With all the media on fire with news about cryptocurrency prices, you might be wondering how it affects the average person. Right at the heart of cryptocurrency and other digital currencies is Blockchain technology.
There are various industrial and administrative problems that technology can solve for the common man. Own a small business but often feel that transparency is lacking due to traditional communication methods? Have you ever received higher than usual medical bills? As a business owner, is it difficult to find legitimate candidates? These problems affect entrepreneurs, start-ups, small businesses, individuals and Blockchain technology aims to provide solutions to make the life of the common man much easier through simplified solutions.
Banking in almost all countries is still very focused on paper-intensive transactions for any money transfers, archiving or other back-end functions. Blockchain technology can replicate this digitally and create a decentralized ledger that allows not only bankers but also customers to access a single source of information. This system allows banks to eliminate the chances of fraud as documentation and proof of ownership of assets can be digitally verified by bankers on a blockchain ledger that can be accessed at any time in an immutable format.
Identity theft is also a major problem in the banking sector, with citizens’ information being stolen and used to open fraudulent accounts for illegal activities. According to the Federal Trade Commission’s online complaint database, there are over 13 million complaints filed about card fraud and identity theft, with 3 million of those complaints filed in 2016 alone. Through a blockchain system, customers can directly view all accounts, held on their behalf, and to notify their respective banks immediately in case they notice any suspicious activity in their bank details. Some of the famous examples include the IBM-backed Hyperledger Fabric project and UBS’s Utility Settlement Coin.
Blockchain technology can simplify healthcare in incredible ways and make medical data management much easier. Providing broad access to patient records can allow much more convenient drug development research and also reduce the effects of counterfeit drugs. Clinical trials and their results can be made available on a decentralized network, allowing healthcare professionals and researchers to conduct research and find solutions for better healthcare. Accenture is one of the largest companies that have started offering innovative healthcare solutions to the healthcare sector for secure, fraud-free transactions.
Medicare fraud can also be eliminated by blockchain billing management, as the billing system can be fully automated with no scope for fraudulent intermediaries. With over 56 million people covered by Medicare as of 2017, over $1.3 billion has been stolen from the government through fraudulent activities by rehabilitation facilities and home health services. Blockchain systems can effectively protect citizens seeking medical care from healthcare providers who overcharge services offered through fraudulent billing practices. Centralized data not only helps healthcare professionals offer treatment based on the history of the patient and his/her family, but also eliminates the chances of the patient misremembering past symptoms or disorders.
One of the most important functions of the civil administration of the government is to record all the information about its citizens. This includes information about individuals and businesses regarding their assets and activities. Most of the recorded information is recorded in paper databases, making data management extremely difficult even in developed countries.
Blockchain-based systems such as Ubitiquity can encode all public records in a digital ledger to protect citizen data from being altered for fraudulent activities. Identity theft is a problem that can be very difficult for the administration to deal with, and digitizing all public information to protect it from tampering can help prevent such instances of criminal activity.
One of the biggest limitations of the voting system in almost every country is that even today, voters must be physically present at the polling booths to vote, and it can make it difficult for people who have to travel on election days. More importantly, there are no ways for the average citizen to verify the poll results.
Blockchain development companies like Followmyvote are coming up with solutions that aim to make online voting a reality. This will allow citizens to publicly view accurate information about rankings and poll results and various other statistics. It also results in safer voting for citizens of countries in internal or external conflict, and criminal activities to force citizens to vote for specific candidates can be completely avoided.
Businesses of all sizes struggle to find the right staff. Through blockchain technology, it is possible for companies to verify the credentials of all applicants through a digital database. Blockchain technology can be applied to create a decentralized database of professionals with verified qualifications in a secure ledger that businesses can refer to when hiring candidates. Learning Machine is a New York-based company that seeks to address this problem by focusing on recording verifiable information about workers.
Tax or employment fraud accounted for 34% of all identity theft as of 2016, and the blockchain system makes the hiring process for any business much more secure as the company will only have access to valid candidates, reducing the risk of hiring fraudulent employees. It also helps candidates by speeding up the hiring process and helping them find jobs they are eligible for and have a seamless application process.
The use of blockchain technology helps both people and businesses, and also protects personal information while making important data publicly visible. Although blockchain has its best application in cryptocurrency, its use can spread to other sectors to provide meaningful solutions to citizens around the world.