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Since its inception in 2009, Bitcion has been able to capture attention of millions across the world, but a huge number of people have now started looking beyond Bitcoin, into the blockchains, the technology on which Bitcoin phenomenon is based primarily.

The concept of blockchain pertains to storing information (that’s transactions in case of Bitcoin) in a distributed manner, shared among many parties, thus bypassing the need for a mutually trusted central server. In a blockchain network, updating the stored information is possible only with the consent of majority of the network’s population. Once the information is updated, it can never be erased, giving an immutable, verifiable database of ‘digital events’.

It’s great to see an increased number of people recognizing, exploring and exploiting the true potential of Blockchain technology, which is well capable of supporting and enhancing almost any type of record-keeping. Some promising avenues for blockchain technology other than cryptocurrency mining, include:

Smartcard Payments

The commercial production of contactless payment cards capable of processing transactions utilizing blockchain is expected to commence by the end of 2017. Recently, a successful trial was completed where blockchain technology was incorporated for processing payments for cupcakes in front of hundreds of Metro Bank customers. The contactless smartcard used in the process was designed by a fintech company known as SETL, communicating with identity records along with other key details with the help of a “Smart Identity System” developed by “Deloitte”, an auditing firm. It is firmly believed that billions of transactions can be carried out through this technology on a daily basis, offering merchants a powerful, reliable and cheaper alternative to services being provided by conventional card providers.

 Online Voting

The concept of online voting is not totally alien for most of the Western world. However, many are still skeptical of its security, but thanks to the transparent and immutable nature of blockchain, experts believe it’s about time to overcome such fears. In fact, the Liberal Alliance, a Danish political party, has already employed blockchain based online voting in spring 2014 for an internal election. US, Norway and Spain are among some of the countries most interested in using blockchain based online voting systems.

Cloud Storage

With decentralization as one of its inherent features, blockchain is seen as a concept having tremendous utility for cloud storage systems of future. It dispenses data across multiple servers, adding to its safety and security even in case of a glitch or attack on one or more of those servers. That’s why experts are considering it as a strong and natural contender for futuristic cloud storage designs.

IoT

Last but not the least is IoT, The Internet of Things, as it is known otherwise. It is turning into a fast growing global industry expected to transform the way we live, linking everything from homes to factories to whole cities, making them smarter and efficient. In fact, Gartner claims that by 2020, more than 20 billion things around the globe will be connected together, nurturing a market worth more than $3 trillion. It’s no less than impossible with current infrastructural and architectural setups to connect on such a large scale, securing and managing such a colossal global network. However, the intrinsic features of blockchain technology make it the best fit to let IoT do the unimaginable.

In addition to these new areas of potential growth, blockchain technology thrives in cryptocurrency mining, where legit new cryptocurrency mining platforms such as eStakeX surge up with newer, securer and better models of mining, offering people some great innovative mediums of wealth management.