Ep.14 – Blockchain use cases outside of insurance
For this week’s podcast we go out of the insurance world to explore some interesting blockchain use cases and pilots in other industries. In episode 6 we had Ryan Rugg introduce us to R3 the banking blockchain consortium. But for this one we wanted to go out a little bit further. As our guide for this journey we had the pleasure of having Lee Brenner, Chief Engagement Office at the Global Blockchain Business Council, live from Pennsylvania!
2 Minute Definition of Blockchain
Blockchain technology is a decentralised database that is connected together to create a permanent unchangeable record of data that is loaded onto blocks. Those individual blocks of data are connected to other blocks of data (ie. chained together) on this database. Blockchains act as global notary. Eliminates the middle man by creating a system of trust and a level of confidence between the actors on the system allowing for P2P transactions.
The Global Blockchain Business Council
The Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC) came out of a meeting of thought leaders (blockchain, government and different industries) hosted by Richard Branson on Nectar Island to really think through how blockchain technology can affect civic society.
The idea of a global institution that unites individuals from the business community and from the blockchain community. The GBBC tries to advocate on behalf of the broader ecosystem to regulators around the world that if they try to regulate blockchain that it is done from an educated point of view.
Another aspect of the GBBC is engaging with government questions on who they should be talking to if either they want to get advice on blockchain or if they want to implement a blockchain solution such as on a land trust or a voting system for example. The GBBC can advice them on which companies can help government implement that whether it’s a startup or an enterprise. They can also share interesting case studies from the business world or from other countries.
The GBBC thus tries to build a broad network from the blockchain industry, the business world, to governments and regulators and to NGOs and charities.
Business Processes & Payments – BitPesa
A good example of how blockchain technology can be used in sectors outside of insurance is Bitpesa. Bitpesa tries to answer the question “how can we make financial transactions in Africa more efficient and secure?”. The current system is one were transactions are extremely slow, numerous intermediaries are involved, high costs and in general a very inefficient system.
Bitpesa created a blockchain solution that has built in data privacy, minimal fees and is mobile based thus providing the unbanked in Africa with financial solutions. This provides their customers the ability to make P2P transactions and regulators with automatic real time auditing.
Logistics & Supply Chain: Walmart
Walmart has started to use blockchain technology in their supply chain. An example of this was used for tracking pork from Chinese producers to the store front. Walmart wanted to track the origins of the meat and its location in transit along the supply chain. This process would usually take days but with blockchain it could be achieved in minutes.
Applying this technology to the Chinese market was an important move for Walmart as Chinese shoppers remain sceptical of the quality of domestic food products, after various food-related scandals, such as one involving baby milk formula tainted with industrial chemical melamine, dominated headlines for weeks in 2017.
Now Chinese shoppers will be able to scan the food in Walmart shops to see the entire history of the food from farm to store:
Healthcare – MediLedger
How can patients’ medical records be stored, tracked and verified on the blockchain? How can we move from a paperless system to a very secure blockchain one?
Giving the patients control over their data and being able to give permission to participants such as doctors, emergency workers, and members of their family to access their data.
Mediledger for example has built an open network for the pharmaceutical supply chain to be able to trace the provenance and pharmaceutical products and their present location.
This of course can nicely ties in with the insurance industry.
Energy Sector – Powerledger
Powerledger, uses blockchain technology to allow P2P solar power usage. Home owners with solar panels in Australia can effectively sell their excess electricity from their solar panels, to their neighbours via the electricity grid. Now Powerledger is looking to expand their solution to other parts around the world such as Puerto Rico which is still suffering from power outages due to the recent hurricanes.
Lee shares many other fascinating examples of blockchain use cases. If you liked the podcast please do review it on iTunes. If you have any comments, suggestions on how we could make it better please don’t hesitate to add a comment below. If you’d like to ask a question to Lee feel free to add a comment below and will get him over to our site to answer your questions.
Thanks again Lee!