As cryptocurrencies and NFTs are becoming household names, so is the blockchain. Originally tied to Bitcoin, the blockchain is becoming its own technological powerhouse altogether. Even more so than crypto and NFTs, the blockchain is gaining popularity amongst massive mainstream companies. Its ability to serve as a safe and secure digital distributed ledger has proven to be valuable for businesses. Though the blockchain is already being used by many of the biggest companies of our time, we are only scratching the surface of what it can do. While we wait to see what is in store for the blockchain’s future, let’s take a look into what companies are using the blockchain and how they’re using it.
Unsurprisingly, tech companies are taking a serious look into what the blockchain has to offer. As early as 2019, Google was suggesting that it sees a use for integrating blockchain technology with its existing internet and cloud infrastructure. Google even worked with Ethereum on this specific project, showing that they were truly dedicated to the blockchain. Since then Google has continued to show its interest in the area via its partnerships with Theta Labs and Dapper, as well as their investment in Blockchain.com.
Facebook is also trying to get in on the blockchain. They recently rebranded to Meta Platforms, a move that shows their intent to move into the greater crypto space. They have already started working on their own cryptocurrency called Diem, as well as a wallet called Novi that focuses on cross-border money transfers. They also have plans to expand into the gaming world with blockchain technology and NFTs. With their focus on the metaverse at large, Meta Platforms is clearly interested in becoming a big player in all things blockchain.
Samsung is yet another big tech company that sees the potential advantage the blockchain has to offer. They have multiple ongoing projects related to the blockchain that show the company has serious intent to use the technology. Samsung’s Blockchain Keystore is a gateway through which users can access decentralized applications (dApps), serving as an easy and accessible way for smartphone users to access the blockchain. Samsung also has a blockchain wallet they created in partnership with Gemini. And for the more security-minded crypto enthusiasts, they have added hardware wallet functionality to their blockchain wallet apps. Lastly, Samsung’s blockchain is being used in South Korea as a way for banks to verify the identity of their account holders. The program already has 235,000 users and is branching out into insurance services as well.
However, it’s not just tech companies who are seeing the advantages of utilizing the blockchain. BMW for example has started using the blockchain. While you might think they would integrate it into their vehicles somehow, they are not (yet at least). They are actually using a blockchain called PartChain in their supply chains. Automotive supply chains are dizzyingly complex and complicated. There are tons of parties involved with data typically stored individually by each party. Lots of time has to be tracking components’ route or source. Their blockchain seeks to simplify this and make the process more efficient by enabling secure, easy to access data across all aspects of the supply chain. Finding a specific component’s source could now only take a few seconds with the blockchain. Tesla is also doing something similar, utilizing the blockchain to make their supply chains more efficient. Both companies also have other blockchain-related projects that are ongoing, proving their commitment to this technology.
Similarly, Walmart is trying to use the blockchain in its supply chains. They partnered with IBM to create the IBM Food Trust blockchain which serves to track food supply chains. Walmart is encouraging all of its suppliers of farmed goods to track their products with the Food Trust blockchain. As with BMW and Tesla, this blockchain helps Walmart in many ways. It makes falsifying documents incredibly difficult due to the public nature of records. It allows them to make their supply chain more efficient by easily being able to trace products. It makes data sharing across all parties involved much easier and quicker. It also offers benefits as a consumer. Imagine being able to pick up a bunch of bananas, scan them, and then see what farm they came from, when they were harvested, how far they’ve been shipped, etc. While this doesn’t exist yet, this sort of blockchain implementation could give consumers significantly more knowledge about the food they’re purchasing.
The blockchain will continue to grow, being used by more and more companies for a variety of purposes. And as it becomes a more common tool for large and small businesses alike to use, the technology will continue to improve. This cycle will continue, and the blockchain will only get more and more powerful, useful, and efficient. It seems almost inevitable at this point that the blockchain will become an integral part of most businesses. Those who refuse to adopt it will be left behind, so it’s best to start researching it now and understand the technology that will become ubiquitous in the future.