Banking Is Only The Beginning: More Fin-tech Disruptions are bound to leap forth.

The future of blockchain is near and banking isn’t the only industry affected. See how law enforcement, ride-hailing, and others could also be impacted.

What began as the basis of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, blockchain technology — essentially a virtual ledger capable of recording and verifying a high volume of digital transactions — is now spreading across a wave of industries.

Blockchain has gone far beyond its beginnings in banking and cryptocurrency: Annual funding to blockchain companies, despite falling from 2018’s record high, more than doubled in 2020 compared to 2017. Annual spending on blockchain solutions will reach nearly $16B by 2023, according to CB Insights’ Market Sizing Tool. Industries from insurance to gaming to cannabis are seeing blockchain applications.

Bitcoin’s popularity helped demonstrate blockchain’s application in finance, but entrepreneurs have come to believe the tech could transform many more industries. Ultimately, the use cases for a transparent, verifiable register of transaction data are practically endless — especially since blockchains operate through a decentralized platform requiring no central supervision, making them resistant to fraud.

As companies use blockchain to drive greater transparency and veracity across the digital information ecosystem, they’re boosting awareness of the technology in sectors ranging from infrastructure to public policy. Here are the latest innovative ways companies are harnessing the power of blockchain.


  • Financial services
  • Travel & mobility
  • Infrastructure
  • Healthcare
  • Public sector
  • Retail & CPG
  • Agriculture & mining
  • Education, communication, & information services
  • Entertainment
  • Other

Financial services


The banking industry is being disrupted by blockchain technology

Blockchain and banking are just the beginning. From a macro perspective, banks serve as the critical storehouses and transfer hubs of value. As digitized, secure, and tamper-proof ledgers, blockchains could serve the same function, injecting enhanced accuracy and information sharing into the financial services ecosystem.

Credit Suisse, for example, partnered with New York-based startup Paxos to use blockchain tech to settle US stock trades in March 2020. Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase has entered the blockchain space with the JPM Coin, which it intends to use to facilitate transactions between institutional accounts. Other banks like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup have also experimented with blockchain. The incumbents performed an equity swap built on Axoni’s Axcore blockchain in February 2020.

More broadly, blockchain has the opportunity to disrupt the $5T+ banking industry by disintermediating the key services that banks provide, from payments to clearance and settlement systems.

Facilitating payments is highly profitable for banks — cross-border transactions generated $224B in payments revenues in 2019. However, blockchain technology offers a secure and cheap way of sending payments that cuts down on the need for verification from third parties and beats processing times for traditional bank transfers.

Blockchain company Ripple has partnered with over 300 customers, including financial institutions like Santander and Western Union, with the goal of improving the efficiency of cross-border payments. Its xCurrent product provides banks with a two-way communication protocol that permits real-time messaging and settlement.

R3, another major player working on distributed ledger technology for banks, saw its technology used by Switzerland’s central bank for a pilot to settle large transactions between financial institutions using digital currencies.

Stock trading & hedge funds

Stock trading and hedge funds are being disrupted by blockchain technology

For years companies have worked to ease the process of buying, selling, and trading stocks, and now new blockchain-focused startups are looking to automate and secure the process more efficiently than any past solution.

TØ.com, a subsidiary of Overstock, wants to enable stock transactions online using blockchain tech. The tZERO platform integrates cryptographically secure distributed ledgers with existing trading processes to reduce settlement time and costs and increase transparency and auditability.

Partnerships with existing trading networks and exchanges will help blockchain take off in the space. Blockchain company Chain, which was acquired by Stellar in 2018, helped orchestrate a live blockchain integration that successfully connected Nasdaq’s stock exchange and Citi’s banking infrastructure. More recently, Nasdaq partnered with R3 to build a platform — using R3’s enterprise blockchain software solution Corda — that financial institutions can use to create and manage their own digital asset marketplaces.

Meanwhile, Numerai is taking the hedge fund model — employing a bunch of traders and quants — and decentralizing it. Numerai, which is backed by names including First Round Capital and Union Square Ventures, sends its thousands of disparately located quants encrypted datasets and asks them to build predictive models, and the best contributors are rewarded with Numerai’s token called Numeraire. Then, Numerai takes the strategy and creates a meta-model to make trades.

In October 2020, Numerai announced a new project, called Numerai Signals, that will accept signals from models trained on any dataset, not just its own. The company has set aside $50M of its Numeraire tokens as rewards for “the most original signals” submitted.


Crowdfunding is being disrupted by blockchain technology

The crowdfunding industry emerged to “disintermediate” capital formation by giving backers (aka “pledgers”) or individual investors the ability to directly fund creators and entrepreneurs, providing a natural alignment with blockchain capabilities.

For example, the movie BRAID became the first major feature film to be financed through a token “crowdsale” on the Ethereum blockchain through its $1.7M campaign on Weifund.

Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), in which companies sell cryptocurrency-backed tokens in their companies in the same manner as a publicly traded company sells stock, are another example of blockchain-powered crowdfunding. Companies like CoinList, which began as a collaboration between Protocol Labs and AngelList, are bringing digital assets to the mainstream by helping blockchain companies structure legal and compliant ICOs.

Other startups emerging in the ICO ecosystem include Waves, a platform for storing, managing, and issuing digital assets, and Republic‘s crypto initiative, which is aimed at helping people invest in ICOs for as little as $10.

Pledgecamp is a Kickstarter and Indiegogo competitor which aims to increase transparency (via smart contracts) and offer “Backer Insurance” by decentralizing the process. As projects reach target funding, money is transferred to a secure escrow wallet that unlocks funds gradually. Backers can see how the money they invested is being spent and can provide input about the direction of the project, e.g. voting on whether to begin a new phase of development.

Crypto exchanges

Crypto exchanges are being disrupted by blockchain technology

One way blockchain reduces conventional cybersecurity risk is by simply removing the need for human intermediaries — thus lessening the threat of hacking, corruption, or human error.

Ironically, some of the most successful blockchain companies are fairly centralized middlemen. However, many new projects are “dogfooding” the buying and selling of blockchain-based currency by putting the whole exchange on a blockchain.

One high-profile project here is Enigma, which claims MIT and Flybridge Capital as supporters. Enigma is the developer of Catalyst, an off-chain decentralized exchange and investment platform that works without the need of a third party to act as a clearinghouse.

Another high-profile decentralized exchange is Ethereum-based 0x.

Centralized exchanges like Binance and Coinbase have made moves in the decentralized exchange space, launching Binance DEX in 2019 and acquiring the peer-to-peer trading platform Paradex in 2018, respectively.

Wills & inheritances

Wills and inheritances are being disrupted by blockchain technology

Wills are a highly specific kind of contract, providing an ideal use case for a blockchain smart contracts solution. In addition to the challenge of verifying the deceased’s actual death, will-related litigation often involves challenges to the “genuineness” of a will — that is, whether the legal interpretation aligns with the deceased’s intentions.

