17 Blockchain Disruptive Use Cases

How far away are we from witnessing the disruptive, transformative effects of blockchain technology in our daily lives?

Bitcoin, heralded by many as the biggest breakthrough since the arrival of the internet, has proved to be something of a moving target since its launch back in 2009. But Bitcoin is just one of many applications of the blockchain technology. Blockchain technology has led its way through financial services; however, many other industries are starting to benefit from it. Truth is that its wide range of applications across multiple fields has been increasing in the past year, disrupting traditional industries such as energy markets, healthcare and even public sectors.

Giants such as Apple, Airbnb and Uber will have to face the impact of decentralized technologies and we may even witness how current disruptors will be disrupted sometime soon (1-2 years).

 

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain is a meta technology on the internet that works as a decentralized database thanks to a peer to peer network of computers and people which share a distributed ledger.

It consists of data structure blocks—which hold exclusively data in initial blockchain implementations, and both data and programs in some of the more recent implementations—with each block holding batches of individual transactions and the results of any blockchain executables. Each block contains a timestamp and information linking it to a previous block.[1]

A transaction represents a unit of value somebody has and that is willing to exchange for something (physical or not) with somebody else. This unit of value will go from owner A to owner B by broadcasting to the network that the amount on your account goes down and the amount on the other person goes up. How do nodes in the network keep track of account balances? Ownership of funds is verified through links to previous transactions, which are called inputs.

Infographic-everis NEXT- Blockchain Use Cases by Virginia Duran

Interesting Use Cases

The transparent and decentralized nature of the blockchain network enables the development of a non-refutable, and unbreakable record of data, which is the fundamental feature that most companies are exploring and applying to their core businesses. In other words, substantial decrease of intermediaries, fraud and access to real-time information without manipulations. Also, there would be a decrease in bureaucracy burden improving the time invested in these processes. As a consequence, this has big implications for business and the corporation.[2]

Every day, many industries are finding new ways to use the blockchain technology. As a consequence, new startups around it are being created too. Find below a list of some interesting use cases across multiple industries being disrupted by the blockchain technology and awesome startups scouted from everisNEXT.com within each use case:

 

everis NEXT- Blockchain- Peer-to-peer payments
Peer-to-peer economy facilitated by blockchain has been among the examples for the technology’s disruptive and innovative potential. However, using Bitcoin to send money around the world is slightly different than using Bitcoin as a currency. Peer-to-peer payments and lending belong to the first case. By eliminating the intermediaries, the blockchain can enable cheaper cross-border remittances and therefore enhance the spending power of recipients.

Interesting startups in this field:

  • Abra: Abra has built the first global, peer-to-peer, digital cash, money transfer App using Blockchain technology for secure money transfers and payments while protecting the value of deposits in local currency.
  • BTC Jam: it provides a peer-to-peer lending service where people from around the world connect to borrow and lend using bitcoin. It is allowed to users in countries that lack a local credit score system to receive loans, based on an in-house credit-scoring algorithm.
  • Bitbond: a global peer-to-peer lending platform for Bitcoins. Borrow Bitcoins or earn interest on your Bitcoins on our international marketplace.
  • Circle: a peer-to-peer payments technology company utilizing Bitcoin and traditional fiat currencies.
  • Plutus: a true peer to peer exchange network on the blockchain. PlutusDEX runs as a Dapp on the Ethereum blockchain.

 

everis NEXT- Blockchain- IoT
As blockchains and sidechains proliferate, there are several important implications for the Internet of Things and the development of Smart Systems. For one, blockchain technology could provide a way to track the unique history of individual devices, by recording a ledger of data exchanges between it and other devices, web services, and human users. Examples include electronic couriers to securely transfer sensitive information, escrow services to transfer ownership rights, or even auto-installation services to verify and push updates to the software governing other Digital-to-analog converters (DACs). [3]

Interesting startups in this field:

  • Chimera-inc: Chimera connects the Internet of Things to real-time analytics performed on the edge node. It is a hub that links the home network to the cloud and electrical devices around it.
  • Filament: Filament is building a decentralized IoT stack to ensure that devices can securely communicate and transact value without any siloed infrastructure. Filament builds sensors (called “Taps”) that are used by companies such as Amazon and SpaceX.

