Blockchain, in simple terms, is referred to as a decentralised database of blocks of information recorded in a chain format and linked to each other in a secured crypto-graphical way. It is a technology that ensures secure transactions and carries the potential of completely changing how we transact.
This revolutionizing technology provides a safer, faster, and more secure way of validating important information required to establish trust. Though it originally came into being for digital currency, its potential uses have gone way beyond what anyone could have envisaged at that time and is already transforming multiple industries like healthcare, banking, finance, supply chain, etc.
Blockchain technology has made its way into mobile app development. Blockchain applications offer accountability and transparency in the most common and important facets that make our world what it is. From ensuring easy availability of our medical records to getting us the food we like and the insurance we plan on buying, blockchain applications are everywhere. Here are a few of the some of the blockchain applications that are transforming the world as we see it today.
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Top 5 Blockchain Applications
This blockchain application is used to speed-up banking transactions. Blockchain’s impact on the financial sector is more profound than on any other. Ripple testifies this statement. This application is a great tool for recording and completing financial transactions. It creates a large network irrespective of physical dimensions. As there are no third parties involved, the cost associated with these transactions is lower than usual. At the same time, the network remains transparent and secured.
Generally, international financial transactions are error-prone and can take a lot of time. In addition, with transaction fees and exchange rates adding up, the associated total costs are usually on the higher side. Ripple allows for real-time international transactions without huge costs. It has a network that comprises 200 institutions, making it safe, cost-effective, and a fast choice for international transactions.
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Ambrosus is the go-to app for supply chain tracking. Supply chain management usually involves several third parties in every phase. This makes it a complex process. Providing quality, trust, and transparency, and ensuring efficiency in the long product journey becomes a tedious job. Ambrosus is the solution. It is a combination of IoT and blockchain.
The application has a tracking tool that registers a product on the blockchain network and then allows consumers to find every little detail about it. So, if we talk about food items, consumers can discover the location where the ingredients used in a specific food item come from, where those ingredients are processed, and how and where they are stored.
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This application automates flight insurance. Insurance is another area that is making the most out of the benefits that blockchain offers. Smart contracts can be used to do away with traditional contracts that are usually quite complex.
Etherisc is a blockchain application that makes it easy for consumers to buy flight insurance. If their flight is cancelled or delayed, they don’t have to wait for weeks to get a payout, Etherisc ensures nearly immediate payout.
Artory makes registration for art and collectible items effortless. One of the biggest issues that artists face with regards to their work is proving its authenticity. Seeing your work being copied without you receiving remuneration for copyright rights is a very common doldrum that artists commonly find themselves in.
Blockchain empowers artists and protects original content. Artory does the registration work for art and collectibles. Every transaction that involves the selling of an art piece is also registered. It offers a straightforward way to validate the source of art with this application.
5. Brave and BAT
This application gives viewers the power of regulating ads. Blockchain makes microtransactions a reality in the field of advertising. Viewers are rewarded depending on how attentive they are when watching ads that they choose to see. Brave is a web browser that comes with an ad-blocker. Basic Attention Token or BAT is its reward system. Brave rewards viewers for opting to see ads. It also allows viewers to reward ad publishers. This application improves the ad-watching experience of internet users.
These blockchain applications are changing the way people used to transact digitally. These are just a few of the many applications out there that use this remarkable innovation. There is so much still to discover when it comes to blockchain and how it is transforming our world.
Impact of Blockchain Applications:
Blockchain has a lot to do with this period of the technological revolution. Blockchain enterprises should be given more credit than they usually are. Currently, public ledgers and decentralised networks have made the jobs of a lot of institutions and systems way easier than before; the number of these systems and institutions continues to increase.
Blockchain applications record digital information in the form of blocks. These applications use a decentralised network to verify the digital signature and authenticity of every block of information. Blockchain does away with the chances of any fraudulent transactions or unnecessary spending by choosing multiple networks.
The objectives of blockchain – decentralising information, increasing access to data, and bringing in more clarity – are catered to by blockchain applications. The existence of so many decentralised networks makes blockchain work like a public ledger in which blocks of information are made available on several networks. These records of information are then approved by other parallel networks. This does away with the disadvantages of having siloed information available on a centralised network in just one location.
