When you hear “blockchain” do you associate it with cryptocurrency? If you do, you are only partially right. ISVs who are willing to think outside the Bitcoin box can leverage this technology to design solutions for clients in virtually any industry. In Part 1 of DevPro Journal’s series on blockchain technology, we provide you with some background and a high level overview of the potential for ISVs to capitalize on these secure, distributed database solutions. In Part 2, we want to inspire you with ideas for blockchain applications—some developed, some in development, and some theoretical.
In a blog for Huffington Post, Ameer Rosic, founder of Blockgeeks online blockchain innovation hub, points out, “What is stored on the blockchain need not just be a monetary unit—it can be put to all manner of other interesting uses.”
Following Bitcoin, blockchain supported Ethereum, a decentralized platform for smart contracts. Blockchain technology enables two parties to put an agreement into motion without a human mediator. People will be able to securely register and repay debts, transfer property, or release funds in accordance with a will.
Rosic points out blockchain will drive other changes. Centralized cloud storage services that rely on the security and operation of a finite location could be a thing of the past with distributed cloud storage, courtesy of blockchain. Also, secure digital identity blockchain applications can enable seamless sign-on and reduced fraud.
Blockchain can also accelerate Internet of Things (IoT) deployments by overcoming concerns for system continuity and security hurdles.
Industries with Interest in Blockchain
Working with clients in these industries? Here’s a (less-than-exhaustive) list of the blockchain applications they’re looking for:
- A shared database of healthcare information
- Secure method of sharing research results
- Secure deployment of IoT
- Traceability throughout the supply chain
- Billing and payment
- Traceability across the supply chain
- Instant response to recalls
- Database of certifications and inspections
- Secure online voting
- Issuing ID
- Registering property
- Decentralized notary with a timestamp
- Tax records
- Issuing and recording diplomas and certificates
- Continuing education and corporate programs
- Massive open online course (MOOC) administration and certification
- Directly connecting artists with fans
- Online payment for live or VR performances
- Vendor management
- Invoicing and payment
- Traceability and reduction of fraud
- A common database of records
- Information from multiple sources for claims
- Transparency for all parties
- Transparency into how funds are spent
- Secure donations
- Facilitating payments across borders
- Share trading
- Online identity validation
The ISV’s Next Move
If you are interested in working in the blockchain space, this couldn’t be a better time. In his article for Medium, smart contract developer Dave Kajpust, points out there aren’t many people with experience: “Right now with 6 months of hard work and research you can contribute heavily to the space because there is that much demand for knowledge.”
He also points out that with innovation occurring so quickly, it’s creating problems that need an ISV’s touch, like improving user experiences so anyone can use blockchain solutions.
The opportunity is certainly there and the time is right to innovate or to find ways your company can support the blockchain applications your clients in various industries are developing. Will blockchain technology be a part of your business’s future?