In the ongoing business environment, digital transformation is playing a key role in radically disrupting the industries. New technologies are enabling enterprises to revamp strategies and accelerate growth, as well as build new business models. One such technology that can be termed as a catalyst of the Digital Transformation is the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), popularly known as Blockchain. The relevance of Blockchain in the current business ecosystem can be understood by a recent Gartner study that estimates Blockchain to add USD 3.1 trillion in business value by the year 2030.
But, while this clearly indicates wider usage and broader adoption of the technology, how exactly within the realm of possibility will it influence the world around you? To form an idea, let’s consider a few examples on potential Blockchain application that we will witness in a not too distant future.
Standardized transactions like money transfers, credit and debit card payments, remittances, foreign currency and online payments, require an intermediary, such as a clearing house or a financial institution. The Distributed Ledger Technology will eliminate the need of any intermediary as the transaction can occur directly between the buyer and the seller and the validation of the transaction would happen in a decentralized way or distributed ledger.
From a cyber-security standpoint, the decentralized nature of the technology will allow in preventing data tampering and fraud. It is the same feature of the technology that allows Bitcoin to function as a decentralized currency.
For the healthcare sector, a private Blockchain will be used to manage the data of patients in a secure manner. The data will be managed without risk of manipulation or unauthorized access, and allow critical information to be exchanged between various authorized users such as doctors, hospitals and health insurers.
Numerous manual processes exist today in the insurance value chain because of a lack of trust between contracting parties. By moving insurance claims onto an immutable ledger, Blockchain promises to foster greater transparency and trust in the industry, as all the transactions recorded to a Blockchain will be tamper proof and visible to insurers, brokers, third-party administrators, service providers across locations. For health insurance, a private Blockchain will be used to cryptographically secure medical records of the insurance policy holder, and will allow the information to be exchanged between health providers, increasing interoperability in the health insurance ecosystem.
For the diamond mining industry, the entire process beginning from where the diamond was mined, its attributes, to the jewelry store it is transported to, can be maintained over a Blockchain. This will allow in guaranteeing the legitimacy of each diamond while ensuring that they come from conflict free zones, as it will enable companies and individuals to verify the source and uniqueness.
The convergence of Blockchain with IoT will offer a mechanism to track the unique history of individual devices, by maintaining a record of data exchanges between it and other devices, web services and human users. The technology will also help in augmenting the security of the IoT devices, as the transactions recorded in Blockchain would be extremely difficult to tamper.
Above are just a few examples of what the future holds for Blockchain. It today has its applications extended to payments, identity management, insurance, healthcare, digitisation of physical assets and more with hundreds of Blockchain applications currently running or being developed. As the market around Blockchain continues to grow, the technology is poised to offer profound opportunities in a myriad of domains, solving the immediate, as well as subsequent issues of the digital economies.