain can be used for more than just finance and banking. This exciting, new technology has a wide array of applications that extend far beyond the implementation of digital currencies.

 

Cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin and others, merely use the blocks on the blockchain as a means to transparently and securely record a ledger of payments. Blockchain can also be used as a secure way of keeping data about other types of transactions.

 

In theory, people across various industries can use blockchain to store different data points immutably. This could be in the form of votes in an election, financial transactions, titles to properties, product inventories, and much more.

 

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Blockchain can be useful in any application where data security is paramount.

This explains blockchain’s wide adoption in vast industries like healthcare, supply chain, cloud storage and so on. We'll expound on these and other applications of blockchain in this article. But first, let's look at the technology, as it relates to cryptocurrency.

 

Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain

While people use cryptocurrency and blockchain interchangeably, these two aren't the same thing. Bitcoin was the first example of blockchain in action when it was introduced as an open-source code.  

 

Cryptocurrencies serve as an exchange medium. They are a disruptive fintech designed to make international transactions secure, faster, and easier, by putting control straight into the concerned parties' hands. These digital assets use cryptography and proof-of-work to create global currencies, secure transactions, control rate issues, all while removing aspects of government control.

 

The immutable, decentralized feature has fueled blockchain's adoption beyond its original use of supporting Bitcoin transactions. Here's how blockchain technology can be used for things other than cryptocurrency.

 

Blockchain Uses in Monitoring Supply Chain Data

 

The supply chain industry is challenged with enormous complexity, utilizing vast amounts of data. Information is often fragmented, inconsistently formatted, making it difficult to access or analyze. Blockchain technology seeks to address these and many other challenges.

 

Blockchain integration in the supply chain allows businesses to record a wide range of information effectively from date, price, location, certification, quality and other forms of critical data. This enables a more accurate and transparent end-to-end monitoring. It can also reduce disputes, as well as blockages of assets throughout the entire supply chain. By eliminating paper-based trails, companies can quickly identify inefficiencies and locate the assets in real-time.

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Blockchain integration in supply chain management will help save time and money.

 

Most companies agree that one of the biggest benefits of using blockchain technology for supply chain management is cost reduction. The ability to use real-time tracking in supply chain management proves to be one of the largest sources of cost-reduction.

 

Plus, there are other incredible benefits such as increasing automation through smart contracts, the provenance of tracking, scalability, and security.

 

Blockchain Uses In the Internet of Things (IoT) Systems

IoT is changing the way businesses run through the use of sensors and other edge infrastructure and devices. While a great thing, this poses a unique challenge for companies that have to protect data at all levels of the IoT environment. And with the ever-growing number of connected IoT devices, the need for data security has never been this complex. Blockchain technology is helping businesses resolve the security challenges in their IoT systems.

 

Blockchain combines with IoT to facilitate the machine-to-machine transaction. This blend also provides a range of potential benefits, like allowing smart devices to run autonomously without a centralized authority. It can also monitor how IoT devices send and receive information. The distributed ledger technology with IoT applies in automotive, agriculture, and banking sectors while, also, extending to smart homes, logistics and smart contracts. Blockchain application allows businesses to manage information on smart devices in an IoT system. This lowers costs linked to data transfer and IoT device maintenance.

 

 

Blockchain Uses in Smart Contracts

 

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Smart contracts are transactions that are secured by a distributed blockchain network.

A smart contract is a transaction protocol or computer program meant to automatically execute, document, or control legally relevant actions and events, as per the terms of an agreement or contract. It aims at reducing the need for external enforcement or a central entity as well as fraud losses.

 

Smart contracts use blockchain to capture, verify, approve and enforce agreements between parties. Blockchain-based smart contracts are irreversible, traceable, and transparent transactions. They are immutable, secure, and exist across a distributed blockchain network. Once recorded, it becomes impossible to change, delete or lose an agreement. The uses of smart contracts are vast, but they are common in property ownership and cross-border financial transactions. Other uses include: monitoring origin and the path of goods, banking and credit card services, among others.

