Blockchain provides solutions that are characterized by transparency, absence of a third-party.
Cyprus Blockchain Association will present to you some blockchain use cases and applications that we have summarized and listed under the following broader categories: Ledgers, cryptocurrencies and other crypto-tokens and smart contracts.
We will then go through 4 big domains that pose considerable interest:
- Finance and Payments
- Autonomous Ecosystems
And provide few examples of current blockchain projects and solutions.
Ledgers are used both, by private and public organizations and almost all the governmental departments.
Provided that the blockchain technology is leveraged properly in these cases and the relevant ledgers are replaced by blockchain ledgers, then, that, may provide data and information integrity, security and privacy, properties that stem from the well-known features of technology. Blockchain makes it harder to defraud the system, it thus, reduces the need for expensive internet security measures and it also reduces operational and processing costs by reducing the need for manual documentation.
Furthermore, visibility and very importantly accountability are considerably improved. On a public blockchain ledger, for example, we can track public spending and aid money.
Another very broad category is Cryptocurrencies and other crypto-tokens.
A cryptocurrency coin, like bitcoin, is independent of a platform. They can be used as a form of currency outside their native environment.
A token represents an asset or utility, that a company has and they usually give it away to their investors, during a public sale called Initial Coin Offering (ICO).
Digital currencies are particularly disruptive as they offer an alternative payment method with considerably lower transaction costs.
Transfer of assets is also made easier, cheaper and more secured. The tokenization of any assets offers flexibility and potential wide use of blockchain in many industries and enables the movement of real-life assets through exchange, trade or transfer of tokens, whether these represent a value or a right, a claim, or a physical asset.
We mentioned Initial Coin Offering in fact this is Crowdfunding. ICO is actually a blockchain enabled Capital-Raising by which a company raises funds on blockchain through the issuance and trading of security or utility tokens.
Crowdfunding, ICOs offer alternative means of financing and open the door for new models of less expensive financing. Also, many projects may be developed by attracting developers through granting them coins. If the project is successfully developed, then the value of these coins increase. This incentivizes the involvement of developers and experts in projects.
Smart Contracts is being reviewed as a separate use case but it underpins many other blockchain applications. Smart Contracts are computer programs that automatically execute instructions triggered by external events. Conditions form part of smart contracts and once met these execute. In other words, smart contracts store instructions, verify instructions and execute instructions.
The importance of smart contracts cannot be overstated. Much of the efficiency, cost-saving, as well as the limitation, or even elimination, of intermediaries’ role rests with their operation. Automation and limitation of human involvement are primary benefits obtained by the use of smart contracts which ensure secure and trusted automated execution of transactions, as well as efficiency and integrity.
Finance and Payments
This industry has been covered much under cryptocurrencies, ledgers, tokens and smart contracts.
Further to the potential use of digital currencies, financial services companies seem to be severely impacted by blockchain.
As already stressed, integrity, security, transparency and prevention of fraud are potential benefits of blockchain applications. Payments and other financial activities become much cheaper, faster and borderless. Transparency and trust are enhanced and intermediaries are considerably eliminated.
The main advantage of autonomous ecosystems is decentralization. Such ecosystems may develop on a more democratized and decentralized basis, drastically altering the existing models. No centralized actor controls the processing and inserting of data in these types of ecosystem, therefore no arbitrary decision-making.
Blockchain is explored for its potential to assist in the supply chain process, as well as tracking the origin, movement, history of any products and saving the audit trail of such products and their movement. Blockchain in the provenance domain may provide security, data integrity and prevention from fraud are useful in the provenance area.
Given that blockchain is a public ledger that’s secure and immutable, it’s exactly what healthcare needs. Blockchain technology can truly revolutionize the healthcare and pharmaceutical sector as a whole, as well as drug discovery, development, and distribution process. Blockchain can further enable data gathering, handling, and eventually analytics. With blockchain, patients can be in control of their data, but at the same time enable secure transferring, sharing and portability of such data. Blockchain can help bring some of the data integrity, accessibility, security, privacy, and interoperability needed by pharma.
Before we close, we would encourage you to warmly look into these interesting projects that are currently explored:
- Cross-border money transfers apps
- Blockchain-based Supply Chain Platforms
- Blockchain-based Crowdfunding Platforms
- Blockchain-based Gaming Platforms
- Decentralized Ecommerce Marketplace
- Decentralized Crypto-Asset Exchange
- Decentralized File Storage Platform: similar to the existing Dropbox-like. Miners may host your files, which will be cheap, secure. Changes to files will be traceable.
- Ride hailing app: decentralized alternative to Uber-like platforms.
- Cryptocurrency Machine to Machine (M2M) payments