6 Blockchain Business Use Cases You Should Know About

The potential of the distributed ledger technology (DLT) — an umbrella term of which blockchain is the most popular kind — is enormous. Businesses can use blockchain to secure data, handle supply management, fight copyfraud, automate processes, and so on.

Blockchain may have a major impact on businesses thanks to its unique capabilities to enable transactions and operations without a single authority and unnecessary intermediaries. Many companies are successfully integrating the DLT.

2017 and 2018 were the years of blockchain business trials, as many traditional companies were testing it for various business processes. Today, this technology is already an indispensable part of many businesses.

In the present article, we will go through the six most popular and successful use cases. For the sake of diversity, we’ll discuss a use case for every major blockchain platform available out there.

  1. Moderna to Use Blockchain for Vaccine Distribution (IBM Blockchain)

IBM Blockchain is one of the most reliable and widely used blockchain platforms aimed at enterprises. It is used in supply chain management, healthcare, banking, media, and other sectors.

At the beginning of March 2021, biotech firm Moderna, whose mRNA-based COVID vaccine has been approved in the US, the UK, and many other countries, said that it would apply DLT and AI in the vaccine distribution.

Blockchain will help the company provide vaccine traceability. This will enable governments and healthcare provides to check the current status of specific batches as they move through the supply chain.

Moderna is already using IBM’s Digital Health Pass, a vaccine and COVID test credentials verification system that also leverages blockchain.

  1. ING, BNP Paribas, Citi, Societe Generale, Shell, Others Use Ethereum for Commodities Trading (Ethereum)

While Ethereum is powering most of the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) space and a great number of DLT crypto assets, the network is used by traditional businesses as well. More than two years ago, a consortium comprising banks and other major companies launched komgo SA, a commodity trading platform that relies on Ethereum.

komgo SA is a platform that speeds up the flow of physical commodity operations. It has two main products: one for KYC (know your customer) processes and another one for digital letters of credit.

ING, one of the key members of komgo SA, is also using Ethereum as part of a payment settlement consortium called Fnality.

Ethereum introduced smart contracts and many other features aimed at enterprises. The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) now has over 200 member companies, including JP Morgan, Samsung Group, Mastercard, and Microsoft.

https://media.consensys.net/6-questions-to-ask-when-considering-blockchain-solutions-for-enterprise-10616a0c63c4

  1. SIX Stock Exchange Uses DLT Solutions for Stock Trading, Settlement, and Tokenization (R3’s Corda)

SIX Group, which operates the Swiss Stock Exchange, launched SIX Digital Exchange in 2019, which relies on R3’s Corda Enterprise platform. The blockchain solution is used to run its digital asset trading platform, which operates with tokenized shares. With the help of Corda, the digital exchange is clearing, settling, and providing custody solutions simultaneously.

R3 also runs a consortium that includes many banking giants and other companies testing its Corda platform. Besides the SIX Group, it also includes Barclays, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, UBS, and Credit Suisse.

  1. Walmart Uses Blockchain for Food Supply Chain (Hyperledger Fabric)

Retail giant Walmart has been using DLT solutions for its food supply chain management. For example, it relies on Hyperledger Fabric’s blockchain infrastructure to trace the origin of over 25 food products from five different suppliers. Initially, Walmart tested the system with its partner IBM. During the trial, the retailer traced mangos sold in the US stores and pork sold in its China stores.

https://www.hyperledger.org/learn/publications/walmart-case-study

Blockchain is very popular in supply chain management, as it helps businesses monitor and trace the products conveniently.

Hyperledger is hosted by Linux Foundation and is one of the oldest open-source blockchain efforts. It manages a consortium comprising over 180 companies.

  1. Italian Copyright Collection Agency SIAE Uses NFTs to Manage Authors’ Rights (Algorand)

Some of the most interesting DLT use cases relate to non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which are booming right now. SIAE (Società Italiana degli Autori ed Editori), Italy’s most dominant copyright collecting agency, uses Algorand’s blockchain to create NFTs representing the rights of authors who are members of the organization. In this way, it aims to fight copyfraud and other forms of copyright infringement as well as help authors monetize their work.

SIAE, which was founded more than 130 years ago, has over 95,000 member authors, most of whom are composers, music authors, book authors, and publishers.

In mid-March, SIAE issued more than 4 million NFTs representing the rights of its member authors. The agency picked Algorand as the main blockchain infrastructure for its databases of millions of authors’ rights. While NFTs are surging in popularity thanks to crypto art, SIAE has been collaborating with Algorand since 2019 for the project.

  1. Fundraising Platform Republic Uses Blockchain-Based Authorization and Authentication System (AIKON)

Blockchain business applications are still quite sophisticated, as most companies don’t focus on user experience, which hinders the technology’s wider adoption. To solve this, AIKON’s ORE ID is helping businesses developing blockchain applications onboard their existing client base through a familiar process.

Fundraising platform Republic, which helps startups secure capital from institutional and individual investors, is using ORE ID to onboard its non-technical retail investors to its blockchain application that revolves around Republic Note — a proprietary profit-sharing digital security token. On a side note, Republic is building its blockchain application on Algorand, but it uses AIKON’s authentication platform for the onboarding process and identity management.

ORE ID is a blockchain authentication system that helps users access blockchain applications by email, phone, or social media accounts.

