Ask a crypto sceptic and he or she will seem doubtful of blockchain use cases. Only recently, Bloomberg published an article where the writer draws parallels between internet adoption in 2004, versus blockchain adoption in 2021. Long story short, the writer felt blockchain possibly does not have as many use cases and is, therefore, only a temporary fad. However, amid the scepticism, let’s take a quick look at two important spheres where blockchain technology has been embraced, or where it presents solid use cases.
The banking sector
Not too long ago, large financial institutions were averse to crypto assets. Jamie Dimon, CEO, JP Morgan Chase went to the extent of labelling bitcoin as “fraud”, in 2017. But in only four years, the banking executive made a ‘u-turn’. JP Morgan has since begun offering a bitcoin-based investment fund.
Aside from JP Morgan, large financial institutions–comprising the likes of Morgan Stanley, Visa, PayPal and Wells Fargo–also have significant crypto interests. The underlying technology called blockchain can, in fact, assist banks in enhancing their efficiency levels. One example of a cryptocurrency that has lent itself well to banking is Ripple; its listing name is XRP on crypto exchanges. Ripple has entered into agreements with several leading banks.
In India particularly, each time a patient visits a doctor, he or she must carry along a folder with past prescriptions and physicians’ advice. In more complex situations such as when an emergency strikes, and the location of a patient’s records are unknown, it leads to delays in administering life-saving procedures.
But imagine a database where all patient records are stored possibly from the time of one’s birth. These records can then be accessed by healthcare service providers simply by typing in a unique identification number, or by using a biometric input. All records would be instantly available. And regardless of where one seeks medical attention, the physician will have detailed records to refer to.
In simple terms, blockchain technology will enable the healthcare sector to develop one comprehensive database to that has all patient information. The question here arises that such record keeping is already followed by several hospitals.
It is true there is a semblance of digital record keeping. However, it is few and far between. Even large hospital chains often do not have synchronised databases among their own locations. Using blockchain, these records can also be kept encrypted ensuring data privacy.
An example of a blockchain company in healthcare is Medicalchain. It is working with healthcare service providers to use blockchain based electronic medical record keeping.
The lack of clear regulations is an impediment
The above are only two key areas where blockchain systems will help increase efficiency and heighten the user experience. Besides, in reference to the Bloomberg article, blockchain adoption levels are, no doubt, lower than that of internet users in 2004.
But the key point being missed is the hostile approach to crypto assets and blockchain that several governments globally are taking. In certain regions, the lack of clear regulatory frameworks has deterred many from becoming active participants in these tech breakthroughs. In India’s case, its administration was due to announce a regulatory framework in December 2021. However, following delays, an announcement is now only expected later in the summer. Meanwhile, blockchain use cases will continue to keep growing.