Now that Bitcoin is such a popular subject in the media and is being discussed everywhere from podcasts to business school lecture halls, we’re learning a lot about how much the world can change once innovative technology takes off. What once would have seemed impossible — a new kind of digital currency that isn’t tied to any nation or financial institution being used in transactions around the world — has now become a reality that has turned many of its investors rich overnight.
But Bitcoin is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how our world is changing, because what’s going to change the world is the technology behind Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies — blockchain, a ledger which makes transactions traceable and transparent. Here are a few ways blockchain is poised to change the world as we know it.
Right now, most of our fitness tracking is only somewhat accurate. Considering that we’re spending over four hours a day on our phones these days, it’s no surprise that we’re using popular apps like Fitbit to track our steps every day, and My Fitness Pal to “jot down” the food we’re consuming while we’re on a diet. But with blockchain technology, we’re going to have even more accuracy than ever before, which will make these apps a thing of the past.
According to Object Computing, Nokia is developing a program that’s blockchain based to help you keep track of everything. They have a pilot program “to store volunteer participants’ fitness data, such as steps and hours of sleep, in a blockchain database to test the technology’s potential for gathering real-time health data.” Additionally, it’s highly secure, which means that users will be in control of this information.
According to Information Age, blockchain “has the potential to transform the 4,000-year-old banking industry. Blockchain is revolutionising banking by providing a digitised, secure and tamper-proof platform for transacting value without a centralised authority.” What this means for the everyday person is that more people are going to have the opportunity to invest, even people who haven’t had loans accepted by larger institutions. For small businesses, too, this can make a difference, difference considering that 80 percent of small businesses have never visited their local SBA branch.
Already, there are startups such as OmiseGo and Ripple that are creating the processes necessary to use blockchain as a way of investing and exchanging money. Eventually, this will be popular among all kinds of companies and investors, from plumbers in Daly City to fully online-based ecommerce companies.
Any employer knows how complicated it can be to go through a ton of résumés, and what a headache it can be to use a multitude of job search platforms like Monster and Upwork. There’s so much information to go through, in different formats, and despite there being lots of candidates for the job, no one seems to be the right fit. The same can be said on the other side of the coin (pun intended), because it’s a headache for job seekers to fill out so many forms and feel like they aren’t hearing from anyone, too.
But blockchain is changing this, too. Just one example is Global Jobcoin, which, according to Equal Times “aims at facilitating the movement of people and providing access to a qualified workforce in Europe. It uses the blockchain technology and tokens to provide a decentralised, autonomous and flexible platform to pay for employment-related services. Using smart contracts, the company connects SMEs with freelancers. Jobs are posted on a multilingual platform, a freelancer is selected, and once the job has been completed, the tokens are released by the system and the freelancer is paid.”
Considering it now takes an average of 27 working days to make a new hire (which is an all-time high), blockchain speeding up this process is going to save many employers both time and money.
Finally, healthcare is going to be completely changed by blockchain–which means that this technology has the potential to save lives worldwide. The fact is, when it comes to data about our health on a global scale, we don’t have the information we need. This is why, according to Forbes.com, “6 percent of surveyed healthcare executives had solid plans to implement a commercial blockchain solution this year, while 56 percent expected to by 2020.”
Blockchain health solutions are exciting, making it possible to collect real-time, research-based data all over the world in a way that’s secure, then using other technologies such as AI to map out new ways to tackle health problems creatively for as many people as possible. This is truly revolutionary and inspiring.
As you can see, blockchain is already changing the world–and as it becomes more and more common for companies and governments to use it, it’ll provide us with solutions to problems we’ve never even imagined.
What excites you most about the changes blockchain is bringing about in the world?