 

Blockchain Uses in Cloud Storage

 

Dropbox, Google Drive, Gmail are great examples of cloud storage. Many companies are using these and other premium cloud storage services to streamline their operations. Data in the cloud is easy to access, edit and share. It also cuts out the need for physical storage and security. 

 

Blockchain applied to cloud storage breaks down user data into small chunks and adds an extra layer of security before distributing it across the network. This is thanks to its features like transaction ledgers, private/public key encryption, and hashing function. Blockchain stores these chunks of data in a decentralized location. So, when hackers try to access the data, they’ll find encrypted data that’s only in parts. They will never be able to access the entire file.

 

Blockchain Technology in Healthcare

 

There are vast applications of blockchain in healthcare. Uses include protecting healthcare data, point-of-care genomics management, managing electronic medical record data, electronics, and personal health record data management.

 

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Protecting personal health information is one of the main ways blockchain tech can be used in the healthcare industry. It can also be used to track disease outbreaks and enable doctors to monitor patients, remotely.

Specific applications of blockchain in healthcare include:

· Research

 

· Collecting data

 

· Interoperable electronic health records

 

· Mobile health apps and remote monitoring

 

· Tracking outbreaks and diseases

 

· Safeguarding genomics

 

· Health insurance claims

 

· Tracing and securing medical supplies

 

· Data security

 

Blockchain Uses in Privacy and Security of Chats and Media

Media companies are now adopting blockchain to secure intellectual property rights of content, minimize costs and eliminate fraud. Blockchain in Media and Entertainment Market report 2021 by MarketWatch reveals that the sector will reach USD 1.54 billion by 2024. Messenger services are also not left behind. With billions of devices and users, there's an inherent danger of hacks, social engineering, and so on. Blockchain technology prevents identity theft, fraud, and data tampering while also protecting critical infrastructure.

 

How Secure is Blockchain Technology?

Blockchain is spreading across all industries far beyond its initial fintech applications. Companies in different sectors are expanding and diversifying their blockchain initiatives. Indeed, blockchain appears to be entering a new era of broader, more practical adoption, even as those who were skeptical start to grasp its long-term potential. So, how secure is blockchain technology?

The demand for blockchain is soaring at an alarming rate as companies see it's potential. Blockchain promises transparency, scalability and, most importantly, security. Let's take a look at the challenges and vulnerabilities of this burgeoning field of technology.

Security by the blocks

The term blockchain refers to a chain of digital blocks with transaction records. Each block connects with other blocks on either side to form a chain. This makes it hard to alter a single record as one would have to change the block with the record and those connected to it to avoid detection. In addition to this, blockchain has other built-in characteristics that offer extra security. These include:

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Cryptography

Cryptography seeks to prevent third-parties from accessing data from private messages during a communication process. Blockchain uses two types of cryptographic algorithms: hash functions and asymmetric-key algorithms.

Asymmetric cryptography (or public-key) securely encrypts messages between two computers. Anyone can use another person’s public key to encrypt a message. However, one can only use a corresponding private key to decrypt an encrypted message.

Paired private and public keys let users send and receive payments. Private keys generate digital signatures for the transaction. Network members then use the wallet's public key to confirm the signature’s authenticity before adding the transaction to the blockchain. After approval, the transaction is immutably recorded into the ledger, and balances are updated.

On the other hand, the Hash function receives data input of any size and returns an output with a predictable and fixed size. Irrespective of the input size, the output will always have the same size. So, for as long as the input remains constant, the resulting hash will be the same. Hashes are used as unique data block identifiers in the blockchain. Each block's hash is created in relation to the previous block's hash, creating a chain of blocks. If someone changes a block, they will also have to change the entire history of that blockchain. The hash identifiers are what make blockchain secure and immutable.

