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Four ways blockchain will change the way you live and work

Highlights
  • Blockchain is streamlined, allowing users to make insurance claims that can be assessed instantaneously using AI technology.
  • Blockchain is decentralised, making it inherently less vulnerable to attack ideal for use in cyber security tools.  
  • Blockchain is the future, as many predict its use will spread far wider than financial services in the coming year.

From smart travel insurance to comprehensive cyber security, blockchain technology is set to revolutionise just about everything we do.

A complex technology anchored in a powerful, simple idea, blockchain is fast gaining traction as the next big innovation in secure connectivity. Blockchain is a peer-to-peer distributed database, which means that instead of your database existing on a single server system, copies of each new piece of data are sent out to all users involved in the ‘chain’ or network.

man talking on mobile

To alter any individual entry hackers would need to compromise 51 per cent of that entry’s copies, providing tremendous security. Additionally, each entry carries its entire history of verified modifications around with it, ensuring flexibility and interoperability.  

Until now, much of the conversation has centred on the role of blockchain in financial services. However, new research shows the technology’s potential to revolutionise just about every part of your life – from retail to travel, and beyond.

Here are just four ways blockchain has the potential to change the way you live and work:

 

1. Insure faster, pay quicker

Blockchain has the potential to make car insurance smarter, says Andrew Hopkins, head of IT strategy, architecture and performance management at QBE. Using the technology will enable access to near-instantaneous insurance for new vehicles, simple updates for existing policies, and on-the-spot claims in the event of an accident. 

“If you have a car crash or an accident, you can start taking photos or video and just send it through,” says Hopkins. The combination of blockchain and automation technology will improve claim-time dialogue too, he adds, as systems can interface with a sole trustworthy datapoint which can be added to from accident to payment. This eliminates the potentially insecure and time consuming process of translating data from one form to another.

 

2. Make travelling easier

As smart contracts for travel insurance become the norm, so too will automated travel insurance claims, says Hopkins. “Most people don't know that if you’re delayed on your flight for over three hours, you’re due compensation in your insurance contract,” he says.

Through analysing your timetable, artificial intelligence (AI) can verify that you are indeed owed, and the AI will then instantly make your payment, saving you virtually all the administrative grind. “The opportunity is huge for the industry,” says Hopkins.

 

3. Protect your brand

The decentralised nature of blockchain makes it inherently less vulnerable to attack. The technology's basis in cryptography also gives it a secure foundation and auditing is built into the structure of the system.

These features – the multiple verifications, the lack of a single server to attack – make blockchain ideal for use in cyber security tools, which Katherine Robins, principal security expert at Telstra, likens to a fire drill. If something goes wrong, you have peace-of-mind, you are prepared, Robins says.

Applied across whole of business, a blockchain solution has the power to bolster brand and reputation, enabling an instant, yet thorough response. “It's not just secure. It’s also running optimally,” Robins says.

 

4. Know your people

One more notably futuristic use of blockchain relates to the booming machine learning-based field of behavioural analytics, a discipline that hinges on tracking normal organisational behaviour and flagging anomalies. This use of blockchain will give insight into behaviours which are outside the norm, Robins explains.

“So you’ll know that, say, Katherine's not using the system she usually uses and she's way off mark here – let’s go and investigate,” Robins says. She predicts that over the next 18 months this impressively predictive technology will grow more mass-market.

Technology has changed retail forever. Ask your AE how you can seamlessly integrate communications across channels and boost efficiency from your head office to your shop floor.

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