One of the things that continues to be fascinating about blockchain technology is that it is often at work behind the scenes. Blockchains are not particularly consumer-facing at this point, in that the vast majority of people don’t yet think to engage with them, or even fully understand their benefits.
This doesn’t mean, however, that they’re not making life a little better for consumers already. In various behind-the-scenes ways, blockchain concepts and applications are already having an impact on people across various industries and activities.
1. Supply Chain Assistance
This may well be the biggest way in which blockchain technology is already impacting our lives, and will continue to do so in the future. Essentially, through blockchain’s ability to track inventories, record transactions and shipment details, monitor individual products, and even gather and share data with human managers, it can enable greater supply chain efficiency than ever before.
This is the ultimate behind-the-scenes benefit in a sense, because while most of us, as consumers, are not consciously concerned with supply chain efficiency, it affects what’s available to us, and how conveniently we can get our hands on it. Blockchain tech can effectively ensure that we inch toward a world in which we always have access to whatever we want, at least as regards shopping.
2. Stock Photo Supply
Stock photo supply is a fairly specific category or idea to mention, but it’s actually one that poses a number of difficulties in a traditional online market. Sites selling stock photos tend to take a huge cut, which drives up prices for consumers and drains would-be earnings from photographers. Additionally, photo rights can be very hard for photographers to maintain, and for consumers to adhere to, via traditional selling practices.
The blockchain can help to make everything more direct and more clearly defined, lowering prices for consumers and helping photographers maximize earnings at the same time, and keeping things clear regarding rights. One blockchain system in particular – Photochain – is already doing this.
3. Streamlined Betting
The secret is out that cryptocurrency-based betting is on the rise online. Most major casino and betting platforms still don’t use it, but a growing number are in fact turning to crypto as a means of reassuring customers new and old about security and transparency. However, we’re also seeing the blockchain being put to use in other ways in the same industries.
Basically, a public ledger displaying smart contract activity has the ability to randomize results and establish fair outcomes in a way that consumers can be more confident in. This technology is in its infancy, but it can add a layer of both transparency and authenticity to virtually any betting practice online, ultimately affecting millions and millions of people.
4. Customer Service
This may or may not be a behind-the-scenes practice when it’s all said and done, but the idea is that blockchain technology can facilitate automated customer service for businesses with online components.
Right now, your best bet when you need customer service online is to talk to a chat bot, or occasionally a real person, or else to email or send out a tweet with your inquiry. With blockchain-enabled customer service though, smart contracts can effectively ensure that customers get what they want in the quickest and clearest way possible.