Blockchain in the 21st Century: Are We There Yet?

Blockchain may not be a sexy concept, but it seems to be at the core of the 21st-century infrastructure. Along with artificial intelligence, machine learning and bots, it will be responsible for many facets of our daily lives.  

Retail is one of the sectors that is experiencing the biggest changes due to blockchain. Most big companies already utilise some form of AI – for example, online giants such as Amazon can offer products based on your past purchases. OSA DC, another AI-driven decentralised blockchain platform, enables collecting real-time data from both retailers and consumers. By doing so, it provides a personalised strategy by quickly uncovering supply-chain patterns.

The transparency of the blockchain system also elevates the level of trust. With smart contract technology, parties cannot later claim to not have agreed to a contract or provisions. AI also incorporates consumer feedback and helps the retailer constant improve their business model.

Retail is one of the sectors that is experiencing the biggest changes due to blockchain.

Chatbots, although around for some time, are evolving with AI technology, becoming more knowledgeable and advanced. Able to answer many questions, they improve customer satisfaction because customers never have to wait, and chatbots, unlike humans, are always in a good mood. This also results in cost savings for companies. Twenty-first century chatbots can even perform tasks such as troubleshooting your internet service.

In addition, users are experiencing an app overload, and are looking for a one-stop shop for all their needs – be it the weather, sports scores, directions, etc. Chatbots can do just that. 

Industry experts say that chatbots are a growing field. A recent Facebook IQ study showed that businesses and their clients exchange more than a billion messages per month. That growth is expected to continue, with a rise of 23 percent by 2021.

Natural language processing remains a challenge for the industry, but there are promising technologies that should may be able to solve that problem in the near future.

Another facet of the digital transformation age is smart cities. AI technologies and blockchain can improve infrastructure and energy distribution, increase cybersecurity, track white-collar crime and even impact social issues.

Cities are working together to reduce resource consumption, using the Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

While what exactly is a smart city remains an elusive concept, it generally has the features of bringing together big data and new technology to enhance urban services. Cities are working together to reduce resource consumption, using the Internet of Things (IoT) devices to optimise electricity and water usage, reduce traffic congestion and air pollution and more. We’ve previously described case studies on smart cities in which blockchain, AI and IoT have already been implemented successfully, including Singapore and Dubai. Examples of technology in the works includes flying taxies, unmanned trains and robocops.

A McKinsey report has found that the smart city industry is expected to become a $400 billion market by 2020. According to the consulting firm, 600 cities worldwide are expected to generate 60% of the global GDP by 2025. More and more cities are incorporating “smart city standards” into their urban planning.

Why aren’t we using blockchain already? The technology does have its downsides. For one, it requires an enormous amount of energy. There is also the human element – as we are not yet fully automated. However, as AI comes in to complement human labour, energy will be used more efficiently, and blockchain can hopefully enter more areas of our daily lives.