Blockchain is a list of records or blocks which store data publicly and in chronological order. The data of these blocks or records are secured using cryptography and they don’t have a central authority to control them. Anyone has access to the data within this network but not everyone can order the data nor everyone has copies of this data.

Here, we can go through the applications of Blockchain in Supply Chain Management, Cyber Security, Voting, etc.

Blockchain in Supply Chain Management

Let’s look at a scenario before blockchain. There is a delivery boy bringing a customer's order on apples. The customer thanks him and sees that these apples are rotten and he says he wants his money back. However, the delivery boy says he can’t help since he is just the delivery boy and not the person who created the product. So these problems are the ones that we faced before blockchain. But with blockchain technology, there is traceability across the supply chain. This means you can trace back to what happened to the product at each step of the supply chain. Blockchain technology enables these transactions to be tracked in a very secure and transparent manner.

Some of the benefits are:

  1. Single record policy
  2. Reduces cost
  3. Eliminates error
  4. Less human intervention

The last two points are co-related. Lesser human intervention means lesser the amount of manual errors.

In Supply Chain Management, blockchain is able to provide a permanent record of a whole lot of transparency and the ability to validate the transactions that are shared across multiple supply chain partners. Here the transactions are recorded in a decentralized distributed ledger. The main advantage of this is anyone can verify the authenticity or the status of a product that is being delivered. One of the real-world examples is Walmart.

Blockchain in Cyber Security

Imagine the scenario A is sending $20 to B and the transaction details are stored in the cloud. Now, what if a hacker hacks the data within the cloud and tampers this. He tampers this in such a way that he receives the 20 dollars instead of B. This is the main problem of the current banking system. Now it is prone to cyber-attacks because it has a centralized network. Cyber-attacks are one of the major threats that are faced by the public. However, blockchain is the best solution to protect our data from tampering and avoid cybersecurity issues.

Some of the benefits are:

  1. High Security
  2. Decentralized storage
  3. Quick transaction
  4. Low cost

Let’s look at the same scenario but with the help of blockchain. Now A sends 0.0025 bitcoins to B which amounts to approximately 20 dollars. These bitcoins are sent and blockchain which is a distributed ledger distributes the data across multiple nodes within the network and secures this data using cryptography.  Each node has a copy of the ledger and cryptography protects the data within it against any changes making it immutable. Imagine a hacker tries to hack the data, but he becomes unsuccessful because the peer-to-peer connection prevents data from being altered as well as being tampered. Finally, B receives 20 dollars of bitcoins.

One of the real-world examples is the Mastercard Blockchain project.

Blockchain in Voting

Before Blockchain, a voter should have to submit their voter ID, their Voter IDs need to be verified and after the verification, the voter should submit his/ her vote to the EVM (Electronic Voting Machine) for completion of the process. However, there are chances of EVM to be hacked, since it is a centralized system. This can lead to some amount of manipulation with the vote count. But after the introduction of decentralized systems like Blockchain, the scope of forgery as well as data manipulation is negligible.

Let’s look at how voting can be performed with the help of Blockchain. First of all, Voter downloads the voting application, submits the voter ID and registers for the election. After the verification is complete, the voter has been authorized to deliver his vote and the voter submits his vote without revealing his identity in public. Once his vote has been added to the blockchain the information within the blockchain can never be erased. After this, the officials can count these votes knowing that each ID can be attributed to just one vote. Using Blockchain in the voting process gives complete transparency by eliminating the necessity for involving any third-party systems.

Some of the benefits are:

  1. Eliminates voter fraud and election rigging
  2. Increase transparency in the voting process
  3. Reduce the expenses of conducting elections.

One of the real-world examples is MiVote.

Other applications

Other commonly suggested applications of blockchain are:

  1. Insurance: By using blockchain, they can eliminate forgery as well as false claims.
  2. Real Estate: Deploying blockchain technology in real estate, increases the speed of the conveyance process and eliminates any requirements for money exchanges.