Blockchain Applications Beyond the Financial Services Industry

April 26, 2016     By : Sofia

Blockchain fever hasn’t been limited to financial institutions. Along with banks and FinTech startups, non-financial players have been paying attention and looking for ways to leverage the opportunities that distributed ledger technology opens. Let’s look at some interesting examples of the non-financial applications of blockchain technology.

Blockchain and commodities

The Real Asset Company enables individuals around the world to buy gold and silver bullion securely and efficiently. The company’s investor-friendly platform sits on top of global vaulting infrastructure, providing an online account for buying gold and silver and holding precious metals. Goldbloc, the company’s gold-backed cryptocurrency adds an additional layer of transparency and control to users’ gold investment. Backed by one gram of gold, the company believes its cryptocurrency to be the first step to bringing gold back into the monetary system.

Uphold is a platform for moving, converting , transacting and holding any form of money or commodity. The company connects banks, credit and debit cards and bitcoin to digital wallets for free financial services and transactions. Businesses and consumers can fund their Uphold accounts via bank transfer or by linking a credit/debit card in addition to bitcoin.

Blockchain and diamonds

The diamond industry is one of the biggest natural resource industries and makes a substantial part of the GDP in African countries and other major diamond-miners. The hallmark of the industry is that it is highly criminalized. Stones are small and easy to hide and transport. The best part for criminals is that transactions can be made confidentially and the sell returns the value over years. Diamonds are known to be involved in money laundering and financing of terrorism on a truly massive scale around the world.

Due to a range of challenges with diamonds business, one of the tech pioneers in the sphere is Everledger. The company provides an immutable ledger for diamond identification and transaction verification for various stakeholders, from insurance companies to claimants and law enforcement agencies. Everledger assigns a “digital passport” to each diamond that will accompany each stone as it is transacted and creates a unique fingerprint.

Blockchain and data management

Factom is one of the most notable blockchain companies applying distributed ledger to the non-financial market – in this case, data management. The company uses blockchain-based identity ledgers in database management and data analytics to support various applications. Businesses and governments can use Factom to simplify records management, record business processes, and address security and compliance issues. Factom maintains a permanent, time-stamped record of data in the blockchain that allows companies to reduce the cost and complexity of conducting audits, managing records, and complying with government regulations.

Blockchain and cannabis

Serica is one of the examples of a blockchain companies in the cannabis industry. Serica brings software engineering, cryptofinance, financial custody and blockchain technology to traditional custodian finance. It allows entrepreneurs to establish their business legitimacy through the largest network of verified customers in order to grow conversions, registrations, memberships and average order sizes. Serica’s Secure Socket Layering Technology encrypts all communications between a user’s personal wallet and Serica. Serica uses the blockchain in order to track and record every purchase of medical marijuana, providing businesses an easy way to accept payments online.

There are also companies like Tokken, Hypur and others leveraging bitcoin and blockchain in cash-heavy businesses like legal marijuana. Read more here.

Blockchain and digital content

Ascribe helps artists and creators to attribute digital art via blockchain. Ascribe’s marketplace allows to generate digital editions with a unique ID and a digital certificate of authenticity to prove provenance and authenticity. It also allows to accept consignments from artists and transfer digital works to collectors with all the terms and legals.

There are also companies like Bitproof, Blockai, Stampery and other companies applying blockchain to digital art attribution and authentication.

Blockchain and network infrastructure

Ethereum is a platform and a programming language that makes it possible for any developer to build and publish next-generation distributed applications. Ethereum can be used to codify, decentralize, secure and trade just about anything: voting, domain names, financial exchanges, crowdfunding, company governance, contracts and agreements of most kinds, intellectual property, and even smart property thanks to hardware integration.

ChromaWay offers blockchain as a platform for financial institutions and is working on a smart contract platform that allows for digitizing and representing workflows in a secure, private and efficient way.

Blockchain in market forecasting

Augur.net is an open-source, decentralized market prediction platform built on etherum blockchain. It allows users to trade on the outcome of events, and for the market to then leverage that crowdsourced information. Augur plans to use decentralized public ledgers to create a way for anyone in any field, from finance, healthcare and governance, to tap into the collective forecasting power of a global user base.

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Sofia

Sofia is a contributing writer for LTP based in New York. She is a market research professional skilled in data analysis and visualization. Sofia has an extensive experience in consumer behavior studies and marketing analytics. She is passionate about disruptive startups with innovative business models that are having a powerful impact on the industries.

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