Thanks to blockchain’s innate benefits surrounding data integrity, trust, transparency, and security, more and more enterprises are discovering how to unlock this powerful technology to help their companies streamline operations, improve efficiency, cut costs, and even open up new revenue streams. Potential blockchain use case examples are almost endless. And while some remain in their conceptual stages, many use cases are already being explored, and even implemented, in businesses across a multitude of different industries. This article explores seven very real use cases of blockchain for business that are currently being used to transform business operations for enterprises around the world.
Since blockchain is such a versatile technology, it’s not limited to any domain, nor does it solve just one existing problem. There are multiple benefits and blockchain use cases across a growing number of verticals. In fact, according to a 2020 survey by Deloitte, we’re now seeing a greater diversification of industries investing in blockchain from life sciences and healthcare to sports and finance, technology, telecom, and more. In addition, 40% of enterprises surveyed planned to invest at least $5 million in the coming year, while 86% in the US alone were actively building blockchain teams proving that leveraging blockchain technology is very much on the corporate agenda.
Real Use Cases of Blockchain
Blockchain is being used in ever more compelling and diverse ways. Data validation, for example, may be changing the game for healthcare providers; yet they’re also benefiting from improved collaboration with stakeholders, enhanced data protection, and the ability to automate time-consuming processes.
All these blockchain use cases are achievable with the help of an experienced blockchain provider that can cut through the noise and deliver custom blockchain solutions that get results. So, let’s take a look at some of the most effective blockchain use cases by industry being used right now.
Supply Chain: Track and Trace
As supply chains grow ever-more complex, involving a myriad of intermediaries and external stakeholders, this is one major area that’s currently benefiting from multiple enterprise blockchain use cases; from data integrity to disintermediation. Yet perhaps the most compelling way that blockchain is changing the supply chain is through its transparency; allowing enterprises to track and trace products and goods from their origin to their final destination.
Major retailers such as Walmart and Whole Foods, and logistics companies like DHL are finding that an immutable ledger that cannot be tampered with and that gives all parties a universal source of truth is driving efficiency, eliminating errors, and reducing costs. It’s also helping with their customer retention: 49% of shoppers will pay extra for products that can guarantee high-quality and safety standards. Whether it’s authenticating the source and ingredients of consumable goods, or tracking and tracing luxury goods like diamonds, real use cases of blockchain are growing rapidly in logistics.
Healthcare: Storage and Transfer of Medical Records
The healthcare industry is still woefully behind in most parts of the world when it comes to efficient storage and transfer of medical records, yet it’s an area that stands to gain exponentially from turning to blockchain. Countries like the UK, for example, are dogged by a lack of interoperability between providers, rising concern over data breaches and cyber attacks (such as the WannaCry incident in 2017 that gravely affected the NHS), and regulation over data ownership.
Estonia started using blockchain technology in 2012 to secure healthcare data and process transactions. Today, reports estimate that 95% of health information is digitized and underpinned by blockchain, 99% of all prescription information is digital, and the entire country’s healthcare billing is handled by blockchain. Since blockchain allows data to be accessed simultaneously by various providers with sufficient permissions, it removes administrative delays, decreases the risk of cyber risks, and enhances efficiency — all without compromising patient privacy.
Energy & Utilities: Smart Grids
The global population is getting larger and, with it, the need for more efficient ways of administering energy. With the birth of Wireless Sensor Networks and the Internet of Things (IoT), smart grids are increasingly appearing as a solution for efficient energy distribution and the secure trading of electricity data between consumers and prosumers. The UK-based Energy Networks Association is investing 17 billion euros in smart grid acceleration — and it’s not alone.
Blockchain can power smart grids by acting as the tool that allows peer-to-peer transactions to occur autonomously through pre-programmed smart contracts that ensure every transaction is executed. Thanks to its immutability, resolving any disputes or sharing information with auditors is easy. There’s a permanent complete, untampered-with ledger easily viewable to all with access.
