Blockchain isn’t a brand new technology — its implementations already exist for more than 10 years, and its concept was developed in the 80s, but it’s still unexplored in terms of real use cases. Blockchain technology is similar to the internet which also existed for 20 years in laboratories and universities and got mass adoption only at the end of the 90s — beginning of the 00s. The Internet transformed the whole world, completely changing the way humans interact in many areas of life, and probably blockchain can have the same impact.
Right now, thousands of companies around the world explore the opportunities given by blockchain. The list of big names is huge: IBM, Microsoft, Facebook, Alibaba, Walmart, Visa, Mastercard, Huawei, Samsung, Pfizer, Ford, Shell, Barclays, JP Morgan, Bank of America, FDA and many more. All these companies implement blockchain solutions to gain some advantage and to save money. How do blockchain technologies help them in their operations?
Areas of Blockchain Implementation
There are many possible ways to use blockchain technology:
- Supply chains, tracking supplies at each point on their way from the initial manufacturer to the final destination. That’s how Walmart tracks its food.
- Marking vaccines. After the scandal with fake vaccines in China, the Chinese government began to seek a solution to prevent the situation from repeating. They chose VeChain which now develops the tracking solution for using it across the whole of China.
- Voting coupled with a decentralized identity. Some governments such as the India’s state of Telangana already plan to try it. Also, there are rumors that the US Postal Service also works on blockchain voting. E-voting will probably become a regular thing in the future because people tend to stay home more since the covid-19 pandemic started and this trend will continue. Working from home, ordering food, voting from home — that’s life in the future.
- Verification of any information, copyright verification.
- Finances. That’s the area where blockchains shine the most and currently it has more real use cases than all the previous ones from the list. Why? Because since the invention of the blockchain and until the development of the first platform with smart contracts blockchain and cryptocurrencies were almost the same thing. When Ethereum was released it became possible to create all the solutions described above but many startups also focused on taking crypto to the next level. Thus were developed many complex decentralized applications such as exchanges, wallets, escrow services, loan services, and stablecoins. Currently, we witness the birth of a huge alternative finance industry which slowly merges with a traditional one. There’s a huge amount of money flowing in, potentially trillions of dollars.
All these use cases are a great opportunity for everyone who’s into blockchain right now. Next, we’re gonna talk about learning blockchain development.
Thinking Two Steps Ahead
Initially, blockchain was a technology for geeks. Nobody was taking it seriously. Right now it’s considered a breakthrough technology. The finance industry adopts it because it doesn’t want to compete with the alternative finance industry and by embracing it and by merging with it mainstream finance becomes more efficient. Central banks start developing their own governmental cryptocurrencies, China is among the first countries that plan to issue crypto versions of their fiat currencies. Decentralized finances are cheaper and faster and more and more companies will be using blockchain technologies to gain advantage. Right now there’s a deficit of qualified blockchain developers on the job market, and demand will become even bigger over time. So if you’re a developer it would be a good idea to learn how blockchains work and try to use it in your projects — it will increase your value for any modern employer. How can you start? That’s easy — you should choose the blockchain you want to work with and set up your own node to be able to access it and get real data from it. If you don’t want to set it up, you can simply rent it at GetBlock.io. It offers nodes for all major blockchains and that’s a great opportunity to try something new — because you’ll definitely need these skills in the future.