This expert from Infosys breaks down how blockchain is changing the way enterprises do business
Blockchain technology, which emerged through
The financial sector seems to be the obvious beneficiary of blockchain as the technology makes it possible to transfer and exchange value securely, without the need of a costly intermediary. But this ability to conduct secure transactions without a middleman is bringing disruption to traditional notions of currency, authority, and ownership—and this is being picked up by diverse sectors ranging from healthcare to real estate.
In healthcare, for example, blockchain solves the problem pertinent to the healthcare system-the maintenance of secure medical records. Factcom, based in Austin, Texas, uses blockchain technology to provide secure access to globally distributed patient records, from any location with just a smartphone.  In the real estate industry, blockchain can coordinate disparate third parties through the creation of ‘smart’ contracts, which is nothing but a digital document drafted with specific actions and verified by third parties. Such a move, which can cut red tape and eliminate the risk of fraud, is already being pursued by Cook County in Illinois. Collaborating with California start-up Velox.re all transfers of real-estate property titles will now be securely backed by blockchain technology. 
These are just two examples where blockchain is currently in use. The implications of blockchain will reach much further. Sharing or gig economies, which rely heavily on online identities, can leverage blockchain systems, which will ensure identities can't be tampered with or duplicated. Peer-to-peer lodging sites like Airbnb, for instance, can satisfy concerns about safety and security for the guests and property damage for the hosts. Another controversial subject that blockchain could bring a solution to is online voting. Blockchain can offer transparency of database records as well as allay any fears of
pace, still has vulnerable spots open to hacking. Integrating blockchain technology can protect against tampering of IoT devices, by providing early warning on any hacks or changes made on your system.
Blockchain systems, which essentially are a hyper-secure record of digital events, distributed among many different computers, has immense applications for the benefit of society on a large. They range from authentication of art pieces by assigning each piece with a unique authenticity code, to the stopping of counterfeiting of medicines by using the blockchain to track pharmaceuticals throughout the supply chain.
Blockchain is a nascent technology and we have just scratched the surface in terms of understanding, by applying it to problems around data management, transparency, and accountability. For blockchain to realize its full potential, businesses and societies need to look at blockchain from a problem perspective rather than a solution driven approach. And finally, the onus lies on the technology and business community to adopt blockchain and create the internet of trust that will benefit generations to come.
(The article is authored by Prasad Joshi, Vice President and Head, Infosys Center for Emerging Technology Solutions, Infosys)