Republic relies on AIKON’s passwordless authentication solution to enable users who are not tech-savvy to access blockchain DApps in one click.

The Final Note

Some notable mentions of major enterprise-oriented blockchain platforms that were not discussed in the article are Ripple, EOS, and JPMorgan’s Quora, which is a version of Ethereum.

In conclusion, blockchain, along with artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), augmented reality, and cloud, is spurring the fourth industrial revolution, which revolves around speed, automation, cyber-physical systems, decentralization, and many things with the smart prefix.

Blockchain is about to transform businesses the same way the Internet did. In a few years, the technology will be omnipresent.

Optimistic vs. ZK Rollup: Deep Dive

Article by Alex Gluchowski on Nov 4, 2019 on Medium.com
· 15 min read

I found this article on Medium.com. It explains the the differences between zkrollup and optimistic rollups and how it deals with the issues of having a sidechain in general quite well. Rread full article here:
https://medium.com/matter-labs/optimistic-vs-zk-rollup-deep-dive-ea141e71e075

TL;DR: brief summary

“…Optimistic Rollup is a promising technology for scaling general-purpose smart contracts on Ethereum in the near term. If built relatively quickly, it can offer an easy way to migrate existing dapps and services with a reasonable degree of security/scalability tradeoffs. This will enable ETH 1.0 to keep up with growing demand….”

The Benefits and Risks of Smart Contracts

Smart contracts are automated contracts with self-executing business rules and financial agreements written into the code and stored on a decentralized blockchain network. 

Note here that they are not legally binding like traditional legal instruments, but are simply business decisions expressed in a form understandable by software and executed by the “Rules of Law”. That means that it is agreed upon by both parties that once the conditions are met, the contract is executed no matter what.

The mere fact that they are controlled by the code adds to their groundbreaking essence as that also makes them trackable, irreversible, and non-tamperable. 

Nevertheless, as with any innovation, there is the other side of the coin. With smart contracts, that is the issue of trust. 

Even though blockchain technology provides by nature a trustworthy and trustless alternative to the already existing models of business and interpersonal conduct, a code-controlled contract still remains as secure as the code written into and as bulletproof as the skillset of the person who wrote it. 

Even though blockchain technology provides by nature a trustworthy and trustless alternative to the already existing models of business and interpersonal conduct, a code-controlled contract still remains as secure as the code written into and as bulletproof as the skillset of the person who wrote it. 

How Are Smart Contracts Used?

The financial and banking sector was the first to recognize the massive potential of smart contracts using blockchain, but other industries are jumping on the bandwagon as well. 

Banks from all over the world have long since started to utilize smart contractual relationships, focusing mostly on large-volume cross-border transactions and trading credit default swaps. 

Additionally, companies in healthcare, real estate, tax, and insurance, supply chain industries are rapidly switching to these contracts for executing everyday business tasks. 

This, of course, in part relies on securing participant identity in the blockchain via tools like AIKON’s ORE Protocol in order to ensure contract signees’ access control, identity, and payment. 

Smart Contracts’ Benefits

Many argue that the pros by far outweigh the cons, but for smart contract mass adoption to become a thing of reality, those who are meant to use them first must understand both the benefits and associated risks. 

Accuracy

Since this type of contract is based on “if/then” relationships written into the code, when all conditions are met, contracts are executed. Therefore, they allow for infinitely more precision in their execution than what is allowed by traditional judicial frameworks, while at the same time they leave no room for subjective interpretation by human participants. 

Speed

As a paperless business tool, smart contracts are very quickly processed. Moreover, their automated and digital nature allows for incredibly fast data input and modification. When time is equalized with money, this is a significant advantage to have over the competition, for instance. 

Cost-effectiveness

Having in mind that utilizing these contracts eliminates all need to employ intermediaries that would vouch for the unviolated nature of information, using agreements of this type is less costly for companies than traditional ones. In this sense, trust is built into the mechanism of recording and executing the terms of the agreement – blockchain. 

Trust

Encoded into the blockchain platform, and based on the same principles, smart contract technology inherently invokes the rule of trust. Encrypted fragmented records of legal relationships and financial transactions are shared between all blockchain participants, thus ensuring their intended undamaged condition free of malicious modification. 

Security

Again, the fact that all information related to this type of contract – or anything stored in blockchain really – is broken down into encrypted sections distributed across the network is precisely what makes it safe from tampering. To change a piece of information within a smart contract, the entire chain would need to be altered and that is only done through a validation consensus. 

Smart Contracts’ Risks

As said before, with such a young technology – after all, smart contracts were first introduced in the mid-nineties – there are still pending issues that hinder its mass adoption. 

Reliance on the Code

Many people still vary from utilizing contracts built on blockchain to conduct their business precisely because they believe no code is perfect simply because it has to be created by a human. In that sense, it’s reasonable to think that there will always be flaws others can use to gain unauthorized access to the system and perform malicious actions. 

Regulation

Since smart contracts and blockchain technology are still maturing, we are yet to see how the legal systems across the world will handle these business agreements in terms of taxation and other forms of regulation. 

Nevertheless, these issues are expected to be addressed and resolved as the technology matures and is perfected over time. 

In any case, these contracts are formulated in such a way that they truly represent the future of humankind, especially when having in mind the technology-based society we live in.

This article originally appeared on aikon.com