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Blockchain is Way Bigger than Cryptocurrency

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Ask someone to think of a use of blockchain technology, chances are they’ll mention one of things: bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Yes, blockchain is the underpinning technology for all cryptocurrencies, but there are many other applications of it, both within financial services and beyond, in the wider world.

A lot of people have a negative perspective of blockchain, based on some crypto market failures, currency fluctuations and some dubious marketing approaches. They do exist, but when we look at how the technology is used elsewhere, you can see that it really is something that’s making a positive impact in many walks of life.

By its very nature, blockchain technology offers business applications that deliver security through trust, transparency and traceability. By also saving businesses time and money, the technology is impacting a variety of sectors in ways that range from how contracts are enforced to making government work more efficiently.

Here are some examples of how blockchain can help.

Supply Chain Management

Blockchain technology enables real-time tracking of products and materials as they move through a supply chain. Smart contracts can be used to speed up supply chain paperwork processes, to increase the efficiency of supply chain management and spot bottlenecks in production.

Transparency and traceability can also be improved with blockchain technologies. This helps with compliance, competitiveness and efficiency savings.

Sustainable Raw Material Sourcing

Sustainable raw material sourcing is connected to supply chain management, above. However, the provenance of raw materials is increasingly of concern, for 2 primary reasons:

  • Regulatory/legal – ensuring raw materials are sourced within the law. This includes compliance with sanctions as well as human rights legislation (e.g. to prevent slavery, human trafficking).
  • Consumer-driven – consumers are increasingly concerned about the provenance of the products they buy. This often applies to items like clothing, or foodstuffs.

Using blockchain technologies, companies can ensure there is a complete, secure, un-editable, and fully traceable record of the raw materials they source.

Digital Advertising

Programmatic advertising is the use of automated technology for media buying (the process of buying advertising space), as opposed to traditional, often manual methods used for digital advertising. It offers significant benefits to major advertisers with large advertising budgets. They can target and buy ads more efficiently at scale. However, programmatic advertising also increases the complexity of ad buying.

Oversight is also challenging, as it is hard to get full visibility and click-fraud is rife. Blockchain technologies provide a solution to these challenges. Blockchain can help stop click-fraud with a greater level of transparency and traceability to programmatic advertising.

Event Ticketing

Fraud and illicit resale markets are continual challenges for the organisers of major events. Without control measures, tickets can be traded on third-party platforms at inflated prices, thus denying real fans access.

The blockchain can be used as a solution, to keep control of tickets with the ticket issuer. This protects against fraud and ensures ticket legitimacy. It also ensures traceability and helps control third-party ticket sales, stopping brokers and others from profiting from selling-on tickets.

Saving the Best to Last - CPD Accreditation!

Of course, we couldn’t omit this. Blockchain used to enhance the openness, security and traceability of CPD accreditation is the raison d’etre of this business, Open-CPD.

More and More Uses of the Blockchain

The above are just some examples of how businesses in a range of different sectors can use the blockchain today. Governments can and do, as well. Some more are listed by Motley Fool, the investment services company.

As blockchain and related technologies evolve, new innovations and applications will be developed, increasing its footprint further. The days of blockchain being restricted to bitcoin, cryptocurrency and finance applications are  truly over.

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