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How are businesses using blockchain right now?

by Esme Learning

How are businesses using blockchain right now?

Distributing funds to refugees in a war zone,  making sure an ingredient isn’t responsible for deforestation, verifying someone is properly vaccinated – blockchain can do all that.

At a time when work and data are becoming increasingly more distributed,blockchain is your tamper-proof single source of truth

Its numerous benefits include greater transparency, easier traceability and more accuracy than conventional technologies. As Martha Bennett, VP of Forrester Research, says, "A blockchain record is almost impossible to falsify and this ecosystem provides a much more equitable way of collaboration."

This technology’s characteristic immutability has garnered a high level of trust among its users. Hence, there’s a growing demand for blockchain technology in financial transactions, data sharing and identity management. 

From secure transfer of medical records to fully visible supply chains, here's a look at how various companies use blockchain.

Blockchain in Retail  

In a food-loving country like France, knowing the provenance of what you eat is practically a hobby. French supermarket chain Carrefour uses IBM Blockchain and Hyperledger Fabric to track 30 product lines, from Norwegian salmon to Perigord cheese. These products come fitted with a QR code that customers can scan to learn about their origins.  Carrefour has seen an increase in sales of these items and plans to expand blockchain tracking to 100 product lines by 2022. 

Blockchain in Luxury 

How would you like to buy a luxury watch and find out it's a fake? Unfortunately, counterfeiting is rampant in the luxury goods market. To fight back, luxury-goods conglomerate LVMH is using AURAQuorum and Ethereum to track products. Working with brands such as Prada, Cartier and Bulgari, the platform has registered nearly 10 million luxury products.

Blockchain in Sports

Remember trading cards? Of course, there’s a digital avatar for that. The NBA’s Top Shotmarketplace is using Flow blockchain to sell “moments.” Over 400,000 have been sold, with the most expensive one – featuring a LeBron James block – trading for $100,000. 

Blockchain in Pharmaceutical

Imagine seeing a recall notice for a medication you were prescribed. The FDA issues an average of 4,500 recalls of drugs and medical equipment every year. Pharma giant Novartis is working with Merck and the Polytechnic University of Madrid to prevent incorrect information on prescription inserts. The drugmaker uses Hyperledger Fabric, Corda and other blockchain platforms to collect real-time information from manufacturers. Novartis is also a member of PharmaLedger, a blockchain consortium in the EU that’s using the technology to combat counterfeit and blackmarket medicines. 

Blockchain in Fashion

The textile industry is one of the worst global warming culprits, but blockchain platform Green Track aims to change that. It tracks fabric products through the manufacturing cycle to ensure that they come from sustainable forests.  Green Track now has over 250 supply chain partners, including Walmart and Marks & Spencer.

Blockchain in Insurance 

On a good day, the insurance industry is a giant ball of red tape. Resolving claims and determining who’s responsible for paying them is generally a months-long process. State Farm and insurer USAA mailed each other an average of 200+ cheques a day. But since they joined the Subrogation Net Settlement blockchain platform in 2020, they cut down the cheque exchanges by 80%.

Blockchain applications are spreading like wildfire. Finance, energy, telecom, venture capital, automotive, manufacturing and logistics are some of its biggest proponents. Learn more about how this technology continues to drive innovation in our Oxford Blockchain Strategy Programme.
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