A Different Future Awaits with Blockchain

There is a lot of hype surrounding blockchain. It is billed as the great disrupter of financial services and a poster child for financial startups to take on the larger financial cartels.

Not anymore. Recent advances and use cases show that blockchain is no longer about rewiring the financial services industry. It is changing the entire global environment; our world will never be the same. 

Tackling Marketing Ailments

Take Reveel Technologies for example. Jim Schreitmueller, its CEO, told CDOTrends that his company is using blockchain to tackle low ad engagement.

Previous adtech solutions required users to download apps or needed coding experience. Reveel Technologies' does not. Its patent-pending cloud platform allows brands and media outlets to increase engagement by converting interest at the right moment when consumers snap a photo. 

“We create a secondary digital experience. It is a decentralized google lens of media,” Schreitmueller said.

Consumers will be transported to custom landing pages with curated content when they connect with the images. The company is building its platform on the Gems, a decentralized mechanical turk powered by Ethereum.

Papyrus is looking to disrupt digital advertising by creating the Papyrus Blockchain Protocol.

The protocol tackles the scalability and stability challenges that previous blockchain protocols suffered. It uses a B2B model to target the advertising market, but the firm plans to expand it to other use cases soon.

“The central question that blockchain answers is how to coordinate in a transparent manner with non-trusted parties. Regardless of the situation, blockchain acts like a glue binding together different interests,” Abeed Janmohamed, CEO of Papyrus told CDOTrends.

Rethinking Global Supply Chains

Cyber Physical Chain (CPChain) is looking to change the automobile industry works.

"Blockchain technology will revolutionize the linear model of traditional automotive industry chain, forming a consumer-centric flat industrial chain model, which will be more consumer-friendly and trustworthy. In the future, the automobile will be viewed as a smart device carrier in the mobile ecosystem, bringing green, intelligent and efficient mobile travel service," Dr. Long Chengnian, CEO of CPChain told CDOTrends.

His organization is partnering with MOBI that works with companies “accounting for over 70% of global vehicle production in terms of market share.” They include BMW, Bosch, Ford, General Motors, Groupe Renault, ZF, Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Services USA and others.

“I believe that the underlying incentive technology of the blockchain will work with stakeholders in the automotive industry chain to achieve frictionless data sharing and value transfer, thereby facilitating the large-scale application of new technologies such as electrification, networking, intelligence, and sharing, building a new mobile service ecosystem," Dr. Long said.

Battling Censorship and Fake Reviews

Everipedia is using blockchain to do what Wikipedia could not. Essentially, started as a fork of the latter online encyclopedia, the company is using the eos.io platform and its tokens (called IQ tokens) to improve and streamline how content is vetted, edited and approved. Currently, it is the world's largest encyclopedia built on blockchain technology.

Everipedia Co-founder and CEO Theodor Forselius told CDOTrends that the launch of the blockchain platform is "a significant step toward decentralizing global knowledge on the blockchain." The firm is using blockchain to make the body of knowledge “uncensorable [sic].”

To participate, users of the network need to stake their IQ tokens, thereby reducing the pool of IQ tokens publicly available and raising the token price. It makes the project fully autonomous and eliminates the need for advertisements and donations to support it, Everipedia Co-Founder and President Sam Kazemian noted.

Review.Network is taking a similar approach. It is creating a blockchain platform to improve the review and market research industries, calling itself “the Yelp! Of Blockchain.”

"As it stands today, there are two major problems with the review industry – efficacy and transparency…However, thanks to the distributed ledger and AI [artificial intelligence] technologies, we have figured out a way to incentivize reviews – positive and negative – and ensure their accuracy. We also figured out a way to allow brands to tap into our validated reviewer base for market research," Filip Karaicic, CEO and Co-Founder of Review Network said. 

In all these cases, there is a general theme: decentralization.

Many business processes and transactions depend on centralized bodies acting as gatekeepers. Blockchain aims to remove them.

"Blockchain will eventually replace centralized middlemen in any industry if those intermediaries don't continue to provide value," Janmohamed said.

Hurdles Ahead

While the global IT community is speeding toward a blockchain-run world, firms need to be aware of the various speed bumps.

Security is one concern. While the technology itself is inherently secure, firms need to understand how the information is shared on the blockchain, Nelson Petracek, CTO, TIBCO Software said. 

“You need to validate the security of the node, the information put onto the ledger and what information comes out of the ledger. Sometimes, you will be working with people with whom you may cooperate and compete. So, you need to find out what information you want to expose,” he added.

Petracek also argued that the role of intermediaries may diminish but will not be eliminated—especially for private blockchains.

“You will not be able to rid of the centralized body completely. Because if you bring together multiple participants to an enterprise blockchain network, you still need an element of governance and stewardship for the network to operate efficiently,” he said.  

Performance, standards, and interoperability are other concerns firms need to be aware of when taking the blockchain route, noted Petracek.

Future is Not One-Size-Fits-All

Blockchain proponents believe the technology will eventually evolve to make these concerns moot.

“Absolutely – scalability and performance will be non-issues soon. For instance, we feel we’ve solved these issues in advertising with Papyrus,” Janmohamed said.

Does that mean we will see a one-size-fits-all blockchain network in the future? Maybe not.

“One-size-fits-all blockchains struggle with scalability, but a more use-specific proprietary blockchain like ours has many options from a technical perspective,” he said.