The companies already beating yours to take advantage of the Blockchain and Ethereum
Ethereum is taking the same peer to peer blockchain technology currently revolutionising the finance sector, and bringing it to every other industry you could imagine. A new form of blockchain, it not only allows for transparent, automatically executed transactions in the same way bitcoin does, but is able to store other rules and conditions as well. In doing so, Ethereum allows what is now known as a Smart Contract an application that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third party interference.
Since the technology is so new (Blockchain has been around since the 90s and Bitcoin was created 7 years ago, but Ethereum was only established early this year), it is hard to imagine just how much of a game changer it could become, feasibly disrupting every industry that involves trade, trust or ownership (aka every industry).
We’ve put together a list of examples of how Ethereum and other blockchains could be (or is already being) adopted across governance, healthcare, law, energy, travel and recruitment to name just a few, in order to get to grips with some of the real life applications of the decentralised ledger technology (and give you a few ideas around how your organisation could be using it too.)
- A New York-based startup is building a small-scale, community microgrid that will allow local residents to buy and sell solar power to each other. “Best of all, you don’t even need to have solar panels installed in order to participate. Individual members and businesses are able to engage in direct energy trading, buying excess solar power generated locally by other members, instead of relying solely on the big utility companies.”
- German Power Company is Using Ethereum to Test Blockchain Car Charging. “Rather than having the user pay for the amount of time spent connected to the charging station – generally an amount in hours, users ultimately purchase the amount of electricity consumed during the charging process, saving money and deploying electricity more efficiently.”
3 ways Blockchain will fundamentally change the power industry. “The ledger function that the Blockchain provides will allow 3rd party technology and service providers to safely interact with the end consumer in a relationship that up until now didn’t exist.”
- Everledger is a startup using the blockchain to collect dozens of cross-referenceable data points on diamonds in a permanent distributed ledger to ensure verification for insurance companies, owners, claimants, and law enforcement.
- London Law Firm Selachii is using Blockchain to digitise its legal agreements, starting out with contracts such as wills, title registries and shareholder agreements.
- Exploring the impact Ethereum could have on the law industry: “Countries like Honduras have already committed to replacing their existing real estate records with blockchain technology — which one day could allow for its citizens to sell or buy a house via an iPhone app.”
- Forty big banks test blockchain-based bond trading system: “A consortium of 42 banks including Citi and HSBC are experimenting with 5 different versions of blockchain, with Ethereum considered the most advanced, to see where the technology could save them money by cutting out middlemen and making their operations more transparent.”
- Estonia is launching an e-Residency programme. “In particular, e-residents can digitally sign, verify and encrypt documents and contracts, establish an Estonian company online in 24 hours with a physical address in Estonia provided by an external service, and administer the company from anywhere in the world.”
- UK regulators have announced they will be creating a 'digital sandbox' to embrace ethereum and facilitate “practical and cost-effective” access to professional services and fintech to help UK businesses expand internationally.
Internet of Things
- A German startup is working the first autonomous lock you can open with money using Ethereum technology. “Slock.it empowers anyone to easily rent, share or sell anything that can be locked, disrupting Airbnb and a host of other sharing economy companies acting as intermediaries based around some form of physical access.”
- IBM have just launched a highly secure Blockchain Services for Financial Services, Government and Healthcare on IBM Cloud. “Built to help businesses quickly host secure, tamper-resistant networks and scale to thousands of users, IBM Cloud will allow production blockchain networks to be deployed in minutes, running signed, certified and tested Docker images with dashboards and analytics as well as support.”
- Microsoft Partners with Ethereum Company, Offers Cloud-Based Blockchain Application Development Platform to Its Clients. “Through the partnership, customers of Azure, Microsoft’s cloud-based business service, will have access to tools that will allow them to experiment with and build cloud-based blockchain applications, from securities trading to cross-border payments to corporate accounting, and offer them to their own customers.”
- Estonia is using Ethereum to secure over 1 million healthcare records. "In guarding sensitive records, the danger is that they could be altered, deleted, improperly changed or updated, affected by hackers, malware, system issues, etc. The blockchain in this case can prove the integrity of the record, and everything that has happened to it over time."
- Imogen Heap has announced she is working on a decentralised music distribution service using Ethereum. “When someone buys a piece of music or plays a piece of music, ultimately in the future there will be no need for a middle, centralized service. The fan will be immediately paying the artist.”
- A UK Startup is using Ethereum add a reliable CV verification step earlier on in the recruitment process. “In recruitment generally, because of the cost of verifying individuals, it tends to happen right at the end of the recruitment process. So if somebody is found to have anomalous details on their resume, it means the employer or recruitment agency has to start again.”
- Reddit Discussion on potential applications of Ethereum within the Airline Industry: “For automation, ticketing, boarding and baggage could seamlessly be blockchainified to coincide with a passenger identity and attributions that are immutable, transferable, and interoperable with other features of the pre, post, and in flight experience. Airline Miles and Rewards Programs with their issuance, use, expiration, and redemption could be added as well.”
- Bitcoin Industry Venture Capitalists Shift Focus to Non-Financial Applications and Ethereum Startups. “The primary reason that Boost VC was beginning to invest into Ethereum startups was because some of its portfolio companies had begun to use the Ethereum blockchain "because of its ease of use and robust toolkit."
Finally, there are currently over 200 DAPPS (Decentralised Applications) that have been built on top of Ethereum’s technology enabling smart investment plans, the monitoring of election data, password vaults, voting with time and much much more.
While Ethereum is still only months old, organisations both big and small are cottoning on to its potential to build unique competitive advantages and entirely new ways of creating value. With application across every sector you can think of, the race is on to embrace the decentralised ledger technology in meaningful ways, or risk becoming outdated.