With all the craze around blockchain lately, it’s no wonder so many different companies are looking to enter the space. From trying to solve problems in anything from transportation to the arts, a lot of entrepreneurs are looking to lay their stamp on whatever industry they think will become the next unicorn. However, while it’s still too early to tell if a lot of blockchain applications are going to be successful (or even useful), there are a few industries that without a doubt have been early favorites for the technology across the board. Check them out below.
If there’s one industry that’s been long overdue for blockchain, it has to be the healthcare industry. In fact, even Congress’s recently released Joint Economic Report stated that blockchain could help “greater coordination and portability of health records, [which] could also assist by reducing paperwork burdens and preventing medical errors.” That pretty much hits the nail on the head for how blockchain can help the medical industry.
Plus, to have recognition by Congress that this technology could play a significant role in a such a major field says a lot about the potential of its implementation. So the question becomes who is going to be the first successful one to market? While a lot of entrepreneurs have been racing the clock to become the first one to put blockchain within an industry, very few have been able to develop health blockchain startups (aside from companies like Nanovision).
What makes their case so interesting is that they’ve already started to establish a network of hospitals, which is going to be crucial for any startup in a blockchain medical system. If you’re looking to place an early bet on a company taking off in the healthcare realm, they’re an excellent one to keep your eye on.
Although not quite a prominent part of the blockchain conversation quite yet, the gig economy could be an industry of note. As most gig workers lack legal protection, it can be tough to execute contracts effectively. After all, as noted by UpCounsel, even a lawyer straight out of law school can cost around $150 per hour. However, blockchain could potentially establish a network of gig workers, offering the protection the gig economy deserves.
Where the blockchain could come in handy is the execution of a contract beyond just good-faith. Quite simply, a lot of freelancers get screwed over by those who either short them on their initial promised pay or don’t pay them at all. The reputation of the hiring isn’t affected by this, allowing them to act with bad intentions as much as they’d like. Plus, given the costs of going to court and hiring a lawyer, it’s almost a moot point to try and go after them. This is where blockchain can offer something better.
Let’s say for example that someone is looking to hire me for a logo design; my flat rate is $1,000 per logo. I demand 50 percent upfront just as a retainer, and an additional 50 percent once the file is submitted. With a blockchain network, I’m certain that I’ll get both my upfront fee and final payment, and know that the other person is good for it. Additionally, the client also knows they’ll be getting a high-quality logo submitted to them as a result. Reputation systems and smart contracts like these have been a big early use case for blockchain; it’s going to be interesting to see how it might affect the gig economy moving forward.
Another one of the early case studies into why blockchain is useful is remittance, which is still, by far, in need of universal change. According to the World Bank, the average price of remittance is around 7 percent per transaction. Furthermore, with a lot of underbanked countries, there’s no level of security offered to their citizens to protect them from fraud and bad actors, which is where blockchain could make a big difference.
As there’s little to no exchange fees with cryptocurrencies, people have been able to send money internationally relatively cheaply. Additionally, as long as someone has access to a cell phone, then they’ll be able to receive funds rather than having travel far to a brick-and-mortar storefront, such as a Western Union. While there has been a lot of progress in this field, being able to onboard more people and increasing access to crypto will solidify it as a mainstay in global society.
What are some industries you think could use blockchain? Comment with your insights below!