While the application of blockchain tech would not completely remove these challenges, it would make it easier to identify factual information, provide verifiable transaction data, and dismiss claims that are without merit.

Through its Smarter Contract platform, Japan-based startup Zweispace is developing a self-executing will system with a blockchain that will automatically distribute assets of an inheritance trust to beneficiaries upon confirmation of the trustee’s passing, eliminating the need for executors and court battles regarding the integrity of the will.


Accounting is being disrupted by blockchain technology

As the banking industry continues to adapt to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, accountants are beginning to follow suit.

Accountants work with a spread of documents — from tax forms to bank statements to spreadsheets — containing extensive personal or organizational information. Layering in blockchain technology could make it easier to keep track of this sensitive data as it is processed by accounting firms.

Data tracking enabled by blockchain technology may also help to automate certain accounting services using AI, which could reduce human error and instances of fraud.

Big Four accounting firms are already jumping on board: KPMG has invested in programs and projects to research and share information about blockchain; PwC has created an auditing service for cryptocurrency assets; Deloitte has developed blockchain-based software; while EY‘s Blockchain Analyzer can help auditors to accurately vet digital assets.

Loans & credit

Loans and credit are being disrupted by blockchain technology

Traditional banks and lenders underwrite loans based on a system of credit reporting. Using a credit report provided by one of 3 major credit agencies — Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax — banks evaluate the risk that you won’t pay them back.

This centralized system can be hostile to consumers. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimates that 1 in 5 Americans have a “potentially material error” in their credit score that negatively impacts their ability to get a loan. Further, concentrating this sensitive information within 3 institutions creates a lot of vulnerability. The September 2017 Equifax hack exposed the credit information of nearly 150M Americans.

Alternative lending using blockchain technology offers a cheaper, more efficient, and more secure way of making personal loans to a broader pool of consumers. With a cryptographically secure, decentralized registry of historical payments, consumers could apply for loans based on a global credit score.

A number of companies are working in this space. Dharma Labs, for example, is a protocol for tokenized debt. It aims to provide developers with the tools and standards necessary for building online debt marketplaces. Meanwhile, Bloom wants to bring credit scoring to blockchain and is building a protocol for managing identity, risk, and credit scoring using blockchain technology.


Insurance is being disrupted by blockchain technology

Most blockchain applications in the insurance industry today are focused on improving operational efficiency. Rather than developing new products, insurance companies are looking at ways blockchain can drive down costs, increase speed to market, and provide better customer experiences.

For example, using a blockchain to create a single source of truth for transactions between parties has the potential to significantly drive down processing time and costs for insurance companies.

Many insurance blockchain initiatives include cross-border partnerships or deal with cross-border transactions, leveraging the immutability and version control aspects of blockchain tech.

Insurwave, a joint project between consulting firm EY and blockchain company Guardtime, delivers a blockchain platform aimed at marine insurance. Built on Corda’s distributed ledger technology, the Insurwave solution creates an immutable database between shippers and insurers to allow for better risk assessments and quicker claims payouts.

Clients can read more about 12 blockchain pilots in insurance here. We’ve also looked in depth at how blockchain could disrupt insurance.

Travel & mobility

Automotive manufacturing

Automotive manufacturing is being disrupted by blockchain technology

Recording physical assets — like auto parts — on a blockchain is a prime example of where the technology might come in handy to track ownership with a tamper-proof, neutral, and resilient system. While paper records are prone to forgery and/or physical degradation, and centralized databases may be subject to hacking, human error, and/or tampering, blockchains are immutable and have no single entity controlling the ledger.

Blockchains could be used to track parts in a supply chain and weed out those that are counterfeit. The tech also has major implications for automotive recalls, of which there were 13M in just the first half of 2020. With a record of where parts have gone, from the supplier to the individual vehicle, blockchain could enable targeted recalls.

The Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI), a consortium that includes automakers like Ford, BMW, Honda, and GM, has been working on a vehicle and parts tracking initiative. Its Vehicle Identity (VID) Standard initiative provides “birth certificates” for vehicles, tracing maintenance history and vehicle registration even across borders in a shared ledger.

In another example, Daimler has partnered with Singapore-based Ocean Protocol, a decentralized data exchange, to explore how blockchain could be used to share supply chain data among its manufacturing hubs and partners.

Under MOBI, other automakers like GM and BMW have partnered to share self-driving car data using blockchain tech.

Car leasing & sales

Car leasing and sales is being disrupted by blockchain technology
The experience of leasing, buying, or selling a vehicle is a notoriously fragmented process for stakeholders on all sides of a transaction, but blockchain could change that.

In 2015, Visa partnered with transaction management startup DocuSign on a proof-of-concept project that used blockchain to streamline car leasing — transforming it into a “click, sign, and drive” process.

With the Visa-DocuSign tool, prospective customers choose the car they want to lease and the transaction is entered on the blockchain’s public ledger. Then, from the driver’s seat, the customer signs a lease agreement and an insurance policy, and the blockchain is updated with that information.

Today, companies like Estonia-based carVertical are deploying blockchain tech to more reliably track car histories for users looking to buy a used car. CarVertical logs data on vehicles from a variety of sources, including leasing and insurance history, in a single ledger. It then uses the data stored in the ledger to generate a more complete report on a car’s history based on VIN numbers inputted by users.


Ride-hailing is being disrupted by blockchain technology

Ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft represent the opposite of decentralization since they essentially operate as dispatching hubs and use algorithms to control their fleets of drivers (and dictate what they charge). Blockchain could inject new options into that dynamic: with a distributed ledger, drivers and riders could create a more user-driven, value-oriented marketplace.

Arcade City, for example, facilitates all transactions through a blockchain system. Arcade City operates similarly to other ride-hailing companies but allows drivers to establish their rates (taking a percentage of rider fares) with the blockchain logging all interactions.

This allows Arcade City to appeal to professional drivers, who would rather build up their own transportation businesses than be controlled from a corporate headquarters: drivers on Arcade City are free to set their own rates, build their own recurring customer base, and offer additional services like deliveries or roadside assistance. Arcade City announced in January 2021 it would make its code open-source to enable more peer-to-peer commerce.

Another blockchain-based ridesharing app is Drife. The startup currently operates in Bangalore and is planning to launch in more cities across India. The app works through a system of “personalized smart contracts” between drivers and riders, where drivers stake Drife’s DRF token to be chosen for rides. Instead of paying a fee on every fare, Drife drivers pay an annual fee to use the app.


Trucking is being disrupted by blockchain technology

The assets that can be tracked and recorded using blockchain aren’t just digital transactions — they also include physical items, like shipping trucks. And while many of the other industries discussed involve public records, private blockchain networks offer their own possibilities.

The Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA) has been formed to develop industry standards and educate its network of members. It’s the largest commercial blockchain alliance in existence, and its nearly 500 members are developing the frameworks that will change the trucking and transport industries.

Blockchain can improve transactions, shipment tracking, and fleet management, as well as protect assets and increase fleet efficiency. It can help track contamination in food, for example, by tracking a truck that carries ingredients and noting if safe storage conditions were maintained during any delays. Additionally, it can help optimize routes by matching truckers and items to be delivered with trucks in a certain region.

But for a decentralized ledger to work in this industry, there needs to be buy-in from every side: small and large businesses, last-mile shippers, and mega trucking companies. Without total buy-in, the system won’t optimize fully.

Aerospace & defense

Aerospace and defense are being disrupted by blockchain technology

According to Accenture, 61% of aerospace and defense companies are working with blockchain or distributed ledger solutions. Blockchain technology has the potential to streamline parts inventory and authentication, personnel certification tracking, and more.

GoDirect Trade (a unit of Honeywell Aerospace), for example, is an aerospace parts marketplace using blockchain to list parts for resale. Its ledger stores maintenance and manufacturing histories for each of its 25,000 parts in one location. This data is then used to immediately list refurbished parts according to the Federal Aviation Administration’s requirements, avoiding the manual and paperwork-heavy processes that have characterized aerospace parts reselling.

Meanwhile, to comply with NATO standards, France-based aerospace and defense contractor Thales Group is deploying blockchain at one of its new manufacturing sites to trace the naval equipment and other parts fabricated at the facility.

Countries like Russia and the US are also making moves with blockchain. In 2018, Russia’s Ministry of Defense established a blockchain research lab. In 2019, the US Department of Defense contracted startup SIMBA Chain to develop a blockchain solution that will allow government agencies to securely share and track R&D data.

Air travel

Air travel is being disrupted by blockchain technology

Think of the data that goes into booking a flight: names, birthdays, credit card numbers, immigration details, destinations, and sometimes even hotel or rental car information, depending on how flights are booked.

Implementing blockchain technology to secure and reconcile this data can make for a safer journey — and one that’s more convenient for the traveler. Transforming a material ticket into a digital token provides a new layer of security. Using a smart contract as part of the ticket token can help airlines control the sale and use of tickets to provide verified experiences for customers. It can also be used to create more accurate logs of aircraft maintenance, prevent overbooking, and more.

For example, Russia-based S7 Airlines deploys a private, Ethereum-based blockchain and smart contracts to issue and sell tickets. The platform has reportedly reduced airline/agent settlement times from 14 days to 23 seconds. In 2019, the airline announced it had reached $1M in monthly ticket sales processed on its blockchain.

Airline loyalty is another area where blockchain is already being executed. Singapore Airlines‘ KrisPay is a digital wallet built on a blockchain that securely turns miles into cryptocurrency that can be used with merchant partners. This program rewards frequent fliers instantly and lets them securely use their points on a variety of purchases, not just additional flights.


Hospitality is being disrupted by blockchain technology

Large hotel chains lose 10% to 15% of their total revenue in the form of commissions paid to third-party booking services. Small chains and independent hotels fork over even more — between 18% and 22% of their revenue — to third-party services.

Blockchain technology can help cut out the middlemen, encouraging direct provider-to-consumer interaction and reducing costs.

For example, blockchain-based platform Winding Tree has been working with hotels, airlines, and tourism offices to provide a “decentralized open-source B2B travel marketplace.” The startup has partnered with Lufthansa, AirFrance, AirCanada, and more recently, Etihad Airways in 2019, to bypass third-party operators charging high fees. In May 2019, Winding Tree executed its first hotel booking with a Nordic Choice Hotels member.


Industrial IoT

Industrial IOT is being disrupted by blockchain technology

A number of companies are leveraging blockchain tech to allow any device to securely connect, interact, and transact independently of a central authority.

In 2015, IBM and Samsung announced a proof of concept called ADEPT (Autonomous Decentralized Peer-to-Peer Telemetry), which uses blockchain-type technology to form the backbone of a decentralized network of IoT devices. With ADEPT, a blockchain would serve as a public ledger for a massive amount of devices, which would no longer need a central hub to mediate communication between them.

Without a central control system to identify one another, the devices would be able to communicate with one another autonomously to manage software updates, bugs, or energy management.

In 2017, South Korea’s logistics company Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) held trial runsusing a blockchain system developed with Samsung SDS which utilized IoT devices for real-time monitoring. The “paperless operation” was used for vessel arrival/departure, bills of lading, and cargo tracking.

More recently, companies like Helium and NetObjex have launched blockchain-based networks for IoT devices in internet infrastructure and smart city transportation, respectively.

Others are focused on IoT network security. As critical infrastructure like power plants and transportation all become equipped with connected sensors, there are privacy and security risks. Companies like Xage are employing blockchain’s tamper-proof ledgers to secure data across industrial device networks.

3D printing

3D printing is being disrupted by blockchain technology

3D printing and “additive manufacturing” (aka building 3D objects by adding layer-upon-layer of material) are highly technology-driven processes, whereby the digital files involved can be easily transmitted with the click of a mouse. Consequently, parts and products are easier to share and track — leading to smarter digital supply networks and supply chains.

Using blockchain to support these evolving infrastructures can eliminate security vulnerabilities, protect intellectual property from theft, and streamline project management, ultimately helping the 3D printing and additive manufacturing sectors to grow and scale.

The US Air Force, for example, is working with SIMBA Chain as part of its BASECAMP (Blockchain Approach for Supply Chain Additive Manufacturing Parts) project. The blockchain-based platform registers and tracks 3D-printed parts for a more secure and tamper-proof record.

Construction, architecture, & building

Construction, architecture and building are being disrupted by blockchain technology

Construction is a highly regulated industry that employs a wide variety of tradespeople for often complex projects. Validating their identities, their quality of work, and their dependability can be difficult and time-consuming. A blockchain-based ecosystem could help solve this challenge by making it simpler for general contractors to verify identities and track progress across multiple teams.

Blockchain technology could also help ensure construction materials are sourced from the right places and are of the appropriate quality, while smart contracts may make it simpler to automatically issue timely payments linked to project milestones.

For instance, Amsterdam-based construction company HerenBouw used a blockchain to document transactions over the course of a large development project in the city, creating a more accurate, auditable record of the orders placed and paid out.

Real estate

Real Estate is being disrupted by blockchain technology

Pain points for buying and selling property include a lack of transparency during and after transactions, copious amounts of paperwork, possible fraud, and errors in public records. Blockchain offers a way to reduce the need for paper-based record keeping and speed up transactions — helping stakeholders improve efficiency and reduce transaction costs on all sides of the transaction.