Decentralization

Blockchain technology relies on a decentralized, digitized, and distributed ledger model. Meaning, it distributes data to nodes (users) on the blockchain network. When a user makes a change, the network validates it; then, miners add the transaction into a new block that’s then added to the blockchain. Miners are users rewarded for updating the blockchain.

Decentralization makes blockchain more robust and secure than proprietary centralized models that are currently in the market. If a user attempts to change a single block, they'd need to change the previous blocks before any new blocks could be mined. If not, the nodes would detect the fraudulent behavior and discard the changes. And since thousands of nodes confirm new blocks, it's less likely for anyone to beat their computing power to add a bad one.

Consensus

Consensus is another attribute that makes blockchain technology secure and fault-proof. It involves all peers of a blockchain network coming together and agreeing about the distributed ledger's present state. Consensus ensures that every new block added to the chain is the only version of the truth agreed upon by all the nodes in the blockchain.

The consensus protocol is reliable as it bases on goals like mandatory collaboration, cooperation and participation of every node. It also ensures that every node has equal rights and that a joint agreement is achieved. Consensus is the brain of blockchain. Without it, blockchain would fail. A good example of consensus is the Proof of Work (PoW). In PoW, 'miners' in a network have to provide the computing power needed to verify transactions and maintain the blockchain – which is a lot. They also need to ensure the network's immunity against hackers. Miners compete to chain the blocks together and can achieve that if they get 51% of votes from the nodes.

But the 51% vote is perhaps the biggest threat to this model. If a minority of colluding nodes own more than 50% of the mining power, they will control the network. They could prevent other nodes from adding new blocks. They'd also expose the network to fraud. But the good thing is that consensus is too expensive. It needs lots of energy and computing power to succeed.

Security challenges

Blockchain produces tamper-resistant ledger transactions that make it immune to fraud and hacks. But people with bad intentions can manipulate the known vulnerabilities in the blockchain infrastructure. In fact, they've been successful in a range of scams and hacks over the years. Some common examples include DAO's code exploitationBitfinex's stolen keys, and Bithumb's insider hacks. These security issues have been a point of concern for many businesses that want to explore blockchain technology. Blockchain creates unique security challenges for a range of reasons:

Blockchain security threats

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Blockchain security threats fall into three main groups:

Endpoint vulnerabilitiesthis is where technology and humans meet. Think devices, digital wallets, private key and password, breach, client-side of the application. A hacker can gain access to an account if any of this endpoint is compromised. But the threat is only limited to a victim's account and nothing further. Besides, companies are now using cold wallets along with hardware security models (HSM) that are difficult to compromise.

Untested code: the original code by Satoshi Nakamoto that resulted in the creation of Bitcoin Blockchain is unbreakable. But the same cannot be said for all code in apps built upon the blockchain. Developers who are in a rush to outdo their peers risk producing inadequately tested code on the live blockchain. Considering the decentralization aspect, the risk is higher because of the irreversibility of blockchain.

Ecosystem/third-party risks: the security of this technology relies on the entire ecosystem. This includes other solution providers like smart contracts, payment platforms, fintech, wallets, etc. With other parties in play, a blockchain application's security is only as strong as its weakest link within the ecosystem.

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Does this mean blockchain is not immutable?

No network is 100% secure. And blockchain is not any different. But since the nodes in a blockchain network are distributed, it is almost impossible to alter the chains. It takes a consensus of more than half of the nodes in the same distributed ledger to make any changes. And the fact that all this has to happen within 10 minutes makes it virtually impossible for a hacker to make changes.

Security and privacy

Blockchain technology resolves the security and privacy issues that most organizations struggle with today. Its public key infrastructure maintains the ledger size and prevents any ill-attempts from changing data. Inasmuch as the large and more distributed network makes blockchain more secure, there are concerns around various aspects. For example, by default, the blockchain design doesn't have confidentiality. All data on-chain is visible to all peers in the network.

