3 Major Industries Being Transformed by Blockchain Right Now 5 1125

When we think of blockchain and cryptocurrency, we don’t necessarily think about industries like healthcare, human resources, or music. But while the blockchain exists to log all cryptocurrency transactions, the implications of its efficiency and immediacy are wide reaching.

Often more easily understood as a global spreadsheet that runs on millions of computers, updating everywhere in real time, transactions are visible to all, peer to peer, with no unnecessary third parties.

So far, the major areas to benefit from this technology have been financial institutions and technology companies, with IMB investing in cloud services to create custom blockchains for customers. But demand is on the rise. By 2022, the market  for blockchain related products is estimated to reach $7.7 billion.

More industries are trying out the technology to see if they can enhance efficiency, transparency and security, at the same time as staying competitive and up to date. Check out these three major industries being disrupted by the blockchain right now.

Music

You might be wondering what efficient record keeping has to do with the music industry. Well, it’s something about righting the wrongs caused by music streaming. When users could download or play any song they felt like thanks to file sharing programs like Napster, many artists and recording labels suffered losses along the way.
Blockchain is about to change all that. By using smart contracts, music can still be distributed, but ensuring that profits find their way back to the artists. Furthermore, artists can sell directly to the consumers, which will cut out middlemen from the loop. Labels, lawyers and accountants will find themselves pushed to one side, as smart contacts pay out royalties automatically.

Healthcare

When it comes to healthcare, blockchain technology can can establish a clear protocol on the sharing of patient data and ensure the integrity of all electronic medical records (EMR). This would make sure that any breaches of data were held accountable for and make any tampering of documents impossible.

But what about keeping private medical information private? Well, the information is stored as encoded metadata, which patients can access when needed through their providers, but can’t be decoded by any would-be hacker. Blockchain companies are also beginning to create family medical histories for patients, so that they can have them handy when needed and pass the information down from generation to generation.

We’re a long way off full scale adoption yet, but with so many inefficiencies in this large area, blockchain may just be the way to simplify an over complicated industry.

Human Resources

There’s an awful lot of hard work involved with working in human resources. Many HR professionals find themselves taking up a lot of time just verifying candidates’ backgrounds, employment histories and references. But, these time-consuming tasks could be eliminated by blockchain, leaving HR executives with the time to attend to higher priority tasks, such as training and onboarding meetings.

Moreover, when it comes to paying employees internationally, it’s historically a headache. Sending payroll overseas involves currency exchanges, delays, and getting around a lot of red tape. Blockchain, again, with its power to cut out the middleman, can make transactions simple and easy, avoiding all these problems.

Bitwage is a company making waves in the HR industry, as its blockchain-based payroll system facilitates international payments. Companies can pay their employees and contractors through Bitcoin in their preferred currencies, and the blockchain can take care of the conversion rate.

These are just three industries that are staring at the possibility of a brighter, more efficient and transparent future. But, whatever industry you operate in, the ramifications of the blockchain will almost certainly be felt. So, get ready for some interesting times ahead.

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Christina is a technology and business communicator who has worked with high profile ICOs and blockchain influencers to break industry news.

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Stakester Brings New Experiences and Royalties to Gamers with NFTs Comments Off on Stakester Brings New Experiences and Royalties to Gamers with NFTs 300

A cheat code NFT allows owners to accrue money, prizes and royalties in the context of popular games.

On Tuesday, Stakester announced its intention to launch a VIP pass in the form of NFTs that it says will enhance the experience for users of its popular gaming app. 

The app, which pairs gamers with real-life opponents, allows players to stake real cash and prizes on their competitive skills in popular games like FIFA 21 and Call of Duty: Warzone. It’s seen significant growth since its launch in 2020, and touts 100,000 members across 31 countries. 

With the forthcoming NFT drop, users will now unlock the potential for larger prizes, access to VIP arenas, and 50% of royalties on the secondary market.

“The NFTs embody Stakester’s vision of delivering electrifying gaming experiences through the thrill of competition,” says Tom Fairey, Founder and CEO of Stakester. “NFT holders will help us shape new, undreamt-of entertainment experiences as gaming becomes ever more powerful and immersive.”

Two levels of NFTs will be offered. At .1 and .25 ETH, respectively, the barrier to entry is high, but Stakester is hoping gamers will see the value of layered experiences and unlocking additional incentives with real-world value. 

“The idea of earning rewards, just like a normal reward scheme but built around NFTs, is totally fit for the future,” says Mike White, CEO and Strategist of immersive entertainment marketing agency, Lively.  “The whole idea of royalties is truly exciting.” 

