In 2018, we saw lots of headlines about the banking and finance industry adopting blockchain-based solutions. As blockchain becomes more sophisticated, the technology is expected to spread across various industries in 2019.
It’s always helpful to know what to expect in the future, so we asked Forbes Technology Council members to predict which industries will see a “blockchain wave” next. If you work in one of these industries, now is the time to start thinking about how your business might be able to leverage blockchain for growth.
E-commerce is, as the name implies, online. This always brings about concerns about cybersecurity, and online payments always involve extra steps to prevent security breaches. Blockchain technology is renowned for its impenetrability and allows many to feel safer as we make bigger and more complex fiscal transactions online. Once Bitcoin wallets are adopted, the process will be smooth. – Arnie Gordon, Arlyn Scales
Food contamination incidents hurt companies and whole crops, such as romaine lettuce. Today, people still avoid romaine lettuce. Supply chain traceability makes recalls precise and limits losses. Blockchain and in-field Internet of Things (IoT) devices enable high granularity of traceability, from the field block and picker to the consumer. Expect this first for leafy greens and later throughout agriculture. – Sandra Carrico, Glynt.AI a business unit of WattzOn
While many industries are evaluating blockchain technologies, education is one where it actually makes sense. Large, independent organizations that have common interests and wish to enable transfer of credentials could greatly benefit from a common blockchain. Storing earned credits in this way could help to preserve and ensure liquidity for the data, helping both the institutions and students. – Philip Hutchins, Storj Labs Inc.
A lot of pilot work has been done in the healthcare industry. Use cases include supply chain (chain of custody, provenance), addressing slow payments and claim denial issues in revenue cycle management, value-based contracting arrangements for bundled payments, referral management, patient record sharing, etc. In 2019, many of these pilots will be moving into production. – Rahul Sharma, HSBlox
Power and energy companies aren’t generally thought of as bleeding-edge when it comes to emerging information technologies, but blockchain may be a standout. Blockchain can help real-time transactions, such as energy trading, happen quicker because third-party verification isn’t needed. This should also result in greater transparency and cost reductions. – Brian Contos, Verodin Inc.
6. IoT Identity Management
A key use case for blockchain will be in solving problems of identity management, particularly for machines in the Internet of Things. While digital certificates provide a first factor of authentication, many secondary factors, such as biometrics, don’t apply to machines. Blockchain allows transaction history to be used as an alternative method to establish confidence in a machine’s identity. – Steve Pao, Hillwork, LLC
7. Retail Supply Chain Management
You already see massive corporations like Walmart and BHP Billiton working to augment their supply chains with blockchain. The bar for disruption in this industry is low—operations are managed in spreadsheets and emails. In addition to more obvious gains in efficiency, I think the transparency it provides will be huge for brands trying to woo the more socially conscious Millennial generation. – Nicholas Thompson, Garnish
8. Voter Fraud Elimination
Immutable public ledgers (a.k.a. blockchains) could end the voter ballot tampering and transparency issues once and for all. Expect to see it roll out for a shareholder voting system or other nonpolitical elections first. Then, as it is proven out, it will expand over time. – Bret Piatt, Jungle Disk
9. Personal Data Privacy
Given all the issues surrounding the privacy of personal data, blockchain can help users take control of their personal data. Distributed ledgers are ideal for private distributed identity systems. You should be the custodian of your own data! Why should large companies like Experian, Equifax and TransUnion be allowed to store our personal data and profit from it in a way that doesn’t benefit us? – Frank Palermo, Virtusa
10. Shipping And Logistics
Shipping and logistics is a potential domain where blockchain can be used. As of now, there is a lot of bureaucracy involved when consignments are shipped from one source to a destination, resulting in loss of consignments as well as manipulation of proper records. Blockchain could provide the solution for secure recording of data and transactions. – Sachin Deshpande, Qualitas IT Private Limited