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    Top Blockchain Business Ideas with Huge Potential in 2021

    Blockchain technology has got to the point that it can be implemented across almost any industry. Here’s our rundown of the top blockchain business ideas that are conducive to positive organisational transformations.

    Blockchain is a set of digital records, also known as a distributed ledger, that seals data in an unalterable time-stamp chain. Each block in the chain contains both information about a transaction and a link to a previous block, thus preventing data tempering and keeping it valid.

    Initially, blockchain deployment has mostly focused on the financial services area. However, immutable records, decentralised structures and other blockchain benefits bring added efficiency, security and transparency to companies of different market sectors. As a result, it’s estimated that global blockchain technology revenues will reach around $39 billion by 2025.

    Global blockchain expenditure
    Global blockchain expenditure

    Source: Statista 

    Blockchain business ideas and opportunities across industries

    After 2021’s rapid uptick in the global cryptocurrency market, blockchain solutions have sparked a renewed interest among many organisations. Partnering with an experienced blockchain development company become one of the most common strategies businesses pursue to seize the potential the distributed ledger technology offers. Let’s take a closer look at how different businesses can harness the advantages of decentralised technology.

    Blockchain in the supply chain and transportation sector

    Managing the flow of goods from the point of origin to the point of consumption is an integral process for almost any business. As the process involves multiple stakeholders, locations and invoices, it is difficult to develop trust and keep the quality high with minimal errors.

    Blockchain has emerged as a solution for unsecured payments and complicated tracking within the logistics ecosystem.

    In the supply chain and transportation sector, blockchain technology can:

    • Provide transparent and automated settlements. Due to the absence of third parties, blockchain enables faster, safer and more transparent transactions, which results in increased trust between involved parties. Moreover, by leveraging smart contracts, payments can be made automatically once all of the conditions of an agreement between parties are met.
    • Secure the supply chain. On average, the industry losses around $50 billion in revenue annually because cargo is either lost or stolen. All of the data in a blockchain-based system cannot be tampered with, mitigating the risk of documents or goods being stolen.
    • Improve traceability. Blockchain makes more information available throughout the supply chain, from product origin to storage quality. Immutable and irrevocable records confirm that products meet standards and strengthen trust between parties.

    Blockchain in the retail sector

    The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the global shift towards online shopping. In June 2020, retail websites generated almost 22 billion visits, exceeding even peak holiday season traffic. There are between 12 million and 24 million e-commerce sites globally, and the number keeps on growing. So, big retail players started realising new blockchain business ideas to beat their competition and improve customer experience.

    In the retail sector, blockchain technology can:

    • Streamline transactions. Traditional financial operations may take weeks before the money will reach a merchant. A time-consuming, costly and error-prone process stands behind each transaction. Blockchain-based buying and selling simplifies the whole payment process and cuts the time needed as everything happens within one network.
    • Support loyalty and rewards programmes. Adding a loyalty programme to an e-commerce platform can significantly boost the average order quantity. Blockchain-powered can provide a secure environment for loyalty and reward programmes, minimise costs and enable frictionless operation in near real-time.
    • Limit fraud. According to PwC’s Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey 2020, 47% of companies have suffered fraud over the past 24 months. Cybercriminals take over legitimate accounts and use them to make purchases. Blockchain can be used to establish a trusted identity, access to which is very difficult to gain by third parties.

    Blockchain in the healthcare sector

    The pandemic has exposed healthcare issues, such as data breaches and glitches in healthcare supply chains, that spur a need for greater efficiency and innovation in the field. With the advantages it offers, blockchain can improve the overall experience within the healthcare sector.

    In the healthcare sector, blockchain technology can:

    • Store and protect medical records. The average patient in the US visits around 19 doctors during their lifetime. With the vast majority of records still being on paper, they are spread across facilities rather than being part of a comprehensive database. As a result, documents can be lost, which can lead to more errors and slower treatment. Blockchain allows the creation of one dataset with all of a patient’s health records from childhood to old age. The medical history stored on the blockchain is encrypted and processed securely, and only authorised people are allowed to add information.
    • Enhance traceability. Many healthcare products are manufactured in different countries. According to the World Health Organisation, one out of every 10 pharmaceutical products in low- and middle-income countries is counterfeit. Healthcare supply chain management with ledger technology provides information on trusted suppliers and helps to certify the authenticity of medicines.

