Experts: Blockchain offers more than money transfer solutions

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  • Blockchain technology has other uses aside from instant money transfers and it is set to make the world a better place, experts say
  • The technology can combat electoral fraud
  • Blockchain is not only useful for trading, it can be used for socially conscious projects as well

Apart from making affordable overseas transfer rates possible, blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies also have other “groundbreaking” uses, according to European fintech experts at Raconteur.

This includes fighting electoral fraud by ensuring all votes are not only recorded but can be verified by voters themselves. Blockchain is so versatile that it can also be used for selling electricity through peer-to-peer sales. Blockchain is also being used to reduce the world’s food waste, a project that IBM has been planning for years.

Low-cost money transfers

With the average cost of bank-to-bank transfers now as high as 5.5%, blockchain's uses in sending remittances is said to be “unmatched” because it is inexpensive. Customers do not need to contend with a five-day wait before recipients receive their funds either. Companies such as Ripple have made it easier for traders to get supplies from abroad as well, since they can now transfer money internationally without having to go through a rigorous and “often repetitive” verification process. Remittance giants MoneyGram and Western Union also tested Ripple’s blockchain products in early 2018. The emergence of the technology also prompted fintech TransferGo to offer crypto trading.

Protecting your votes

Blockchain can also fight electoral fraud, analysts say. In fact, a startup registered as Sovereign launched Democracy Earth to increase voter participation. Their solution uses Ethereum as a recordkeeper where tokens are referred to as votes. According to Raconteur, the platform will be available before the end of 2018.

Green energy trading

Aside from ensuring that all votes are counted, blockchain is also being used in green energy trading. The Brooklyn Microgrid in New York City is one example of this new “revolutionary” use of the technology, as green energy producers can now sell their excess energy to the grid. Observers say that peer-to-peer selling of electricity will likely become mainstream if this particular use of blockchain is successful.

Helping the homeless

While the technology is often associated with economics and finance, it can also be used for socially conscious projects as well. This includes helping the homeless. Austin, Texas is piloting a Bloomberg Philanthropies project that does exactly that. The platform reportedly consolidates, verifies, and records information of homeless persons in the area.

Food waste and alleviating world hunger

Technology giant IBM recently launched a food tracking platform that distributes uneaten food to those who are hungry. The technology that runs the platform is blockchain, according to the company. With the world wasting millions of tonnes of food per annum, technology that can redistribute this type of resource will be indispensable as it can alleviate hunger and minimise wastage.

For more information about the newest technology in the remittance and payments industry, follow our magazine. To get better money transfer rates, click here.

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