Sports & Leisure: Fan Engagement
In today’s increasingly digital world, modern-day sports fans want to interact with their favourite players and teams in more ways than just visiting the stadium — particularly at a time when many sporting and leisure events are being held behind closed doors or virtually.
More and more sporting clubs from the NBA to the Champions League are turning to blockchain technology to incentivise fans, offer rewards, and drive engagement. Barcelona Football Club, for example, announced it would be issuing its own token to give fans benefits, discounts, and voting rights, amongst a host of other incentives. And other major clubs including Bayern Munich and Manchester City have launched crypto collectibles in a bid to bring supporters together.
Telecom: Identity as a Service
Blockchain use case examples are abundant in the telecom industry. And it’s one area in particular that’s showing how blockchain can open up new revenue streams, through the provision of Identity-as-a-Service. Currently, customers have to register for new accounts and upload sensitive data through a cumbersome process known as KYC (Know Your Customer). This information often needs to be shared or re-provided, causing unnecessary friction for customers and providers alike.
By using digital ledger technology, CSPs can create and share immutable digital identities for their customers that are stored securely on the blockchain. These digital identities (Identity-as-a-Service) represent a previously untapped revenue stream in the telecom industry.
Media & Entertainment: Royalties
As with the supply chain, the media and entertainment industries are rife with intermediaries taking their cut at every stage. Original content creators and artists are often left with a meagre portion of the overall profit. According to CitiGroup, in 2018, for example, the music industry in the USA registered an all-time-high spend of almost $43 billion. Of that, artists took home just 12% (around $5 billion).
By using smart contracts to remove intermediaries and ensure that payments are executed timely and fairly, blockchain is driving efficiency throughout the entertainment industry and correctly and fairly rewarding artists for their work.
IoT: Secure Platform for IoT Devices
The Internet of Things with its billions of applications and growing concerns over the safety of data provides an excellent use case for blockchain. In fact, it’s widely considered to be the next logical boom in blockchain applications as the worldwide number of IoT-connected devices is projected to increase to a staggering 43 billion by 2023. Yet these devices’ susceptibility to hacks has often halted IoT’s growth.
Blockchain provides a secure platform for IoT devices ensuring the integrity of the data they input and allowing a potentially unlimited amount of devices to connect and communicate. Moreover, by making use of blockchain’s decentralized nature, providers can circumvent cybersecurity risks by distributing sensitive information across multiple servers.
How Blockchain Applies to Your Organisation
This is just a sample of blockchain use case examples across different industries — ones that are already actively being used, bringing value, and opening up new revenue opportunities to businesses across the globe. How this versatile technology fits into your organisation will depend on the problem that you want to solve.
Here at Protokol, we start by helping our clients to look inward to identify the processes that need the most improvement in their organisations. This way, we can create a custom blockchain solution that helps their company grow and unlock the benefits of blockchain technology frictionlessly and easily.
Protokol Brings Your Blockchain Use Case to Life
Bringing your blockchain use case to life can be difficult without the right resources. In fact, among the factors impeding blockchain’s adoption in enterprises in 2019, 28% of businesses cited a lack of in-house capabilities as the main barrier for integrating blockchain technology.
The good news is, you don’t need to hire new talent, overburden your internal teams, or disrupt your organisation to take advantage of blockchain. With the right provider offering a streamlined approach, custom solutions and expert services, enterprise blockchain doesn’t need to be complex.
At Protokol, we focus on simplicity. We guarantee streamlined project cycles, adaptable and flexible technology that easily integrates with existing infrastructure, a straightforward approach, and pluggable custom blockchain solutions that allow us to bring any use case to life.
Our extensive blockchain consulting services strive to understand your business challenges and build an individual use case that’s tailored to your business and solves your unique challenges. By delivering real blockchain use cases and real value, we’re helping companies across all industries realise the value of blockchain technology.
Book a free video consultation with our blockchain experts to explore the value of blockchain for your organisation and discover your blockchain use case today.