When we hear of blockchain, most of us instantly think of Bitcoin. Nowadays, blockchain is associated with a lot more cryptocurrencies than Bitcoin. But, the blockchain use cases extend to domains like supply chain, healthcare, voting, and many more.
Even most technologized industries suffer from security issues. Information frictions, data collection from multiple sources, restrictions from servers or providers, paper records and documents, and human error can all cause major issues for a business.
The implementation of blockchain across industries is thought to improve the quality and the security of products and services. By bringing all the information in a digital unitary and unmodifiable database, anything could be traced transparently from point A to point Z.
This is why blockchain advocates have been continuously arguing for the implementation of this technology in businesses and governmental institutions.
But now, after blockchain specialists promoted the usability of blockchain technology for more than a decade, the times are changing.
In order to better showcase how impactful this technology can be, let’s take a look at 10 companies that successfully implemented blockchain.
Table of Contents
Blockchain supply chain management
From supermarkets to vehicle producers, from FMGCs to any physical product sold on the market, there is a supply chain. Some are simple, and some are complex. Some businesses get everything they need from one chain, some have to gather their parts from all around the world. And the more suppliers a company has, the more difficult it is to keep track of their activity.
SIDENOTE. FMGC – Fast-Moving Consumer Goods are products sold quickly, at a relatively low cost, such as packaged foods, beverages, toiletries, and other consumables.
Generally, big companies do a decent job of keeping track of their suppliers, and they also have certain rules in choosing new suppliers. But today’s supply chain management system finds its faults in reliance on papers, too many sources of information, and lack of transparency in the source of a product.
Small mistakes in the supply chain management can have major consequences such as ebola, e. coli, or salmonella outbreaks. As a matter of fact, in 2018 and also in November 2019, E. coli outbreaks related to romaine lettuce were reported in the United States.
The same little mistakes give us electronics that break the second you start using them. A small error in your phone’s security software could leave you with an empty bank account or a stolen identity.
At the same time, trust issues make it very difficult for startups to collaborate with big companies, and for companies to find suppliers for their products.
Blockchain use cases bring to supply chain management the element of transparency and the trust it needs.
By sharing a single, common database, even the customer is able to track a product, ingredient by ingredient, from shelf to factory or farmer. Customers can even see the way the products were transported.
Through the blockchain, the transporter doesn’t have to worry if the sender packed the goods properly, and the recipient can check in real-time the stage in which their assets are. The company is also able to see if every procedure is followed in the supply chain.
Therefore, a startup that produces a certain good can be easily found inside the blockchain by another company that’s looking for suppliers, and the risk of fraud is lowered considerably.
1. Carrefour decided on using IBM’s Food Trust platform and started in 2018 by tracking mashed potatoes and milk. By 2020, Carrefour wants to bring 20% of its in-house products to the blockchain.
Emmanuel Delerm, Carrefour’s blockchain project manager, told Reuters at a conference that the use of blockchain tracking has already improved the sales of some tracked products.
2. KPMG launched a blockchain-based track and trace platform, KPMG Origins, in Australia, China, and Japan. The blockchain platform is meant to support industries including agriculture, resources, manufacturing, and financial services.
It brings together several emerging technologies including blockchain, internet of things sensors (IoT), as well as data and analytics tools to provide transparency and traceability to trading partners across complex industries.
3. Walmart partnered with IBM for food safety through blockchain, IoT, and smart contracts. By developing a hyperledger fabric-powered blockchain system, the firm has the ability to trace the origins of products, enhancing operational transparency as well as internal accountability.
Blockchain in healthcare
The healthcare system is continuously evolving when it comes to treatments. But when it comes to patient procedures, things get complicated.
Physical registries and files or medical histories sorted by different companies that don’t communicate with one another, make the medical system rigid.
Blockchain in healthcare improves the overall security of patients’ electronic medical records and resolves the issues of drug authenticity and drug supply chain traceability. It also enables secure interoperability between healthcare organizations.
4. Coral Health Research & Discovery uses blockchain to enhance the medical process and automate administrative processes. The patient’s data is inserted into the distributed ledger, the platform connecting doctors, scientists, lab technicians, and public health authorities.
