Three unique uses for the Ethereum blockchain
While there are countless applications of Ethereum’s blockchain, the following three uses are among the most intriguing.
1. Blockchain-based ID
One of the more consumer-friendly applications that’s currently being tested is blockchain-based ID. This would come in particularly handy when in airports, and it could wind up making travel considerably more efficient. Rather than handing an airport agent a passport or ID, the traveler, whose travel information and possibly personal information would be protected on an Ethereum-based digital ledger, would be able to access that information to streamline the screening process. This would potentially allow airport personnel and funds to be deployed elsewhere.
Perhaps the broadest application of blockchain ID thus far has come from Zug, Switzerland. Uport, a self-sovereign identity and user-centric data platform, made its platform, which runs on the Ethereum blockchain, available to the citizens of Zug. In effect, there’s a real-world application of digital citizenship verification ongoing in Switzerland right now. That’s pretty cool.
Image source: Getty Images.
2. Supply chain management
Perhaps the broadest-based application of the Ethereum blockchain has to do with logistics and supply chain management. As noted, blockchain offers the ability to remove paper from the equation, which is a source of error or fraud. Blockchain data, by comparison, is immutable, meaning it’s both transparent and binding (and likely more efficient).
Utilizing the Ethereum blockchain could allow retailers two main advantages. First, the transparency and immutability of blockchain would allow logistics companies and retailers to pinpoint where problems are occurring. Rather than examining copious stacks of paperwork, businesses could efficiently pinpoint deficiencies in their supply chain and correct them quickly.
Additionally, the Ethereum blockchain would allow businesses and consumers the ability to see where goods were at all times, as well as how they performed during quality tests or inspections. It has the potential to be a game changer for the brick-and-mortar retail industry.
Image source: Getty Images.
3. Internet of Things device management
Lastly, and somewhat building on the previous point, the Ethereum blockchain could do wonders for the Internet of Things (IoT). For those unfamiliar, the IoT describes how wirelessly connected devices can work together to send and receive data.
For example, the Ethereum blockchain could create smart contracts that allow IoT connected devices the ability to order parts, with user authority, to keep themselves running. If an IoT device is broken or has a failing part, it can request the part be ordered or have that command already programmed in via smart contracts. In essence, it’s an extension of supply chain management that could trigger machine-to-machine transactions.
Just as intriguing is the idea that the Ethereum blockchain could help determine the trustworthiness of connected devices. With wireless devices regularly entering and leaving a network — think of newer cars passing through or by a smart city, or consumers walking down a street with their smartphone — blockchain offers the ability to manage those devices and determine which can be trusted.
These applications, and many more, are precisely why Ethereum deserves to be the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency.
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