Stakester’s 50% royalty incentive, Fairey believes, will create stakeholders out of the players on his platform.

 “As well as the increase in gaming utility, the NFT drops provide Stakester users with a chance to invest in the future of the company and, for VIP Legendary holders, there’s also an opportunity to benefit from a royalty share from certain competitions and to make a passive income from NFTs, regardless of whether they go up in value or not,” he says. “Stakester is one of the only platforms to offer this kind of bonus.”

White points out that Gala Games is doing something similar with Nodes which allow gamers to receive rewards like NFTs when they contribute meaningfully to the Gala Network.

He predicts that legacy gaming companies will be adopting similar NFT models, but the winners in the NFT gaming race are hard to predict, particularly since there’s so much attention around NFTs that it’s hard to differentiate between hype and long-term value. 

“I’m sure it will be an immediate success,” he says. “Will it be a long-term thing? We can only wait and see.”

Why Is Everyone Talking About NFTs? Comments Off on Why Is Everyone Talking About NFTs? 52043

In this writer’s opinion the NFT hype is warranted — but not for the reason most people are investing. 

For those who’ve been in the space since Bitcoin’s early surge, you’ll remember the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) boom of 2017. The crowdfunding vehicle, which mirrored an IPO on the public market, brought with it massive amounts of investment into the blockchain space that seemed to mirror Bitcoin’s rapidly increasing value. 

In retrospect, none of it made sense. 

With all the hype, the investment in the space didn’t match due diligence. As of August 2018, investors had lost nearly $100M in ICO exit scams, a major reason we no longer hear about ICOs. 

From there, crowdfunding through token sales was rebranded alongside SEC regulation as Security Token Offerings (STOs). Additional fundraising iterations to enter the scene are Initial DEX Offerings (IDOs) and Initial Exchange Offerings (IEOs).

NFTs are having a similar moment to the immature and potentially reckless ICO market of 2017. The danger can be credited to a mix of hype and a widely unregulated environment with various points of entry and gatekeepers that are not incentivized to shore up fraud. 

As a result, many purchasers of NFTs are falling victim to a spectrum that spans undeserving projects on the mild end and outright scams at the extreme. Meanwhile, hackers are exploiting the unregulated environment. 

Just yesterday, $3 million in NFTs were stolen via an Instagram phishing scam. 

This writer, however, is still bullish on NFTs — just not the ones that are getting all the attention.

NFTs represent a concrete entry-point into the blockchain with a tangible utility and infinite disruptive implications. 

Here are a few.

Digital Assets as Social Proof 

As a Millennial, I personally have a hard time understanding the notion of owning and assigning value to a digital asset, but my kids don’t. 

I’ve written about how Gen Z has already adopted the concept of social proof in digital environments by assigning socially relevant value to digital assets like video game skins. 

As Gen Z ages and becomes an increasingly powerful consumer population, this experience will matter. Whether or not their purchase behavior translates to adulthood remains to be seen, but our kids are already leveraging digital assets in the metaverse to exhibit their position in the social hierarchy in the same way that my generation assigned value to Jansport-brand backpacks. 

Their concept of digital assets will be fundamentally different from ours, and NFTs are likely to benefit. 

But Why Are NFTs Relevant to Me Now?

Social proof is far from the most interesting use case for NFTs. 

In the near-term, NFTs can be utilized to store sale information of physical goods on the blockchain in order to eliminate nefarious actors in fraud-riddled industries like fine wine and art. 

Moreover, NFTs can disrupt any industry with a substantial secondary market. By coding royalties into the smart contract of NFTs, original sellers of wine, art and other trade-susceptible brands and industries can ensure they’ll capture a fee anytime an item is transferred. 

This solves a major problem for creators like photographers, artists and musicians that are notoriously underpaid in comparison to the value they create for brokers. It also has the potential to cut out middlemen like auction houses, record labels, and galleries to democratize the creator economy. 

Other Innovators Have Introduced Creative Use Cases for NFTs

Gary Vaynerchuk utilizes NFTs as tickets for events and other value-adds to his community. Forbes introduced a series of NFT Billionaires that will update alongside the real-time NYSE to gamify their user’s NFT experience in a way that’s brand-relevant. Foxies.art is using a gamified version of NFTs to fundraise blockchain education for women. 

The utility of NFTs is confined only by the imagination of our innovators. Whether or not NFT headlines today will remain relevant is yet to be seen, but one thing is certain: the disruption is only beginning. 

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