This November, The Fintech Times is looking to broaden the understanding of digital currencies, ranging from blockchain’s use outside of crypto to CBDCs, in an attempt to replace the notion that digital currencies are a synonym for crypto.
Talking to industry experts, we will be looking at the use of blockchain outside of crypto and how the adoption of the technology could revolutionise multiple industries.
“Blockchains can serve many purposes besides issuing and transferring cryptocurrencies,” said Rob Viglione, the co-founder of Horizen and CEO of Horizen Labs. “A blockchain can be used to authenticate data and verify proof of origin. This makes it useful for tracking and tracing goods across global supply chains, ensuring transparency throughout the entire process while minimising the number of intermediaries required to maintain data integrity.”
Use in Healthcare
When moving to a new city, you must consider the transfer of their medical records to a new GP or doctor, however, this process takes time. The transfer is often low on a doctor’s priority list which means it can take a lot of time.
In the US, under the HIPAA law, medical providers have 30 days to complete your request and give you copies of your records (or send them to your new doctor). If they are unable to do so, they need to provide you with a written notice explaining why there was a delay and when you can expect to receive your records. In the UK the transfer of physical medical records can take up to two months, whilst the electronic transfer usually takes two days, according to NHSInform.
The use of blockchain technology can make the transfer instantaneous as a patient having access means there is no need for a former doctor to send the records.
Collin Plume, the CEO and co-founder of My Digital Money, “In healthcare, this looks like a patient having access to all his/her medical records through the blockchain instead of the hospital owning that information in their own private database. If one chooses to switch doctors, that individual can offer up their medical history without intervention or participation from the former doctor or hospital. This can also work at the DMV or when buying and selling a car or renewing a license – all that information is stored and encrypted in the blockchain for the user to own and control.”
Donna Parisi Partner and Head of Fintech and Financial Services at Shearman & Sterling said, “In Estonia, the government is running a digitalised eGovernment system on blockchain, which ensures the security of government registers covering everything from healthcare and patient health records to digital IDs, property records and even a digital court system. This system supports UN Sustainable Development Goal #16, supporting justice and strong institutions, and SDG#3, promoting good health and well-being for all ages. Every day, in every corner of the globe, more creative blockchain-based solutions are emerging.”
A smart contract is self-executing code that carries out a set of instructions, which are then verified on the blockchain. They are a core technological element of many decentralised applications (dApps). A key characteristic of smart contracts is that they are trustless, meaning they can reduce or even eliminate the need for third-party intermediaries.
In real estate for example, when a property is tokenised, much of the required record-keeping can take place via associated smart contracts, which can save the parties time and money. As such, hidden costs connected to closing fees, title transfers, and broker fees can all be reduced or eliminated as the need for a third party is removed.
Speaking to this effect, Kristjan Kangro, CEO and Founder of cryptocurrency trading platform, Change, said, “Some of the most interesting applications of blockchain involve increasing the speed and visibility of complex transactions. For example, in the UK, several proptech companies are working on solutions that enable the buying and selling of property using blockchain technology. Currently, buying a house there can take up to three months, but some solutions claim they can cut this time down to as little as three days. Interestingly, by capturing the flow of documents and contracts on the blockchain, all parties can see exactly what stage the process is at. And, if you have ever bought a property, you’ll know just how great that feature is. Importantly in this example, the UK Government’s Land Registry is working with many of these startups to help develop technical solutions.”
Russell Starr, CEO of DeFi Technologies concludes what the future of the technology holds by saying, “Blockchain will impact how you buy a car, how you buy a house, how you invest, and even how you make money. It is destabilising an oligopoly that has existed for centuries — from banking institutions acting as intermediaries taking hefty SWIFT wire fees. Everything you can think of will be altered by the blockchain evolution.”