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Blockchain is gaining incredible inroads into multiple different industries, shows great potential for disruption (and profit).
Recently, the Blockchain craze has soared to new heights, as people are talking about using Blockchain for just about everything. This “everything Blockchain” phenomenon is leading to some interesting use cases. Even lawmakers are taking notice of Blockchain, talking with crypto enthusiasts to find common ground. The amount of money raised on the Blockchain, by means of ICOs, has already exceeded $1.2 bln year-to-date.
This year’s The Times Higher Education World University Rankings, endorsed by accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCooper as ‘the only global university rankings subjected to full, independent scrutiny of this nature,’ has seen 13 top global universities already having added Blockchain education to their curricula.
Still, while Blockchain has been nearly universally acknowledged as ‘The Next Big Thing’ its real world adoption has been slow and cumbersome. Even the original app of Blockchain--Bitcoin--has experienced slow uptake in the conservative and highly regulated banking and finance sectors.
Although Bitcoin fueled industry development several years ago, Blockchain is now being used in numerous different areas. For the moment, Bitcoin remains a speculative currency, often saddled with the “bad boy” reputation that comes from being the primary source of financing on the darkweb. Bitcoin continues to evoke scrutiny from largely confused regulators and law enforcement agencies, whilst remaining a ‘black box’ phenomenon for common folk and the majority of traditional market players.
However, there is a silver lining for wide-scale Blockchain adoption. Throughout the last months, US health care providers started to slowly implement Blockchain for securing patients’ records and storing medical imaging. In Europe, Blockchain is viewed as an aid to wholesale energy traders.
The US logistics and trucking industry is seriously considering Blockchain as a cure-all for the industry’s common hurdles. Blockchain advocates root for the technology, which is expected to provide benefits like immediate payments to drivers upon delivery of cargo, self-directing fuel and maintenance payments, complete automated settlements, and recording and improving accessibility of carrier history and safety.
The newly established Blockchain in Trucking Alliance (BiTA), a Blockchain-inspired think tank of transportation industry players, sees its purpose as promoting and educating the industry on Blockchain, contributing to common standards development, and encouraging the use of Blockchain industry.
Recently, IBM announced its cooperation with 10 major US food suppliers in an effort to find areas of improvement in the global supply chain with help of Blockchain.
With industry giants like Nestle, Unilever and Walmart on board, the collaboration is destined to benefit consumer and vendors on all levels, with Blockchain enabling sellers to enjoy tremendous savings through optimization of the supply chain. Use of Blockchain in this context will also ensure greater public safety standards to consumers, as the technology will enable food suppliers to quickly identify the source of foodborne outbreaks.
The challenge of bringing Blockchain into the world of retail, transportation or cargo delivery became a founding principle of a project called Universa. Its founder, Alexander Borodich, is positive the protocol will become a driver behind real-life implementation of Blockchain and help the technology fulfill its advertised potential.
He explains to Cointelegraph:
“During my early years at the university, I read about Yap stones, which served as equivalent of money in Micronesia. They were very heavy and almost impossible to move anywhere, which made the community use them for meetings where the members would emboss each new owner’s name right on the stone. Later, I saw a striking similarity in the concept of Bitcoin: the registry is being updated to reflect ownership changes of the network and who it belongs to. In other words, the idea of Blockchain usage was born a long time ago, but in our project we have decided to accumulate all the advantages of data decentralization and want to get rid of the disadvantages of Bitcoin and Ethereum.”
According to Borodich, Universa was conceived as a ‘smart’ contracting and payment means for ‘everything Blockchain.’ It operates via a decentralized system of smart contracts or applications with electronic certification that closely resembles the traditional creation of paper documents.
Borodich is optimistic about the potential of Blockchain’s use in trucking:
“Imagine an immediate [Blockchain] use case that we [have] in mind: the RFID label is equipped with a “smart seal,” which lets it be immediately recognized by the cargo terminal, notifies the user in question with an alert containing the cargo description and all necessary details securely.”
Among other use cases, there are various spheres of application, traditionally associated with exchange of papers and signatures. Those can vary from the purchase of a piece of an intellectual property to notary verification of deals.
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