Blockchain technology has become all the rage in Silicon Valley and other tech-focused communities around the world. While the potential behind blockchain is very promising, we have only just begun to get glimpses of what is truly possible. Here are some of the ways we can expect blockchain technology to be integrated and utilized in a few different industries.
Fantasy Sports, Sports Betting, and Online Casinos
Fantasy sports grow larger every year, as do the platforms and businesses that support this ecosystem. While there are dozens to choose from, DraftKings is still the gold standard as they were the first to get it right and stay competitive in the marketplace with offerings like free bets and a $1000 sign up bonus. Though it is yet to be seen if they have any plans of integrating blockchain technology within their existing model, other rival fantasy sports platforms have already jumped at the opportunity.
Other fantasy sports platforms like TradeStars have a more unique model that incorporates blockchain. The real-life performances of players are turned into performance cards that represent a certain amount of fantasy points for your team. You can hold or trade these cards with other fantasy players as well. These performance cards behave like stock shares that rise and fall in value depending on the continued performance of the real athlete. Blockchain not only creates these cards but tracks their ownership and ensures that duplicates cannot be made.
In the sports betting world, blockchain would allow for many different enhanced features that would add to the overall experience. Besides the benefits of automation and smart contracts which are being heavily discussed in many different applications, there are the straightforward benefits of more trust in the platform and preventing potential mistakes by the bookmaker. When you place a wager, the details of this wager would be sent directly to the blockchain. This means that all of the factors including the set odds and terms of the wager cannot be disputed. If the bookmaker accidentally gives odds that are too favorable, they cannot be taken back.
Also, for both sports betting platforms and online casinos, a great measure of trust is given to the platform. If their software was available openly on the blockchain so anyone can review it, there would be greater trust given to the platform. This is important as fair and honest play is often cited as a major concern by bettors.
Logistics, Supply Chain, and Stock Management
Blockchain technology is essentially a digital ledger that cannot be changed, only added to. This makes it the perfect candidate to be adapted to existing logistics systems. When you are dealing with logistics and supply chains, there could be dozens of stops a product takes before it reaches the point of sale. Each component of a certain product, from the materials it is made with to the screws, stitching, or glue that it is held together with needs to be made somewhere. While you may imagine that a product is always assembled in one location, that is often not the case. Many smaller components of a product come together in separate locations before they are finally put together to create the finished product. You can see examples of this in electronics like computers and smartphones, or the automotive industry.
What blockchain would allow for is the tracking of goods and the individual parts that make up the goods. This includes tracking around the warehouses they are stored in, or freighter ships that could be moving 30,000 storage containers at a time. You would then be able to track these items in real-time, and continuously know how much you have on hand. Quality control is a massive issue for manufacturers, and blockchain ledgers will provide priceless data to refer to. In terms of inventory management, blockchain systems are poised to be much more efficient than the existing methods and there will be programmability built in that can be adapted to whatever the situation calls for.
Around the world, fake products are a huge issue for manufacturers and retailers. Technology is getting so advanced that nearly anything can be faked from clothes to electronics, perfumes, art, and more. Therefore, a lot of thought has been put into how we can build systems to prevent fake products and provide authentication guarantees. Blockchain has found a clear use case in this area.
What blockchain would allow for is instant verification of a product’s status on a global network. Each individual unit of something, like wine, for instance, would come with its own unchangeable digital code that referred back to the manufacturer and origin point. The actual code could be a chip embedded in the product, printed on the label, or other methods. The possibilities this system provides are intriguing. In the case of products like artwork, used vehicles, or anything else prone to changing hands, this system would allow you to look back and see all of the previous owners and the data that has been collected about the product you are interested in.
One of the clearest and most straightforward use cases is also one of the most important, and that is digital identity. In our world that is continuously becoming more digital and online-focused, having a system to both protect and verify our identity is no longer a second thought. This is a crucial problem that needs to be solved and fast. Blockchain technology has been heralded by proponents as the solution to this complex and multi-faceted problem.
First, it must be taken into account that there are essentially millions upon millions of people around the world that don’t have any sort of identification at all. The existing systems of paper and card identifications are not going to work in these situations and this is a large barrier keeping many groups of people from getting jobs, medical help, opening bank accounts, and more. These people need to receive digital identification to turn their lives around; focusing on the old methods is never going to work in these cases.
For the rest of the global population that do have identification, identity fraud is a major concern. One of the latest blockchain trends is utilizing digital identity to keep your information safe on social media platforms, while banking online, and in other places where identification is required. Blockchain is essentially unhackable at the current moment, and by keeping our identity stored on the blockchain and controlling who is allowed to access it, identity fraud can be cut down immensely.