9 Most Obscure and Interesting Blockchain Applications
04/20/2023 · 6 min read
That You May Never Have Heard About.
In a previous post, we touched on the topic of useful blockchain applications, but only discussed six so far. Supply chain, healthcare, insurance, energy, raw materials, and cloud technologies — all of these spheres can benefit from blockchain in one way or another. Those applications are the ones that gained much attention in recent years, however, there are still many unknown and fascinating blockchain use cases that you may never have heard of yet. So in this post, we’ve compiled a list of the 9 most obscure blockchain use cases.
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1. Wine Authentication
If you are surprised by this one, believe us, we were too. And yet it makes sense.
Some wine producers may use blockchain technology to create and store unique digital footprints for each bottle of wine they make through digital certificates of authenticity. Those certificates contain an immutable record of the product’s origin, composition, and movements through the supply chain, allowing consumers to verify the authenticity of a bottle and make an informed decision about purchasing the product.
Quite handy, isn’t it? Especially if you want to indulge in a vintage wine once in a while.
2. Carbon credits
If you don’t know about carbon credits, they are, simply put, carbon allowances, that permit companies to generate CO2 emissions. The amount of emissions is strictly limited and regulated by governments, and companies usually can purchase carbon credit from the government itself. These credits are used to offset the total amount of greenhouse gases.
Transparency was always an issue with carbon credit schemes, however. And the main reason why they were widely unsuccessful and gained much skepticism later on. Blockchain technology, on the other hand, can solve this problem with transparency while opening a secure market for carbon credits to all. It allows individuals to participate in a previously inaccessible mandatory market, helping them to contribute to the carbon-neutral goal. This can be achieved by breaking down large carbon credit financial instruments into smaller units.
3. Aviation Maintenance
Most aircraft maintenance records are kept in databases or in paper format. And blockchain could become an alternative way to store those records securely (these include maintenance logs, manufacturing, component details, and more) and streamline the exchange of information (through the use of smart contracts) with higher transparency and trust.
It doesn’t only improve the safety of aircraft operations but also helps reduce costs by optimizing the maintenance process.
4. Identity management
Today, we share our personal data freely through the internet and social media, if not involuntarily. Our personal information could be shared with third parties without our explicit consent, and we wouldn’t even know about it.
We use our identity documents regularly when opening a bank account, booking a ticket, or applying for a visa, for instance. Government institutes, banks, and credit agencies are vulnerable to theft and cyber attacks and are considered one of the weakest links in this system.
But blockchain technology can effectively solve these identity management issues by enhancing security, data accuracy, and accessibility. Users may store their ID data and credentials in a decentralized identity wallet app, and the blockchain enables immediate verification of this data without contacting the issuer. This empowers users with greater control over their personal information.
In this way, blockchain can create secure and transparent systems for identity management, reducing the risk of identity theft and fraud.
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5. Humanitarian Aid
This is another sphere you might have not associated previously with the likes of the blockchain. But, surprisingly, it can reap several benefits from the new technology.
The main strengths of blockchain are its ability to provide accountability, higher efficiency, and transparency. As such many humanitarian and development organizations seek to implement the technology and initiate several projects where blockchain is used to distribute and trace aid funding, provide and manage IDs in refugee camps, or create trustworthy land registries.
In this way a more secure and transparent system could be achieved for distributing humanitarian aid, ensuring that it reaches those who need it most and reducing the risk of fraud and corruption.
Maybe not so shockingly, blockchain has potentially useful applications even in the gaming industry.
Modern games rely on virtual assets, such as weapons, props, character skins, and characters themselves, to complete missions and other types of endgame content. These assets are scarce and can be purchased with real-world money or earned by progressing in the game. Currently, there is no transparency or accountability in the virtual asset market, which can lead to unfair practices by game developers.
Blockchain can address this issue by enabling the tokenization of these assets and creating decentralized gaming asset markets. With the ledger's openness and verifiability developers can create a more equitable playing experience, increasing user trust and control over their virtual assets.
7. Intellectual Property Rights
Issues of intellectual property may be a sore point for any creative person in the industry or outside of it. Most artists (and by that I mean people of all creative professions, which include writers and musicians too) are vulnerable to the risk of theft and copyright infringement. Intellectual property rights are what inherently protect artists’ work from theft, but even then the whole process of registering can be muddy and overly complicated.
But blockchain technology can streamline the registration process for designs and trademarks. Currently, for some trademark applications, demonstrating the acquired distinctiveness through use might be necessary, which can be a time-consuming process. If changes were made in the law to allow for actual use to be recorded on the official register, blockchain can make the evidence and information of actual use easily accessible for everyone to see. This would save significant time and costs for trademark owners if they decide to make the information freely available.
8. Sports Betting
If you love sports and love indulging in betting, this section might interest you.
There are issues with data ownership when it comes to sports betting that can easily be eliminated through blockchain technology.
The decentralized nature of blockchain ensures that no single party has control over the data. And each time a transaction is made, it is recorded on a public ledger accessible to all participants, and the immutability of the data allows sportsbooks to ensure fair gambling.
Once a bet is placed, it is verified by a network of nodes, stored in a block with other bets, and given a unique hash code. This allows the validity of the bet to be publicly confirmed and eliminates the risk of human errors or mistakes that can arise with centralized systems.
And voila, you almost have the safest place for gambling. Well. As safe as gambling can be anyway.
9. Online Education
In the last 3 years, it became obvious that while traditional educational models are working as intended (as much as possible), online learning models are not so.
During quarantine, many students around the world had their studies disrupted by a sudden shift to online learning. And since there are no common online platforms that are used by all educational institutes, discrepancies in the study methods of students were made all the more apparent.
This problem could potentially be solved, you guessed it, with blockchain. It can create a truly decentralized educational platform, which can be maintained through consensus rather than by a central authority. This allows for a peer-to-peer learning experience and encourages standardization across educational institutions. Instead of each educator owning an exclusive platform, it is possible to share a platform with the same amount and quality of knowledge. A system that is also immutable and secure, but could be updated in the future.
This can also help to democratize education by making it more accessible and affordable for people around the world.
These are just a few examples of the many non-common uses of blockchain. No doubt there are many more, that lay undiscovered. As technology continues to evolve and mature, it will be made even more flexible in its applications.
If you are interested to learn about those 9 specific applications, make sure to check the links below!
Until next time!
Authena. (2023). Using blockchain to verify the authenticity of wines and spirits - Authena. Authena. https://authena.io/using-blockchain-to-verify-the-authenticity-of-wines-and-spirits-in-the-web3-world/#:~:text=One%20example%20of%20a%20blockchain,journey%20through%20the%20supply%20chain.
Blockchain Identity Management: Complete Guide 2023. (n.d.) https://www.wipo.int/wipo_magazine_digital/en/2020/article_0002.html
Credits, C. (2023). The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Carbon Credits. Carbon Credits. https://carboncredits.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-understanding-carbon-credits/#1
Jacobs, N. (2020, February 10). How blockchain is making digital gaming better - IBM Blog. IBM Blog. https://www.ibm.com/blog/how-blockchain-is-making-digital-gaming-better/