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02 May '15 | Debjyoti Paul

German Shoppers: Meet Them in the Fast Lane to Phy-gital

15 January '15 | Ralf Reich

Shoppers Will Share Personal Information (But They Don’t Want to be “Friends”)

15 January '15 | Anil Venkat

Modernize or Perish: Property and Casualty Insurers and IT Solutions

14 January '15 | Manesh Rajendran

Benelux Reaches the Phy-gital Tipping Point: Omnichannel Readiness is Crucial

13 January '15 | Anil Gandharve

The New Omnichannel Dynamic: Finding Core Principles Across Industries

13 January '15 | Debjyoti Paul

Technology does not disrupt business – CIO day 2014 Roundup

02 December '14 | Anshuman Singh

Apple Pay – The Best Is Yet To Come

02 December '14 | Indy Sawhney

Digital transformation is a business transformation enabled by technology

01 December '14 | Amit Varma

3 Stages of FATCA Testing and Quality Assurance

06 October '14 | Raman Suprajarama

3 Reasons why Apple Pay could dominate the payments space

18 September '14 | Gaurav Johri

Beacon of Hope: Serving Growth and Customer Satisfaction

05 August '14 | Debjyoti Paul

The Dos and Don’ts of Emerging Technologies Like iBeacon

30 July '14 | Debjyoti Paul

What You Sold Us On – eCommerce Award Finalist Selections

17 July '14 | Anshuman Singh

3 Steps to Getting Started with Microsoft Azure Cloud Services

04 June '14 | Koushik Ramani

8 Steps to Building a Successful Self Service Portal

03 June '14 | Giridhar LV

Innovation outsourced – a myth or a mirage or a truth staring at us?

13 January '14 | Ramesh Hosahalli

What does a mobile user want?

03 January '14 | Gopikrishna Aravindan

The Industrialization of Blockchain is happening. Now.

Posted on: 31 August '16

In today’s global economy, information shared across various entities and industries have to be 100% accurate secure and transparent. This requires robust, secure data transmission through a defect-free network.

Blockchain is a secure, digital, chronological, distributed, and cryptographic ledger of events, with the following benefits:

  • The technology enables storing and confirming transactions with the decentralized platform, where each organization participating in Blockchain holds a complete record of the digitally-verified transaction.
  • The digital and distributed ledger enables transparent environment and facilitates accurate audit, by eliminating the need for intermediaries to validate transactions.
  • All historical information of transactions are easily retrievable by all parties for verification, as the information is automatically distributed to participants across the network.

This disruptive technology is creating a buzz across sectors. Below are some use cases where Blockchain is sure to create a deep impression.

Finance:

  • Cross-border payments: Today, SWIFT plays a pivotal role in providing corresponding banking networks across which cross-border transactions are processed. Blockchain-enabled network of peer-to-peer transaction processing will eliminate middle man/ intermediaries, thereby reducing the charges or fees incurred.
  • Real Time Gross Settlement: Blockchain-enabled peer-to-peer transaction processing facilitates real time individual transaction processing and settlement.
  • Post-trade processing and settlement:Currently, investors place orders with traders, who executes trades through exchanges. A trade gets executed through multiple phases including pre-trading, trading, post-trading, custody, and securities settlement. The market makers are the direct participants in the trading business. Investors are the indirect link for execution of trades. The exchange acts as platform for trading, and actively participates in Net-settlement and pay-in/ pay-out processing through market makers.

    Blockchain-enabled network of peer-to-peer automated transaction processing and settlement reduces time required for trade settlement.

Real Estate

  • Records of property ownership: There have been instances where a single property has been sold to multiple parties; this is the initiation of dispute. Blockchain-based distributed data base technology, empowered with multiple ledger copy maintenance feature, will help in creating a transparent and legal truth of value for every property.
  • House rental agreement and payments: House rental and agreement copies are a bond between the lessee and lessor throughout the tenure of stay. Lessor pays the agreed amount on the specific due date. The Blockchain-based distributed database will help maintain the history of transaction details, which in turn will help bring transparency in terms of documents and payment verification.
  • Property tax reconciliation and management: Infrastructure and property tax provides some benefits to the tax payer during the income tax payment and return filing process. Blockchain can create immutability of record maintenance and transparency in tax reconciliation, thereby creating a robust system.

Identity and Public Administration:

  • Digital ID verification (KYC documents): Know your customer (KYC) is vital for all organization. Blockchain can store legitimate information about customers who are participants in the transaction processing. Today regulatory authorities place a lot of importance on maintenance of KYC records. Blockchain’s inbuilt capability of storing/ recoding information in an immutable format improves the verification and validation process.
  • Notary services: A document is legal when information on it is verified and legally authenticated. Blockchain-enabled systems can create a tamper-proof, robust ecosystem that can help the notary system with an easy and efficient verification process.
  • E-voting: Electing a genuine leader is an integral part of elections. But there have been instances of ballot boxes being stolen and public votes being manipulated. Blockchain enables cryptographic security that helps in transparent processing of e-votes.
  • Machine-to-machine commerce (digital identities): With Blockchain-enabled network, each machine can be identified through primary and public key identification, which in turn will reduce false data processing.