Blockchain is hard to crack

The blockchain is still in its infancy stages. And like any technology, it is bound to encounter hurdles along the way. But the good thing is that the security issues are addressed quickly. Developers are also coming up with new versions of blockchains to ensure security. Besides, when compared to other technologies, blockchain does a great job storing and exchanging digital value. This explains why health care, supply chain, Wall Street companies, etc., are all adopting the technology.

 

The Future of Healthcare on the Blockchain

Blockchain technology has many applications in healthcare. It can improve monitoring devices, mobile health applications, and clinical trial data. It can also offer a new model for health information exchanges by making electronic medical records more secure, efficient, and decentralized. While not a magic bullet, blockchain technology offers a platform for investment, experimentation, and proof-of-concept testing.

There's so much hype around blockchain. You'd think it is the cure-all technology or one that will solve the chronic data security and interoperability issues that cripple health data sharing. Blockchain will be used to share health information securely and to approve and monitor health data usage. However, the technology alone won't make health data interoperable or ensure data is shared. A lot has to go into standardizing health data formats and coding and controlling data sharing for research and system-wide improvement.

The first blockchain applications will likely handle the secure exchange of well-defined healthcare transactions like tracking the drug supply chain to prevent counterfeiting or settling insurance claims, and so on. But it will take a while to address challenges like interoperability, sharing, and access.

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What is blockchain technology?

Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology (DLT) used to securely record transactions across many computers in a peer-to-peer network without the need of a third party. In the blockchain, every block of data (block) is secured and linked to the next one using cryptographic principles (chain). It's emerging as one of the most promising technologies of the 21st century and is widely applied in healthcare for these reasons:

But despite its potential in healthcare, blockchain remains immature. Gartner's research describes it as a technology in a "hype cycle,” meaning one that's marked with stages of innovation triggers, enlightenment, disillusionment, inflated expectation but ending in a "plateau of productivity." Health blockchain is still in its early days. It cannot be compared to sectors like supply chain, logistics, and financial services that have seen a much faster adoption rate.

Future of healthcare on the blockchain

From biomedical research, to insurance payments and everything in between, blockchain applications will impact almost all healthcare system aspects. This is because the healthcare sector thrives on data generation and sharing. Here is what the health blockchain may look like soon.

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Solution for the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA)

Blockchain's ability to trace and store time-stamped data across a P2P network makes it perfect in solving DSCSA's traceability requirements. DSCSA upholds drug security standards by ensuring that all drugs are traceable from when they leave the manufacturer to the time they reach the dispenser. This is in a bid to boost tracking, detection, and removal of misbranded, counterfeit, or potentially dangerous drugs from the supply chain. A network using blockchain is uniquely secured and could be effective in drug fraud prevention. Today, various trials are underway as different vendors try to craft solutions that meet DSCSA's requirements.

A possible solution for EHRs

Electronic health record management is an important application area for blockchain technology. It deals with data exchanges across various health sectors and ensures to protect the data's source, integrity, and privacy for accurate analysis and insights. EHR is an excellent example of the blockchain-based privacy-preserving prediction model. Facilities are now applying machine learning to study data in their EHRs and using the learned model to predict patient outcome. But since no facility has enough patient records, there's the need to share various data across organizations. However, they have to apply privacy-preserving prediction modeling methods – like blockchain to avoid re-identification and data breach risks. Blockchain stores medical records securely and allows real-time updates. It can also allow secure access for all permissible users.

