In an earlier article we discussed how, despite the many upsides of adopting blockchain in various sectors of government, some countries are hesitant to implement it. Countries such as Estonia, Slovenia, and perhaps, in the near future, even North Korea, are eyeing blockchain as a ticket to increased competence, better organization, heightened security, and fluidity in the business of governance and finance.
Having covered how a blockchain databank could revolutionize the way civic organizations and municipalities approach monitoring population fluctuations, migration patterns, and, enhance financial inclusion in difficult to reach regions, here are a few more ways in which an encrypted public ledger could alter the way certain other sectors operate:
- Precious gem and diamond industry
The crisis of blood diamond in Sierra Leone is well known. In fact, the world of crime and precious stones have been inextricably entangled throughout recorded history. Unlike cash currency which is mandatorily registered with a legitimate central authority, mined gemstones have had the advantage of not being assigned any code of identification. This has made them the currency of choice for circulating in the underworld, and is used by criminals to make illegal payments and transactions.
Blockchain, in conjunction with advanced laser technology, facilitates the marking of individual gemstones or sets of gemstones with unique identification codes. The registration details of these assets can then be stored in the highly secure public ledger, and its movement tracked in real time, mitigating the chances of them being used for illegal trade.
- Healthcare and medical research:
In most cases, people from rural regions have to travel miles to reach hospitals and health care centres, and, if unfortunately, they forget to carry test reports, prescriptions, or any other relevant documents, they are denied the sought medical service. A repository built on a blockchain network would nullify all chances of such a mishap, considering that the hospital’s administrative staff would have access to every patient’s medical history.
Data could also be pulled from this digitized public ledger by laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, and universities, for research.
- Crime control:
Companies related to weapons and firearms in the US such as Blocksafe, in collaboration with HashCash, are using blockchain to maintain a distributed ledger with the details of guns and their owners, ammunition, and accessories. This ledger is constantly updated and tracks the registered firearm from the factory to the consumer, and keeps a tab on how frequently it is used. This reduces the chances of smuggling weapons, and preventing gun related violence.
This concept would be useful in countries that often experience disruption of civic life due to the actions of rebel factions, gangs, or simply independant gun crimes encouraged by the ease with which guns can be purchased and disposed. The untraceability of the perpetrators make the problem worse.