Contracts

  • Intellectual property agreements: An agreement copy is a bond between the seller and buyer throughout the process of sale of intellectual property. The buyer pays the agreed amount on the specific date. Blockchain-based distributed database helps in maintaining history of transaction details, which in turn will help creating transparency in terms of documents and payment verification.
  • Self-executing wills: Wills/ affidavits are an important part of property management. For an affidavit to be considered legal, it has to be signed, witnessed, and notarized by a lawyer. In case of disputes, affidavit is considered as legal word from the will-maker stand point. Currently, wills are made on paper and are open to errors as a lot of manual actions are involved. Blockchain- enabled technology will bring-in faster, safer and immutable execution of wills. Transparency will help resolve legal disputes in the absence of will-makers. It will also enable will-makers to do make necessary changes to the will when he/she is lucid and clear.

Travel and Tourism:

  • Ticketing: While travelling alone or with family and friends, factors like cost and time consumption play an important role. One is never sure if what has been promised on the travel leaflet or the website will actually be delivered. The distributed technology of Blockchain can bring transparency of data, and help provide immutable information for ticking.
  • Bonus/ reward points: Debit/ Credit /Travel/ Dinner/ Petro cards come with some benefits. The more they are used, the more benefit or reward points are paid to the card owners. If these benefits are given methodically through interlinking and if they are inter-transferrable, then it will create more benefits for the user. Blockchain-enabled distributed database can record transactions and the type of cards used, which in turn can help create an ecosystem of reward sharing which will be beneficial to the user in the long-run. It also provides higher transaction power to buy which may not be possible if the cards and reward points are not linked. Transparency and immutability can be maintained, thereby creating a new digital reward point ecosystem.
  • Courier tracking: In this e-commerce-driven world, people are increasingly buying and selling goods on electronic platforms. After the sale, the goods have to be delivered to the buyer’s shipping address. This is where manual intervention comes in; goods are required to be packed and shipped from the seller’s warehouse to the destination. Buyers are eager to receive the goods and track the product at regular intervals. With a Blockchain-enabled system, the tracking of products from one end to the other can be managed through transparent communication. This helps manage the entire shipping process, in case of disputes, goods lost in transit etc. The monetary losses can be covered through insurance. A seamless integration of data/information sharing can be created.

Health and Pharma

  • Patient health record maintenance: This is one case where KYC plays a very important role. Patients traverse across hospitals and doctors to get diagnosed and treated. Doctors need to know patient history to prescribe treatments. The security of these records lies with the patient or the relationship person who is taking care of patient. Loss of records will lead to re-diagnoses which can prove to be highly expensive. Distributed database management provides a robust and safe method of keeping records, where each document is kept in an immutable manner. There is no scope for any loss of information. Patients can be identified by the public key which is the only number/ identification/ document that needs to be shared. Public key will give doctors easy access all the reports of a particular patient. If required, the patient’s details can also be shared with other doctors who are not physically present at the hospital. This makes diagnoses more effective, with patients spending lesser and gaining more. Multiple doctors’ view can be gathered easily. Prescriptions and availability of the drugs at medical shops can also be tracked. Medicine bills can be made available to patient, who in turn can make use of it to claim insurance. Patients’ records can be kept immutable.

Insurance:

  • Most people are looking to secure their assets, life, and future. Premiums are paid to insurance companies for the same. Blockchain can help insurance companies obtain valid, verified data which has been approved by the right approvers. This leads to:
    • Faster processing of claims
    • Easy and secure method of processing of payments
    • Easy tracking of each premium paid by the insurer towards the insured asset.
  • The immutable information recording capability of Blockchain provides a transparent way of claims approval and processing. The auditable information can detect and reject dual claims by insurers.

Conclusion

Blockchain will create transparent, secure and absolute record of facts and figures for the ecosystem. The best part is it’s applicability beyond financial services sector. Organizations will begin adaptation of Blockchain over time, and it only expected to increase over time. The first step for any organization in Blockchain journey will be to identify how they can leverage Blockchain to build robust data systems and gain competitive edge.

  • Vinay Mehta

    Interesting Read. Can this be applied to IoT as well? For example: if we have a water distribution network. In case some part of the network faces some issues, how to dig where did the fault lie can be easily identified given the chronological accuracy of transactions being maintained through Blockchain. Is this a valid assumption or am I missing something?