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CB Insights report features over 50 sectors Blockchain is transforming (beyond just banking)

CB Insights | March 3, 2021

Energy management blockchain - CB Insights report features over 50 sectors Blockchain is transforming (beyond just banking)

The future of blockchain is near and banking isn't the only industry affected.

What began as the basis of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, blockchain technology — essentially a virtual ledger capable of recording and verifying a high volume of digital transactions — is now spreading across a wave of industries.

Blockchain has gone far beyond its beginnings in banking and cryptocurrency: Annual funding to blockchain companies, despite falling from 2018’s record high, more than doubled in 2020 compared to 2017. Annual spending on blockchain solutions will reach nearly $16B by 2023, according to CB Insights’ Market Sizing Tool. Industries from insurance to gaming to cannabis are seeing blockchain applications.

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Bitcoin’s popularity helped demonstrate blockchain’s application in finance, but entrepreneurs have come to believe the tech could transform many more industries. Ultimately, the use cases for a transparent, verifiable register of transaction data are practically endless — especially since blockchains operate through a decentralized platform requiring no central supervision, making them resistant to fraud.

Energy Management

Energy management is another industry that has historically been highly centralized. In the US and UK, to transact in energy one must go through an established power holding company like Duke Energy or National Grid, or deal with a reseller that buys from a big electricity company.

As with other industries, distributed ledgers could minimize (or eliminate) the need for intermediaries. Companies like LO3 Energy are rethinking the traditional energy-exchange process.

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LO3 Energy’s Pando product, which runs on the open-source blockchain platform Energy Web Chain, enables utility companies’ customers to transact in “decentralized energy generation schemes,” effectively allowing people to generate, buy, and sell energy to their neighbors.

Other companies have used blockchain as a path toward providing access to renewable energy, too. For example, 2 major Spanish power companies — Acciona Energy and Iberdrola — are using blockchain to certify that energy is clean by tracking its origins.

Charity

For those making charitable donations, blockchain provides the ability to precisely track where your donations are going, when they arrived, and whose hands they ended up in.

From there, blockchain can deliver the accountability and transparency to address the perennial complaints around charitable donations — including the organizational inefficiency (or even financial misconduct) that can prevent money from reaching those it was meant for.

Bitcoin-based charities like the BitGive Foundation use a secure and transparent distributed ledger to give donors greater visibility into fund receipt and use.

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The company has also launched GiveTrack, a blockchain-based multidimensional donation platform that provides the ability to transfer, track, and provide a permanent record of charitable financial transactions across the globe. By leveraging GiveTrack, charities can drive stronger trust with donors.

Gift Cards and Loyalty Programs

Blockchains can help retailers offering gift cards and loyalty programs to make those systems cheaper and more secure. With fewer middlemen needed to process the issuing of cards and sales transactions, the process of acquiring and using blockchain-reliant gift cards is more efficient and cost-effective.  Similarly, increased levels of fraud prevention enabled by blockchain’s unique verification capability can also save costs and help prohibit illegitimate users from obtaining stolen accounts.

One example of a company working in this space is Loyyal, which is innovating to make loyalty incentives more easily exchangeable across different sectors (think multi-branded “Airline/Retailer/Consumer” rewards) by using blockchain to support and verify their value.

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