When the developer known as Satoshi Nakamoto invented blockchain, he probably never anticipated that it would be used for anything other than recording and tracking bitcoin transactions. Nearly a decade later, blockchain is changing some of the world’s largest industries in shocking ways. Here are five companies that are being disrupted by blockchain technology the most in the history of bitcoin.
Samsung launched its own credit card company, Samsung Card, nearly 30 years ago. While Samsung Card has been the largest credit card company in South Korea, it hasn’t undergone many changes until recently. In March, Samsung announced that it is forming a partnership with Blocko, a blockchain based distributed digital ledger platform.
Samsung Card will use Blocko’s services to authenticate customer identities and facilitate the exchange of digital currencies. This should lead to a more secure and dependable service for South Korean consumers. A Samsung spokesperson said that using blockchain solutions will make it easier to expand their services in Korea and expand to other countries over the coming year.
Ascribe is a new platform for artists to create exposure for their work, while preserving ownership. Protecting intellectual property rights has proven to be very difficult since the beginning of the Internet, due to challenges verifying the original creator. Ascribe uses blockchain technology to “lock in authorship.”
Trent McConaghy, CTO for Ascribe, told CoinDesk that the technology behind Ascribe is a unique solution to growing challenges verifying authorship and enforcing digital copyrights. While McConaghy and his two co-founders were discussing the concept, they realized that there was a strong overlap between bitcoin ownership and their concept for owning intellectual property rights.
“The question we asked then and there was, ‘Why cant we own digital art the way we own bitcoin?’ And that was the driving question in those early days,” McConaghy said.
By late 2013, they began using the bitcoin blockchain network to record ownership claims of digital art.
When the introduction of bitcoin was first announced, few people believed that its technology would have a measurable impact on major financial providers such as Visa. In October, Visa announced that it will start using Chain Core, an enterprise blockchain infrastructure, to facilitate new business goals.
Visa will use the new technology to process international payments. The payments won’t be in real-time, but they will be the closest Visa has ever come. Jim McCarthy, executive vice president, innovation and strategic partnerships, Visa Inc., said that this is a major milestone for the 70-year old financial services company.
“The time has never been better for the global business community to take advantage of new payment technologies and improve some of the most fundamental processes needed to run their businesses,” said McCarthy. “We are developing our new solution to give our financial institution partners an efficient, transparent way for payments to be made across the world.”
Celergo has been a major payroll company for nearly 15 years. They have served clients across the world. While they have been at the forefront of technological innovation in the payment processing industry, they are currently facing intense competition from newer solutions. Bitwage is a new blockchain based payroll provider that will shake Celergo, ADP and other global payroll providers to their core.
By leveraging the blockchain network, Bitwage allows companies to transfer payments across the world with fees as little as 1%. Celergo and other competitors need to charge much more. Bitwage can also process these payments within 24 hours, while its traditional competitors would need several days. Celergo and other traditional payroll service providers may need to consider adopting blockchain technology as well to offer more expedient and lower cost services to their customers.
1Bank of America
Visa isn’t the only major financial services company that wants to have a stake in blockchain. Last year, Bank of America announced that it was filing over 20 patents on blockchain technology. Their objective is very similar to Bitwage’s. The technology will be used to conduct financial transactions more quickly, securely and cost-effectively.
However, Bank of America is still trying to determine exactly how their new technology will be used.
“Blockchain’s very intriguing and for us it’s a balance between not wanting to be Neanderthal but not wanting to put something out in a commercial application where the commercial application is still very unclear as a technologist, the technology is fascinating,” Catherine Bessant, the chief operations and technology office at Bank of America told CNBC.