With all of the media set ablaze with news of prices of cryptocurrencies, you may wonder how it affects a common man. Right at the heart of cryptocurrency and other digital currencies is Blockchain technology.
There are various industrial and administrative problems that the technology can solve for the common man. Do you own a small business but often feel transparency is lacking because of traditional methods of communication? Have you ever ended up with higher than usual medical bills? As a business owner, is finding legitimate candidates a hassle for you? These problems affect entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses, individuals and Blockchain technology seeks to provide solutions to make the life of a common man much simpler through simplified solutions.
Banking in almost all countries is still very focused on paper-intensive transactions for any money transfer, recordkeeping or other back-end functions. Blockchain technology can replicate this in a digital format and create a decentralized ledger that allows not only the bankers but also the customers to access a single source of information. This system allows banks to eliminate chances of fraud as documentation and proof of ownership of assets can be checked digitally by bankers in the Blockchain ledger which can be accessed at any time in an unalterable 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 database of complaints, there have been over 13 million complaints filed for card fraud and identity theft with 3 million of these complaints being filed in 2016 alone. Through a blockchain system, customers can directly view all accounts owned under their name and immediately notify their respective banks in case they spot any suspicious activity in their banking details. Some of the known examples include IBM-backed Hyper ledger Fabric project and the Utility Settlement Coin by UBS.
Blockchain technology can simplify healthcare in incredible ways and make medical data management much simpler. Making patient records widely accessible can allow research on drug development much more convenient, and it also reduces the implications of counterfeit drugs. Clinical trials and their outcomes can be made available in a decentralized network, allowing healthcare specialists and researchers to conduct research and find solutions to better healthcare. Accenture is one of the biggest companies that have started offering innovative healthcare solutions for the medical care sector for secure and fraud-free transactions.
Medicare frauds can also be brought down through blockchain billing management as the billing system can be fully automated without any scope of intermediaries committing fraudulent activities. With over 56 million people under Medicare as of 2017, over $1.3 billion has been ripped off the government through fraudulent activities by rehabilitation facilities and home health care services. Blockchain systems can effectively safeguard citizens who seek medical assistance from healthcare providers that overcharge for services offered through fraudulent billing practices. The centralized data not only help medical professionals in offering treatment based on the history of the patient and his/her family but it also eliminates the chances of a patient incorrectly recollecting past symptoms or disorders.
One of the most important civic administration functions of a government is to record all information about its citizens. This includes information about individuals and businesses with regards to 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 like Ubitiquity can encode all public records in a digital ledger to keep the data on citizens from being altered for fraudulent activities. Identity theft is a problem that can be very difficult to deal with for the administration and digitizing all public information to make it tamper-proof 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 need to be physically present at polling booths to cast their votes and can make things difficult for people who need to travel on poll days. More importantly, there are no means of verifying the poll results for the average citizen.
Blockchain development companies like Followmyvote are coming up with solutions that seek to make online voting a reality. It will allow citizens to view accurate information on poll standings and results and various other statistics publicly. It also leads to safer voting for citizens of countries in internal or external conflict and criminal activities to coerce citizens into voting for specific candidates can be completely avoided.
Businesses of all sizes have a hard time finding the right staff. Through blockchain technology, it is possible for businesses to verify 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 for hiring candidates. Learning Machine is a New-York based company that seeks to address this problem that focuses on recording verifiable information on workers.
Tax or employment-related frauds make up 34% of all identity theft as of 2016, and a blockchain system makes the hiring process for any business much more secure as a company would have access to valid candidates only, reducing the risk of hiring fraudulent employees. It also helps applicants by speeding up the hiring process and helping them to find jobs they are eligible for and have a hassle-free application process.
Use of blockchain technologies helps individuals and businesses alike, and it also protects personal information while making important data publicly visible. While blockchain has the best application in cryptocurrency, its use can spread to other sectors as well to provide meaningful solutions to citizens around the world.
by Alen Cauller