Solution for medical staff credentialing

Credentialing can be time-consuming and expensive when done through snail mail, faxes, and phone calls. Since blockchain can be approved and updated in stages, it may be a perfect solution in the credentialing process. Credentialing smart contract is an excellent example of a possible blockchain application. A smart contract is a self-executing contract with terms of the agreement between parties written into code lines. It facilitates trusted agreements and transactions to be carried out among disparate, anonymous parties without the need for a legal system, central authority, or external enforcement mechanism. Smart contracts can be used:

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Solution to the need for sharing and privacy

Many blockchain-based features can help facilities strike a balance between privacy and sharing. For years, healthcare organizations have depended on policy to maintain patient data and siloed. But without technologies to resolve the sharing and privacy issues, these organizations risk compromising data. In the coming years, blockchain will take care of such issues, allowing facilities to share critical data without the fear of breach and arising suits. This is thanks to its ability to audit who, when, and where the data is used.

On top of that, the disruptive technology will enable open health data exchange markets run by patients. These markets will only have valuable, verified, and validated data from treatment outcomes, verified diagnostics, genetics, real-world evidence, etc. Permissioned blockchains will allow patients to decide how they want to use their data in exchange for health solutions and compensation.

Adoption of blockchain in healthcare

The perception that blockchain is fairy a new technology and closely linked to the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, hinders its adoption within the healthcare community. Besides, the technology cost can be high. The proof of work, for instance, consumes a large amount of computational power. Again, blockchain doesn't remove or replace modified records but adds blocks to the chain to represent modifications and deletions, which adds to the storage problem.

With that said, blockchain absolutely is a viable technology. And while it could take years for its practical application across the industry, blockchain adoption has already taken off with financial institutions and in dozens of companies. For instance, IBM is using AI to detect patterns with Block Chains to help find treatments or remedies for specific diseases. Mount Sinai also uses blockchain in AI to rapidly read chest CAT Scans of potential COVID-19 patients. There is no telling what the future holds, but we know that blockchain will immensely disrupt the healthcare sector, perhaps for the better.

 

What are the Newest Hospital Technologies?

The healthcare industry is ripe for some major changes. From patient care and treatment to research and marketing, there are endless opportunities to use technology to deliver more accurate, efficient, and quick interventions at the right moment in a patient’s care. Here are some of the newest hospital technologies and their uses.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the newest hospital technologies today. It is becoming more sophisticated at doing what humans do, but in a precise, quick and affordable way. AI can help in medical diagnosis, mental and behavioral health, medical marketing, human resource management and more.

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Hospitals are now using AI in HR management to streamline workflows. This will allow health care providers to serve maximum patients on any given day without compromising quality. Hospitals are also integrating AI systems to the workflow and scheduling software to allow for real-time adjustments whenever appointments and cancelations come in.

In addition to optimizing workflows, AI is also helping in-clinic decision support systems. It uses electronic health data to get a decision-making outline for enhancing the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of different illnesses based on treatment history patterns, health, and demographics.

AI is also widely used in:

Robotic technology

Robotics, like AI, is quickly changing the healthcare landscape. While the history of robots in healthcare dates back to 1985, there have been massive improvements in the area. Thanks to advances in sensor and motion control technologies, robots are way more autonomous and precise than in the age of PUMA 200. They are not only capable of helping but performing complex surgeries themselves.

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The integration of robots into healthcare operations offers a range of benefits:

Robots are widely used in orthopedics and surgery. In 2019, a surgeon leveraged robotics and 5G internet to perform remote surgery on the brain of a Parkinson’s patient who was nearly 1,900 miles away.

This new technology plays a vital role in creating new care models for the growing senior population. It also solves the challenge of delivering quality solutions to new and underserved markets. In both cases, robotics helps facilities to cut down costs. And the best part is that the current robotic systems are pretty impressive. Surgeons can do more operations in comparable time as before, but with higher success rates.

Blockchain

Blockchain is one of the newest and most important technologies in the world. It is a time-stamped series of unchangeable records of information managed by a network of computers instead of a centralized authority.

Blockchain has extensive uses and applications in healthcare:

Ledger technology can also help manage and prevent future pandemics. This is especially critical, considering how COVID-19 has put the healthcare system to its greatest test of the century. Healthcare systems have had a challenge storing and circulating data in real-time. But now, the CDC in collaboration with IBM and WHO is set to use blockchain to monitor, store, and distribute sensitive data in real-time to facilities for effective and uniform management of the virus.

