With the rise of the blockchain technology and the continues development in practical and business applications of cryptocurrencies, this society’s landscape is starting its revolutionary transformation. Just like how traditional mail migrated to the cloud as electronic mail, the blockchain technology paves the way for traditional assets to be migrated to the cloud as well. Through decentralization, businesses, governments, and institutions are discovering news ways for improving our society as a whole.

Here are 8 blockchain applications that could potentially affect our everyday lives in the Philippine context:

1. Asset management
The blockchain technology is applicable to trade processing and settlement activities. The traditional process includes the involvement of the two settling parties, brokers, custodians, intermediaries, and settlement managers. Using the blockchain, everyone in between the two settling parties are removed, which basically lowers the cost of transactions. Ultimately, through the blockchain encryption, records are kept safe, the whole process is simplified, and many intermediaries are cancelled.

2. Cross-border payments
The current method of cross-border payments is riddled with difficulties and is very prone to errors. The blockchain already addresses most of the issues of global payments with remittance companies such as Align Commerce, Abra, Coins.ph, and Bitspark providing end-to-end blockchain powered services, which guarantees international payments with cheaper fees in less than 24 hours. This also opens for banking applications, which will improve the traditional financial system. Just recently, Union Bank of the Philippines had announced its application of the blockchain system for improved transactions with other rural banks. With more developments in the near future, the blockchain could revolutionize the existing banking system.

3. Smart property – money lending
The blockchain can also be used for smart property management. Using the blockchain as a decentralized ledger, property management becomes a system of recording and managing property rights digitally. This minimizes the risk of fraud, mediation fees, and shady business transactions. For money lending transactions, the blockchain can provide a simpler lending process, which involves a stranger loaning money to the borrower while taking the borrower’s smart property as collateral. This process does not involve the lender’s credit or work history and all transactions need not be processed manually as all properties are encoded in the blockchain for all to see. This means that the whole money lending process is simplified through blockchain-powered smart property.

4. Blockchain Internet-of-Things (IoT)
Since the emergence of the Internet, the technological trend has gravitated towards wireless interconnectivity. With blockchain technology, regular things and gadgets can have an on and off switch that connects them to the internet and to each other. Practically, this means that your printer can automatically place an online order for a replacement ink cartridge when it runs low. On a bigger scale, governments and cities can use the IoT for more efficient energy use and development of cleaner environments, which is known today as “smart cities.”

5. Blockchain healthcare
Using the blockchain technology, the healthcare system could upload, encode, and store personal health records to the blockchain, encrypting the records and giving access only to specific people. Receipts of surgery, medical history, healthcare management, drug supervision, regulation compliance, healthcare supplies management, and health test results can be stored safely and confidentially in the blockchain, which will help consolidate information more easily. This also allows for easier access to the medical history of a person even if the person gets hospitalized in a foreign country.

6. Blockchain music
One of the biggest problems in the music industry are ownership rights, transparency, and royalty distribution. While the digital music industry focuses on monetizing and profiting off productions, the ownership rights are often overlooked. Through the blockchain and smart contracts, a ledger of comprehensive, accurate, and secure database of music rights can be developed. The blockchain also provides transparency for royalty distribution to artists and other parties involved with the music labels. Using this technology, the music industry can also utilize digital currencies or tokens to pay the players according to the specified agreement in the contracts.

7. Blockchain government
The voting system of our current governments has always been subject to the threat of manipulation and corruption. Through the blockchain technology, governments can conduct elections with encrypted votes, which means that it cannot be manipulated. Also, individuals can confirm that their votes have been counted and recorded through the decentralized ledger. With all the data being publicly accessible, fraud, manipulation, and corruption can be prevented. Also, this system could save the government lots of money in the process.

8. Blockchain identity
Just recently, our government has approved and announced the launching of a national identification system for individuals. While this is a good endeavor, the blockchain technology could significantly improve identification systems of any country. Through the blockchain, personal data and identity details can be encrypted and stored safely in the blockchain without threat of hacking and identity theft. This also allows for global access to your personal data regardless of your actual location.

In general, blockchain technology could be a revolutionary tool for our society. All of these potential practical applications are very promising. What’s even better is that we have barely scratched the surface regarding the blockchain. As more developments come in the near future, we could see a societal transformation through the widespread application of the blockchain technology.

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