The potential of blockchain: what can we use it for?

When it comes to cryptocurrency and the world of online money, blockchain is one of the biggest buzzwords of our times.

The technology is essentially a decentralized ledger and a permanent, trustworthy global data management system. As the first such system of record in history, it has a variety of potential uses.

In this blog post, we’ll get ahead of the blockchain curve by scoping out what purposes the technology could be used for in the coming years.

Identifying yourself online

Blockchain works through a mixture of public and private cryptographic keys – small pieces of unique data. By relying on a network of computers which can inspect and verify the ownership of these keys using mathematical formulae, there’s a real opportunity for a trustworthy system of digital verification to spring up.

Crucially, there’s no way for the blockchain system to be watched or even manipulated by a centralised authority. That makes the system much more secure than many current online verification systems, which are often controlled by an administrator.

Building trustier digital relationships

Blockchain is a key player when it comes to building mutually beneficial digital relationships, and the potential for cost and efficiency savings in the long-term is high.

The financial sector is already reaping the rewards of the blockchain revolution. Currently, some banks and insurance companies are working together to use blockchain to carry out “smart contracting” – a way to make many aspects of business process (such as the legal hassle of drawing up contracts) much easier and safer.

Automate, automate, automate

Blockchain technology isn’t just a sophisticated ledger or information deposit box. It also has the ability to automate tasks which for decades have been a headache for companies and organisations, such as regulatory compliance.

Blockchains can be adapted to carry out actions according to precise rules. Using the regulation example, blockchain could monitor the transactions of financial institutions and only permit those which meet the approved set of legal criteria.

Without a central authority managing the process, blockchain technology could be trusted to not behave in the interests of one group or another and to simply enforce the rules.