Other common uses of blockchain technology in healthcare include ownership and security of digital assets, fixing digital display advertising and changing data collections.

Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)

IoMT refers to all medical devices and applications that can connect to the health care data technology system using the internet. The technology facilitates the transition from reactive-to-preventative patient-oriented care.

The IoMT sector is fast-growing and has multiple innovations underway. From patient diagnostic machines to smart monitors, radical solutions are being created to take care of the health care challenges.

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According to Deloitte, the IoMT market is projected to hit the $158.1 billion mark in 2022. Some common uses of IoMT include:

Virtual reality and Augmented Reality 

From improving the patient experience to changing the way medical students learn, these new technologies transform the way things are done in hospitals. Virtual and augmented reality technologies have the potential to make surgical planning easier. Even the most experienced surgeon may come across surprises when performing surgery. But virtual reality and augmented reality may make those instances less common.

The ability to see the inside of the human body in VR is useful to patients and doctors alike. VR allows surgeons to educate patients about their surgical plan. This enhances the understanding of treatment, leading to more patient satisfaction.

Additionally, VR has the unique ability to transport patients to an entirely different place. So, doctors use it to create robust simulations of scenarios where psychological difficulties happen. This cuts out the need for therapists to accompany patients on a trip to a tall building or market place for real-life situations. Other AR/VR uses include:

Personalized mobile applications

Mobile apps are not only great for patient engagement but monitoring and treatment as well. There are vast patient scenarios that use mobile apps in 2020. For instance, one can schedule appointments, check-in, upload medical records, or even get test results through apps.

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Apps help hospitals reduce operational costs, thanks to their ability to relieve some pressure on caregivers, receptionist duties and waiting times. Other common uses of apps include communication and healthcare marketing – helping hospitals get in front of customers. And with the widespread use of mobile devices, app use is only set to increase in the coming years.

Precision medicine

Precision medicine is a new hospital technology that allows doctors to select therapies and medicines to treat patients based on their medical and genetic make-up. Personalization makes treatment more effective. It attacks problem areas (like tumors) based on the patient’s specific proteins and genes. This makes it easy for cancer to be destroyed by treatment.

Other than cancer treatment, precision medicine is also effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It uses the same mechanism to destroy RA's vulnerable genes, weakening the disease and reducing symptoms.

3D printing

3D printers are among the newest technologies on the market today. Experts use these printers to create implants and joints used in surgeries. 3D prosthetics are especially popular, thanks to their unprecedented levels of comfort and mobility. These solutions are usually highly personalized, thus match up the patient’s exact measurements. Other uses of 3D printing in healthcare include printing pills containing multiple drugs and even creating human cells and tissue.

 

Is Blockchain Just for Cryptocurrencies?

Blockchain technology is an online database that offers information to organizations and enables them to record their transactions easily. The database is encrypted, so all communications are done between the organization and the peer-to-peer network only when it’s veritable.

The technology offers an excellent way to transfer data from point X to Y without worrying about false data being stored in the database because that would falsify the whole chain of millions of instances. Blockchain provides accountability since the transactions recorded pass through multiple-party verification and no transaction in the database can be changed by the parties later on.

What is blockchain technology?

As the name implies, blockchain is essentially blocks of encrypted data stored in a database (or ledger). Many would like to think of it as a robust spreadsheet. A single block of data links to a previous block, thus forming a chain. What makes blockchain unique is the fact that it’s a network of interconnected computers that don’t depend on a centralized entity to execute interactions.

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A central authority manages most databases that keep financial information. But with the blockchain database, the ledger is amended and updated communally by all the computers that are connected in the network. Since the records are held communally, no financial institution or computer is in charge. So, if a single computer in the system gets knocked offline or is hacked, the others can still function without it.

