By David Drake
Blockchain is seen to be a technology that has potential to handle diverse prospects and challenges in different sectors. As a matter of fact, the technology is already powering solutions such as portfolio optimization by LiveTradr, entertainment content platform by EpicMega and interactive marketing by Noiz Chain.
By solving these challenges, blockchain provides an opportunity for development of new solutions and investment opportunities. Just recently, the World Economic Forum (WEF) launched a report that identifies 65 blockchain use cases in the environmental sector.
The report highlights overall benefits of blockchain application in the sector including decentralized systems, reduced costs, transparency in tracking, efficient monitoring, new markets for investors and reliable transactions. With these benefits, it is highly likely that developers, businesses and investors will find value in utilizing the technology to address key environmental challenges.
According to Raghav Reggie Jerath, CEO of Gath3r, the various areas where blockchain can have a real effect are increasingly becoming clear.
He says, “A report such as this only strengthens the point that we are just beginning to understand all aspects of our society that can be impacted by the blockchain technology better, not to mention actually applying it towards beneficial results.”
Jerath further notes that for these benefits to be realized, all stakeholders must be involved.
“Developers are aware of the possibilities but they need more support from businesses, which in turn, need it from their investors. Only through initiatives like, for example, IBM Blockchain Solutions can a circle of trust be established, and growth achieved,” he adds.
It is expected that with the rising blockchain application in the global market, some tasks in the workplace will be automated and carried out by machines. This means that the amount of workforce required will differ depending on rising demand for blockchain developers and system analysts.
Small businesses are also likely to benefit from reduced number of legal processes. Starting a business will take a significantly shorter time and will also be cheaper due to the newly established trade and supply chain system. Consolidation of data through distributed systems and smart contracts will make work easier for those entering new markets.
The WEF report has identified environmental challenges that can be solved by adopting blockchain. This means both investors and consumers can make better decisions by creating applications that store information on benefits and risks, making it easier to manage the later while exhibiting good performance.
Blockchain application in any sector is not without challenges. The WEF report outlines certain challenges and risks that will affect incorporation of the technology in the environmental sector. For successful application, the report recommends adoption of the blockchain by both users and industries at large.
Relevant infrastructure has to be in place for blockchain to work and security measures have to be taken to mitigate risks such as hacking. At the same time, regulatory frameworks to allow application of blockchain globally should be enacted despite the fact that they may challenge the technology.
In terms of facilitating interoperability, standards have to be developed and applied across different systems. Further, energy consumption has to be looked at to ensure that it does not have a negative impact on the environmentally.
As an emerging technology, blockchain continues to undergo changes and in future, integration of technologies such as artificial intelligence will be necessary to unleash its full potential and enhance its effectiveness.
Disclaimer: David Drake is on the advisory board for most of the firms mentioned or quoted in this article.