The smart city concept has attracted a lot of attention these days. Several countries have already taken initiatives to integrate and implement smart city technologies, connecting everything to the internet using sensors, IoT devices, and other elements. Smart city technology includes the smart-identity smart grid, smart-citizen, smart power, etc. Blockchain-based applications have been proposed for sustainable smart cities [69,70].
Blockchain can also be used in health care technology. Since blockchain can store application-specific data, it can be used for patient’s personal data and health record storage. Smart contracts integrated with blockchain can be used for payment services. This approach would protect the integrity and authenticity of data, provide transparency within the health sector in terms of payment, etc. In sum, it would create a transparent, trustworthy, efficient and reliable health network.
The smart contract consists of coded instructions executed without any human or manual interaction. It can run automatically, in terms of certain protocols. A smart contract provides users the facility to digitize legal conditions and automatize the contract, which is usually done on paper. The concept was first introduced by Nick Szabo, a law scholar and cryptographer . Once a smart contract starts, it cannot be stopped until the specific conditions are fulfilled. The contract is also immutable. Once stored inside blockchain, a smart contract it becomes trustworthy, immutable, and distributed over the network.
Electronic Voting System
Blockchain can also be implemented in electronic voting systems. A blockchain- based e-voting system would be fair and hence, introduce a strong democratic authority to the citizens of a country. All votes cast would be recorded in that immutable ledger. Votes could not be altered without consensus. In a democratic country, people need transparency for every kind of work in the state, especially elections. The 2018 midterm election in Virginia was held using blockchain technology. The event received a lot of hits, according to cybersecurity experts. In the voting procedure, the voters were identified using fingerprints, and then they were given electronic ballot papers. The voting procedure was carried out in a private blockchain environment, and eight nodes were used for the purpose.
Blockchain is a possible solution for creating an immutable, trustworthy, authentic, easily traceable smart ID. Since August 2017, almost 650,000 persecuted Rohingya Muslims who fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh to take shelter, deprived of citizenship and identity, have been enrolled in a pilot project to provide them with digital identities using blockchain. The smart identifiers help them obtain services from the UN and other government bodies, in a transparent manner. Identifications created and managed in blockchain can have a greater impact in e-governance, smart contract-based payment, and blockchain-based health care systems, also.
Cryptocurrency is another technology that uses blockchain. Cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, was introduced in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto. In his paper, he described a peer-to-peer transfer of digital currency. The transaction data was stored in the blocks of blockchain. The data is encrypted with a pair of keys. Each block contains the hash of the previous one, so the smallest change in the previous block causes an enormous change in the hash, which ensures the authenticity and security of the transaction. Nowadays, there are other cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum, Litecoin. Libra, Monero, etc.
Warranty and Insurance Claims
Blockchain also has potential applicability in warranty and insurance claims. Using smart contracts, both vendor and user can benefit when warranty claim issues arise. A warranty will be activated under certain conditions and void otherwise. This condition can be implemented in a smart contract and stored in blockchain, for transparency and trustworthiness. There is no need for human intervention here. Rather than human effort, as in the traditional system, a smart contract can execute warranty procedures in an effective way.
Transparent Supply Chains
A transparent product supply chain can be a reality, using blockchain. This can track products’ minute details throughout the entire shipping process. This would help prevent waste, inefficiency, the illegal transport of unethical products, and fraudu- lence by any means . Even though today’s supply chains can handle large amounts of data, many processes are still reliant on paper. Introducing blockchain in the supply chain could help replace these manual processes and improve record keeping. Blockchain technology in the supply chain could also help improve tracking strategy, inventory management, the supply chain payment process, and even insurance and warranty claim procedures.
Blockchain could potentially be used in document verification in several sectors. In the educational sector, certificates could be verified using blockchain. Moreover, in the corporate sector, blockchain could have potential uses in crucial contract verification, using smart contracts. Document verification has possible uses in immigration, such as medical test report verification. The medical test report requested by an embassy/high commission could be stored in a blockchain and shared with the authorities. This would help immigration authorities to verify whether a report has been altered.