Advantages and disadvantages of blockchain

Pros

Cons

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies

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In the context of cryptocurrencies, blockchain features a stable chain of blocks, each with a list of previously approved transactions. The blockchain network works as a decentralized ledger because its run by a network of computers spread worldwide. So, each participant (node) holds a copy of the blockchain data and communicates with the others to make sure they are all on the same page.

Blockchain transaction happens within a peer-to-peer network and is what makes Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies decentralized digital currencies that are borderless and censorship-resistant. The whole point of using this technology is to allow people – especially those who don’t trust each other – to share critical data in a secure and tamper-proof manner. This is because blockchain technology holds data using innovative software and sophisticated math functions that are extremely difficult for hackers to manipulate.

Is blockchain just for cryptocurrencies? 

One of the first real-world uses of blockchain technology was in Bitcoin, a virtual currency that was announced in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto (pseudonym). But these types of projects are not tied to the Bitcoin network alone. In fact, most blockchains have nothing to do with Bitcoin. Once Bitcoin blockchain had been around for a while – successfully recording all Bitcoin transactions and surviving vast attacks – many entrepreneurs and programmers wondered if the Bitcoin data security design might be applied to create other types of secure databases, unrelated to Bitcoin.

Today, startups, SMEs, and large scale companies across different types of fields are increasingly integrating blockchain into their daily operations. It is now widely used in banking and finance to facilitate payments, improve capital markets, trade finance, deter money laundering, and in insurance. It also has applications in business, especially in areas like healthcare, supply chain management, real estate, media, and energy. The government, too, can use the technology for record management, identity management, taxes, voting, regulatory/compliance oversight and a virtually infinite amount of other types of real-world applications.

Blockchain’s best features for corporations

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The growing applications and use cases of blockchain technology

Healthcare industry

One of the main challenges that healthcare professionals face is to share information across platforms securely. A seamless flow of data between providers could increase the chances of accurate diagnoses and effective treatment. It’ll also lower the cost of healthcare. Blockchain technology allows healthcare institutions and other related parties to share network access without affecting the integrity or security of data.

Critical infrastructure security

The internet infrastructure has proven vulnerable to attacks, particularly when it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Since critical infrastructures like transportation and power plants have connected sensors, there’s a heightened risk to the civil society. Luckily, some companies are using the tamper-proof database to share critical information across their networks. Others are using blockchain to offer massive scale data authentication. A good example is using blockchain powered Keyless Signature Infrastructure (KSI) to tag and verify data transactions.

Supply chain management 

The supply chain involves a series of transaction nodes that connect to move goods from one point to another. The technology allows businesses to document transactions in a decentralized record, thus limiting delays, human errors, and added costs. Different companies are coming up with blockchain-based products that enable enterprises to engage clients at the point-of-sale with data collected collaboratively from suppliers along the supply chain.

Blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT)

Blockchain technology decentralizes cloud services, therefore increasing security, connectivity, and computational power. This solves the inefficiency problems – especially those surrounding data storage and computational resources – that are associated with launching IoT products.

Blockchain and cloud storage

Companies that provide cloud storage usually keep clients’ data in one secure server, which makes it vulnerable to attacks. Blockchain cloud storage services decentralize data storage, making it less prone to hacks that can lead to systemic damage and colossal data loss. Companies are now providing blockchain-enabled cloud storage to enhance security and also reduce the cost of storing data in the cloud.

Blockchain ensures the security of data. The information stored in blockchain is fully decentralized since it’s kept in multiple nodes across the globe rather than in a single place. This addresses the concern of data protection in case there’s an error or breach. Records that are uploaded in blockchain aren’t accessible to or controlled by an individual. But each party holding the data has a private key that they can use to access the encrypted files. So, even if a hacker gets to access a folder, he/she will only see a partial file –which won’t be useful. That’s why industries, other than cryptocurrencies, are taking advantage of blockchain to enhance their operations.