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This is the best answer that I have found when I asked the same question a few months ago.
Some say that the blockchain will do to banking what the internet did to media. Bitcoin allows anyone to send money across borders almost instantly and with relatively low fees. Abra is one startup that is working on a bitcoin-based remittance service.
Many banks like Barclays are also working on adopting blockchain technology to make their business operations faster, more efficient, and secure. Banks are also increasingly investing in blockchain startups and projects. IBM predicts that 15% of banks will be using the blockchain by the end of 2017.
Although the blockchain ledger is public, the data is verified and encrypted using advanced cryptography.
That said, the applications build on the blockchain are still young and there have been several hacks in recent months. This is something future applications will need to grow up to.
With blockchain technology, transactions can be documented in a permanent decentralized record and monitored securely and transparently. This can greatly reduce time delays and human mistakes. It can also be used to monitor costs, labor, and even waste and emissions at every point of the supply chain. This has serious implications for understanding and controlling the real environmental impact of products. Some blockchain companies working in this sector are Provenance, Fluent, SKUChain, and Blockverify.
The blockchain is set to change the entire approach to research, consulting, analysis and forecasting. Online platforms like Augur are looking to create global decentralized prediction markets. These technologies can be used to place and monitor bets on anything from sports to stocks to elections in a decentralized way.
Samsung and IBM are using blockchain technology for a new concept called ADEPT, which will create a decentralized network of IoT devices. Operating like a public ledger for a large number of devices would eliminate the need for a central location to handle communications between them. The devices would be able to communicate with each other directly to update software, manage bugs, and monitor energy usage.
The global insurance market is based on trust management. The blockchain is a new way of managing trust and can be used to verify many types of data in insurance contracts, such as the insured person’s identity. So-called oracles can be used to integrate real-world data with blockchain smart contracts. This technology is very useful for any type of insurance that relies on real-world data, for example, crop insurance. Aeternity is one blockchain project that is building tools that are useful in the insurance industry.
The blockchain can be used to create decentralized versions of peer-to-peer ridesharing apps, allowing both car owners and users to arrange terms and conditions securely without third-party providers. Startups working in this area include Arcade City and La’Zooz.
The use of built-in e-wallets can allow car owners to automatically pay for parking, highway tolls, and electricity top-ups for their vehicles. UBS, ZF, and Innogy are some of the companies developing blockchain-based e-wallets.
Data on a centralized server is inherently vulnerable to hacking, data loss, or human error. Using blockchain technology allows cloud storage to be more secure and robust against attacks. Storj is one example of a cloud storage network using the technology.
Common complaints in the charity space include inefficiency and corruption. Using blockchain technology to track donations can let you be sure your money is going to end up in the right hands. Bitcoin-based charities like the BitGive Foundation use blockchain’s secure and transparent distributed ledger to let donors see that the intended party has received the funds.
Probably one of the most important areas of society that the blockchain will disrupt is voting. The 2016 US election is not the first time certain parties were accused of rigging election results. Blockchain technology can be used for voter registration and identity verification, and electronic vote counting to ensure that only legitimate votes are counted, and no votes are changed or removed. Creating an immutable, publicly-viewable ledger of recorded votes would be a massive step toward making elections more fair and democratic. Democracy Earth and Follow My Vote are two startups aiming to disrupt democracy itself by creating blockchain-based online voting systems for governments.
Government systems are often slow, opaque, and prone to corruption. Implementing blockchain-based systems can significantly reduce bureaucracy and increase the security, efficiency, and transparency of government operations. Dubai, for example, is aiming to put all its government documents on the blockchain by 2022.
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