Real estate blockchain applications can help record, track, and transfer land titles, property deeds, liens, and more, and can help ensure that all documents are accurate and verifiable.

Propy is seeking to offer secure home buying through a blockchain-based smart contract platform. All documents are signed and securely stored online, while deeds and other contracts are recorded using blockchain technology as well as on paper.

Tech startup Ubitquity offers a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) blockchain platform for financial, title, and mortgage companies. The company is currently working with Washington-based Rainier Title, among other stealth clients, to record documents and create token-based property titles using blockchain tech.

Energy management

Energy Management is being disrupted by blockchain technology

Energy management is another industry that has historically been highly centralized. In the US and UK, to transact in energy one must go through an established power holding company like Duke Energy or National Grid, or deal with a reseller that buys from a big electricity company.

As with other industries, distributed ledgers could minimize (or eliminate) the need for intermediaries. Companies like LO3 Energy are rethinking the traditional energy-exchange process.

LO3 Energy’s Pando product, which runs on the open-source blockchain platform Energy Web Chain, enables utility companies’ customers to transact in “decentralized energy generation schemes,” effectively allowing people to generate, buy, and sell energy to their neighbors.

Other companies have used blockchain as a path toward providing access to renewable energy, too. For example, 2 major Spanish power companies — Acciona Energy and Iberdrola— are using blockchain to certify that energy is clean by tracking its origins.


Health information exchanges

Healthcare information exchanges are being disrupted by blockchain technology

Healthcare institutions suffer from an inability to securely share data across platforms. Better data collaboration between providers could ultimately mean more accurate diagnoses, more effective treatments, and more cost cost-effective care.

Use of blockchain technology could allow hospitals, payers, and other parties in the healthcare value chain to share access to their networks without compromising data security and integrity.

HealthVerity is one of the players in this space, combining a health data exchange with a blockchain product to manage permissions and access rights.

Others are working to better manage provider information using blockchain tech.

One project — Synaptic Health Alliance — has involved Aetna, Cognizant, Humana, MultiPlan, Quest Diagnostics, UnitedHealth Group, and more, joining together to make sure their provider directories are up to date. By sharing this provider information with each other, these companies can reduce work, since data is stored and updated in a shared, accessible database.

Meanwhile, Hashed Health is developing a blockchain-based credential verification system for physicians to prove they’re licensed to operate in certain areas.

Claims management

Claims management is being disrupted by blockchain technology

The back end of healthcare is slow, complex, and expensive. Blockchain, aligned with data standards, has the potential to speed up some of these processes and reduce costs.

One area where this might be possible is in claims management, where several middlemen are focused on standardizing data, following complex and variable procedures. A lot of this work requires accessing complex data from different entities: Payers have to know what services a patient received and the patient’s specific plan. Doctors need to know how much to charge a patient. And everyone wants to know where in its lifecycle a claim currently is.

Change Healthcare, for example, has built a system, called Intelligent Healthcare Network, that follows the life cycle of a claim, tracking every transaction listed above (data submitted for review, the review itself, approval or denial, etc.) The company has also improved the speed and scalability of processing transactions, which has been a bottleneck in many public blockchain projects.

Change Healthcare says it facilitates up to 50M transactions daily on the network, at 550 transactions per second on average.


Pharma is being disrupted by blockchain technology

Pharma isn’t known for being a fast-moving industry. Despite the sector’s focus on innovation and problem solving, there’s a lot of red tape around clinical testing, FDA approvals, and more.

Using a blockchain ledger can create a more efficient system, opening the door for faster innovation, better-regulated production, and smarter medical data security.

Blockchain can also enforce safer drug production. If errors are made, they can be caught and traced to the source. This helps prevent recalls, or at least allows manufacturers to quickly contact retailers to lessen the impact of unsafe drugs on patients’ health and businesses’ finances.

Chronicled, for example, launched the MediLedger Network with several large drug companies and drug supply chain giants in 2017. The project uses a blockchain-based system to track who touched what drug at what time to verify pharmaceutical returns.

In July 2020, MediLedger announced plans to partner with Deloitte to expand its solution to help track and combat counterfeit Covid-19 drugs.

Research & clinical trials

Research and clinical trials are being disrupted by blockchain technology

Beyond better data sharing, blockchain offers an opportunity to improve healthcare before the treatment phase: in research and clinical trials.

Effective research and clinical trials require the coordination of multiple sites and stakeholders, as well as careful management of massive amounts of sensitive data coming from different sources.

One important function blockchain could fulfill is connecting disparate data within a study, which frequently takes place across different research facilities and is administered by different researchers. This would prevent the need to reconcile separate databases together to create a traceable record of what a participant did.

Once a study is finished, there would be an easily accessible audit trail that could be submitted to regulatory parties, auditors, or other researchers (a job usually handled by electronic trial master files).

Public sector

Government & public records

Government and public records are being disrupted by blockchain technologyThe management of public services is yet another area where blockchain can help lessen paper-based processes, minimize fraud, and increase accountability between authorities and those they serve.

Some US states are taking it upon themselves to realize the benefits of blockchain: the Delaware Blockchain Initiative, launched in 2016, aims to create appropriate legal infrastructure for distributed ledger shares, to increase efficiency and speed of incorporation services.

Illinois, Vermont, and other states have since announced similar initiatives. Startups are assisting in the effort as well: in Eastern Europe, the BitFury Group has partnered with the Georgian government to secure and track government records.


Voting is being disrupted by blockchain technology

Elections require authentication of voters’ identity, secure record keeping to track votes, and trusted tallies to determine the winner. In the future, blockchain tools could serve as a foundational infrastructure for casting, tracking, and counting votes — potentially eliminating the need for recounts by taking voter fraud and foul play off the table.

By capturing votes as transactions through a blockchain, governments and voters would have a verifiable audit trail, ensuring no votes are changed or removed and no illegitimate votes are added. One blockchain voting startup, Follow My Vote, recently released into the public domain its patent-pending end-to-end blockchain voting solution.

Agora aims to develop a blockchain-based method for casting votes. The technology aims to prevent election fraud by using a custom blockchain record. The platform was tested in a limited capacity during elections in Sierra Leone in 2018 and showed results close to those from official tallies.

Gun tracking

Gun tracking is being disrupted by blockchain technology

Blockchain’s distributed ledger offers several opportunities around gun ownership and usage. If gun possession-related information were logged and connected through blockchain, it could provide a connected infrastructure for tracking where weapons came from in the event of unlawful use.

Long term, other opportunities exist in creating public-private partnerships around such information, such as linking existing No Fly List information to blockchain transaction records to more effectively prevent unlawful gun purchases.

Law enforcement

Law enforcement is being disrupted by blockchain technology

In police investigations, maintaining the integrity of the chain of evidence is paramount, so a distributed, hard-to-falsify record kept via blockchain could provide an added layer of security to the evidence-handling process. In addition, blockchain can be leveraged for flagging certain kinds of transaction patterns — giving police a heads up when an individual engages in suspicious financial activity.

