Blockchain technology has continued to gain significance with use cases being added to the list every day. But who is using blockchain technology, or is it just about the future? While blockchain technology is relatively new, it is already being used commercially in some industries and organisations including:
Blockchain technology is already being used in the financial services industry. It is especially useful in increasing transparency, reducing infrastructure costs, improving settlement time and reducing fraud. Ripple is providing global financial settlement services using blockchain technology. It allows banks to transact with each other, lowering the costs of settlement significantly. The company has already launched a global payments steering group, the first interbank blockchain group for global payments with the aim of helping members to create and maintain formal payment transaction rules to guide money transfers over the Ripple blockchain. Elsewhere, Japan and Thailand have rolled out the first blockchain powered instant remittance service to facilitate remittance between the two countries using the Ripple blockchain.
According to Forbes, in 2017, the World Food Programme sent more than 10,000 Syrian refugees cryptocurrency based vouchers. These refugees were then able to purchase foodstuffs with the help of blockchain big data firm Datarella, Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood and Parity Technologies. Blockchain technology is useful in ensuring that donations reach refugees directly bypassing the usual bureaucracy and international uncertainty.
In 2016, retail giant Walmart began using blockchain to track the movement of pigs from China to America. In August 2017, an organisation of Arkansas farmers used QR codes on chicken crates to track their movement. There are efforts to integrate blockchain technology into the entire supply chain for the benefit of manufacturers, retailers and suppliers. Devery, for example, is in the process of launching a blockchain that will help in the fight against counterfeit goods by helping you to track items along the supply chain.
Higher Education Institutions
MIT has already launched blockchain based diplomas. This summer, the institute issued 111 graduates with their certificates through a specially developed blockchain app known as blockcerts wallet app. The app, developed by Learning Machine in collaboration with the MIT registrar’s office, uses blockchain technology to allow graduates easy access to tamperproof and verifiable versions of their diplomas that they can share with potential employers.
Origins and authenticity of diamonds is a common concern for all industry players. Everledger has digitized more than a million diamonds helping deal with these concerns. The company can record more than 40 unique characteristics of diamond such as colour and clarity and record them on its blockchain. The diamond industry is attracting more blockchain players with the recent entry of CEDEX that uses the public Ethereum blockchain to allow secure diamond transactions.
These are some of the many users of blockchain technology. Many others have tested it and could be rolling out full implementation in the near future.