 

everis NEXT- Blockchain-Voting System
Existing electronic voting systems all suffer from a serious design flaw: They are proprietary, that is, centralized by design, meaning there is a single supplier that controls the code base [4], the database, and the system outputs and supplies the monitoring tools at the same time. The lack of an open-source, independently verifiable output makes it difficult for such centralized systems to acquire the trustworthiness required by voters and election organizers. The blockchain works as a secure transaction database, to log votes and audit vote results in a trustworthy way.

Interesting startups in this field:

  • Follow my VoteFollow My Vote aims to change the way we vote, becoming the world’s first secure open-source online voting software based on blockchain technology.

 

everis NEXT-Currency and Remittance
Multiple issues such as high transfer cost, limited money distribution methods, limited brand options, limited ways to deal with money, etc. hold enormous potential for innovation in financial services. The Currency exchange and remittance use case is perhaps the most advanced of the list since it has been implemented worldwide [5]. Dozens of large financial institutions, including many of the world’s major banks, have already launched initiatives to explore blockchain’s potential.

Interesting startups in this field:

  • Coinbase: a Bitcoin exchange company that operates exchanges between Bitcoin and fiat currencies in 32 countries, and Bitcoin transactions and storage in 190 countries worldwide.
  • Ripple: Ripple’s distributed financial technology allows for banks around the world to directly transact with each other without the need for a central counterparty or correspondent.
  • BitPesa: a universal Bitcoin payment and trading platform for Africa.
  • Chain.com: Chain partners with leading financial institutions to build blockchain networks. Chain solutions enable institutions to design, deploy, and operate blockchain networks that can power any type of asset in any market.
  • Stellar: a new payment protocol and currency, aims to bridge the gap between cryptocurrencies and fiat by allowing easy and instant exchanges between currencies.

 

everis NEXT- Blockchain-Collaborative Transport
Smart transportation is about maximising already-existing infrastructure and resources rather than adding new ones. Better use of existing resources creates affordable transportation without the need for more roads or vehicles. Real-time ridesharing is the key, enabling people with private cars to share their journey with others traveling in the same direction. What blockchain adds on top of this is the possibility to put together users without any middlemen thanks to decentralized platforms.

Interesting startups in this field:

  • La’Zooz: A Decentralized Transportation Platform owned by the community and utilising vehicles unused space to create a variety of smart transportation solutions. By using cryptocurrency technology La`Zooz works with a “Fair Share” rewarding mechanism for developers, users and backers.
  • Arcade City: the groundwork for a true decentralized ridesharing service — what some are now calling the ‘Uber killer’. It cuts out the corporate middlemen — and make government regulations obsolete — by transparently providing rider and driver with clear information about the other party to each transaction, including a strong reputation and ratings system where riders and drivers ‘level up’ after community-vetted good behavior on the platform.

 

everis NEXT- Blockchain-Decentralized Markets
Decentralized markets are about to kill e-commerce because it will be possible for any two people in the planet to trade with one another without depending on any institution [6]. For instance, eBay/Amazon users and sellers won’t make much sense after this field is fully disrupted. On the other hand, the possible scale of blockchain in this field will bring ecommerce to countries that still have not experienced what these traditional marketplaces have brought to industrialized nations.

Interesting startups in this field:

  • Open Bazaar: Decentralized marketplace for instantly trading goods and services with anyone using Bitcoin.
  • Slock.it: It disrupts the billions dollar disruptors by enabling anyone to rent, sell or share their property without middleman.

 

everis NEXT- Blockchain-Proof of Authorship and Ownership of Digital Content
In order to express the authorship of any kind of document (paper, photos or audio/video recording) something called proof of existence may be used. Time stamping data in an unalterable state while maintaining confidentiality is perfect for many fields, especially legal and artistic applications. This simple method allows anyone to store a hash of any document into the Blockchain, thus proving it existed at the time when a particular block was mined. The author’s name or other identifier would be included into the document, making it clear that he knew about it back then. If nobody proves the possession/familiarity with that particular file/work dated before, the author should be able to claim his rights.