Startups are innovating to bring these benefits to law enforcement. Chronicled is developing sealable, tamper-proof containers with near-field communications chips that register container contents through a blockchain system — creating an ideal solution for evidence management in law enforcement.

Elliptic, meanwhile, is developing a system to continually scan bitcoin registries, uncover complex relationships within the transactions, and flag suspicious transactions/histories to potentially alert law enforcement.

Federal mail

Federal mail is being disrupted by blockchain technology

Even the US Postal Service is looking into implementing blockchain to improve operations and service. Distributed ledger technology could help create a tracking system which reduces costs for USPS and saves time for postal workers.

The Office of the Inspector General released a report in 2016 which summarized ways that blockchain could be used by the agency, including streamlining its financial services (like money orders), building a better “Internet of Postal Things,” improving validation of consumers’ identities, and streamlining supply chain management.

In August 2020, USPS filed a patent for mail-in voting systems backed by blockchain tech, including methods like sending voters “token-linked QR codes” and storing voter signatures on a blockchain.

Public transportation

Public transit is being disrupted by blockchain technology

The growth of cities has also put pressure on many transportation systems, which are often expensive to run and can be inefficient.

Employing blockchain technology could help cities better understand how their residents are utilizing public transportation options.

For example, UK-based DOVU lets users share their commuting and transit data — including how they use buses, trains, bike shares, even pedestrian paths — through a blockchain-backed app which then rewards them with crypto-tokens. The company has partnered with car manufacturers as well as mass transit company Go-Ahead.

Blockchain could also contribute to a more functional and streamlined system. For instance, a public ledger can be used to store and share information on vehicle efficiency or timeliness — information which may help better optimize routes and schedules.

Waste management

Waste management is being disrupted by blockchain technology

Recycling is one of the best ways to reduce landfill waste — but it can be a confusing and laborious practice that doesn’t have much reward. A blockchain-based solution could help optimize recycling systems that are already in place.

Many companies are popping up to incentivize recycling. The Plastic Bank offers money or digital tokens in exchange for used plastic and is working with IBM to expand its recycling solution globally. W2V Eco Solutions is a more localized platform that allows communities to reward people who properly sort their recycling with coins. RecycleGO’s blockchain-based software can enable recycling companies to better track, and therefore better optimize, their recycling activities across their local supply chain.

Beyond IBM, incumbents like Germany-based chemical producer BASF have joined the movement. In August 2020, BASF launched a blockchain-based plastic recycling pilot called reciChain. Through this project, plastic producers tag plastics using unique “chemical barcode tags” to better track them throughout their lifecycle and incentivize recycling. The consortium includes members like NOVA Chemicals, Deloitte, and Save-On-Food.

Public assistance

Public assistance is being disrupted by blockchain technology

Adoption of blockchain could help streamline the public assistance system, which is often bogged down by bureaucracy. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), for example, has been utilizing blockchain as a way to distribute humanitarian assistance to refugees in a secure, private way. As refugees are often unable to open bank accounts, WFP is able to send aid directly by using blockchain and biometric authentication technologies for transaction verification and registration.

In Jordan, WFP has set up iris scanners at grocery stores within refugee camps that securely identify individuals that require financial assistance for their groceries. All transactions are instantly recorded on a private blockchain and payment is automatically transferred out of the individual’s blockchain-enabled account.

Retail & CPG


Retail is being disrupted by blockchain technology

Currently, consumers’ sense of trust in the retail system is mainly linked to their trust in the marketplace where their purchases are being made. (As an example, trust is a key element of Amazon’s success with customers.) Blockchain could decentralize that trust, attaching it more to the sellers on various marketplaces and platforms than to the sites themselves.

Startups like OpenBazaar are developing decentralized blockchain utilities to connect buyers and sellers, without a middleman and the associated charges. OpenBazaar operates as an open-source, peer-to-peer network offering merchants no fees and no restrictions on what can be sold.

Customers purchase goods using any of 50 cryptocurrencies, and sellers are paid in a variety of different cryptocurrencies — with all associated data distributed across the global network instead of stored in a central database.

Other decentralized marketplaces include GAMB, developed by Germany-based e-commerce software developer Gambio, and Virgina-based Bleexy.

Meanwhile, Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) created a platform with Microsoft and blockchain startup ConsenSys to authenticate luxury goods through blockchain. AURA, the platform, lets customers trace their products from design to distribution. For the brand, AURA adds additional protection from counterfeit goods and fraud.


E-commerce is being disrupted by blockchain technology

Blockchain technology has the potential to transform e-commerce by lowering transaction costs and tightening transaction security. E-commerce giants such as Walmart, Amazon, and Alibaba have begun exploring blockchain technology. For example, Alibaba filed a patent for a blockchain-based transaction system in Brazil in March 2020.

When it comes to global trade, blockchain could play a helpful role in traceability, ensuring proof of delivery, and securely tracking contract details without the risk of data being altered or tampered with.

The Home Depot has partnered with IBM to use blockchain to manage its supplier relationships. By keeping a shared, time-stamped record of the flow of its goods during shipping and receiving, the retailer has been able to reduce its vendor disputes and the time it takes to resolve them.

Food & beverageFood and beverage are being disrupted by blockchain technology

E. coli, salmonella, accidental horse meat — there have been a lot of disturbing slip-ups in the food and beverage industry. Blockchain technology could help manufacturers and distributors avoid these mishaps.

As a decentralized ledger that records, stores, and tracks data, blockchain provides a way to monitor the food supply chain and trace contamination issues to their root. It benefits the food processor, which can avoid sending harmful items to distributors; the retailer, which can cut down on or respond more quickly and effectively to recalls; and the consumer, who can trust that what they buy is safe to eat.

Walmart and Sam’s Club joined IBM’s Food Trust network, which uses a blockchain distributed ledger. In 2018, the retailers asked their suppliers, especially those of leafy green vegetables, to add their produce data to the ledger by 2019. The system is used to make it easier to quickly trace the origins of food — a key advantage in cases such as trying to trace the source of contaminated produce.

So long as each party agrees, blockchain serves as an accountability platform that can help cut down on food recalls, mislabeled products, and confusion over where an issue arose. For example, blockchain-based tracking can easily be applied as a QR Code that, when scanned, shows a product’s full journey to a customer’s cart.

Building on their blockchain pilot launched with the IBM Food Trust in 2018, Nestlé and Carrefour are testing a similar service with customers for their Mousline mashed potatoes product in France. Consumers can get access to data stored on the project blockchain by scanning a QR code on the Mousline packaging, enabling them to see how the product traveled from farmer to the Nestlé factory to their Carrefour store.

