4 Industries Blockchain Could Transform


The future of blockchain is near and banking isn't the only industry affected. See how accounting, Construction, architecture, & building, real estate, and healthcare 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.


1. Accounting


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.


2. Construction, architecture, & building


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.


3. Real estate


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.


4. Healthcare: Health information exchanges


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.