Banking and the financial services sector as a whole is not the only industry that has been positively affected by the development of bitcoin technology. Blockchain technology has made bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies possible, creating a worldwide public ledger that’s designed to automatically record and verify digital transactions made anywhere on the planet.
Let’s take a look at some of the start-ups and various sectors which are beginning to utilise the power of cryptography, building new and exciting businesses on the back of the blockchain that entrepreneurs simply couldn’t have achieved even five years ago.
A prime example of how bitcoin technology can be applied to a non-financial sector is the household utilities industry. Electron is a British-based start-up that’s attempting to help UK homeowners keep a lid on their energy usage with blockchain technology. The service safely records all meter readings with cryptography to ensure the readings can never be tampered with, providing 100% transparency about the energy homes use, resulting in wholly accurate utility bills.
The iGaming industry is increasingly giving cryptocurrency owners the ability to play their favourite casino games online – ranging from video poker and roulette to slot and traditional dice games – and bet using their virtual currencies safely and responsibly. Bitcoin gambling is in fact very lucrative for the online casinos themselves as they aren’t required to dish out payment processing fees for player deposits via MasterCard and VISA cards, for example. With the money they save, they are able to offer Bitcoin bettors even better bonuses for sign-ups and reloads. Customers can also withdraw their bitcoin winnings immediately via the blockchain rather than wait a number of working days to be processed.
There are start-up businesses which also believe in the power of blockchain technology to refine the security and efficiency of tracking products through the manufacturing process. BlockVerify is already working with sectors such as the electronic, pharmaceutical and luxury sectors to help engineer product authenticity using a variety of verification processes, such as embedded ‘blocks’ within each individual product.
Admittedly online wallets that enable people to store their bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been around for a number of years already. However, more advanced wallet technologies are being developed to offer improved protection of digital wallet balances by using several ‘keys’ to unlock cryptocurrency. This private-key technology is being adopted by BitGo, with multi-signature wallet technology giving large organisations peace of mind when trading online. BitGo retains one key, while you control the additional two remaining keys. Two keys are then required at access bitcoins, rendering accounts virtually hack-proof.
As entrepreneurs and tech startups increasingly utilise the blockchain, the technology enjoys greater transparency and airtime than ever before. The digital ecosystem is quickly acknowledging the benefits of such stringent and robust digital technology. With cryptocurrencies expected to play an even bigger role in business in the coming decades, blockchain technology will help futureproof businesses and prepare them to take advantage of the opportunities that may arise in the years to come.