Business Applications, Use Cases and Startups
After Bitcoin being created in 2009, Blockchain drew more attention. Many people think that Blockchain will influence technology even more than the internet. In a study carried out by IBM company on 3000 activists in various domains of technology, it was found out that at least 18% of them use Blockchain in their businesses or intend to use it. Although this newly-emerged technology might not be accepted by the majority soon since many of these businesses prefer to work with traditional methods of data centers. Businesses that welcome this new technology not only change very much but they also enjoy much improvement in their jobs. To elaborate the issue, some of the Blockchain applications are investigated in different businesses.
Blockchain in the Field of Payment
In e-commerce or international payment services, cryptocurrencies can be used instead of credit cards or PayPal. The projects which use Blockchain in the e-commerce own a secure storage space and valid wallets. More startups will enter in this area in the future and make micro-transactions easier and cheaper. For example, the people who subscribe to read online news can pay as per each piece of news instead of the monthly subscription. In a study conducted by Deloitte accounting company, it was proved that using Blockchain in the banking industry totally decreases 2 to 3% of banking charges while banks will be able to do international transactions faster than traditional methods.
The term “smart contract” has been heard since about 1993, but from 2013 and after the release of the Ethereum project, it is used besides Blockchain. This project is, in fact, a decentralized platform that makes smart contracts. When Blockchain is used to secure the information of a contract, its information cannot then be tampered with in any way. The smart contract takes confirmation and then does some tasks as a result. These tasks might be sending a password, issuing an invoice, or anything else. The code written in the smart contract automatically takes the next measures automatically.
Even for small businesses, this automation makes very much simpler the process of the tasks. Escrow is a service that is worth billions of dollars. This service, which is related to the real estate market, holds 1 to 2% of the value of the property until the time the contract is fulfilled reciprocally and without any problem. Now imagine it is done by a smart contract and minimizes the frequency of error and fraud. In this case, as long as the contract is not completely fulfilled, the money will remain in that Blockchain address (specific for the contract).
Companies like Slock, which is based on the IoT (Internet of Things) platform of Ethereum, use these contracts, and lend bicycles to users. Users can get a bicycle by using smart contracts.
Cloud Storage Space
Cloud storage space is yet another application of Blockchain, which is used by different businesses. Storj is one of the companies that offers people the cloud storage space. The founder of Storj, Shawn Wikinson, says that only by using the free space of users’ hard drives, the users can enjoy the cloud space 300 times more than usual. The mechanism of Storj is the same as Airbnb, in which people rent their empty room or house to others. Wikinson says that with respect to the $22 billion that is spent on cloud storage space, this can make a good income for medium-sized businesses active in this field and also reduce the usual costs of it for users to a great extent. The mechanism of this business is such that your files are first encrypted and are divided into smaller files on the client end and finally are distributed on cloud storage nodes.
The application of Blockchain in technology is much more comprehensive that what we introduced in this article. For example, Blockchain is also used in online voting systems, and this reduces the percentage of error and scam to its bare minimum. To make any product, a large number of people have the role of suppliers, and it is possible that proper surveillance is not done on the health and quality of the product of these producers. For this reason, Blockchain is also used in the food industry and supply chain to do things like tracking the product and ensuring its quality. For example, foods that are sold as organic foods are comprised of a chain of suppliers, and there is no surveillance on to what extent the products that are present in this chain are, in fact, organic, but Blockchain can revolutionize traditional surveillance. Today, large companies like IBM and Samsung are researching and developing the Blockchain technology in their private projects. It can be said that Blockchain has entered all the fields of industry and technology, and the huge change that this technology has on different fields will manifest itself more in the near future.
[Forbes] “How Smart Contracts Could Change The Way You Do Business”, Joel Comm, May 16, 2018
[Tardigrade] Information from the official website
[Economist] “5 applications for blockchain in your business”, John Rampton, 20 Oct, 2019
[Inc] “4 Ways Any Business Can Use Blockchain”, Aug 14, 2018
[Upwork] “8 Blockchain Applications That Could Help Your Small Business”, John Rampton, Sep 6, 2017
[Due] “7 Surprising Business Uses for Blockchain”, Kayla Sloan, Jan 24, 2018
Dr. Pooyan Ghamari