In 2008, when Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin, he also created the "Bitcoin Protocol", the old name of the "Blockchain". In 2008 during the great global banking crisis, he was laughing at finance, his utopia was "he wished to create a large monetary network beyond all borders, transparent and self-managed by Internet users". But he didn't know that 10 years later, the Blockchain would also serve the banks.
For a few years now, the Blockchain has become the new Financial Technology.
Basically the Blockchain was only used in the field of cryptocurrencies, this decentralized network, is duplicated on thousands of servers around the world, each user of the network has a complete copy of the Blockchain (a node) updated regularly, and automatically, of the transaction ledger, all these are time stamped, chronologically ordered, and traceable, which allows to have extreme security on transactions, once a block is validated, it cannot be modified, and is therefore inserted into the Blockchain.
The Blockchain can be summarized into 3 types of applications:
• Asset transfers - allows fast and cost-effective transactions to be carried out, thus reducing the costs of asset transfers, both national and international.
• The register - Allows the registration of a digital fingerprint of a document in the Blockchain. And thus timestamp all types of documents and data sent to the network, which facilitates their traceability.
• Smart contracts - a computer program that allows the automation of one or more transactions according to predefined conditions on the initial contract, thus reducing the number of intermediaries during the process.
Faced with the constant growth of online attacks, data hacking, etc.... It has become evident for a large majority of companies to set up their own private Blockchain, thus ensuring the security of certain information by decentralizing them, such as their contracts, customer data (rights protection), and the traceability of all their transactions, which remains their major challenge. According to a 2018 study by the audit and consulting firm PwC, financial services and insurance are the market leader in the Blockchain market.
• Financial Services & Insurance: 48%.
• Industrial Production & Manufacturing: 12%.
• Energy and utilities: 12%.
• Medical/Health: 11%.
• Government: 8%.
• Retail & Consumer: 4%.
• Entertainment and Media: 1%.
The applications of the Blockchain can be interpreted as follows:
• Banks & Insurance: Automation of contracts (Smart Contracts) and their traceability, example: in case of non-compliance with certain closures, if you have subscribed to an insurance that will refund your flight ticket in case of a delay of more than 2 hours, the refund process is automatic, it is no longer necessary to take the necessary steps.
• Service commitment or employment contract: As soon as the contract is digitally signed and authenticated, it is time-stamped and placed in the Blockchain, in the event of a dispute over remuneration or payment for services, and one of the two parties has falsified the document, simply look for the document in the Blockchain, to resolve the dispute.
• Agri-food: Allows 100% reliable traceability of a food, the production of a beverage, or the steps and composition of a prepared dish
• Medicine & Health: Allows hospitals and clinics to store and exchange medical records directly with patients and staff, whereas until now information sharing and data security has always been very complicated.
• Music: Allow recorded articles and protect their works by encoding them in a dedicated Blockchain, and eventually, allow them to have a much more equitable remuneration directly from the public.
Basically the applications of blockchain technology can be endless.
Here is the top 10 companies to use the Blockchain: (Source Forbes June 2018):
• Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (BICC): Verification of digital certificates, without supervision of a Central Authority.
• China Construction Bank (CCB): Streamlining the way banks and insurance companies jointly sell some of their products
• JPMorgan - Secret Blockchain Development
• Berkshire Hathaway: Ensure the traceability of diamonds and goods delivered on the railways
• Agricultual bank of China limited: Providing secure loans to e-commerce actors.
• Bank of America
• Wells Fargo
• Apple: Date and time stamping of data
• Bank of China: Tour as 'Bank of America & Wells Fargo' Blockchains projects to streamline various sets of financial flows.
• China Ping An Insurance: - Development Blockchain secretly held
We can see that in this top 10, there is only one non-financial company, Apple, the other 9 remain financial and insurance organizations.
Lastly I want to mention about the cost of creating a private Blockchain. It's expensive right? Well, it doesn't cost as much as you might think, you just have to count the power consumption of the storage servers and their maintenance. With recent news from China, where officials said that 'blockchain is the technology of the future' and China cannot affort to miss this golden opporunity, we may expect a huge progress in the blockchain development field in the following years.
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