3 blockchain experiments you should be aware of
Blockchain technology is not a buzzword anymore. With Bitcoin steadily gaining popularity, companies worldwide seek to employ the technology to utilize blockchain in many other sectors.
The main benefits of blockchain lie within its architecture:
- It’s a decentralized ledger of transactions, meaning there is no controlling entity or a single failure point of the network
- As there is no governing body, all the participants have equal rights
- All participants have the exact same copies of the ledger, so no foul play is possible
- Blockchain system provides unmatched security, helping avoid counterfeit and fraud
Due to this, blockchain technology is a natural choice for electronic government, keeping records of important documents (like financial transactions and official documents) and peer-to-peer transactions that can make many current entities obsolete — from centralized utilities to banks. Even the heat generated while mining the cryptocurrency can be utilized.
In fact, Amazon was going to launch a pilot project, where the hot water used to cool down the data center would be used to heat several nearby living blocks of residential areas in Seattle. This project was put on hold due to bureaucratic resistance from the local utility providers, yet the idea can be brought to life relatively easy. Such initiatives are actually in place in Denmark by Facebook and in Finland by Yandex. Many data centers are already being built with heat reuse in mind, like the new H&M data center in Stockholm, Sweden.
This is but the simplest way of using the data center heat (including the one generated by blockchain processing). There are many other industries that can leverage blockchain to bring innovation and improvement to their customers. Here are 3 areas where blockchain is actively used nowadays, with examples.
Creating a transparent peer-to-peer energy market
There are multiple endeavors by power utilities and startups across the EU, trying to change the rules of the game for the energy market in order to provide a more decentralized and flexible model. When the energy consumer can contact the energy producer directly and can choose amongst several providers — a cheaper atomic energy, a slightly more expensive coal energy or not too widespread, yet steadily emerging renewable energy — the energy industry will reduce the operational costs and can yield billions of euros in additional income.
While being hugely beneficial for the customers, such a system still raises several questions. Who will pay for the maintenance and repairs of the power grid? This is currently maintained by the utilities with the costs included in the energy pricing. How do the currently existing power-generating and distributing companies fit to the scheme? Simply closing these entities for good will create a massive unemployment wave, so this is not an option.
These questions should be answered before implementing the blockchain-based transparent energy marketplaces across the EU.
Real estate and property trading using blockchain ledgers
The aforementioned transparency, immutability and security of blockchain ledgers make them a perfect medium for carrying out records and transactions of important purchases, like land and real estate records. For example, the Lantmäteriet, the Swedish land registry has officially begun registering the land and real estate properties using the blockchain technology. The government of Georgia has begun securing land titles using Bitcoin blockchain since the February of 2017, the pilot was completed by the BitFury company.
We have also quite recently described a real estate blockchain by a start-up from Ukraine, and there were successful cryptocurrency-funded purchases of homes, apartments and other properties in Ukraine, Dubai and the U.S.
Hyperledger, the cryptocurrency-free ledger
The main problem with using blockchain technology to build decentralized banking lies within the fact the Proof of Work concept was never meant to be used for that purpose. That is why more than 80 companies (including the members of Linux Foundation, Intel and IBM) have created the Hyperledger Project — the cryptocurrency-free ledger.
This system is expected to process up to 100,000 transactions per second and will definitely be a supreme tool of the trade for e-government entities and processing the document flows of huge international corporations, which is why so many of them are backing the project. Moving from the old scheme of sending signed documents via snail mail or express delivery services to a decentralized, transparent and fraud-proof blockchain ledger will drastically increase the speed of processing the business-related documents, while also cutting on expenses and providing extreme security.
We listed but 3 examples of blockchain use for the business, yet there can be dozens more. Wherever the business or government agencies need to provide speed, transparency and security — the blockchain technology stands ready to lend a hand. Do you know of any more examples of successful blockchain implementation? Please share them and share the article if you found it useful or entertaining!