The terms blockchain and Bitcoin seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly, but there is more to blockchain technology than just cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain is a secure way of recording transactions or contracts between two or more entities. Because of its decentralized nature, blockchain is practically impossible to crack, as every time there is a new transaction every ledger in the blockchain is updated.
The potential uses of this technology are huge. Here are five examples of what it can do beyond Bitcoin.
BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY: SMOOTH ACCOUNTING SYSTEMS
Keeping books in order and double-checking every entry to make sure all information recorded is accurate is time-consuming — and expensive.
External audits can make the processes easier but it doesn’t necessarily mean they would make it faster. That’s why Deloitte has suggested blockchai as the future of accounting systems.
In their paper, Deloitte researchers suggest accounting should jump on the blockchain wagon to “simplifying the compliance with regulatory requirements for enhancing the prevalent double-entry bookkeeping, anything is imaginable”.
BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY: STORING HEALTH RECORDS
Using blockchain to store health records could be key in giving patients full control of their data — and their health. It will also make it easier for people to share their medical history with new practitioners, which will help minimize medical errors and potential lawsuits, as doctors will know which treatments, medications and tests each patient has had.
Recording this information on a national health service system could guarantee that each time a person goes to a hospital or needs and emergency procedure their data will be readily available, cutting waiting times and helping save thousands of dollars in repeat tests.
BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY: IMPROVING SUPPLY CHAINS
Given that there are so many entities involved in a supply chain, some transactions may get lost or are hard to trace. Storing data in a secure, easily-accessible system can help organizations improve their processes and reduce transactions times. Using blockchain to store information also means there is less room for mistakes, and, if there is one, it would be easy to find, track and correct.
It’ll also help stamp out fakes and counterfeit goods — which in China accounts for as much as a quarter of the market in some goods.
BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY: ENERGY SUPPLY
People who own solar panels can sell their energy surplus to neighbors who can’t install solar panels on their roofs. Not many people do it because the process takes time and payment usually arrives weeks later after the middle-man took a cut— and here is where blockchain becomes useful. People willing to sell their energy surplus use blockchain, get rid of the middle-man and, at the same time, help to reduce energy costs and promote the use of renewable energy.
A Perth-based company, Power Ledger, has developed an easy-to-use platformthat helps to connect solar panel owners with those who want to use renewable energy to power their homes. The platform allows peer-to-peer transactions, giving control back to the users and opening competition to ensure everyone pays what is fair.
This article brought to you by Nauticus Exchange.
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