Blockchains Are Big in Crypto, but How Else Are They Used? – MUO – MakeUseOf

It’s not just cryptocurrency using blockchain to make the world better.
It's natural for us to associate blockchains with cryptocurrency. And, yes, blockchain technology is crucial in the crypto realm, but this is not all it's used for. In fact, blockchains have various applications outside of cryptocurrency. With that in mind, let's look at the biggest ways blockchain technology is being used outside crypto.
Before we get into how blockchains are used outside crypto, let's quickly run over what a blockchain is in simple terms.
As the name suggests, a blockchain is a virtual chain of blocks. It helps to think of a blockchain as what you see above: little packets of data all joined together in a long line. This line forms a database or distributed ledger shared across multiple devices worldwide.
Blockchains rely on cryptography to provide a highly secure form of data storage. Using cryptography, data stored within the blockchain is encrypted, making it much harder to access and exploit.
So, how is this technology being used outside of crypto? What industries are investing in the blockchain?
Blockchain technology can be hugely beneficial in the healthcare industry. A crucially important practice that healthcare organizations must adhere to is the safe storage of confidential medical information. This is where blockchains can be of use, as their cryptographic nature allows them to safeguard data very effectively.
On top of this, blockchains' distributed ledger technology is useful in the transfer of data between hospitals, surgeries, and other medical locations. While anyone can access public blockchains, private blockchains require authorization. So, using private blockchains, healthcare organizations can safely ensure that data is shared between locations.
Blockchains can also prove beneficial in the supply chain sector of healthcare. The transparency that blockchains provide can show each step of a drug or piece of equipment's shipping process up until it's in the building or sitting on the shelf. This also relates to logistics, which we'll discuss a little later.
There is now a wide range of blockchain healthcare companies on the scene, including EncrypGen, Chronicled, and BurstIQ.
If you spend any time online, then you have what's known as a digital identity. But it's now a little too easy for malicious actors to impersonate you, and online platforms are constantly working to make identity verification much more complex.
On the internet, your personal information is usually stored in a centralized manner. But this presents several problems. Centralized systems are vulnerable to technical crashes and malicious takeovers, and they draw controversy because they give certain people too much power over the platform. On top of this, many people do not have access to a physical form of identification. Blockchain technology can help in both cases by providing a decentralized blockchain identity.
As we already know, blockchains are very secure due to their decentralized nature and use of cryptography. They're also entirely digital and can be accessed from anywhere if the individual is granted access. Using blockchains, people can store their identity securely, ward off attackers, and have digital access to a verification method. This technology may also give individuals control over how their identification data is shared.
That's right; blockchains even have applications in real estate! Combining real estate with blockchain technology allows high-value physical assets to be traded in the digital realm. Essentially, blockchains can tokenize real estate assets, making them more easily tradable. This, in turn, makes it possible for real estate assets to be traded on stock exchanges.
Additionally, the trade of real estate on the blockchain can cut out middlemen and third parties, such as banks and brokers, reducing fees overall and allowing buyers and sellers to interact and trade directly. This is already the case on many cryptocurrency platforms and is slowly transitioning into other markets, too.
Of course, blockchain technology can also offer higher levels of security and trading in real estate deals, making it a big plus in many industries.
As cybercrime tactics become increasingly sophisticated, organizations and individuals are struggling to store their data securely. Two-factor authentication, passwords, identity verification, and other security measures are all known to have been bypassed in cyberattacks, so there's an evident need for a data storage solution that really works. Enter blockchains.
Again, blockchain technology's use of cryptography is key here, as it encrypts data for storage. But this isn't where things end. The structure of blockchains also plays a role. Because blockchains are decentralized, users can trust them much more, as they don't hand power to a single entity and decrease the chances of malicious takeovers.
There are now companies that can offer you the ability to store your private data on a blockchain. Examples of such services include 0chain, BonusCloud, and SINOVATE.
Internet of Things (IoT) is a common term in our modern world, referring to physical objects equipped with sensors, processors, and other technological hardware, connected to the internet. Essentially, it is the term used to describe "smart" objects that can interact with each other. Today, there are many different smart products on the market, from phones to refrigerators to watches and more. But how can blockchain technology be of use here?
Storing IoT data can be tricky. Cybercrime, centralization, and other difficulties present various problems for individuals and companies looking to keep their IoT data and devices safe, but blockchain-infused IoT devices can make these risks far less likely.
Logistics is a vital industry concerned with complex processes, namely shipping. Unfortunately, this crucial industry has its fair share of problems, such as a lack of transparency and efficiency. So, logistics companies are now looking to blockchain technology to solve these issues.
One of the key goals of blockchains in logistics is to remove intermediaries. In logistics, companies in separate countries have to make agreements with each other to move things forward, but such agreements can be long and time-consuming and involve various middlemen or third parties for verification and recording.
But blockchains can eliminate this element of logistics agreements, which, in turn, saves companies money. Additionally, blockchain technology allows companies to track and monitor their goods on their journey to avoid contamination, delays, and other issues.
There's no denying that blockchain technology is highly versatile and can be applied in a range of industries. As time goes on, we may see blockchain used in even more areas.
Katie is a Staff Writer at MUO with experience in content writing in travel and mental health. She as a specific interest in Samsung, and so has chosen to focus on Android in her position at MUO. She has written pieces for IMNOTABARISTA, Tourmeric and Vocal in the past, including one of her favourite pieces on remaining positive and strong through trying times, which can be found at the link above. Outside of her working life, Katie loves growing plants, cooking, and practicing yoga.


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