Blockchain Use Cases
However, the blockchain has a variety of applications. Recently, Startup Savant reported the creation of Biploma from Beowulf Blockchain, which creates a verified record of a job candidate’s academic and career achievements that employers can view and edit. This technology, proponents say, increases trust.
“Anchoring credentials to the blockchain provides the most advanced form of digital document verification,” said Dr. William H. Nguyen, founder and CEO of Beowulf Blockchain.
The technology goes further than that, though, and impacts various fields like medicine, where the secure sharing of medical data is supported by blockchain. It is also at use in the music streaming industry and is helping artists get paid the amount they deserve.
Mediachain, a company streaming giant Spotify acquired in 2017, uses blockchain to do just this. Prior to Spotify’s acquisition of Mediachain, the company had undergone a variety of legal battles regarding unpaid royalties as well as endured its fair share of public scrutiny — including from one Taylor Swift — over the rate at which the platform did pay the artists who use it.
The enormously popular streaming service hoped that the process would become more transparent when attached to the blockchain, and results are mixed. However, nearly all experts agree that the potential is there.
The blockchain’s potential is perhaps at its grandest scale when it comes to the IoT. Interconnected devices across the world are growing at an astronomical pace, from telephones to wireless printers, from smart thermostats to speakers. And with this growth comes a greatly increased risk of data breaches and lack of security.
According to Washington, D.C.-based cybersecurity firm PurpleSec, the number of cybercrime events has increased by 600% as a result of the coronavirus. This number and the fraud associated with such events is only expected to grow.
But according to research firm Gartner, blockchain is being adopted more frequently to accompany the growing internet of things. In a recent study, Gartner found that 47% of worldwide firms plan on increasing their investment in IoT.
Blockchain’s Uncertain Future
Despite the emerging nature of blockchain in the United States, some experts say the more clearcut nature of Asian cryptocurrency regulation and, by extension, the blockchain technology that supports it, will give birth to the world’s next supercompany.
Ben Weiss, COO of cryptocurrency conversion firm CoinFlip, is one of those experts. CoinFlip is the world’s largest Bitcoin ATM company, and Weiss says that the US’s lack of definitive policies around Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will be to its own detriment.
China, however, has embraced blockchain while banning cryptocurrencies. The consequences of this ban have driven some companies to move to Singapore, which is far more crypto-friendly, but Asia Times reports that the move may have far more significant consequences.
In a recent article titled “Is blockchain new battlefield in US-China tech war?” the Hong Kong-based news outlet says that the US’s investment in blockchain technology (perhaps most notably in the Department of Homeland Security) could spell heightened tensions between the already adversarial nations.
The United States National Security Council placed “distributed ledger technology” — blockchain — as a crucial part of maintaining American technological superiority over China.
This means that the same technology used by artists to ensure they are paid an appropriate amount for their music royalties is also being used by two of the world’s most powerful nations in a bid to ensure technical dominance over one another. All of this considered, it is clear that blockchain will not be going anywhere.
About the Author
Elijah Labby is a graduate of the National Journalism Center. He has previously written for Broadband Breakfast, a technology and internet policy website.