Advantages and Disadvantages of Current Blockchain Applications
Blockchain apps are already being built on a regular basis and are widely regarded as the most powerful technologies of the decade. Nonetheless, society has yet to fully appreciate the technology's genius, and this lack of comprehension is impeding its eventual triumph. Analyzing blockchain application examples is the greatest method to recognise its potential.
Prospects for Blockchain Implementation
Whatever you do, blockchain can provide exactly what you require. Since the introduction of the Java programming language in 1995, blockchain has been the most intriguing environment for software engineers. Blockchain has become a potent catalyst for re-engineering business operations and external relations for businessmen. Blockchain is more than a thing, a product, a fad, or a business opportunity.
The use of blockchain technology has a lot of potential. Its underlying concept is simple but effective, as it is based on a novel technique. This technology has an endless number of applications due to its modularity. This is much more than just how to build a stronger network, bank, or give better service. It's about putting it to use in our daily lives.
Blockchain's adoption has been gradual, beginning with developers and entrepreneurs. They are followed by businesses that have seen the distributed ledger's enormous potential. Organizations that have previously opposed change will be forced to accept and use this technology in the future.
We need more users, blockchain applications, and developers to get to this point. Most users will not realise or understand that blockchain underpins the product or service they use in the long run. Today, we'll assess the application's capabilities based on its benefits and ease, rather than whether it uses a database or another technology.
Overview of Blockchain Applications
Blockchain is a software application that enables for the secure and transparent storing and conversion of data via the Internet without the need for a central regulatory body.
The term "blockchain" refers to:
a platform that allows transactions to be completed without the involvement of a third party;
a distributed consensus and trust system;
a system that allows for authentication and notarization.
Traceability is unquestionably one of the most significant benefits of blockchain. The technology was created as an open ledger that was filled in chronological order, distributed, verified, and safeguarded against forgery using a distributed trust system, which makes everything registered there trackable and unalterable. This notion of traceability can thus be applied to a wide range of areas, including products, medications, works of art, and precious metals.
We'll look at some examples of blockchain applications in various fields below. All of these applications have one thing in common: near-perfect information transfer and archival security.
Although electric power is not the primary driver of blockchain excitement, it is the field in which the number of blockchain applications is rapidly increasing.
The TransActive Grid joint venture, for example, decided to integrate energy and a decentralised economic system with the assistance of New York leadership. L03 Energy, which builds solar energy networks, and ConsenSys, which specialises in blockchain technology, have formed a micro-network. The purpose in this situation is to empower citizens to reclaim electricity generation by forming energy mini-communities. Sensors capture the history of energy creation at a certain location and transfer the data to the airspace blockchain for this purpose. The restrictions for using this energy, as well as the pricing set by producers, can then be regulated by smart contracts.
The key benefit of this blockchain application is that it will not only minimise reliance on government energy, but it will also motivate users to produce and invest in renewable energy on their own.
There are a few more potential projects in this area. Air Products and Engie have partnered to certify the traceability of green electricity using blockchain technology in France. Engie has been doing comparable trials since 2015, particularly in the realm of tracing fluxes (water, gas, and electricity).
The Enerchain platform, the first European power market based on the blockchain, was developed by Ponton, a German start-up, in July 2016. Orders can be sent anonymously using Enerchain. To conclude a transaction, partners press a button on the screen, and everything is done immediately, without the use of intermediaries. As of 2018, the company had developed their peer-to-peer platform with 39 electricity and gas traders.
These efforts aren't merely tests. In fact, by 2020, the global use of micro-energy projects might generate more than $40 billion in revenue.
Pieces of Art
In the case of art, Deloitte Luxembourg has created a technology replacement to traditional paper testimonies that authenticate the origin and movement of a work of art. The ArtTracktive application is an alternative. It has a distributed registry that keeps track of the origin and localization of creative compositions. ArtTracktive employs a blockchain proof of concept that facilitates communication among the different players involved in a transaction, including artists, owners, forwarders, customs agents, art galleries and museums, and even potential buyers.
In the art industry, blockchain technology provides for the recording of a complete and verifiable history, from production through exhibition and sale.
Its key benefit is that it addresses one of the major issues in the modern art market: the unreliability and fragility of paper documentation as proof of the movement of a work of art. One of the Ethereum blockchain applications, Ampliative Art, serves a similar purpose.
Food Product Traceability
The blockchain business applications can be particularly effective in improving food traceability and supply chain management. Several projects are taking place in this field, the most prominent of which was launched in October 2016 by Walmart, IBM, and Tsinghua University, who all signed an agreement in Beijing. According to the contract, they would use blockchain technology to investigate the traceability and reliability of the food supply chain. Here, we're dealing with three significant market participants in an economy where food traceability is critical and improving all the time. This is an excellent illustration of how blockchain may improve the security and efficiency of the food supply chain.
