The evidence of dramatic change is all around us and it’s happening at exponential speed. Previous industrial revolutions liberated humankind from animal power, made mass production possible and brought digital capabilities to billions of people. This Fourth Industrial Revolution is, however, fundamentally different. It is characterized by a range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, impacting all disciplines, economies and industries.
The travel industry relies upon different companies passing information between one another. For example, travel agents need to pass customer details on to flight companies and hotels, while the personal belongings of travellers are often passed between companies and tracked too. Blockchain can make accessing and storing important information easier and more reliable, because responsibility for storing it is shared across the whole network. Of course, financial transactions are a vital part of the travel industry too, and blockchain technology has the capacity to not only simplify, but also secure payments. This is especially true when dealing with overseas payments. As a consequence of this, blockchain has the potential to improve the level of trust among all parties.
Privacy is a basic human right, and people who say “It’s dead—get over it” are deeply misinformed. It’s the foundation of a free society. Imagine each of us having our own identity in a black box on the blockchain. When you go to do a transaction, it gives away a shred of information required to do that transaction and it collects data. You get to keep your data and monetize it if you want, or not. This could be the foundation of a whole new era whereby our basic right to privacy is protected. Considering that blockchain was created to enable safer transactions between parties, it’s no wonder that it’s enabling better security all across the web. There are already many blockchain applications across the web that enable safer data storing. No one wants their personal data – name, social security number, credit card numbers and so on – stolen.
Uber is just a software tool, they don’t own any cars, and are now the biggest taxi (and food delivery) company in the world. Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don’t own any properties. Blockchain can create a more efficient and prosperous world where people can connect with each other without the need for intermediaries. Companies can utilize the blockchain technology to provide a more transparent, trustworthy, and efficient service to the consumer.
To ensure trust, a lot of paperwork needs to be checked and managed by multiple entities, including government agencies, banks, and so on! When it comes to blockchain, you do not have to deal with so many intermediaries. It is a trustless platform. This means that you know what you are doing and what you are getting into. You can verify the owner of a property before making the deal. The agreements are transparent and are tamper-proof. With blockchain, real estate can see many changes, including bringing in a more efficient process with the help of automation. With proper tokenizations, real-world assets can be stored and traded on the blockchain. Tokenization also means that other kinds of information can be stored online, including real estate funds.
Several startups are bringing blockchain-based loyalty tokens to the market, with the idea that it will make it easier for customers to transfer and trade the value in their vouchers across different retailers. Customers can choose to invest their earned value in what they need right now, rather than what they have previously spent money on. Overall this will lead to happier and more satisfied customers.
Banks and credit card companies charge around $2 trillion a year for providing middle-man services such as clearing payments and fraud-checking. Moving to blockchain systems can effectively automate much of this, bringing down costs. Banks generally hold the payment for a few days before they use the SWIFT messaging system to transfer funds. This is done by banks due to strict rules around foreign money transfers. The wait time also increases more because of the other intermediaries. The solution is blockchain. You can send cryptocurrencies without the need to wait for days for the receiver to receive the payment. Banks are also eager to adopt cryptocurrencies for a huge transfer amount of money. It generally helps them to do bank to bank settlements faster and securely.
I’m optimistic. It feels a lot like the early ’90s to me. You’ve got all the smartest venture capitalists, programmers, business executives, entrepreneurs all over this thing. That’s always a sign that something big is going on. Is it an irrational exuberance? Is this worth making a documentary?