As with any new technology, currently unimaginable applications will be developed as the Blockchain continues to evolve and create new opportunities. We therefore list them here in a non-exhaustive manner.
Finance and retail banking
By nature, blockchain is the perfect technology for financial transactions. Thanks to the transparency and security it offers, it allows, for example, to carry out peer-to-peer transactions without the intervention of a bank, in a much faster way, and at a lower cost.
More globally, blockchain technology has the potential, through its properties, to "disintermediate" the main services provided by banks, starting with fundraising, digital identity verification, private equity or debt financing of companies, or cross-border transactions. For the latter, for example, traditionally slow and costly as systems typically pass through multiple banks on the way to the final payment destination, blockchain could make processes faster, more accurate and less expensive.
And the list of benefits of blockchain in the industry doesn't end there. When it comes to digital identity verification, for example, blockchain will be able to allow banks and other financial institutions to secure their customers' credentials, increasing public trust while protecting against fraud and significantly speeding up the verification process. Blockchain could finally, by removing the need for gatekeepers in the lending and credit industry, make it safer to borrow money and provide lower interest rates.
Banks and other financial institutions are already using blockchain to optimize their services, reduce fraud and lower fees for customers: according to a recent IBM study, 91% of banks are already investing in blockchain solutions and 66% of institutions expect to operate at scale with blockchain quickly.
How can healthcare professionals share patient data, which is particularly sensitive, in a completely secure manner? While it is obvious that a public blockchain, due to its decentralized and therefore accessible to all, could not be used to store this type of personal information, a private blockchain, on the other hand, could be the ideal solution to meet the requirements linked to the evolutions of the medical sector, without risking fraud, data leakage or misuse of the data.
Healthcare providers could leverage a private blockchain to securely generate and store their patients' medical records, while ensuring that these records cannot be altered or accessed by anyone else, thus guaranteeing the confidentiality of the information in question.
The blockchain could also offer the medical sector the possibility to guarantee the traceability and therefore the authenticity of drugs and treatments circulating on the world markets, by storing all the data made available about them: studies, research, trials... A reliable follow-up, which could help to remove the fears linked to the marketing of new pharmaceutical products.
As the automotive industry sees its vehicles evolve to become increasingly connected, electric and/or autonomous, it is faced with a major problem: the storage, management and exploitation of the data associated with all this connectivity, in a secure manner.
The blockchain could solve this problem, by allowing autonomous vehicles to transmit their location and traffic data to their "network", accurately and securely. Only authorized parties would be able to access this data, secured by cryptography, in real time, while avoiding the hacking of the network in question.
The blockchain could also be used to certify the authenticity of new vehicles offered for sale, and their components. This process has already been tested by Lamborghini, which has certified an Aventador S using blockchain. As for second-hand vehicles, all their information (service history and invoices, technical inspection, Histovec report, etc.) could be recorded on a secure register, making it possible to reassure buyers and lessees about their history.
Online voting via blockchain, considered an interesting way to modernize the electoral system in France, was one of the most debated topics during the last regional elections. This could indeed allow citizens to vote from anywhere, without having to go to a polling station, and thus boost voter turnout.
The use of blockchain in this process would make votes almost impossible to tamper with, while maintaining the transparency of the electoral process, reducing the staff needed to run an election and providing officials with almost instant results.
However, not everyone agrees with this solution. Some MIT researchers have expressed concerns about the potential security problems of such a tool in a publication.
In the meantime, several municipalities are trying the exercise in France, such as the cities of Chapet, Verneuil-sur-Seine and Vernouillet, which allowed their residents to vote online in 2020, for or against a project to bypass a departmental road. More recently, the city of Neuilly-sur-Seine announced that it had launched an online voting platform using blockchain to allow its citizens to vote "on everyday projects (cultural programs, public works, etc.).
The insurance sector is regularly confronted with fraud. To counter them, its players go through numerous checks that can considerably lengthen the time it takes to receive coverage and reimbursement. In such cases, a blockchain can allow insurers to set up a transparent and traceable KYC (Know Your Customer), avoiding all risks of fraud or money laundering, while avoiding the need for policyholders to regularly justify their personal information through a "certified identity".
Thanks to the blockchain and its ability to circulate information in a secure and traceable way, the insurance sector can gain in automation, by allowing the automatic triggering of guarantees. An advantage that naturally implies a shortening of reimbursement times and a significant reduction in management costs.
Piracy, fraud and intellectual property theft of digital items cost the entertainment industry nearly $71 billion annually. By using blockchain, entertainment players now have the ability to track the lifecycle of content, and thus limit fraud involving it.
Also, blockchain could allow the sale of tickets to users in a secure and transparent way, but also reduce the massive purchase of tickets by resellers, all in order to secure the ticketing market and counter the black market. An opportunity that could also be useful when reselling "second hand" tickets between individuals, ensuring once again the reliability of the ticket.
Finally, the use of Smart Contracts can now allow artists to automatically receive revenues from the purchase of their creations, according to predetermined licensing agreements.
Existing global supply chains in the trade sector are inefficient, poorly tracked and often poorly leveraged.
Blockchain has the potential to facilitate the accurate tracking of materials, products and software, and to improve transparency related to the provenance of consumer goods, from sourcing to point of consumption. The authenticity of so-called "organic" or "fair trade" products would thus be assured for the end consumer.
Several players already offer blockchain solutions dedicated to supply chains, starting with the food industry with the company IBM and its IBM Food Trust or Carrefour, which in 2018 developed a blockchain technology designed for the sale of chickens.