Blockchain functions like one effective and reliable recordkeeper and mediator in a digital world where it is very difficult to authenticate the dependability of the information. Unlike paperwork and centralised networks that are prone to errors and security issues, blockchain offers digitisation through automated systems that bring in more reliability and accuracy to industries, especially the financial industry.
Blockchain application use smart contracts that automatically enforce the terms mentioned in them on the parties involved. These contracts can be automatically authenticated. Decentralised public ledgers record and replicate information, making it available to authenticate transactions, if and when needed.
Blockchain applications don’t use any third-party for any part of the transaction and ensure that all the participants are aware of the details mentioned in contracts. Smart contracts are useful in applications that include, but are not limited to, insurance policies, financial derivatives, and property agreements.
Currently, the financial sector is experiencing the biggest impact of blockchain applications. They are no longer used only in cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum and Bitcoin but also in traditional financial markets.
Many industries related to the financial sector are making the most of blockchain applications as they help these industries improve smart contracts, enhance asset management, and offer efficient and secure payments (without the involvement of third parties).
Private and public healthcare establishments are also starting to rely on the error-proof capabilities and transparency of blockchain applications to settle insurance claims faster and more efficiently.
Top Features of Blockchain Applications
- More accuracy with automation
- Reduction in the limitations of using paperwork
- Creation of well-established public ledgers
- Guarantee of improved accountability
Characteristics of Blockchain Applications
- Provenance: Gives blockchain participants information about the origin of an asset and its ownership over a period of time.
- Consensus: Consensus mechanism is used by participants to decide on the registration of transactions and other activities on the blockchain in general.
- Permissions: Existence of permissioned and non-permissioned blockchains to agree on who can and can’t enter as a participant
- Immutability: Data once registered and written on the ledger can’t be deleted or altered by participants or the administrator of the blockchain as all the blocks of information are linked to each other.
- Finality: Public ledger makes it easy to determine asset ownership or transaction completion. It affirms the fact that a transaction once recorded can’t be altered or reversed.
Who is Capitalising on Blockchain Applications?
- Bureaucratic and government processes
- Conventional financial businesses and cryptocurrencies
- Internet of Things (IoT)
- Healthcare systems
- Google, IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, and others
The blockchain technology provides control and accessibility of personal data that no other technology or application is capable of. The innovation is worth its weight in gold for both citizens and consumers as it offers accountability and transparency that they demand from enterprises and governments. Blockchain applications have a lot to offer in the future, and it feels like we have only somewhat exploited the benefits of this revolutionizing technology.
There is a rise in careers in blockchain technology and blockchain has tremendously changed the very face of the technology industry forever. If you’re interested to become a blockchain developer and build smart contracts and chaincodes, checkout IIIT-B & upGrad’s Advanced certificate program in blockchain technology.
Which type of blockchain should I choose?
There are 4 different types of blockchains that you can choose from based on your needs. There are public blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum which are open to anyone with internet access and do not put any restriction. There are private blockchains like Ripple and Hyperledger which are generally used within organizations and are faster. Then there are consortium blockchains such as Energy Web Foundation which are semi-decentalised in nature, and lastly there are hybrid blockchains like XinFin, which combine the elements of both private and public blockchains. All these blockchains have their own advantages and disadvantages. You may choose the one that best suits your needs and priorities.
What are the advantages of blockchains?
Blockchain applications verify digital signature and authenticity of every block of information by using a decentralized network, which minimizes the chances of fraudulent transactions and unnecessary spending. They are easily accessible, accountable and transparent records that can be relied on by the user. There are multiple sectors in which blockchains can be used like healthcare, banking, finance, telecommunications, etc. The current market scenario is seeing a rise in careers and opportunities related to blockchains and blockchain technology.
Are blockchains secure to use?
Yes, blockchain technology is highly secure. Although digital safety of the user significantly depends on their awareness and alertness, blockchains use hashes which are unique to each block, and they have security mechanisms like Proof of Work (PoW) and Peer to Peer distribution that slow down the process of creating blocks and make any tampering quite difficult. The security of using blockchains is also dependent on the type of blockchain that the user chooses. They can choose from the 4 types of blockchains depending on the level of security and transparency that they require.