Are we facing another industrial revolution? In a way, yes - the blockchain seems to be taking over the world and an increasing number of businesses from key lines of industry chain in as early adopters or creators of digitized protocols meant to optimize their processes. Here are top 10 fields that the blockchain could change forever.
If we are to think about top 10 fields the blockchain could change, banking comes up first. At present, banks are the main capital storehouses and transfer hubs. With the emergence of more sophisticated technologies like the blockchain, which seen as a digitized, un-hackable ledger and enhanced data transfer platform, it can serve the purpose perfectly.
Having seen the technology's potential, big names in the industry like Barclays, UBS and Rabobank started experimenting with crypto tech, either to streamline their backoffice processes or with the intent of launching their own digital currency like Rabobank's Rabobit and include it in their marketing and incentivizing plans.
eCommerce is the next big industry crying for a change in terms of optimizing business processes and payment handling. The ace down the merchants' sleeve is again the BLOCKCHAIN. Considering that the amount invested in cryptocurrencies worldwide was estimated to nearly half a trillion USD while ICOs are mushrooming, it's no wonder that 2018 was dubbed The Year of Cryptocurrencies. Therefore, it was impossible that eCommerce giants like Rakuten stayed behind. The Japanese eCommerce platform broke the ice by saying they're about to launch their own cryptocurrency, Rakuten Coin. The new coin will be part of the platform's customer loyalty scheme.
However, they are not alone on this path, other industries are making strides towards 'blockchainization'.
Adult entertainment & gaming
Making it to the top 3 'blockchainizable' areas of business, adult entertainment and gaming both live online, and the thirst for content in both outweighs advertising. Additionally, the budget that these two fields generate exceeds by far that of advertising. Yet there is a need for improvement in both.
To meet the needs of their customers, adult entertainment and gaming vendors must keep up with the latest technological advancements, which makes them early adopters of cutting-edge solutions, from visual and audio to blockchain technologies. Check out this article to get a better idea.
With millions of users worldwide yet stigmatized as 'vice industries', service providers from these areas are in need of a solution to help them keep their customers happy, ensure that they get paid for their service, and also secure the degree of anonymity that best suits end-users.
Given the high level of risk that adult entertainment and online gaming involve, merchants from these sectors lose significant amounts on high transaction fees, which can sometimes rise to 15%. By resorting to blockchain protocols like PumaPay, known for their ability to make transactions irreversible, merchants can ditch chargebacks and high transaction costs.
Accounting & auditing
Considering the degree of accuracy required in financial fields like accounting and auditing, the impact that the blockchain could have is crucial. At present, keeping minute records of all corporate expenses and assets in both hard-copy and electronic form is cumbersome and far from being tamper-proof. Additionally, human errors in these areas are imminent given that every data entry job is done manually, and after all even the smartest accountant can make mistakes. That's exactly where blockchain technology comes in, eliminating errors while saving accountants and auditors valuable time on double-checking data. This, in turn, results into lower corporate costs with auditing services. Furthermore, using the artificial intelligence and cognitive tools that the blockchain provides, auditors can handle higher volumes of data. The benefits of blockchain, however, extend to the prevention of fraud both internally and externally.
The next area that the blockchain can change is voting. Apart from the authentication of the voter's identity, elections require extra secure and accurate means to record votes in real time to determine the winner. Blockchain technology holds a great promise for change in this field too. Since it's a highly secure, encrypted data transfer hub, the blockchain provides the perfect infrastructure for casting, tracking and counting votes, while preventing fraud.
By using blockchain solutions to record votes in the same way as they do transactions, governments and voters would have an infallible tool that ensures that votes cannot be tampered with and no illegitimate votes are added. Follow My Vote is one such revolutionary app, leaving us to wonder: what's next?
The potential of the blockchain goes far beyond our 'standardized' way of thinking, widening its umbrella over human resources and recruitment. Today, one of the main tools that recruiters use to identify potential candidates are online resume hubs like LinkedIn requiring job seekers to list their achievements. Additionally, building a profile transcends that of creating a 'chronicle' of one's employment, it takes time and energy to build a network and draw attention to oneself. This can be time-consuming for both job seekers and recruiters. Being a secure data hub that chronologically records one's transactions, the blockchain might as well be used for keeping track of their employment history, allowing recruiters to access that data without any hassle.
Another field needing urgent improvement is taxation. Just uttering the very word gives headaches to both corporate managers and workers, and it's not surprising since the system is highly unequal and inadequate. In countries like Australia, for example, tax calculation takes into consideration the highest income ever made as basis for establishing the amount of tax to be paid for the whole year. This is utterly unfair, as it throws tax payers in the highest tax bracket, regarding exceptions as the status quo. In other words, if someone usually makes $20 an hour and one day only that person earns $100 per hour it makes no difference for the tax authorities, as tax computation will rely on the highest figure.
Furthermore, if tax payers want to benefit from deductions, they need to keep minute records of all their expenses for years. That's when the 'dirty' business starts and where the blockchain can save the day, by just doing what it does – chronologically storing all transaction data, which can then be used by the IR to compute the amount of tax.
Reversing the engineering of blockchain transactions to enable a pull action, PumaPay can facilitate recurring payments based on time with fixed and variable amount that fit taxation like a glove. To ensure smooth and timely payment, tax payers only need to set up a few parameters and select the specific type of PullContract, and job done.
With Expedia breaking the ice and accepting Bitcoin for bookings, the travel industry is sure to change its payment policy and it was about time merchants from this field advanced in the blockchain direction.
Currently, flight and hotel bookings in the good, old Visa way is cumbersome on both the merchant's and the client's side. Booking.com is a good example from this perspective. When booking accommodation through the platform, it can take up to 20 business days for the money to be deducted from the customer's credit card until it reaches the accommodation provider's account. To put the icing on the cake, the customer will end up with their money being blocked on the card until after check-out, which is something like – here's your money, yet it's not really yours, not to mention the associated transfer and conversion fees.
This leaves plenty of room for improvement in the traveling business as well, paving the way for widespread adoption of smart blockchain technologies like PumaPay, which hold a great promise to change the status quo, by eliminating all middlemen costs. Another crypto startup, RoomDAO, is revolutionizing the travel industry by creating a unified crypto marketplace of everything a traveller needs - from tickets and hotels to car rentals and excursions.
Next in line to roll with the crypto flow are online are messaging apps. Telegram, the queen of encrypted online communication platforms is joining the line of crowdfunders. The messaging app poses a serious threat to competitors like Slack, as it plans to raise the highest ICO in history, amounting to $1.2B for its ecosystem of 170M users worldwide.
The last but not least industry to be massively impacted by blockchain technology is healthcare. With the adoption of electronic health records, the healthcare industry took a stride forward towards workflow optimization and reduction of patient waiting times. However, EHR systems are still user-unfriendly and hackable, with MedStar opening a long series of big data security breaches in healthcare globally.
Healthcare institutions, professionals, insurers and patients alike could change this industry forever through the adoption of blockchain solutions that allow them to safely exchange big data without compromising its integrity, while securing the confidentiality of the medical act. Solutions were not late to appear, with the globally-known brand Philips Healthcare partnering with promising blockchain startups like Gem and Tierion to lay the cornerstone of Philips Blockchain Lab.
Yet this is only the beginning of the 21st century industrial revolution and only a bird's-eye-view of how blockchain technology transcends industries and creates a land of opportunity in every aspect of economic life, waiting to be explored. Want to find out more? Stay tuned to see what other industries are joining the blockchain revolution and join the conversation in our Telegram group.
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