Blockchain is a revolutionary technology which finds application in multiple industries, not just banking and fintech. What are the different applications making the headlines in the recent past? Let us take a look.
When you have a decentralized currency, can decentralized marketplaces be far behind?
Decentralized marketplaces directly connect buyers and sellers through a software, removing the middleman. The first version of OpenBazaar went live on 3 April 2016.
The advantages of decentralized marketplaces are many – no government intervention, tight regulation on sellers or high marketplace commissions and fees.
Payment for trades, of course, is through bitcoins.
Distributed storage applications create a decentralized market for disk space, allowing it to be traded in exchange for cryptocurrency.
Major companies in this space include Storj, Sia and Filecoin. Maidsafe is another company with a similar offering, where unused processing power is traded instead of unused storage space.
Storj Labs announced the release of the beta version of their cloud platform on 9 April 2016.
Educational institutions have realized that blockchain has the potential to eliminate forgery in the certificates they issue, due to its immutable nature.
MIT Media Lab and Holberton School have issued blockchain-based certificates to their students.
In February 2016, Sony Global Education announced that it had developed a blockchain-based application to store educational data.
Sony believes that this has the potential to become an universal educational ID.
Time-stamping / Notarization
While digital time-stamping of documents have been in vogue for some time now, there has always been a need to depend on a trusted authority.
Decentralized time-stamping is a reality now with companies including Proof of Existence, Factom and Uproov providing these services.
The document itself remains private, while the hash of the document is embedded in the bitcoin blockchain.
In February 2016, Factom signed an agreement with iSoftStone to collaborate on data storage, auditing and verification in new smart cities in China.