Such blockchain applications in retail are particularly beneficial since they aid in identifying the origin of food products and confirming their quality. In just a few minutes, customers can learn everything they need to know about the products they buy.
Blockchain for Anti-Piracy
The cinematography industry's business models are currently attempting to change the problem of income loss due to copyright infringement. This is a problem that blockchain technology solves.
This is the purpose of Veredictum, an Australian firm that produced a film industry app, and Revelator, an Australian startup that developed a music industry app.
Veredictum uses a tokenization technique to allow creators to save films, scripts, and other works on their blockchain-based service. What is the mechanism behind it? You add the content you want to manage, confirm ownership, licence it, and decide how it will be distributed. As a result, any illicit use of this information will be promptly detected, as the blockchain will not ratify it.
This platform addresses one of the most pressing issues that has plagued the Internet since its inception. Piracy and theft are complicated concerns that must be handled carefully. This initiative uses blockchain to aid in the preservation of the film industry and the copyrights of its creators.
Keeping Personal Information
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) A. G. Pentland & G. Pentland Süskind chose to create the Enigma privacy protocol for distributed applications with secret contract functionality. The capacity to communicate information with third parties without compromising it and securing it in the event of a leak or cyber attack are two essential elements of this solution. The Catalyst programme (cryptocurrency trading algorithm) with statistical analysis was the first variant of the Enigma project implementation. Bittrex, Bitfinex, and Poloniex trading platforms are all supported in the newest version of the application.
According to the project's developers, the most exciting method to use the Enigma is to take advantage of its ability to analyse information and perform machine-building on encrypted data. As a result, the project is currently focused on developing new solutions, including a personal information marketplace, genetic data computations, IoT with a high level of privacy, probable theft evaluation, and more.
Cadastres allow users to map the boundaries of items, allowing the government to collect taxes in the event of an inheritance or sale. Not only does the state lose money without a land cadastre, but landowners are unable to verify that particular lands belong to them. Many countries in Africa and Latin America, for example, lack a cadastre or have a cadastre that is unreliable.
To address this issue, ONG Bitland has announced the introduction of a digital land registry initiative in Ghana, which will allow landowners to survey their property using GPS and register land ownership certificates via the app. They've created a number of decentralised blockchain apps, including as Bitcoin's blockchain, to bridge the gap between government and undocumented areas.
The primary tenet of this endeavour is that everyone involved is doing so voluntarily. This implies that personal and/or communal agreement, as well as approval, a timestamp, and official approval, are all present. This process will be saved in the blockchain app so that each statement and transaction may be referenced afterwards.
One of the most crucial concerns in banking in the coming years will be preventing fraud when making electronic payments. Scammers continue to operate despite bank-developed security measures such as 3D-secure technologies. This is an area where all banking players would like to see improvements.
Apart from Bitcoin, Ripple is now the most successful effort. Ripple enables you to conduct secure transactions of any size and fail-safeness almost rapidly and almost without commissions. It works with any currency, cryptocurrency, product, or other valued thing, such as bonus miles, mobile operator minutes, GPS distances, and so on.
Among their suggestions are:
With end-to-end tracing, xCurrent is used to settle international banking transactions.
Financial organisations who want to reduce liquidity costs and improve user experience should use xRapid.
xVia is for all financial institutions that use a single interface to handle payments across several networks.
XRP can perform up to 1,500 transactions a second, 24 hours a day, 52 weeks a year, according to engineers, which is 100 times more than Ether and 250 times more than Bitcoin. The system has a bandwidth capability that is comparable to Visa.
Solutions for Voting
Belem, one of the Ethereum blockchain applications, is a French business that offers a proven method for voting with the use of a blockchain. The primary novelty in voting with the use of this blockchain application is that voices are inscribed into a peer-to-peer system that gives the type of transparency suitable for voting, rather than relying on centralised power.
The following are the key advantages of voting with Belem:
You can directly participate in public debates without relying on third-party participation. Voting is transformed into a really democratic act.
Unauthorized access to the voices recorded in the record is prevented.
Transparency: participants can check to see if their votes were counted.
Simple: thanks to this clear, easily accessible method, voting takes only two minutes.
The Belem authentication module also allows you to find out where an industrial invention or idea came from, retain a birth or death certificate, show your access to housing and financial market data, and authenticate your solvency and creditworthiness. There are options for digitising diplomas, land ownership certificates, and tangible objects (keys, cars, works of art, stocks, bonds, etc.).
Another business in this space is Voatz, which allows citizens to vote safely in any type of election. Smartphones can even be used to vote. Previous attempts at voting over the Internet have failed due to fundamental issues with security, identity verification, and voting anonymity. Voatz tries to tackle these issues by utilising secure biometric blockchain technology to speed the voting and identity-verification processes.