Gift card & loyalty programs

Gift cards and loyalty programs are being disrupted by blockchain technology

Blockchains can help retailers offering gift cards and loyalty programs to make those systems cheaper and more secure. With fewer middlemen needed to process the issuing of cards and sales transactions, the process of acquiring and using blockchain-reliant gift cards is more efficient and cost-effective.

Similarly, increased levels of fraud prevention enabled by blockchain’s unique verification capability can also save costs and help prohibit illegitimate users from obtaining stolen accounts.

One example of a company working in this space is Loyyal, which is innovating to make loyalty incentives more easily exchangeable across different sectors (think multi-branded “Airline/Retailer/Consumer” rewards) by using blockchain to support and verify their value.

Agriculture & mining

Crops & agriculture

Crops and agriculture are being disrupted by blockchain technology

Beyond the safety and traceability aspects discussed in the context of the food and beverage industry, blockchain has the potential to help the agriculture space evolve. A decentralized blockchain system could improve transactions, market expansions, and product-specific logistics throughout the agriculture supply chain.

In agriculture, a blockchain record can establish a level of trust between merchants who otherwise might not have experience with one another. It can also help the market to expand and encourage healthy competition between sellers.

One company, AgriDigital, is already using blockchain technology to digitize the buying, selling, and storing of grain, with plans to add other commodities. It makes managing relationships, from farmers to stock traders, centralized and secure.

Animal husbandry

Animal husbandry is being disrupted by blockchain technology

Similar to its applications in agriculture, blockchain tech is helping to improve food safety, traceability, and sustainability in animal husbandry — the breeding and raising of livestock.

Food safety company Neogen has partnered with food-focused blockchain platform Ripe Technology to use blockchain tech to synthesize animal histories, connecting data like an animal’s genomic profile with the feed it eats and its medical history in a singular location.

NSF Verify uses blockchain to create “a record of trust for livestock from birth through to the consumer.” The platform, developed by NSF International and other industry leaders, tags animals at birth with radio-frequency identification (RFID) markers and then tracks and registers their movements over their lifetime on a blockchain.

Another startup, Breedr, enables farmers in the UK to track and store data on their cows through a mobile app. Breedr claims that the app can help farmers make better rearing decisions by providing them insight into the performance and growth of individual animals via its blockchain, reducing the amount of time it takes to bring an animal to market.

On the sustainability front, chemical producer BASF and arc-net partnered in 2018 “to support the animal production value chain.” The pilot combines BASF’s AgBalance Livestock sustainability calculation tool and arc-net’s blockchain tech to create a traceable “environmental footprint” of meat, milk, and egg products.


Fishing is being disrupted by blockchain technology

Between 20-30% of the fish sold in the US are caught illegally. Fishing is also one of the largest industries in the world using forced labor, according to the Wall Street Journal. Blockchain-based systems could help make the industry more sustainable, eco-friendly, and legally compliant.

Registering types and quantities of fishing nets on a blockchain would allow authorities to track whether boats return to port with the number of nets they left with. Blockchain can also be used to identify and track the fish themselves.

In 2018, WWF partnered with ConsenSys and SeaQuest Fiji to implement a blockchain system that verifies where, when, and how tuna fish was caught. Eventually, consumers will be able to scan a QR code with their smartphone to trace the fish “from bait to plate” and confirm that they’re buying legally caught, sustainable tuna with no slave labor or oppressive working conditions involved.

Logging & timber

Logging and timber are being disrupted by blockchain technology

Organizations like the US Endowment for Forestry and Communities are exploring how blockchain could help secure the global wood supply chain. In October 2020, the organization announced ForesTrust, a collaboration with IBM to create the ForesTrust Blockchain Network, which will be used to “track wood and wood fiber from the forest to the consumer.” The initiative aims to promote trust in the international trade of lumber and give transparency into the origins of imported lumber.

To protect natural resources like forests, startup Veridium Labs is developing a “blockchain-based carbon credit and natural capital marketplace” to make the process of purchasing carbon credits, used to offset an individual or corporation’s carbon footprint, simpler. The company tokenizes carbon credits so companies can more easily, and transparently, acquire and exchange them.


Mining is being disrupted by blockchain technology

Blockchain could be a transformative force for the mining industry, which requires the coordination and cooperation of many different intermediaries with different incentives. Moreover, the industry has been late to transition from paper-based processes, resulting in a lack of data transparency that has made it difficult to address issues like fraud and unsafe worker conditions. Blockchain could help track the path metals and minerals take from mine to manufacturer, improving collaboration and traceability up the supply chain.

Companies like Ford and LG Chem are deploying IBM’s blockchain platform to track cobalt — used in lithium-ion batteries — mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Also collaborating with IBM is Canada-based MineHub Technologies, which is building a blockchain-based platform to digitize much of the paper-based procedures that are part of the mining supply chain.

Meanwhile, diamond group De Beers is developing a a blockchain-based traceability solution for the diamond industry, called Tracr, which will tag and track diamonds from the mine to the buyer. Major diamond producers like Alrosa have joined the pilot.

The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Mining and Metals Blockchain Initiative released in December 2020 a proof of concept for its blockchain-based Carbon Tracing Platform, which aims to ensure the “traceability of emissions from mine to the final product.” Seven mining and metals companies have joined the project.

The regulatory environment for mining is helping push responsible sourcing as well. In January 2021, the EU Conflict Minerals Regulation came into effect. The regulation requires that EU importers of tin, tungsten, tantalum, and gold (3TG) only source the minerals from responsible and conflict-free sources, as the trade of 3TG has been linked to financing armed conflict as well as force labor. Blockchain solutions could be key to meeting the regulation’s supply chain visibility requirements.

Education, communication, & information services

Education & academia

Education and academia are being disrupted by blockchain technology

By nature, academic credentials must be universally recognized and verifiable. In both the primary/secondary schooling and university environments, verifying academic credentials remains largely a manual process (heavy on paper documentation and case-by-case checking).

Deploying blockchain solutions in education could streamline verification procedures, thereby reducing fraudulent claims of unearned educational credits.

Sony Global Education, for example, has developed an educational platform in partnership with IBM that uses blockchain to secure and share student records.

In 2016, Learning Machine collaborated with MIT Media Lab to launch the Blockcerts toolset, which provides an open infrastructure for academic credentials on the blockchain. In 2020, the company was acquired by Hyland Credentials, which provides a blockchain-based system for issuing and verifying digital credentials.

Messaging apps

Messaging apps are being disrupted by blockchain technology

A number of messaging platforms are integrating blockchain- and crypto-related capabilities into their apps to enhance user security and privacy.

Status bills itself as a “privacy-first messenger.” The open-source platform enables peer-to-peer messaging based on the Ethereum blockchain, removing “surveilling third parties.”

Signal, a popular encrypted message service, is reportedly planning to expand into cryptocurrency payments.

