What is a blockchain?
Before discussing the use cases of blockchain, let us first know about what a blockchain is? A blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger. It is a ledger of economic reactions that is programmed to record not only the financial transactions but also the virtual value of everything.
This blockchain is a growing list of records, which are known as blocks. All these blocks are linked to one another using cryptography. It must be known that each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block along with a timestamp, and the transaction data.
By design, a blockchain is resistant to modification. It is an “open, distributed ledger”. The specialty about this is that it can record the transactions between two parties efficiently. This is done in a verifiable and a permanent way. Considering all this, there are many use cases of blockchain. But, before we go ahead with the uses, we will talk about the working of blockchain.
How does blockchain work?
To have a basic understanding about the working of a blockchain; picture a spreadsheet that has been duplicated a multiple number of times. This has been done across a network of computers. Then imagine, this network has been designed in such a way to update the records by itself regularly. This is how a blockchain works.
The information that is held on a blockchain is a shared and continuously reconciled. This way of using the network has benefits. The database isn’t stored in any specific or a single location, which infers that the records are easily accessible and is available to public, and also are easily verifiable. There exists no centralized version of this information, making it hard for a hacker to corrupt it. It is hosted by millions of computers simultaneously and in addition to that its data is accessible to anyone on the internet.
How is blockchain used?
Cryptocurrency use cases couldn’t be stopped back in 2017. We can owe this to blockchain, which takes credit for holding cryptocurrency back. There is always a constant question which leads people to wonder, what this ‘game-changing technology’ can do to help the real world. There are many use cases of blockchain. Some of the uses have been listed below.
- Payment Processing And Money Transfers : This is the most logical use of blockchain. It can be used to expedite funds from one party to another. Now that banks are removed from the equation, and the validation transactions take place 24 hours a day, for all the seven days a week; all the transactions that are processed by blockchain can be settled in a matter of seconds.
- Monitor Supply Chains : Blockchains come to handy most when it comes to monitor supply chains. By removing paper-based trails, businesses can pinpoint the inefficiencies in their supply chains easily and quickly. Along with this, they can locate items in real time.
- Retail Loyalty Rewards Program : Blockchain has revolutionised retail experience by becoming the go-to for all kinds of loyalty rewards. It creates a token-based system which rewards the customers, and it stores these rewards in a blockchain. Thus, the customers return to a particular store or chain to do their shopping.
- Digital Voting : If you’re worried about voting fraud, then worry no more! Blockchain offers online voting. What’s more, is that it is transparent enough to ensure that regulators would be able to see if something were changed on the network.
- Real Estate, Land, And Auto File Transfers : The primary goal of blockchain is to take paper out of the equation. This is done to avoid any confusion that is normally created. If you’re buying or selling anything, you need to transfer or receive a title. Instead of handling all this on paper, blockchain can store these titles on its network, hence, allowing a transparent view of its transfer.
- Blockchain In Fintech: Blockchain can be used in the field of fintech for various purposes. There could be many use cases of blockchain specifically in fintech such as Payment Transfer, Credit Risk Calculation, Money Lending Applications etc.
- Bitcoin Technology Startups : They are focusing on payments, exchange trading, and promoting the other various uses of this currency.
- Blockchain Startups : They focus on various activities that go beyond ‘currency’. They focus on digitizing assets and improving anti-counterfeit measure; digitizing transfers of a company and lots more.
- Immutable Data Backup : Blockchain is a perfect way to backup data. Even though cloud storage systems are specially designed to be the ‘go-to’ source for data backups, they are not immune to hackers.
- Medical Record Keeping : It is a known fact that the medical sector is moving away from paper for record keeping purposes. However, blockchain offers even more safety and security to all these documents. In addition to this, the patient, who has the key to access these digital records, is in control of who gains access to the data. Hence, it strengthens the laws which have been specifically designed for the protection of patient privacy.
- Securing Access To Belongings : The smart contracts that are present within the blockchain network can be customized. It is customized for the businesses and customer needs. As a customer, one could use blockchain as a means to grant access to their house for service purposes, or even allow a mechanic to access their car for the purpose of repairs. But, if a person doesn’t possess a digital key, the service technicians will not be able to access anyone’s belongings.
- Tracking Of Prescription Drugs : Blockchain can be a means of tracking prescription drugs or medicines. We live in a world where prescription returns occur very often and counterfeit medicines are a real thing. Hence, blockchain offers all the drug makers the ability to track their products based on serial number or on the basis of batch number.
Why Should Blockchain Be Used In India?
India is a country which is developing at a very rapid pace. It is making sincere efforts to change in accordance with the rest of the world, i.e., become a digital market. India wants to eliminate all the paper-based tasks and turn it into digital based. Hence, to help India make this transformation, blockchain should be used in India. The best possible uses of blockchain and cryptocurrency in that can be implemented in India areas follows:
- Managing Internet Of Things : The internet of things describes wireless connection of devices that can send and receive data. Such an application is necessary for to determine the trustworthiness of a particular device on a network.
- Equity Trading : At some point in the future, probably, blockchain can replace equity trading platforms. Blockchain networks validate and settle transactions so quickly that it can eliminate the multiday wait which is faced by many traders on a daily basis currently, while selling stocks.
- Copyright And Royalty Protection : With blockchain, these copyright laws would be beefed up to a maximum extent for various purposes. Like, digital content downloads, ensuring the artist or the creator of the content that is being purchased gets a fair share in the market. Blockchain also provides real-time and transparent royalty distribution data.
Considering the best possible use cases of blockchain in India, along with considering the fact that India is slowly transforming into a digital country, it will be very helpful for India to make the best of the different use cases of blockchains.
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