Blockchain technology has been disrupting industries for several years now, and it has shown no signs of slowing down. While its potential in traditional areas like finance, healthcare, and supply chain management is well-known, there are also several unusual use cases for blockchain that could emerge in 2023.
In this article, we’ll explore four unusual blockchain use cases that could make a significant impact in the coming years.
1. Digital identity verification
One potential use case for blockchain is digital identity verification. By creating a decentralized and protected digital identity verification system, blockchain technology eliminates the need for a centralized authority and ensures that user data remains secure and private. The success of blockchain-powered digital identity verification systems is proven by the fact that the total market size for global digital identity solutions is expected to hit $49 billion by 2026.
Aside from improving overall private and business data security, the digital identity verification technology could be especially useful for individuals without government-issued identification, such as refugees or people living in developing countries.
2. Decentralized energy grids
Another potential use case for blockchain is the creation of decentralized energy grids. By using blockchain-based smart contracts, users could sell excess energy to others on the grid, creating a peer-to-peer energy marketplace. Decentralized energy grids could also help to reduce the reliance on traditional power grids, which are vulnerable to outages and cyber attacks.
Back in 2019, an IBM research noted how using a decentralized system makes grids more resistant to system failures — if a part of such a system is compromised, it won’t affect the work of the rest of the grid. This autonomous technology could be especially useful in developing countries or remote areas where traditional energy infrastructure is lacking.
3. Decentralized Autonomous Organizations
Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) are organizations that operate entirely on the blockchain, using smart contracts to govern their operations. These organizations are typically owned and controlled by their members, who vote on important decisions such as budget allocation and project direction.
While those organizations are still at their infancy stage, they have a high potential for creating decentralized, community-owned businesses and organizations, where decisions are made transparently and democratically — which would be extremely important in the Fifth Industrial Revolution.
The presence and development of DAOs is the predecessor for new models of governance and ownership that are more equitable and democratic, creating new opportunities for more transparent, trust-based and community-managed relationships.
4. Voting systems
Finally, blockchain technology could be used to create secure, tamper-proof voting systems. With blockchain-based voting systems, every vote would be recorded on the blockchain, ensuring that the results are transparent and cannot be altered or manipulated. This could help to reduce the risk of electoral fraud, which has become a significant issue in many countries.
As the participation of blockchain in voting systems is expected to considerably grow by 2028, we could see more governments experimenting with blockchain-based voting systems, especially for local and regional elections.
In conclusion, blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize many industries, including some unexpected ones.
- Humanitarian logistics. Blockchain-based digital identity verification solutions allow organizations to provide better assistance to refugees and provide people in developing countries with new ways of securing their identity for interacting with international companies and communities.
- Using blockchain technology enables organizations to create more autonomous power grids that can continue operating even if part of the system is damaged.
- Building voting systems on blockchain platforms allows to potentially reduce the risk of election fraud and introduce faster and reliable ways to register and count votes.
- The emergence of decentralized autonomous organizations introduces new community-managed business models that are dedicated to more fair decision-making and human-centered policies.
In 2023, we could see more companies and organizations experimenting with blockchain-based solutions, resulting in innovative solutions that can change nearly every aspect of our everyday lives.