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.
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.
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.
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.