Interesting startups in this field:

  • Proofofexistence: Anonymously and securely store an online distributed proof of existence for any document.
  • Blocktech: an open-source standard in active development to allow users to publish and distribute original content themselves, from music to videos to feature films, 3d printable inventions, recipes, books and just about anything else.
  • Clipperz: A tool to protect and manage intellectual property on the blockchain. A place where you can share your works knowing that authorship and copyright are secured. And where selling a digital product is as easy and secure as selling a physical one.
  • Stampery: Create an immutable record of existence, integrity and ownership of your documents, business processes and communications leveraging the Blockchain.
  • Bitproof: BitProof protects people’s creations from being stolen and provides the ability to create legal proofs of documents in less than a minute over the blockchain.
  • Blockai: a proof of ownership certificate in which can legally help prove you are the owner.

 

everis NEXT- Blockchain-Energy Distribution
New energy initiatives such as home power generation and community solar power are filling in gaps of power supply across the world. Solar panels are connected to the Internet with technology provided by startups such as Filament (see IoT blockchain use case) allowing traditional electronic devices to be connected online. Anonymous certificates are created and can – in theory –subsequently be sold to anyone who wishes to subsidize solar energy. [7]

Interesting startups in this field:

  • LO3: tools and develop projects to support and accelerate proliferation of the distributed energy, utilities and computation sharing economy of the future.
  • Brooklyn Microgrid: a small-scale, community microgrid that will allow local residents to buy and sell the energy they produce from rooftop solar power installations, using the existing energy infrastructure and the blockchain.
  • Solar Change: it gathers a network of services and applications meant to improve and increase the use of solar energy worldwide.  They introduce SolarCoin – a revolutionary reward program which is coupled to the production of clean solar energy.

 

 

everis NEXT- Trustworthy Endorsements and Proof of Identity
True identification should be readily available to those who need it, and a publicly distributed ledger can help. On the other hand, enabling authenticity of a review through trustworthy endorsements for employee peer reviews is possible with blockchain. Identity is who you are and what others think of you (which is in many cases a more honest view than what you’ll say about yourself [8]).

Interesting startups in this field:

  • ShoCard: stores your identity onto Bitcoin’s blockchain so that you can prove your identity whenever you need to.
  • UniquID: a decentralized, blockchain-based software for identity and access management of connected things.
  • Traity: It offers a way to build, protect and manage your reputation. Traity backs up your reputation on the Blockchain.
  • Onename: The global database for people, companies, websites and more. 
Decentralized, privacy-centric, and blockchain-secured.
  • The World Tablea decentralized reputation platform supported by an online community and an open-source project.

 

 

everis NEXT- Blockchain-Data Storage
Current cloud storage services are centralized — thus users must place trust in a single storage provider. With the Blockchain, this can become decentralized. While some traditional industries such as Banking have already proved to benefit from decentralized data storage, some fields such as the health industry are about to experience a disruptive change [9]. Consider all the sensitive information that is associated with health: identity, diseases, treatments, payment, etc. that could be privately secured and stored thanks to blockchain.

Interesting startups in this field:

  • Tierion: has built a platform for data storage and verification using the Bitcoin blockchain.
  • Peernova: builds immutable systems for large-scale, commercial applications.
  • NXT: a decentralized data storage system. Own your data.
  • Filecoin: a data storage network and electronic currency based on Bitcoin.

 

everis NEXT- Blockchain- Custodian Services
Disintermediation is a big threat to the industry particularly in the post-trade ecosystem. If a blockchain can replicate a settlement and custody infrastructure at lower costs then ownership could be transferred without the need for expensive intermediaries. As an example, if the blockchain held the registration details of each trade, there would no longer be a need to distinguish between custodian, CSD (central securities depository) and registrar.

