We’re hearing more and more about how Blockchain technology is moving from its cryptocurrency roots into other areas of business but where are we likely to see the biggest impact? Here we take a look at 3 ways the decentralized ledger of digital asset ownership could change the world.
1. Cutting out the “Middleman” – Fintech
Blockchain technology makes it easier to access financial information anywhere in the world because the information no longer needs to be hidden behind firewalls as encryption ensures only relevant parties have access to the information. Fintech expert, Oliver Bussmann, believes Blockchain has huge potential to shake up financial services as well as other industries:“it’s a game-changer from my perspective, and game changer not only for the financial services industry, for insurance, for trade finance, you see this also for the internet of things.”
One example of how Blockchain will impact the banking industry comes from digitalistmag.com. SAP recently partnered with ATB Financial and fintech startup Ripple to test an international Blockchain payment from Alberta, Canada to ReiseBank in Germany. The test combined the SAP HANA Cloud and SAP Payment Engine applications with Ripple’s Blockchain network. The payment would typically take two to six working days to complete, but through the Blockchain network only took 20 seconds. Further testing has improved the transaction speed to only 10 seconds.
Blockchain has the potential to replace some jobs in the financial services industry by eliminating the middleman but it also has the potential to create significant fintech jobs in the enterprise IT sector.
2. Blockchain Cybersecurity
Hackers can attack their victims in many ways, including by stealing ideas, shutting down networks and fraud; Blockchain can prevent some of these security breaches. As software engineer and the founder of TechTalks, Ben Dickson, puts it “the Blockchain’s alternative approach to storing and sharing information provides a way out of this security mess.” Three ways Blockchain can improve security include blocking identity theft, preventing data tampering and stopping Denial of Service attacks.
People are increasingly conscious of keeping their identities secure from hackers. Blockchain can eliminate user identities being compromised by enabling them to verify the identity of the people they are communicating with.
Protecting data integrity
Blockchain makes it nearly impossible to tamper with data without being detected. Blockchain company, Gem, is using the technology to provide healthcare companies data transparency, change-auditing and fine-grained access control of health records. Using Blockchain helps keep sensitive patient and clinical trial data secure.
Protecting critical infrastructure
Twitter, Netflix, PayPal and other services were the victims of an attack which took them offline for several hours. The attackers brought down the provider of Domain Name Services (DNS) to these major websites. Blockchain technology will help protect DNS as Ben Dickson explains: “A blockchain approach to storing DNS entries could, according to Coin Center’s Peter Van Valkenburgh, improve security by removing the single target that hackers can attack to compromise the entire system.”
3. The Music Industry
Using Blockchain technology to distribute music can dramatically change the industry by partly removing the big music labels. It can give the artists full control over their music and allow them to take as much as 90% of the sales income, currently, they only get 15%. It also gives the artist full control over how their music and data is shared among other musicians and fans. Blockchain could also help reduce piracy and illegal use of the content.
Licensing and rights management
Major music labels and streaming services currently take the lion’s share of revenues. Musicians will be able to register ownership of their creations on the Blockchain which will reduce the influence of the big music labels. One key player bringing Blockchain to the music industry is UjoMusic, which through the Ethereum Blockchain, allows artists to manage their identities, content and licensing by themselves.
The hype around Blockchain will increasingly become a reality as businesses and consumers catch on to the benefits it offers. Adoption will be fastest in financial services, as making transactions will be quicker and more secure. Growing concerns about information security will drive adoption in the area of cybersecurity as the encrypted technology can prevent cyber attacks from happening. The technology will reshape the music industry as it can empower artists to gain more control who receives their recordings, fight piracy and increase their revenues.