How Blockchain Technology is Already Being Used in Everyday Life
The term ‘blockchain technology’, is synonymous for most people with the term cryptocurrency. However, a person doesn’t have to own cryptocurrency, to be directly affected by the looming blockchain tech revolution. In fact, in some parts of the world, blockchain technology is already affecting real lives, without most people even realizing.
Blockchain Technology is About Much More than Bitcoin
At its most basic, a blockchain is a growing list of records which is impossible to independently alter.
Blockchains can’t be hacked. Neither can information stored on a blockchain, be independently altered by bad actors like rouge employees. Several governments and businesses are, therefore, already using blockchain-based data storage and management to improve everyday efficiency and security.
Blockchain Digital Identity and Information Validation
To understand how blockchain technology might soon start shaping the future, one need only look to the Republic of Georgia.
Like in Europe, Georgia has an increasing skills shortage crisis, paired with an inability to quickly verify the qualifications of people applying for new job roles. However, Georgia has a novel solution to this problem.
Starting this year. Georgia is partnering with Hong Kong-based Blockchain Development company IOHK. Notable for bringing top market cap cryptocurrency Cardano to market, IOHK will be using its blockchain tech to track academic achievement in Georgia.
- IOHK will implement a blockchain called Atala across several Georgian higher education institutions.
- The Atala blockchain will store all citizens up-to-date qualifications and work skills.
- Atala will make it easy to forecast future skills shortages.
- The Atala blockchain will make faking academic credentials impossible, while also allowing businesses to verify work skills and qualifications in seconds.
The Atala Blockchain in Ethiopia
The same Atala blockchain technology being rolled out in Georgia is also already being implemented in East Africa. However, in places like Ethiopia, the Atala blockchain is being used to serve several different objectives.
- Atala in Ethiopia is being used to facilitate faster and more secure utility bill payments.
- Ethiopia plans to use the Atala blockchain with national ID databases.
- It has been suggested that Atala may be used to record land and property transactions, to eliminate land and property ownership disputes.
Kenyan Road Safety and International Freight Logistics
Blockchains like IOHK’s Atala, are very similar to business-specific commercial blockchains like IBM's Hyperledger blockchain. Moreover, Hyperleder itself is already being used across a variety of industry sectors.
l Golden State Foods, Nestlé, and Wal-Mart are just some businesses already using Hyperledger blockchain technology to improve food safety via better supply chain monitoring.
- The American Association of Insurance Services presently uses Hyperledger to improve efficiency and streamline regulatory compliance.
- Maersk already uses Hyperleder to identify supply chain problems and improve international freight logistics.
Non-Hyperledger blockchains around the world, are also currently seeing blockchain technology be used to complement everything from road safety to the efficiency of modern banking.
In Kenya, it is estimated that up to 5 million Kenyans depend on commercial motorcycle transport to make a living. However, poor traffic conditions coupled with an inadequate accident and emergency service, result in almost 1,000 motorcycle deaths each year.
To combat poor Kenyan road safety, a new blockchain start-up RideSafe gives healthcare providers an incentive to save more lives. When an accident occurs, RideShare app users are connected with the best healthcare providers in their area. More importantly, Smart Contracts which provide payment for emergency healthcare, only execute when riders receive the very best care possible.
Other Everyday Uses of Blockchain Technology
Even if cryptocurrency becomes obsolete tomorrow, blockchain technology itself will not. Businesses, banks, and governments are increasingly using blockchain tech to increase efficiency and data security. During the next few years, many people will, therefore, likely start using blockchain technology without even realizing.