Interesting startups in this field:

  • IBT: (Former Fundrs.org) helps you safeguard your letter of credit contracts digitally based on blockchain technology. It solves the risk of non-delivery for buyers and the risk of non-payment for sellers online. But most importantly, at a fraction of the cost of a traditional service.

 

everis NEXT- Blockchain- Smart Contracts
Smart Contracts are self-executing contractual states, stored on the blockchain, which nobody controls and therefore everyone can trust. An important feature of a smart contract is the ability to reduce risk through non-discriminatory execution. The lack of a central counterparty agent can enable such contracts to service markets with greater efficiency [10].

Interesting startups in this field:

  • Mirror: Mirror is a contracts platform and data provider that democratizes access to financial markets, developing a smart contracts platform to enable P2P trading.
  • UbiMS: is developing the Inter-Supply-Chain-Net (ISCN). The ISCN is an IT portal powered by a blockchain that executes an order fulfillment utilizing a patented [3D] supply chain process system to distribute products from the manufacturer to the consumer in the most efficient way possible.
  • Blockstream: develops new ways to accelerate innovation in crypto currencies, open assets and smart contracts.
  • Hedgy: develops your use case and deliver smart contract enabled distributed ledger systems.

 

everis NEXT- Blockchain- Online Gaming
Surprisingly, a large percentage of Bitcoin transactions are gambling-based. The speed and anonymity Bitcoin offers has made the cryptocurrency ideal for people looking to wager safely and has given sports gamblers an alternative to traditional online books. Usually players have to go through a tedious process sending and receiving their money from gambling sites leaving a big area for improvement.

Interesting startups in this field:

  • SatoshiDice: the leading Bitcoin gambling site in terms of amount wagered which uses the digital currency Bitcoin.
  • Augur: combines the magic of prediction markets with the power of a decentralized network to create a stunningly accurate forecasting tool – and the chance for real money trading profits.
  • Deckbound: creates an ecosystem of technology and services where players and content creators can build and share gaming assets across multiple games and systems in a secure, open environment.

 

everis NEXT- Blockchain- Digitization of documents and contracts
With the dramatic increase in types of data and respective formats, the need to integrate and share data across systems has become vital. For most organizations, this involves delicate balancing of the processes that move data between systems. Blockchain plays and important role in a holistic innovation and risk management strategy, including concepts of cyber liability, big data and telematics.

Interesting startups in this field:

  • Colu: Creating, storing and managing digital assets using blockchain technology, a record-keeping tool for online identity and the Internet of Things.

 

everis NEXT- Blockchain- Digital Security Trading

Most investors in public securities never see their stock certificates so a plan to do away with this is in line where technology is moving in general. Unless you have a room wall papered with stock certificates you will not be missing anything [11]. The untested nature of the trading system is a concern that can be solved by blockchain technology.

Interesting startups in this field:

  • Symbiont: a provider of smart securities on the blockchain. The company aims to eliminate many of the inefficiencies and the opaqueness that have developed on Wall Street by utilizing the speed and security of cryptographic distributed ledgers known as blockchains to enable faster markets that are more efficient, and exhibit lower costs with increased liquidity, transparency and security.
  • Secure Asset Exchange: allows issuers and investors to utilize secure decentralized infrastructure to its full potential, by offering investors and issuers a suite of easy to use web-based tools to interact with an exchange infrastructure that nobody controls and therefore everyone can trust.
  • Bitshares: provides a high-performance decentralized exchange, with all the features you would expect in a trading platform. It can handle the trading volume of the NASDAQ, while settling orders the second you submit them.

 

 

everis NEXT- Blockchain- Luxury and Medical Goods Identification and Authentication
The afterlife of goods can be dramatically changed through the existence of a full lifecycle record and supply chain tracking, now possible thanks to blockchain technology. Although luxury objects such as gold, diamonds and watches are interesting examples, the disruptive use of this technology within identification and authentication lies in the health industry. According to Interpol, more than 200,000 people die worldwide annually from counterfeit anti-allergy drugs alone [12]. Blockchain helps anti-counterfeit in very meaningful ways.

