4 Blockchain Applications Outside of Bitcoin

- March 9th, 2017

Did you know blockchain can be used to create identity systems, track blood diamonds, disrupt the music industry, and increase efficiency in land registration transactions?  

Blockchain may be the technology that enables Bitcoin, but that is not its sole application. Blockchain technology is used in banking, mining, healthcare and even in supply chains. Here we feature 4 more blockchain applications for the distributed ledger technology.
Read on further about blockchain applications, and how the technology can be applied to identity systems, track blood diamonds, disrupt the music industry, and increase efficiency in land registration transactions.

Identity systems

It is estimated that 1.5 billion people worldwide, mostly in Asia and Africa, do not hold an official document to prove their identity. This leaves them vulnerable to trafficking, prostitution, or abuse.
In May 2016, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) announced a collaboration with Blockstack Labs and ConsenSys on an open source identity system based on blockchain. The collaboration had a goal to, “produce a cross-chain identity solution that can be extended to any future blockchains or new kinds of decentralized, distributed systems.”
In a similar vein, blockchain-based identity solutions can also help aid refugees maintain legal identity when they move to a new country, or manage traveler identification.

Tracking blood diamonds

The Kimberley Process safeguards the supply chain of the diamond industry, created to ensure that diamonds are from sources that are conflict-free. Critics are quick to say that this process is outdated, but a report published by the Kimberley Process organization in mid-2016 indicated that the current Chairman is “engaged with blockchain technology providers”, which suggests the possibility of using blockchain to update the process.
Should blockchain be implemented by the Kimberley Process, checking the legitimacy of certificates would certainly be simpler since information will be readily available.
Everledger, a London-based start up company, has a platform that digitally tracks diamond ownership by certifying diamonds that are traced through Kimberley Process’ certification. Everledger is built on the IBM (NYSE:IBM) Blockchain network and delivered via the cloud. Currently, Everledger has over 1 million diamonds uploaded on their system. In an interview with WIRED, Everledger founder Leanne Kemp said she plans to extend their technology across other precious goods like wine.

Disrupting the music industry

The music industry also stands to benefit from blockchain technology by giving artists direct access to fans, giving them a way to sell their music directly as well as solving issues around licensing. Blockchain also has the potential to put a stop to leaked releases and misuse of works.
According to ContentSphere, “Blockchain experts suggest their solution can hold all data necessary.”
Licensing is one of the biggest challenges in the music industry, and blockchain’s ability to do “smart contracts” could be a perfect mix. A globally accessible database, as well as storage of data that cannot be tweated or corrupted could potentially mean that without a contract signed by all parties involved–in this case, the composer, musician, and producer–you cannot play a song.

Blockchain application on land registration transactions

Land registration on blockchain is going to be publicly tested in Sweden beginning March. The move is said to be headed by the Swedish National Land Survey and ChromaWay, a blockchain startup, as well as two banks, Landshypotek and SBAB. According to CoinDesk, “When launched, the project could be the first working example of an idea that has long captured the public’s imagination.”
A paper published by Deloitte enumerated that putting land registration, and ultimately property transactions on a blockchain will be similar to how payments “between parties are handled using digital currencies like Bitcoin.” The paper further said a blockchain approach to registering property “could increase the efficiency of transaction processing and reduce, if not entirely prevent, property fraud.”
For public companies focused on blockchain technology, read about these 7 Blockchain Technology Stocks.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Pia Rivera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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