The blockchain is undeniably a revolutionary technology. As an incontrovertible public record of data protected by a network of peer to peer contributors, entries made in the blockchain cannot be removed or edited. A very popular application on this platform is the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. Other applications are in banking and financial tech. But as it turns out, more industries can harness the technology. Here are different applications that made the headlines recently.
- Education Certificates
Sony Global Education developed a blockchain-based application that stores educational data, which has a potential to become a universal educational identification. Due to the blockchain’s immutable nature, educational institutions have also realized its potential to eliminate forgery in the certificates they issue. In fact, two schools have already issued blockchain-based certificates to their students – Holberton School and MIT Media Lab.
- Distributed Cloud Storage
Blockchain offers a way to store data on a peer-to-peer network. Unlike Dropbox, Amazon and Google Drive, the data is secured by multiple parties. It will be hashed and stored in multiple locations to secure it. Two startups have started exploring the idea already. Storj.io and Maidsafe released a beta version of a cloud platform.
- Time-stamping and Decentralized Notary
Digital time-stamping of documents are in trend now, but a trusted authority is still necessary. With the blockchain, data can be validated at a specific time and is provable in the court of law. How does it work? For instance, you have an original written piece of work. Simply have it in digital form, compress it in a hash and relay it as a transaction on the blockchain. The network will validate it and a timestamp will confirm you had it first.
With a decentralized currency, decentralized markets aren’t far behind. They will directly connect buyers and sellers, omitting the need for a middle man. They do not involve government intervention, high commission and fees, and tight regulations on sellers. The interaction will be through a software and, of course, payment of trades will be in Bitcoin. The first OpenBazaar went live on April 3, 2016.