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Despite what bitcoin and cryptocurrency skeptics may say, blockchain technology is here to stay. Just ask Walmart, IBM, or any of the traditional companies that are working on integrating blockchain solutions. Yet even among those who have a working understanding of blockchain technology, there is an underlying current that it can only help those in the banking and financial services sectors. Now, to be sure, banking and finance blockchain platforms are aplenty, and this is a good thing. But it foolish to say that blockchain technology only provides money-related solutions.
CB Insights recently released a research brief entitled “Banking Is Only The Beginning: 36 Big Industries Blockchain Could Transform”. The study examined over thirty different industries that could profit from the explosion of blockchain technology. And, despite the thoroughness of this list, it only begins to scratch the surface of the ways that blockchain is a disruptor. If blockchain really is the “new internet”, every aspect of everyday life can be radically impacted. Here are three unique ways that blockchain is changing up traditional industries.
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Blockchain Can Change the Travel Landscape
Say hello to the Cool Cousin platform, a tech startup that has already launched a successful iOS app. The app allows locals to offer tips on where vacationers and tourists should go in their city. Travelers can discover new places by using Cool Cousin guides created by local residents. Cousins have the unique opportunity of giving visitors digital tours and pointing them to best businesses, restaurants, and attractions in their hometowns. Despite their recent success, Cool Cousin is working on blockchain implementation to take their app to a new level.
Cool Cousin’s blockchain development will hinge upon the use of smart contracts. Smart contracts will define and enforce the relationships between the platform participants, creating a set of checks and balances to maintain decentralization. Smart contracts will facilitate transactions between cousins and visitors, thereby fostering trust between the two groups. The platform will also implement the CUZ coin, its crypto token. CUZ coins eliminate the use of third parties and pave the way for cross border transactions and international payments. Travelers will save money while those who offer tips and advice will take home a larger share of the profits.
Blockchain Technology and Voting Systems
Another blockchain based platform, Follow My Vote, is looking to forever change the way elections take place. The use of blockchain technology allows for genuine transparency and auditability, of which there is a growing need in light of 2016’s election meddling. Every user can login into the portal and vote for their desired candidate(s). Each vote is anonymous and protected, but still publicly logged onto the blockchain. This means that anyone can audit the vote and follow the election process in real time. Users will be able to track their vote from the moment it is entered to the second it is counted, ensuring that the entire election process is secure and properly administered. In addition, the Follow My Vote platform allows for remote voting, saving the government money and sparing users’ precious time.
Decentralized Predictions Just Got Real
Not confined to a specific industry, the Augur platform is a decentralized predictive platform that rewards people for correctly anticipating future events. Users are presented with real-world scenarios like “Will the Democrats take the House in the 2018 midterms?” or “Who will win the World Series?” and are rewarded to correct predictions. If they buy shares with the correct outcomes, they will win real money prizes.
Not only does the platform create a way for users to earn money, it also aggregates large amounts of data to provide accurate forecasts about a range of topics. Augur gathers predictive data and creates marketable shares out of each event–for example, an outcome with a share price of $0.73 has a 73 percent chance of happening. It is estimated that this prediction platform will be more reliable than individual experts, opinion polls, and random surveys. The Augur platform and its forecasts can be used by myriads of businesses to estimate future revenues, run successful marketing campaigns, and launch new products into new target areas. The possibilities are endless.