Every few years a new set of tech terms get bashed around bars and cafes where the digital-savvy hang out. It was once Web 3.0, email marketing and programming. Fast-forward to today and it is all about big data, coding and the latest kid to kick it with the tech bunch, blockchain technology.
Blockchain technology was developed for the purpose of Bitcoin, enabling peer-to-peer payments that were faster, safer and less costly with the help of licensed brands such as the Luno and their Bitcoin wallet. Yet, blockchains have found themselves in many other areas, helping to solve industry-long problems and revolutionise the way these industries perform. What blockchains change within these industries can vary as much as the industry itself, yet, on many occasions, the blockchain is transforming technologies. Here are three.
1. Blockchain in Healthcare
Doctors are remarkable people, but that doesn’t always make their handwriting the best. Stereotypes aside, blockchain can be a huge benefit to existing technologies within healthcare. At the moment, most hospitals or clinics will store patient data on computers or specialist programmes. The problem with this is that the technology is not without threats from hackers trying to steal personal data. The blockchain then replaces the need for such programmes and computers to store records in a secure way. Moreover, through the inclusion of smart contracts, patient data could be made only accessible by their doctors and nurses.
2. Shipping and Logistics
The supply chain relies on digital technologies to track deliveries. The norm is to use scanners, barcodes and similar technologies which can record where a package or part is on its way from factory to factory or from factory to consumer. The data will then be stored on websites or within data sets. Yet, this process can be streamlined further with the help of a blockchain. The blockchain can reduce the complexity of the technology involved and allow businesses to track the supply chain on the blockchain with each step recorded on the decentralised platform.
3. Immigration Technologies
At current there are lots of different ways that border forces use to determine entrance dates, leaving dates and the movements of people. Gateways into countries often include some form of technology that takes our photo or maybe even our fingerprint. With millions of people crossing borders each year, the technology used may not always be effective as it could be, especially when it comes to verifying movements. This has been well documented. The blockchain could be a weapon against crime in this regard as it records each move somebody takes between countries. It could also flag up movement patterns that are known for drug smuggling or “visa runs”.
The bottom line is that blockchains and digital technology go hand in hand. Whether it be that blockchain is supporting existing technology or replacing it altogether, blockchains usually streamline processes or make them safer.