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Blockchain the Builder

A glance at blockchain solutions to inspire new ideas

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Lido Nation connects people to education about blockchain technology. Whether you are here to invest, help the space grow, or utilize it for your existing endeavors––welcome. This article explores a few industries that have live blockchain use cases. We hope that as you read through these examples, you'll find inspiration in the diversity of ways the immutable ledger can be used.

As you may know, a blockchain is a distributed digital ledger that records transactions efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way. First popularized as part of the digital currency bitcoin, it has grown into many other uses, including tracking ownership and transferring assets or data.

The potential use cases for blockchain are innumerable. However, today, we'll look at a few industries that have taken advantage of the tech and applied it in various ways. Following these examples, we'll talk about Cardano's builder treasury, Project Catalyst (a potential funding source that can help turn your inspirations into real-world use cases).

Industry Observation #1: Automotive

Odometer readings

In 2017, work began testing a permanent blockchain record of odometer readings, eventually meant to be a database that customers can reference when buying a used car. The project, developed by BMW, later became the VerifyCar app on the VeChain Blockchain. The product boasts transparent odometer readings in a market plagued with odometer fraud (currently affecting one in three cars in Europe). To make the tamper-proof blockchain tool even more helpful, developers also plan to add maintenance histories and accident reports.

Tracking for efficiency

Beyond customer information, BMW also began employing blockchain behind the scenes in their parts department. The solution, PartChain, first tested in 2019, aims to eventually allow the company to track all of its parts from raw metal mines to its worldwide network of internal parts warehouses and service facilities. The project enables origin-tracking of any of their components, between their partners, without the risk of data manipulation. If successful, the added efficiency will profit shareholders and lower prices for car buyers. Furthermore, its broader implications on the worldwide automotive and similar markets have the potential to amplify the significance of this work in these early days.

Identity solutions

The car buying process is still a slog through a shallow pool of paperwork. Because of that, Germany's leading car company began working with their government on a self-sovereign identity project to federate drivers' licenses on the blockchain in hopes of ultimately streamlining the buying process. In the short term, the project aims at license verification for ride-sharing and insurance companies; the benefits of minimal friction while maintaining the highest security for the customers also help sellers with a simple solution to drastically decrease identity fraud. A spokesperson for BMW mentioned earlier this year that eventually, they expect buying a car could be as easy as scanning a QR code.

Industry Observation #2: Farming

Tracking for health and cost-saving

Many countries, including the US, lack traceability standards for agricultural products from farm or field to fork, especially when it comes to goods sold directly to restaurants (where the most significant lack of regulation exists). Today, when meat or produce is recalled, the origin is often only traced back to the region level. This means that, at times, we must destroy millions of pounds of a perishable product to quell the potential for further sickness and hospital cases. For this reason, several companies, such as Farm ERP, are working on blockchain solutions that allow anyone to scan a QR code and track such items back to their origin. In a future scenario, farms using the technology will be able to determine what precise semi-loads need to be pulled from restaurant coolers or store shelves. Depending on the level of detail granted by each farm, users won't only be able to find the region their products came from but potentially the exact farm, field, and row.

IoT Devices

Many stories have been told about a person’s health improving over time with the use of a smartwatch. Similarly, smart agriculture was born from using such devices to capture relevant readings on farms. Most recently, many of these have been connected to blockchains to store their data using IoT devices––IoT is short for the internet of things. In smart agriculture, an IoT device might record temperature, humidity, or perhaps the water flow rate in an irrigation system. Using such devices allows farmers to gather data effortlessly, leading to more informed decisions and greater efficiency.

In 2021, the smart agriculture industry reached $6 billion. Due to gaps in supply chain management recently discovered during the pandemic, analysts predict that the number will grow to over $15 billion by 2025. Suffice it to say there is much room for further development, invention, and application for anyone inspired to help bring food production into the twenty-first century.

Industry Observation #3: Fashion

Authenticity

If you haven’t heard a story of someone being sold a knock-off clutch on the street, perhaps you’ve watched a TikTok of a seasoned pro identifying a fake pair of sneakers brought in by someone who claimed: "they're totally real!" If so, it's probably no surprise that authentication solutions are lacking in the fashion industry, a problem responsible for tens of billions of dollars in lost revenue and tax dollars annually. Many luxury brands, including Louis Vuitton and Prada, have begun using blockchain's immutable ledger to address the staggering problem. For current and future products, all that is needed is a simple scan of a QR code or NFC chip embedded in any particular item to authenticate provenance and bring trust to the transactions of pieces using the new tech.

Digital Clothing?

Yes, you read that right: clothing you only wear…on the internet. As odd as this may seem, there appears to be a bright future in non-tangible versions of these designer goods––but where? The metaverse. The metaverse is a concept most recently re-popularized in the blockbuster adaptation of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One (2018). According to the famed narrative, it is a virtual space where users exist inside their own virtual body, donning default or upgraded clothing. Companies such as Nike, Adidas, and Polo are already selling their respective virtual items inside various areas of the metaverse. Though many opportunities exist to make money inside the multiple versions of these virtual spaces (that are assumed to one day be fully connected, as imagined in the crowd-pleasing 2018 film), digital dress is among the most popular concepts being explored. And, of course, ownership, authentication, and transfer of any of these goods take place on––you guessed it––the blockchain.

In the Cardano community, many are awaiting the development of the music festival vibes of ClayNation's upcoming virtual space. Information from their team has been shared on social media that suggests that users will likely be able to design and sell their own fashion items inside the world at some point along the roadmap. For more on that, visit them on Twitter at @claymates. Another such project on Cardano, this time boasting floating land-dome dwellings and bubble jets, is Cornucopias. The world they are working on creating has several elements and can’t possibly be covered in this article. For more info on either, head over to their Twitter pages, or watch any one of several videos on these high-tech spaces on JCrypto’s Youtube channel.

Conclusion:

These are only a few examples of projects and industries taking advantage of blockchain technology. We hope this gives you some insight and inspiration in thinking about how you can implement any of your own ideas.

To do you one better, if you are looking for a place to put those ideas into action, many blockchains have funds or treasuries that are set aside to onboard new users to create new use cases. For Cardano, the blockchain on which Lido Nation hosts its staking pool, you'd be looking at writing a proposal to Project Catalyst. Visit these articles to learn more about writing a Project Catalyst proposal and joining the community of people on Cardano that are helping to onboard companies from all sorts of industries to be able to put their potential into action with the use of the immutable ledger:

  1. Project Catalyst - An Invention with 1000 Steps
  2. Becoming a Project Catalyst Proposer

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