These apps are operating in an uncertain regulatory environment.

For example, encrypted messaging app Telegram raised $1.7B from private investors before canceling the public sale of its planned $1.2B initial coin offering (ICO). Around a year later, the company launched the test client for its blockchain-based TON (Telegram Open Network). However, in May 2020, Telegram announced it would discontinue the project following unresolved negotiations with the SEC.


Publishing is being disrupted by blockchain technology

Blockchain could have multiple applications in the publishing industry, from breaking into the industry to rights management to piracy.

Currently, the industry is controlled by a small group of publishers, which makes it difficult for new and unrecognized writers to break in. New platforms are emerging to level the playing field for writers and encourage collaboration among authors, editors, translators, and publishers.

Bookchain, a project from Montreal-based startup Scenaraex, is an Ethereum-based publishing platform for e-books. Authors and publishers can upload files to the platform and configure a smart contract for each that governs how the book can be accessed and priced. The platform enables authors to bypass third-party sellers and transact directly with readers as well as track where each of their e-books lives in real-time. Readers are also given full rights to the books once purchased.

Latvia-based Publica, meanwhile, is looking to crowdsource the book financing process using smart contracts. On the platform, authors can sell tokens to fund their project before they start — a “book ICO,” as Publica calls it. Once the book is finished and published on the company’s blockchain-based platform, it becomes available to supporters who hold tokens.


Libraries are being disrupted by blockchain technology

In December 2017, San José State University’s School of Information received a $100K grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to fund a year-long project exploring the potential of blockchain technology for information services.

So far, the potential uses for blockchain in libraries include helping libraries expand their services by building an enhanced metadata archive, developing a protocol for supporting community-based collections, and facilitating more effective management of digital rights.

Sandra Hirsh and Susan Alman’s work at SJSU caught the attention of the American Library Association’s Center for the Future of Libraries. They worked with the ALA on a book project involving case studies of how blockchain is affecting libraries and what will be accomplished in the future. In November 2019, the book was published.


Music/entertainment rights & IP

Music is being disrupted by blockchain technology

Entertainment entrepreneurs are turning to blockchain technology to make content sharing fairer for creators using smart contracts, whereby the revenue on purchases of creative work can be automatically disseminated according to pre-determined licensing agreements.

Muzika, a blockchain-based music streaming platform, partnered with Binance, a crypto-exchange network, to try to help independent artists make money from their listeners. Muzika has stated that it plans to give 90% of revenue to the artists.

In 2017, Spotify acquired blockchain startup Mediachain, which had been developing a “decentralized media library,” to better identify the rights holders of songs on Spotify’s platform for royalties payments.

UK-based blockchain startup JAAK also has plans to work with music rights holders and other entertainment industry stakeholders. JAAK, which provides an operating system for content, is developing a platform that allows media owners to convert their repository of media, metadata, and rights into “smart content” that can self-execute licensing transactions on the Ethereum blockchain.

Video streaming

Video streaming is being disrupted by blockchain technology

Blockchain could help dramatically reduce the cost of video traffic by decentralizing video encoding, storage, and content distribution. This could disrupt Netflix, YouTube, and other players in the video distribution ecosystem.

The VideoCoin Network is already working toward freeing up this capital. The decentralized network provides cloud video infrastructure — encoding, storage, and distribution — in the form of a peer-to-peer algorithmic market. It runs on a new blockchain where clients spend VideoCoins to rent these services.

Livepeer is another decentralized network, built on the Ethereum blockchain, that allows users to share live videos with their peers. Users can earn Livepeer Tokens by performing video transcoding.


Gaming is being disrupted by blockchain technology

Online gaming continues to see expansive growth and is now considered a competitive sport, with coveted titles to win, major cash prizes, and even a black market.

Blockchain technology enables gamers to have a more even playing field for competing, getting rewarded, and exchanging assets across digital universes. Through blockchain, digital tokens can be securely exchanged for cryptocurrency without third-party investment.

Through a blockchain’s distributed ledger, gamers can use one perfected character or set of skills and items across digital worlds. This means they can earn rewards more quickly, then exchange them through one decentralized source.

These opportunities have already popped up. The Huntercoin project, launched in 2014 and delisted in 2019, was a gaming ecosystem in which players earned in-house cryptocurrency rewards (in this case, HUC coin). For eSports and sports betting, there was UnikoinGold until it was retired in 2020 due to regulatory constraints. Enjin Coin, an Ethereum-based cryptocurrency, backs over 1B digital assets in games stored on a blockchain that can be traded and sold between users. With a decentralized blockchain base, gaming platforms can facilitate more secure and transparent money exchanges.

Sports management

Sports management is being disrupted by blockchain technologyInvesting in athletes has generally been the purview of sports management agencies and corporations, but blockchain could decentralize the process of funding athletes by democratizing fans’ ability to have a financial stake in the future of tomorrow’s sports stars.

The concept of using the blockchain to invest in athletes (and earn returns) has not been tried on any significant scale. Yet at least one organization, The Jetcoin Institute, has promoted the idea of fans using cybercurrency — in this case, “Jetcoins” — to invest in their favorite athletes and receive small a portion of the athlete’s future earnings (as well as VIP events, seat upgrades, and so on).

Jetcoin has experimented with this approach in a partnership with the Hellas Verona soccer team in Italy, among others.


Gambling is being disrupted by blockchain technology

Online gambling has seen significant growth over the past few years. But some of its core issues — namely a huge gap in transparency — haven’t yet been solved.

Introducing blockchain technology can help establish transparency and build trust between a business and its consumers. The technology helps ensure fair games: records can’t be manipulated on the ledger, so there’s no such thing as “the house always wins.” Sites like Wagerr play on the idea of “trustless betting,” meaning that the system is so decentralized, you don’t need trust.

Decentralization makes gambling more universally accessible and reliably balances costs for online casinos. Plus, it enables some level anonymity, which is important for many gamblers. Sites that require too much documentation and verification hinder people from playing and could be seen as good targets for hackers.


Art is being disrupted by blockchain technology

The art industry has already begun adopting blockchain and tokenization as a way to increase global access to the art market and reduce transaction costs.

In July 2018, London gallery Dadiani Fine Art partnered with art investment blockchain platform Maecenas to sell fractional stakes in Andy Warhol’s “14 Electric Chairs.” The auction was run using a smart contract on the Ethereum network.

Another example is blockchain company Artory, which offers a public registry to track histories, provenance, and archival material for art pieces. It raised $7.3M in its Series A funding round in April 2019 from 2020 Ventures and Hasso Plattner Capital.

In the digital art world, nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, are being used to certify the ownership of individual works of art. For example, the artist Beeple uses NFTs, which are based on blockchain tech, to create a unique signature for each piece of art he sells, enabling him to track each work, earn royalty payments, and avoid forgeries.


