Even as Bitcoin and its rival cryptocurrencies have been grabbing all the headlines, a quiet revolution has been taking place. This revolution has largely flown under the radar, at least until now, but it could prove even more revolutionary than the cryptocurrency market itself.
That quiet revolution is powered by the blockchain, an emerging technology that made Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies possible in the first place. No matter what happens to the price of those virtual coins, the blockchain revolution is here to stay. Here are seven key industries that are already being revolutionized thanks to the disruptive power of the blockchain.
#1. The Banking Industry
The world of banking could be transformed beyond recognition by the power of the blockchain, and many of those changes are already underway. Already, blockchain technology is reducing the amount of time it takes for financial transactions to clear, enhancing security for banking customers and making the lending of money and securing between financial institutions easier.
In the future, these changes to the banking industry should only accelerate. When all is said and done, banking customers could enjoy much lower fees, and the banks themselves could gain access to an entirely new type of investment.
#2. The World of Healthcare
It has been a tumultuous time for the healthcare industry, from the adoption of the Affordable Care Act to ever-rising health Insurance premiums. In the future, blockchain technology has the power to transform the world of healthcare even more than the ACA, and some of these changes are already underway.
Blockchain technology has the power to revolutionize healthcare records, from enhancing the security of that information to facilitating the sharing of patient’s data. This could result in lower costs, but even more importantly, in improved patient safety.
#3. The Law
The legal industry could be particularly impacted by the power of the blockchain, and there are vast implications for lawyers, paralegals and clients. Blockchain technology is already enabling so-called smart contracts, facilitating secure and enforceable agreements between individuals businesses and even governments.
In addition to those smart contracts, blockchain technology could make future legal records and important documents more accessible and more secure. In just a few years, heirs could locate their inheritance quickly and easily. Once those records are stored securely on the blockchain ledger, their security will be assured, and that is good news for everyone.
#4. The World of Real State
The blockchain revolution could even impact the way houses are bought and sold – and revolutionize the way real estate agents do their jobs. Already blockchain technology is making real estate titles easier to access and more secure, speeding title searches and lowering costs for buyers and sellers alike.
#5. The Financial Services Industry
After years of dismissing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as just another fad, the financial services industry is finally coming around. There has already been talk of a Bitcoin ETF, and it is only a matter of time before these new forms of payment become part of the financial mainstream.
For those in the financial services industry, the blockchain promises to enhance security and lower costs, and that is good news for advisors and their clients. In addition, the growing acceptance of cryptocurrency will give clients a new way to invest and financial professionals a new product to sell.
In addition to its other applications, blockchain technology could also enhance the world of education and transform the 21st-century classroom. Many people do not realize, for instance, that blockchain technology is already enabling a new type of Internet, known popularly as 3D Internet.
The emergence of this 3D Internet, coupled with advances in virtual reality, could allow future students to take field trips around the world all without leaving their classrooms. From the museums of Paris to the pyramids of Egypt, tomorrow’s students could experience the world like never before all thanks to the power of the blockchain and the new 3D Internet.
#7. Startup Funding
In the days since Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, many startups have been abandoning their IPOs for lCOs instead. For decades, the Initial Public Offering or IPO, has been the way private companies raised capital. By selling stock, those private companies were able to fund their operations, and the investors who purchased their shares could enjoy financial success.
These days, new startups are increasingly issuing not shares of stock but new cryptocurrencies. These initial coin offerings have been very hot, and some of them have paid off quite handsomely. By turning the traditional IPO into an ICO, blockchain technology promises to revolutionize the way new companies are financed and new ideas get off the ground.
Bitcoin has changed the way 21st-century consumers buy and sell, but there is much more to this technology than virtual coins and investment opportunities. In the end, the technology behind Bitcoin is the real story, and the blockchain holds the power to disrupt entire industries and change the way the world works.