Blockchain use cases have expanded far beyond cryptocurrency in the past years, with multiple industries embracing the technology in a wide range of fields, including healthcare, logistics, and financial services.
The hype has many reasons behind it. Blockchains are decentralized, transparent, and increase the capacity of a whole network, opening a window for solutions that require significant computational power. More importantly, it gives users the capacity to control their assets, including their data, without relying on third parties.
As blockchain evolves, companies across the world are working to find the best ways to implement the technology on a range of applications. Cointelegraph reached out to projects that are disrupting industries and bringing blockchain closer to people's daily lives to get some further insights.
Healthcare on the blockchain
Medical records have long been considered the domain of clinicians or health institutions worldwide. In 2020, a database that included sensitive information such as government IDs, and tax ID numbers of over 115,000 people who applied for COVID-19 circulation permits, was exposed in Argentina.
This incident inspired ShelterZoom to develop a solution to shields patients’ medical data from cyber breaches like this in future. The company created a smart-document SaaS provider, and partnered with a private hospital to give patients complete ownership and control over medical records.
"Each patient record is tokenized, meaning a private key is attached to each online record," ShelterZoom CEO Chao Cheng-Shorland told Cointelegraph.
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Through a blockchain-based plugin extension or mobile app, users can access medical-record dashboards and carry out all required operations at any time; it also allows patients to track email attachments and revoke access, regardless of whether the recipient has opened the email. The executive explained:
"By moving record keeping to a blockchain ecosystem, providers and patients can have access to medical records instantly, rather than waiting for paper records to be delivered or faxed."
More than 300,000 patients currently have access to the Web3 application as a result of the partnership, and there are plans to expand the service to other healthcare providers in Argentina.
Data has become a valuable resource in the decades since the internet’s debut. Historically, users have given up their private information to websites and services for free, but do not benefit financially when those companies sell their private information to third parties. With Web3 however, users may once again take control of their own data — and determine whether to monetize it for their own benefit.
Dimo is a decentralized transport data protocol that allows users to create verified vehicle data recordings. Owners can share this information privately with applications, enabling them to negotiate better insurance and financing rates. Referrals and participation in the network are rewarded in the native DIMO token.
Related: What is blockchain technology? How does it work?
CoinFund CIO Alex Felix, one of DIMO's investors, told Cointelegraph:
"Whether it is NFTs or Gaming, the more blockchain technology is used outside of trading and speculating, the more we expect consumers to understand the value of this technology more broadly. We want to get to a place where consumers are choosing crypto technology without thinking about it, and that comes from focusing on the best use cases."
Felix believes that projects focused on first-party data will replace cookies in advertising and underpin personalization. "Web3 allows users to monetize their own data, and consumers stand to benefit materially from this fundamental innovation made possible through blockchain technology," he noted.
Luxury turns to blockchain
The Aura Blockchain Consortium was founded to allow luxury brand customers to verify product authenticity. Through a partnership with Aura for instance, Prada is enabling clients to trace recycled gold jewelry and diamonds, ensuring their authenticity and transparency at every step of manufacture.
Other members in the consortium include LVMH brands such as Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior. The group offers its clients a diamond certificate powered by Aura, which stores each stone's characteristics, provenance, and journey.
Traceability, especially as it relates to diamonds, has long been a challenge to the jewelry industry, which strives to ensure that only conflict-free diamonds are sold.
Aura is based on the Ethereum blockchain and uses Microsoft Azure. Traceability Smart Contracts on the project and blockchain infrastructure were developed by Consensys. Other funding members also include Mercedes-Benz and Cartier.