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Executive Education

9 key facts you didn’t know about blockchain

Despite all the buzz and hype, Blockchain is still perhaps best known as the record-keeping technology behind Bitcoin. However, many people may not know that its potential applications can go far beyond cryptocurrency. In the years to come, Blockchain could enhance scientific research, revolutionize shipping and digitally identify billions of people. Here are just some of the key facts we should all know about Blockchain.

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1. IT CAN BE USED TO EVALUATE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH CLAIMS

According to a recent Scientific American blog post, Blockchain could be used to authenticate and certify published research data to reduce errors and false claims in scientific studies. Although nearly 2.5 million studies are published every year, they are rarely authenticated. Blockchain could make sharing and verifying data easier than ever before, as well as making it virtually impossible to alter.

 

2. BLOCKCHAIN HAS MANAGED AND DISTRIBUTED $270 BILLION IN TRANSACTIONS

According to leading research and advisory company Gartner, this distributed ledger technology has processed more than 300 million transactions since 2017.

 

3. THE MARKET SIZE OF BLOCKCHAIN WILL EXCEED $60 BILLION BY 2024

In 2017, the market size of Blockchain was $708 million, but it is expected to soar to $60.7 billion by 2024. The majority of this growth will come from the financial services sector. 

 

4. SOME TRADITIONAL TECH COMPANIES ARE PROFITING FROM THE BLOCKCHAIN

Blockchain has increased the demand for graphics processing units (GPUs), which until now have been used almost exclusively for gaming. GPU manufacturer NVIDIA, for example, acknowledges that Blockchain and cryptocurrencies have had a significant impact on their sales, and will open up new growth opportunities.

 

5. BLOCKCHAIN IS MAKING MEDIA-BUYING MORE TRANSPARENT

Companies like Salon Media Group and Unilever are using Blockchain to record ad-buying transactions including contracts, impression data, and revenue. 

 

6. IT CAN MANAGE THE WAY ELECTRIC COMPANIES USE POWER

Consumers can share usage information with their providers by sending their monthly power consumption to Blockchain. The technology can be especially significant to networks that are connected by the power grid and thus depend on shared information from multiple providers. 

 

7. BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY MAKES IT EASIER FOR COMPANIES TO ORGANIZE SHIPPING

Shipping documentation that often takes days to complete could take minutes with the help of Blockchain. The technology could also considerably lower the costs of moving goods across continents by integrating the data of thousands of companies, from shippers and manufacturers to insurance brokers and port authorities, on a single accessible platform. 

 

8. BLOCKCHAIN CAN HELP THE U.S. GOVERNMENT MANAGE SPECTRUM ACCESS

Spectrum refers to the signals or airwaves over which all wireless transmissions are made. Spectrum usage is highly regulated, and as the amount of available spectrum is finite, cellular, GPS, radio, television, and other wireless industries must vie for access. Companies and individuals could potentially use Blockchain to communicate their spectrum needs. This could lead to lower transaction costs and improved spectrum efficiency, according to Wired.

 

9. IT CAN ALLOW PEOPLE TO HAVE DIGITAL IDS

A decentralized digital identification system might very well be the solution for the 1 billion people in the world unable to prove their identity. Microsoft is working on a Blockchain project to provide each person with a unique identifier that can be used for banking, insurance, and travel. 
Blockchain is still very much in its infancy, but as more companies invest in and develop the technology, it will continue to open up new possibilities and business opportunities.