Blockchain and its Potential Uses, Part I
In a previous post, we’ve talked about 3 of the main features of blockchain technology. We know for a fact that blockchain is starting to change the way financial transactions work. Financial institutions that has acted as a controlling power that intermediates between two parties are no longer necessary. Two parties can send transactions directly to each other as soon as they are verified in the peer-to-peer network.
Now, blockchain technology is slowly penetrating other industries. To reiterate, blockchain is essentially a shared public ledger in a peer-to-peer network; all data recorded is accessible to users in the network. It’s a decentralised system that has proven to be transparent and efficient in managing transactions. Blockchain technology has a lot of potential uses in other industries. In this post series, we’ll discuss a few areas where it is applicable.
As a shared database, blockchain records all historical data, from the very beginning. Therefore, all parties involved can make adjustments where needed as long as there is an agreement. Furthermore, they can easily track and monitor the changes done throughout. Blockchain technology can become the backbone of legal documents, ensuring minimal human error and that all parties have all the information they need on one document.
Practically any industry can apply blockchain technology and in numerous ways. Just recently, the Swedish Land Registry announced that it will be carrying out a trial using blockchain. It believes that blockchain in recording land ownership can eliminate the paperwork involved. Additionally, this ensures that all parties can access information digitally from beginning to end with minimal human error. Coindesk’s article, Land Registry: A Big Blockchain Use Case Explored is a fantastic piece that analyses the application of blockchain in land registry in depth.
Another example of where blockchain can benefit tremendously is the healthcare services. Medical records can be cumbersome to maintain, especially as they keep growing. This is due to current patients growing older and increasing number of new patients. Electronic health records (EHR) that is being utilised can minimise paper usage. However, it does not really solve the problem of sharing accurate patient information with several different service providers.
It is difficult to keep track of medicine prescription or test results and pertinent information often gets lost in the way. Relevant parties can share and view medical data easily through record-keeping on blockchain. Consequently, data integrity and patient privacy can maintained by giving the power of how the records can travel to the patient. In a white paper,“A Case Study for Blockchain in Healthcare,” by MIT Media Lab in conjunction with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre, they had proposed MedRec, a decentralised medical data management system using blockchain.