Blockchain technology has many applications in the world of learning at the individual, institutional, group, national, and international levels, as well as in a variety of contexts, including school, college, university, Internet education, business, enterprise, and knowledge base creation.
The Holberton School in San Francisco is an excellent example of this. This software development school was the first in the world to use blockchain technology, developing a blockchain app to distribute degrees and keep information on students. To construct a diploma, sign it, and save it in the blockchain database, this system employs encryption and two-factor authentication. The school always gives students paper copies, but the technology generates a decentralised compensation number (DCN) that potential employers may use to run a background check on them.
The key benefit is that certificates stored on the blockchain are more easier for employers to check, which will help in the fight against phoney certifications and misleading CVs.
App for Blockchain on Mobile
Blockchain.info is a blockchain mobile software for Android that allows users to operate with the Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum key systems, as well as create new transactions while just viewing the blockchain systems of Bitcoin networks. Due to the interaction with the ShapeShift service, this blockchain mobile app also allows users to exchange cryptocurrencies with one another.
Blockchain Merchant is a free blockchain merchant tool that enables your expanding company to accept Bitcoin payments in the retail sector quickly. This is the ideal app for restaurants, bars, cafes, and other bitcoin-accepting businesses. It works like this: you download the Blockchain Merchant app, link it to your bitcoin wallet address, and your business can begin accepting bitcoin right away. The English, French, Simplified Chinese, Arabic, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, and Japanese versions of this blockchain merchant software are all available.
In terms of mutual trust, insurance is one of the most complicated tasks. American International Group, Standard Chartered Bank, and IBM created the first global insurance policy using blockchain technology. Hyperledger Fabric was used by IBM to provide a solution. Insurers from the United Kingdom, the United States, Kenya, and Singapore agreed insurance rules, which were recorded in a smart contract that offers a real-time summary of insurance conditions.
The benefit of blockchain applications in insurance is that they provide all participants with an unambiguous view of all financial facts while also allowing them to choose whatever financial information they want to see depending on their accounts. Users can keep track of events and payments in any of the insurer's countries.
Supply chain management can benefit from blockchain applications in retail.
Provenance has developed such a solution and is successfully using it in small supermarkets. This challenge is far more challenging on a worldwide scale, and many big retailer chains are working on a solution.
Everledger has devised a novel method of utilising blockchain technology. All information about diamonds, including information on associated transactions, is kept in an unique registry accessible only to Everledge users.
Blockchain Applications' Benefits and Drawbacks
The fundamental benefit of blockchain is that it automates transaction security control. Depending on the implementation technique and application, blockchain can prevent fraud and abuse, as well as solve a variety of other issues.
The following are some of the benefits of blockchain applications:
Because the vulnerable point of failure is diffused among multiple nodes, the system is more failure-resistant.
Because there is no central authority to which any party may address and demand the removal of material, it is immune to network censorship. Parties are unable to ban the application's domain or IP addresses because a decentralised application does not require specific addresses or domains. They may, of course, track and disable individual network users based on their IP addresses. However, if the peer-to-peer network develops large enough, totally disconnecting the programme becomes impractical, especially if the nodes are spread across multiple countries.
Users are more likely to trust an app that is not controlled by a single governing body with the ability to deceive them for their own gain.
Of course, every system has advantages and disadvantages. Consider the following drawbacks of blockchain-based applications:
Updates and error correction are difficult. The application must be updated on each peer-to-peer network node, or forked if certain nodes refuse to accept changes.
Network robustness for specialised purposes. Any application contains some business logic. This logic, in general, outlines how a new application must function in terms of business needs. Because blockchain is based on strict logic, it cannot be redesigned without losing benefits, which necessitates logical business modifications to be acceptable to the blockchain solution.
Applications may need to validate the user's identification on occasion. The creation of certain decentralised apps can become a severe problem because there is no central authority that ensures the user's identity.
Developmental difficulty. To achieve agreement, very complicated protocols must be used from the start, as well as the ability to scale. One cannot hurriedly execute an idea in the hopes of subsequently adding new features and expanding the programme without having to fork or reinstall the network.
In most cases, third-party APIs aren't required to save or retrieve data. Your decentralised application (Dapp) should not rely on centralised application APIs, but it can rely on the APIs of other Dapps. This seems nice in theory, but it may be tough to implement in practise.
A Final Thought
It is important to recognise that blockchain is a revolutionary technology that will totally revolutionise the economy and society, as well as make trust a scientific and technological novelty. Nonetheless, blockchain technology's full potential and breadth of applications are still in the early stages of development.
Of course, after looking at all of these initiatives, we can see that blockchain technology isn't going away anytime soon. It has the potential to fundamentally alter our economy and society.