Blockchain is approaching critical mass. Talk to many people about this emerging technology, and they immediately think of Bitcoin (or maybe even Ethereum).

Everywhere you look, it seems cryptocurrencies are gaining value in markets around the world. Blockchain technology is once again in the spotlight. However, this technology isn’t just about Bitcoin and its cryptocurrency alternatives.

Blockchain infrastructure has uses beyond cryptocurrency transactions. In recent years, new business applications have emerged.

Real Estate: The Next Industry Transformed by Blockchain?

Many people talk about blockchain’s ability to transform banking. However, some people are looking at real estate as the next industry to see big changes from blockchain technology. Banks, despite some interest, are somewhat wary of blockchain cryptocurrencies as competition.

Real estate transactions are notoriously cumbersome. Paperwork. Document filing at multiple sources. Escrow. Title checks. There are chances for error everywhere. Blockchain technology could change that with smart contracts and record-keeping.

According to Fast Company, blockchain advocates in the real estate space are pushing the technology. It could potentially reduce transaction costs and errors, as well as fraud.

In fact, the Cook County, Illinois (which includes Chicago) recorder’s office took part in a blockchain project. The projected aimed at figuring out how to store property records. And, says the Fast Company article, similar projects are taking place all over the world.

Municipal Government and Blockchain

Industries like real estate and banking seem like no-brainers for blockchain. But it’s not just business getting involved. Municipal governments are also looking at the benefits of blockchain.

In the United States, Boise, Idaho recently signed a deal with ULedger. Boise’s city government hopes to use this infrastructure to streamline city government. On top of that, blockchain’s security advantages are also sought after.

While Boise might be an early adopter in the United States, it’s not the first municipality to consider blockchain. Dubai plans to store government documents using blockchain. In China, one city used blockchain as a solution for registering voters.

Blockchain Benefits for Retail

Finally, it looks like blockchain has benefits for retail. Blockchain is ideal for managing supply chains. The ledger creates records that make it easy to track goods. Additionally, it’s even possible to identify the source of counterfeit goods.

Electronic transactions on blockchain are also more secure. Hackers need to break through all the blocks before being able to steal any information. That can be very difficult. It could go a long way toward reducing data breaches. The decentralized nature of the blockchain makes it harder to access everything.

And, of course, blockchain technology can help reduce costs. Smoother transactions and less fraud mean better profit margins for companies. Plus, customer satisfaction because of frictionless transactions can go a long way toward business success as well.

Bottom Line: Will You See a Transformation in Your Transactions?

In the end, blockchain technology promises to transform the way we do business. Even if you never use a Bitcoin or a Litecoin to make a purchase, there’s a chance that this technology will eventually become a part of the way you interact with the world.

 

I'm Miranda and I'm a freelance financial journalist and money expert. My specialties are investing, small business/entrepreneurship and personal finance. The journey to business success and financial freedom is best undertaken with fellow travelers.

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