Blockchain to Completely Transform Business Models

Blockchain will change many aspects of our lives, it will do to the financial systems what the Internet did to Media.

This is according to Tom Raftery, VP, futurist and global IOT evangelist at SAP, speaking today during his keynote address: “The future of digital,” at the Saphila 2017 Conference at the Sun City Resort in the North West province.

Quoting director of the MIT Media Lab, Joichi Ito, Raftery noted that digital transformation, the IOT and associated technologies such as blockchain, machine learning, edge computing etc. are the latest fascination among innovators. However he believes organisations are scrambling to get up to speed with these technologies.

Looking into the future, Raftery pointed out, financial systems will be completely changed by blockchain technology and other sectors are investing heavily into it.

“They’re all getting onto blockchain, the biggest investors and researchers of blochchain are the financial organisations. But it’s not just the financial industries, the healthcare sectors across the globe are increasingly adopting the technology to authenticate their administration work as well as make it more transparent. Hospital expenses can be dropped by 20%, when most of the admin duties are done on blockchain. Many healthcare institutions are now doing away with manually conducting their admin work.

“Delivery systems are also adopting blockchain. For instance Walmart is currently testing drone delivery where delivery drones transporting packages will use blockchain technology to talk to the secure lockbox. As a drone approaches a delivery box, it authenticates itself with a “blockchain identifier,” a type of numeric or encrypted key. If the code is valid, then the box unlocks, and accepts the package. The entire transaction is recorded on blockchain,” noted Raftery.

Another area where blockhain will have a huge impact, he continued, is in the area of political corruption. Some of the former Soviet Republic countries, such as Ukraine, are using blockchain to make sure that some of the purchasing done by government is via blockchain and procurement activities are recorded on the system.

Predicting evolution of the automobile industry in the next decade, Raftery explained that the transportation industry is going to be completely transformed.

“We’re seeing more and more autonomous vehicles; an average future car will have predictive maintenance so it won’t break down. The current electric vehicle only has a few hundred moving parts compared to the thousand moving parts in Internet connected engines, which means they will be far more reliable.

“They’re also going to be far safer. The National Transportation Safety Board in the US found the driver of Tesla vehicles have fewer crashes when they are on automation mode than when they are driven by people.”

This has huge implications for the insurance industry; they may have to consider charging drivers more money if they drive the cars themselves, he continued.

“Insurance companies may also have a pay-as-you use or pay-by-performance system whereby if drivers exceed a certain threshold of acceleration, then they pay more premiums. It is guaranteed that these changes are going to happen in the next few years,” he concluded.