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Practical examples of how blockchain technology has been used in insurance, banking, and travel

 Blockchain technology promises to revolutionize many aspects of our lives and how we conduct business, and inevitably you have come across many topics and articles that say that blockchain technology will bring about a digital revolution that is no less than what the internet has brought about before.

But despite the great promises that blockchain technology holds, it is still a bit weak on the ground, and this makes it difficult for companies to envision how to implement the technology in the future.

In this article, we'll look at three industries that are realizing tangible benefits from blockchain technology, and which have the potential to lead other industries.

Before that, we know blockchain technology, which is basically a method of storing data.

Putting it and defining it in more technical terms, it can be said that blockchain is a form of open, distributed ledger (like a database), in which data is distributed (duplicated) across many computers.

The ledger may be decentralized (i.e. without a single central administrator), and information can be authenticated via a peer-to-peer system.

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are perhaps the most famous example of blockchain technology in the real world.

But almost anything can be stored on a blockchain, from financial transactions and contracts to supply chain information and medical data.

In theory, any process of recording, moderating, and verifying information can be enhanced by blockchain technology.

Practical applications of blockchain technology:

It might seem like there has been a lot of hype around blockchain for several years without the technology really taking off.

But this is somewhat unfair.

It is important to remember that this technology is still in its infancy, like the early days of the internet, and we do not yet know the true size of the transformation that blockchain technology may bring.

However, many industries are investing heavily in blockchain technology and are showing how blockchain can be used very practically across a wide range of sectors, most notably:

Blockchain and insurance:

We already know from Bitcoin that blockchain is great at facilitating transactions, but it can also be used to formalize business relationships through smart contracts.

This promises to revolutionize the insurance industry by helping to automate processes, streamline claims simplification, and reduce insurance fraud.

For example, “Insurwave” is a blockchain-based marine insurance platform, the platform as a result of cooperation between companies such as “A.P. Moller-Maersk Group, ACORD and Microsoft, the platform was expected to facilitate 500,000 automated transactions and deal with risks for more than 1,000 merchant ships in the first 12 months.

Insurwave provides vital, real-time information to insurers and the insured, including vessel location, condition, and safety risks.

So if the ship enters a high risk area, the system detects this and puts it into insurance accounts.

In another example, insurance company Nationwide is experimenting with a proof-of-insurance blockchain solution called "RiskBlock" that will allow law enforcement and other insurers to verify insurance coverage in real time.

Blockchain and Banking:

With blockchain’s reputation for making secure transactions easy, it stands to reason that the banking industry is exploring many practical uses of blockchain.

In particular, blockchain is being introduced as a method for identity verification and fraud detection, in line with Know Your Customer (KYC) rules.

Blockchain-based startup "Bluzelle" has worked with KMPG and a group of Singapore banks, including HSBC, to develop the KYC platform.

The project demonstrated that not only can blockchain reduce the risk of identity fraud, but it can also reduce costs by 25 to 50 percent, by reducing duplication and providing a clear audit trail.

Elsewhere, Barclays Bank has launched a number of blockchain initiatives to track financial transactions, compliance and reduce fraud, as the bank is so convinced of the benefits of blockchain and has previously described blockchain technology as a new operating system for the planet.

Blockchain and travel:

The travel industry is one of the perfect companions for insurance and banking.

But, if you think about it, blockchain technology could facilitate peer-to-peer transactions that would greatly change the travel industry.

Airbnb's popularity illustrates how consumers are so happy to cut out the middleman and go straight to the hosts for housing.

With blockchain technology, you don't even need an intermediary platform like “Airbnb” to facilitate the transaction, as the blockchain will handle everything.

Perhaps this is why hotel aggregator “GOeureka” is using blockchain to increase transparency and lower costs, by giving users access to 400,000 hotel rooms without broker commission costs.

TUI Group is also investing in blockchain technology, with the ultimate focus on eliminating the need for middlemen like Expedia.

Elsewhere, blockchain is being used to reduce some of the most common problems with travel, such as waiting in line when monitoring passports and customs.

The consulting firm Accenture has teamed up with the World Economic Forum to develop a popular traveler digital identity system.

The blockchain-based system collects and stores personally identifiable information from frequent travelers, helping to improve the data flow between travelers and customs officials, while reducing queue sizes at the airport.

In conclusion, although it may take years for blockchain technology to become popular, these examples demonstrate how blockchain can be used to automate business on the ground, provide better value to customers, and improve data security ...