The platform also includes smart contracts between patients and healthcare professionals to ensure data and treatment accuracy.
5. Medicalchain manages to maintain the integrity of health records through blockchain while establishing a single point of truth. The platform has a record of the origin and makes the patient’s information available to request for doctors, hospitals, and laboratories while protecting the patient’s identity from outside sources.
Through Medicalchain, medical errors and insurance scams are less likely to take place.
Blockchain in the travel industry
Intermediaries, communication errors and difficulties, changes and modifications into the registries, the lack of control a customer has over his registration; these are all a reality of the current travel industry.
The Blockchain community saw a solution in the distributed ledger technology. Being time-stamped, verifiable, and transparent, with no single point of control, the blockchain is believed to eliminate the problem of lost baggage, deleted bookings, and identification troubles that travelers have.
6. Webjet is an online travel agency that implemented a blockchain immutable distributed ledger. By recording all entries, they reduce the likelihood of incorrect or lost bookings and reduce the layers between sellers and consumers.
7. Travala implemented the blockchain in its travel booking platform as well.
Blockchain in music
The music industry may be one of the harshest industries out there with very few artists becoming successful. Musicians have a hard time making a living out of their art. The album deals are unfair, licensing is insufficient, and the middlemen are many.
The blockchain comes as a solution in the form of a decentralized system with no single point of control, in which the musicians are able to get closer to consumers, and the consumers are able to buy music and license directly from the artist.
8. UJO was built as a blockchain music platform in which the digital rights management enables fairness and transparency in the process of artistic expression, allowing musicians to make a living from their work, and the fans to connect directly with the artists.
Blockchain for voting
The democratic process requires all of us to express our opinions by voting. Nowadays, when it comes to the voting system, things have changed a lot since the beginning and most people have the right to vote in democratic countries.
Unfortunately, the procedure stayed mostly the same, away from the technological evolution, using papers, stamps, and lots of people to count and organize the votes. That translates into a heavy infrastructure that costs millions of dollars and mountains of papers.
With the widespread use of the internet, the idea of online voting became more and more popular. However, the risk of hacking into the election process made it impossible to move voting into the digital world.
The technology used by Satoshi Nakamoto for bitcoin proved to be sturdy against hacking and blockchain government use cases, including blockchain voting, which became more and more popular.
9. Voatz developed a blockchain-based voting system and it was used by West Virginia in the 2018 midterm elections for Senate and House of Representatives, as well as for state and local offices. Soon after the elections, the FBI investigated a hacking attempt.
However, the attempt proved unsuccessful against the blockchain platform used by Voatz and proved to be safer than email voting. Besides West Virginia, Voatz started being used by Denver and Utah County as well.
Blockchain for journalism
Journalism is one of the industries that has been hit the hardest by the evolution of technology. The digital media is getting more attention, while the traditional media, especially newspapers, is losing terrain.
Ads, sponsored articles, and fake news were already an inconvenience for the public, but are essential for journalists to generate revenue. Along with digitalization, these problems have intensified. Clickbaiting has taken over, and the harvesting of user data and serving of ads became the norm. As a consequence, the public trust in media has gotten to the all-time low.
Blockchain is thought to solve some of today’s journalism’ problems by offering a way to keep the facts in the open, verifiable, and unmodifiable.
10. Civil made use of the blockchain to develop an independent journalism network, organized in newsrooms. The network is self-governed and regulated through a standard of journalism called the Civil Constitution.
The members get voting rights through the Civil token and decide who is allowed to publish. The blockchain immutable and transparent characteristics allow facts to be visible to anyone without allowing third parties to modify information according to their interests.
Even more, the voting system inside Civil will prevent journalist to ever post again if the community identify their content to be fake or junk.
After years of advocating the use of blockchain by businesses and governments, it seems that the world starts to see the potential it holds. Aside from enthusiastic startups, big companies are already exploiting the capabilities of blockchain.
A new paradigm in technology and business is on its way. It will be about transparency and collaboration. However, blockchain is still a young technology that has yet to prove itself before widespread.