In our digital world where image theft is often a two-click process, photographers can have a difficult time getting paid royalties for their work.

YouPic is developing a “decentralized photography platform” where photographers can securely register and license their images using smart contracts. Through the platform, photographers can get paid by customers directly, avoiding the need for brokers and their commissions.

Photochain uses blockchain tech to store licensing and copyright information for stock images related to the medical and science industries. The company claims to charge photographers a commission lower than that of the rest of the industry while enabling content providers to “have full control over the price, copyright and licensing of their images” for sale on the company’s platform.


Cloud computing & storage

Cloud computing and storage are being disrupted by blockchain technology

Cloud services require vast computational resources and data storage capacity, which can be inefficient when it comes to launching IoT products. Blockchain technology can help facilitate more decentralized cloud services, increasing connectivity, security, and computational power.

For example, Salesforce, which provides cloud solutions for businesses, has launched Salesforce Blockchain. The product builds on the CRM software Salesforce is known for with smart contracts and blockchain-based data sharing.

Enterprises that offer cloud storage often secure customers’ data in a centralized server, which can mean increased network vulnerability from attacks by hackers. Blockchain cloud storage solutions allow storage to be decentralized — and therefore less prone to attacks that can cause systemic damage and widespread data loss.

Dubbed the “Airbnb for file storage,” Filecoin is a high-profile crypto project that rewards the hosting of files. This could help create a decentralized version of S3 from Amazon Web Services.

The company behind it, Protocol Labs, has garnered investment from Union Square Ventures, Naval Ravikant, and the Winklevosses, among a number of prominent names. But Filecoin is just one of many projects in this area, and other token names in storage include Storj and Siacoin.

Storj offers a blockchain-enabled cloud storage network to improve security and lower the transaction costs of storing information in the cloud. Storj users can also rent out their unused digital storage space in a peer-to-peer manner, potentially creating a new market for crowdsourced cloud storage capacity.

Internet identity & DNS

Internet identity and DNS are being disrupted by blockchain technology

In the current web, it’s difficult to establish your true identity, and your personal information lives on company servers for apps you use with little inter-operability (even using Facebook as a log-in only gets you so far). Platforms like Serto (formerly uPort) think there’s a future where your identity can be easily carried with you around the internet.

IBM offers a blockchain-enabled identity management tool called IBM Verify Credentials. The decentralized system allows certain trusted organizations to issue credentials to users, who can then use the credentials to prove their identities to other organizations, enhancing personal privacy and streamlining the verification process.

Internet advertising

Internet advertising is being disrupted by blockchain technology

The internet as we know it emerged with ad hoc solutions for advertising. In aggregate, ads add tons of mobile data usage to loading web pages, and both advertisers and consumers suffer from any lack of protocols.

In 2017, Brave crowdfunded $35M in 30 seconds during its Basic Attention Token (BAT) ICO, geared toward compensating advertisers and users. Instead of using a middleman like Google or Facebook’s ad arm, advertisers will list directly onto Brave’s blockchain-based browser. Users who opt in receive fewer, but better targeted ads without the malware. And advertisers get better data on their spending.

Lead generation platform Snovio is another option that lets people sell their personal data and gain SNOV tokens.

Human resources

HR is being disrupted by blockchain technology

Conducting background checks and verifying employment histories can be time-consuming, highly manual tasks for human resources professionals.

If employment and criminal records were stored in a blockchain ledger (and thus free from the possibility of falsification), HR professionals could streamline the vetting process and move hiring processes forward more quickly.

Chronobank is one blockchain project aimed at disrupting the HR/recruitment industry, with a specific focus on improving short-term recruitment for on-demand jobs (in cleaning, warehousing, e-commerce, and so on). The startup aims to use blockchain to make it easier for individuals to find work on the fly and be rewarded for their labor through a decentralized framework via cryptocurrency, without the involvement of traditional financial institutions.

Once a person is hired, employee engagement becomes a big part of people management — and blockchain could play a role. For example, eXo Rewards uses cryptocurrency and a blockchain wallet to gamify and incentivize employees. Colleagues can send recognition to one another in the form of tokens, which can be used in a company marketplace on different goods and services.

Business & corporate governance

Business are corporate governance are being disrupted by blockchain technology

The benefits of using blockchain for smart contracts and verifiable transactions can also be applied toward making business accounting more transparent. The Boardroom app, for example, provides a governance framework and app enabling companies to manage smart contracts on the public and permissioned Ethereum blockchains.

The app provides an administrative system for organizations to ensure smart contracts are executed according to rules encoded on the blockchain (or to update the rules themselves). Boards can also use the app for shareholder voting by proxy and collaborative proposal management.

Aragon is going even further, using blockchain to “disintermediate the creation and maintenance of companies and other organizational structures.” Believing that decentralized organizations can solve the world’s worst problems, Aragon is developing tools to help companies use blockchain to manage their entire global workforce.

The company sees blockchain as a tool to welcome more employees and contractors from developing countries into North American and European businesses.

ForecastingForecasting is being disrupted by blockchain technology

As more industries embrace blockchain in a holistic way, the research, analysis, consulting, and forecasting industries could also be shaken up by the technology: with an unshakably accurate transaction record supporting their data analysis, forecasting operations will have a stronger foundation for using machine learning algorithms to cultivate targeted predictions and insights.

Even now, blockchain is creating a new “predictions market.” Augur, built on the Ethereum blockchain, allows users to forecast events and be rewarded for predicting them correctly.


Cannabis is being disrupted by blockchain technology

After legalization of marijuana in Canada, and growing support for legalization across the US, the cannabis industry is reaping big investments in tech and research.

The legalized cannabis industry is likely to be tightly regulated and could benefit from a transparent and secure system for tracking production and distribution. Blockchain technology could provide a record of product movement from farm to dispensary, helping to boost safety and regulatory compliance.

Mile High Labs, a producer and supplier of CBD products, partnered with to create a blockchain-tracked supply chain for the cannabis industry. Beyond supply chains, Mile High Labs is also interested in using the ledger technology for regulation and compliance.

IBM has also proposed blockchain technology as a way for governments to control the source and sale of cannabis.


Charity is being disrupted by blockchain technologyFor those making charitable donations, blockchain provides the ability to precisely track where your donations are going, when they arrived, and whose hands they ended up in.

From there, blockchain can deliver the accountability and transparency to address the perennial complaints around charitable donations — including the organizational inefficiency (or even financial misconduct) that can prevent money from reaching those it was meant for.

Bitcoin-based charities like the BitGive Foundation use a secure and transparent distributed ledger to give donors greater visibility into fund receipt and use.

The company has also launched GiveTrack, a blockchain-based multidimensional donation platform that provides the ability to transfer, track, and provide a permanent record of charitable financial transactions across the globe. By leveraging GiveTrack, charities can drive stronger trust with donors.