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Seven potential uses for Bitcoin's core innovation: the blockchain

Charlotte Jee | June 27, 2016
The technology that underpins bitcoin could be used to support online voting, cloud computing, land registries and more

3. Land registries

Land registries
© Flickr/Hector Abouid

In May 2015 Honduras announced plans to set up a permanent and secure land title record system using the blockchain, developed by US company Factom. This would help to tackle the issue of corrupt officials altering the list of land titles,  according to Factom's president Peter Kirby. Northern Ghana and the Isle of Man are also experimenting with using blockchain for land or company registrations.

4. Recording NASDAQ trades

Recording NASDAQ trades
© iStock/Jeff Hu

NASDAQ, the world's second biggest stock exchange, announced plans to experiment with blockchain technology in July 2015 as a means of recording trades of shares in public firms listed on the NASDAQ stock market. If successful, expect to see it replicated on other exchanges around the world. 

5. Smart contracts

Smart contracts
© Ethereum

Lawyers, watch out: blockchains could be set to shake up your profession, by making it possible to set up binding contracts outside of the traditional legal system. Smart contracts could make it possible to store binding contractual agreements on the blockchain - an idea first pioneered by startup Ethereum launched in 2013. 

6. Cloud storage

Cloud storage
© iStock/D3Damon

Thanks to its decentralised nature, blockchain is being promoted as a possible method to underpin cloud storage systems. As it distributes data across multiple servers, that data will still be secure even in the event of a glitch or attack on one of those servers. Free cloud storage system Tahoe-LAFS has operated on that principle for some time, and startups Storj, Maidsafe and Datacoin are working on a similar offerings.

7. Music payment and licensing

Music payment and licensing
© Flickr/Benedetta Anghileri

Blockchain could underpin instant, transparent transmission of artist royalties, allowing realtime distributions to writers, producers, technology partners and even labels every time a song is played, according to musician Imogen Heap. Heap promised to release her new song Tiny Human via blockchain.

Source: Computerworld UK 


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