Blockchain technology is disrupting virtually every industry because of the efficiencies it brings to the table. It provides visibility and transparency, enhances operations, all while cutting costs and improving the bottom line. Blockchain is used in 140 countries, from healthcare to government agencies, yet blockchain is often misunderstood.
What Is Blockchain Technology?
Blockchain is the combination of three key technologies — the internet, private key cryptography and a protocol that covers incentivization. It allows for a clear and easy-to-follow path for goods, money, and information that’s protected from risk. In its simplest form, some describe blockchain technology as a spreadsheet in the sky. Deloitte states that it’s likely that industries will continue to adapt this technology to gain traction in areas ranging from cost savings to boosting ROI. Blockchain is also helping companies gain competitive advantages over others.
Where Is Blockchain Technology Being Used?
As noted, it’s potential is limitless. Take a look at six key industries already seeing the potential this type of tool can offer.
1. The Financial Sector
Perhaps the largest industry benefiting right away is the banking industry, including all aspects of financial services. Blockchain is enabling the transfer of funds across global lines with ease and security. It’s also allowing for a faster way to move money without the fees associated with other methods. Most importantly, it is improving safety and transparency, with the potential to eliminate fraud in the financial sector.
2. Supply Chain Management
Supply chains have transformed in the last few years thanks to e-commerce, but managing the supply chain, from sourcing materials to last-mile delivery, is complex and costly. From where the product was grown to whether child labor was involved in production, today’s consumer wants to know the details. Blockchain opens the door for this type of efficiency and transparency like no other service has before it. It can eliminate waste, improve labor costs and minimize emissions, as well.
3. The Insurance Sector
Insurance is another area of transformation for blockchain in several ways. First, it can reduce instances of fraud, a costly problem for the sector. By providing better verification of a person’s identity and tracking, it can help minimize insurance fraud, estimated at $40 billion per year according to the FBI. Additionally, it can help to provide insight into risks, such as better forecasting of the actual risk of a particular consumer. This allows insurance companies to not only minimize financial risk but also enhance customer protections through educational services.
4. Cloud Storage
Cloud storage is perhaps one of the biggest changes in every business sector. Moving to the cloud was a step many companies took to make communicating easy. However, security in the cloud is a concern. Blockchain offers a solution to this by providing accessible information across a variety of data points while also minimizing the risk of someone accessing, changing, or otherwise using that information for the wrong reason. It is also helping to show more insight into what’s happening. In simplistic terms, a business can have dozens of hands working on a contract in the cloud while minimizing any risk of inappropriate changes due to the robust tracking capabilities available.
5. Healthcare Sector
Healthcare has long been riddled with inefficiencies. A simple bill received for a medical procedure can be nearly impossible to understand due to the complex billing process. Then, there’s compliance. Not just with financials, but HIPAA laws require numerous security tools to be in place to minimize risks as well. This means sharing information across various doctors or medical providers can be a challenge. Insert blockchain. It has the potential to help open this up, allowing individuals to have more access to information without the risk of data leaks or privacy violations.
6. Government Blockchain Uses
It’s easy to see how the government is inefficient in terms of managing everything from products to money. Yet, with blockchain, there’s more clarity and efficiency possible. Consider voting, for example. Government agencies using blockchain never have to worry about the wrong person’s vote being counted or problems with identity fraud. Consider how this can impact other aspects of government including defense, courtrooms, and city planners.
How else can blockchain change the world? It’s helping to create more user-driven marketplaces including ride sharing. It’s helping to manage hedge funds to ensure no illegal activity is taking place while also speeding up access to information. The diamond industry is even using this technology to help track stones. Blockchain also applies to education, too, by helping organizations track unearned educational credits. Industrial, sales positions, forecasting, music, and entertainment — the list of industries touched by blockchain goes on and on.
What Does This Mean for Students?
Blockchain is still relatively new and adoption to its fullest level is likely several years away. Yet, a college student with a master’s degree in blockchain technology is going to be highly valuable to companies. Because blockchain has such growth potential and spans across almost every sector, companies will look to these graduates to help them remain competitive. In fact, according to LinkedIn, Blockchain was the number one emerging job last year.
Understanding the global need for this type of technology expertise, University of the Cumberlands is proud to offer this one of a kind, Online Master’s in Global Business with Blockchain Technology. If you’re interested in what a Master’s in Blockchain Technology from UC can do for you, contact an admissions counselor today! 1.800.343.1609 ext. 4390.