by Joaquin Moreno (Blockchain Practice Lead at Globant)

As you’ve probably seen on the news, “bitcoin” is a more common term compared with “blockchain”. This is because “bitcoin” has been involved in several episodes where the currency was used for illegal activities and for that reason it has been on the mainstream for some years. Now everything is changing.

If you only heard about “bitcoin” as a currency, let me tell you that this is just the first use case and the main reason why bitcoin was created. Bitcoin was created with the objective to be a digital currency without intermediaries (a peer-to-peer system). The people who were involved in the development and the business, gradually realized that the technology used for bitcoin  would have others use cases, besides a currency. This technology is what it’s called Blockchain. As explained on the previous postWhat is Blockchain? An Introduction”, blockchain is a new type of database that can be used as a source of trust.

In this post, I’ll show some use cases where this technology could be used. It´s important to clarify, that today we have more than one bitcoin blockchain. As June 2016, there are +10 blockchains platforms where different kind of solutions could be created. We will talk about these platforms in the next post.

Let’s take a look at some of the use cases by industry:

Industry Use Cases
Finance
  • Clearing and settlement
  • Exchanges (bonds, shares, etc.)
  • Crowdfunding
Internet of Things
  • Trust communication between devices (a motion sensor with a light, a fridge with the repairman)
  • Devices identification (in a mesh network)
  • Open/close door locks automatically
Supply Chain
  • Direct communication between all the supply chain providers
  • Automatic contracts and payments execution
Legal
  • Employee/employer contracts
  • Buy/sell contracts verification and execution
Wines
  • Wine’s provenance and verification
Jewelry/Art
  • Jewelry/art provenance and verification
Energy
  • Buy/sell solar energy to neighbors
  • Negotiate the price rate in real time with the power supply company
  • Registration of consumptions
  • Electric cars power supply network where the energy price is negotiated in real time
Identity
  • User has the ability to select which “persona” to show to a company or individual (users own their different personas)
  • Unique ID with the track-records/ratings from different online profiles/interactions (Airbnb, Amazon, etc.)
Education
  • Online certificates where the user has the ownership of that certification and can share it with a link
  • 3rd Parties (employers, recruiting agencies, etc.) can check the certificate directly on the Bitcoin Blockchain
Gaming
  • Gamers can share/buy/sell their avatars to other users in an easier and trusted way
  • Gamers would be able to exchange the credits between games Gamers would be able to buy/sell games assets with crypto-currencies
Healthcare
  • Patients would be able to share their health historyonly with those persons that they authorize
  • Faster authorizations and payments process
Insurance
  • Faster insurance validation on the road (eg: if a policeman requests it)
  • Payment control between different insurance companies
  • Private quotation from different insurance companies (the personal information is shared after the decision is made)
  • Mutual insurance organizations
Media & Marketing
  • Easier copyright management in the digital world
  • Fare tracking and fee payment to the owner of the content
  • Customers rewards programs
Governance
  • Tamper-proof electronic voting platform
  • A company can be created with certain rules that run over the blockchain ( decentralized autonomous organization)
  • Public contracts validation and execution control

We can discuss deeply each one of these use cases, but my intention in this post is to give you a 10,000 ft view of the potential of this technology.

In the next post, we will see which are the different blockchains of the blockchain industry.

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