Interesting startups in this field:

  • Everledger: Everledger provides an immutable ledger for diamond identification and transaction verification for various stakeholders, from insurance companies to claimants and law enforcement agencies. Everledger provides new methods of financing and insuring diamonds, as well as combatting fraud, by providing an application for various stakeholders in the diamond pipeline.
  • ChainLink: uses blockchain technology to verify and validate the authenticity and title of real world items.
  • Blockverify: a blockchain based anti-counterfeit solution in different industries.
  • Provenance: it enables every physical product to come with a seamless digital ‘passport’ empowering transparency and trust. Preventing the selling of stolen or fake goods and creating an auditable account for the journey behind all physical products.

 

everis NEXT- Blockchain- Governmental Services
Blockchains are enormous catalysts for change that affect governance. It could improve transparency and check corruption in governments worldwide. In fact, Estonia has become notable for its e-government system, which was established in 1997. This is enabled by a chip-embedded ID card that gives the nation’s citizens access to over 1,000 e-government services, such as filing taxes and voting, almost instantly and via just one website. [13]  

Interesting startups in this field:

  • Bitnation: a blockchain-based “Governance 2.0” initiative with a collaborative platform for DIY governance.
  • Stampery: an immutable record of existence, integrity and ownership of your documents, business processes and communications leveraging the Blockchain.
  • Shocard: a digital identity that protects consumer privacy and is as easy to understand and use as showing a driver’s license.

Conclusion

What is revolutionary about this technology is that the decentralized consensus breaks the old paradigm of centralized consensus (when one central database used to rule transaction validity). New flows of value can be created based on this consensus which sets new legal and regulatory frameworks.

By embedding trust rules inside transactions and interactions, identity, ownership and representation can be guaranteed. Could this be the beginning to end corruption? Thanks to this technology, new decentralized markets are being created, which is just the tip of the iceberg and which is changing the way we trade. All these various shifts are creating a rich ecosystem environment for blockchain-based innovations in which many disruptive use cases have already found their way.

Will governments, financial and legal institutions embrace blockchain? What will happen to the ones who don’t?everis NEXT blog- Campus Madrid- virginia duran- Blockchain-1


Sources and References:

[1] How Bitcoin Works Under the Hood
[2] Harvard Business Review, 2016
[3] Applications for IoT and Smart Systems
[4] Blockchain Electronic Votes
[5]  Let’s Talk Payments, 2015
[6]  Bitcoin Magazine, 2014
[7]  CoinDesk, 2016
[8]  Blockchain Agenda, 2015
[9]  Bitcoin Magazine, 2016
[10]  Cryptocurrency News
[11]  Blockchain for Digital Securities
[12]  Techcrunch, 2015
[13]  CoinDesk, 2016
Distributed Ledger Technology: beyond block chain by UK Government Office for Science
Blockchain: understanding the potential by Barclays
The great chain of being sure about things by The Economist
State of Blockchain Q1 2016: Blockchain Funding Overtakes Bitcoin

everis NEXT

everis NEXT is the innovation area at everis, a multinational consulting firm. everis NEXT builds win-win bridges between startups and corporations through the world’s largest B2B-ICT startup repository. As an Open Innovation platform, it connects 1.9+M startups with both large corporations and influencers. Hundreds of large corporations are using everis NEXT to find trending technologies and work together with startups.

This entry has 15 replies

  1. I think there is a bug in the infographic in the block signatures 3 and 4. Nevertheless the article is really helpful to understand why blockchain is disrupting.

    • everis NEXT says:

      Thanks! Just corrected the bug 😉

  2. Kill says:

    I couldn’t refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!

    • everis NEXT says:

      Thank you. Hope to see soon on the blog again!

  3. Great job!

  4. jason says:

    Great site. Thanks!

  5. fifa 17 says:

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  6. Sethu V says:

    Great read and nice listing of forward looking businesses leveraging Blockchain. Very helpful for our research

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  8. Smithe54 says:

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