    A blockchain-powered database can help to predict supply shortages before they impact patients’ treatment. Moreover, if a product has to be recalled, blockchain-enabled product traceability cuts the notification process from days to minutes. If you need some extra expert insights to help you choose the technology stack to power your next blockchain solution, check out this article comparing the two most popular distributed ledger frameworks.

    risks and rewards of blockchain adoption

    Blockchain in the education industry

    COVID-19 has drastically changed the education sector. Institutions around the world have pivoted to e-learning. Teaching remotely on digital platforms has experienced growth and adoption even before the pandemic, and it is likely to stay after the pandemic. Innovative technologies help institutions to adapt to the new reality and thrive, fuelling interest in blockchain solutions.

    In the education sector, blockchain technology can:

    • Maintain digital records. In 2017, the University of Melbourne started to issue digital credential using blockchain, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology issued digital diplomas. Records stored on the ledger cannot be altered, ensuring security and longevity. With blockchain technology, a person could obtain a verified record without an intermediary. Diplomas, certificates and transcripts of a students’ grades can all be issued and stored in the ledger and accessed with just a few clicks.
    • Streamline the publishing process. Students, professors and researchers often face rejection when aiming to have their content published. Rejection does not always mean that a paper is not of sufficient quality; it rather indicates limitations in the publishing industry. For instance, The Polymerase Chain Reaction by Kary Mullis, The Theory of Weak Interactions by Enrico Fermi and other Nobel Prize-winning research was rejected for different reasons. Blockchain can provide scholars with a plotform where they can easily present their content to a broader audience and manage and protect their rights against piracy.
    • Safeguard open educational resources. Educational resources created using blockchain are timestamped, contain information about the author and all changes made to the resources are tracked. The ledger can help to identify when the document was created or who the document was created by. As a result, the original content creator can always be attributed and cannot be plagiarised.
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    Blockchain in other segments

    There are many applications of decentralised infrastructure – storing data records, concluding agreements, verifying operations and many more – that have the potential to revamp other sectors. Here’s a brief overview of some other blockchain business ideas and use cases:

    • Agriculture industry. Conducting farming operations via distributed ledger can help in minimising food waste, increasing visibility into the supply chain and more.
    • Automotive sector. Blockchain-embedded vehicles can ensure safer in-car payments and streamline the recall process.
    • Insurance segment. By using smart contracts, claims can be processed within minutes, reducing turnaround time. Blockchain can store information about policyholders, which can then be available to authorised parties.
    • Media and entertainment. Blockchain can be leveraged to create a comprehensive database for music copyright and ensure musicians receive fair royalty payments.
    • Real estate segment. Buyers and sellers can be securely connected without brokers or any other third parties, leading to fees reductions for both parties.
    • Social networks. To date, more than 53% of the total global population have registered a social media account, which equates to 4.2 billion people. As more people use social media, cyberthieves continue to attempt to use it to obtain users’ personal information. Blockchain provides an encrypted network that protects users from data breaches.
    • Travel and hospitality industry. Booking a ticket requires a user’s personal data, including their name, credit card number, destination and more. Using blockchain technology for such information adds an additional layer of security. Moreover, authorised parties can see any changes made in real-time. For example, if visiting a country requires a vaccine against COVID-19, once the user is vaccinated, travel providers and customs control will be aware of it.

    How big businesses reinvent everyday operations with blockchain

    Many global companies have already explored blockchain business ideas, selected the most promising ones and put them into practice. Here’s a shortlist of how the world’s leading companies are using tangible blockchain solutions to their advantage:

    What could blockchain do for your business?

    Blockchain technology is evolving rapidly. In this article, we have shortlisted just a few of its possible applications across sectors. The technology has the potential to disrupt a multitude of processes. Starting a blockchain business journey by yourself is a daunting prospect. Cooperation with a technology expert can help you make a positive start and capitalise on the business opportunities blockchain offers.

    Need help with generating blockchain business ideas and getting the most out of them? Contact us today.

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