November 9, 2015
Blockchain technology is the new buzzword right now in the financial services industry. Startups are coming up with amazing use cases for blockchain technology and many startups are building their businesses around the same.
The latest one in the game is UBITQUITY, a company dedicated to assisting businesses within the growing digital currency markets. They are building a blockchain-secure, encrypted/distributed storage platform for consumers and businesses.
The company recently launched a blockchain-secure storage platform for passports. UBITQUITY Passports hashes your data and distributes it across the bitcoin blockchain. There are three simple steps which the company uses to create a backup for the passports.
The use case scenario for the new service is as follows:
1. Blockchain as an authentication tool: Use the blockchain to authenticate the document. From now on, the passport can be used as a piece of ID for opening an account.
2. Refugees: The refugee Tshegofatso from Sudan could have a QR code that links someone to all of his documents on the blockchain. Passport, birth certificate, diploma via the company’s notarization service etc. can be assessed.
3. International travellers who have lost their passport and need to get back into the country without waiting for three+ days for their home country's embassy to get their stuff together.
4. Disaster-proof storage of documents for insurance claims and reference after a flood, fire or national emergency—blockchain stamped.
The company is currently planning to implement this service in developed nations. They’re also in talks with travel agencies to resell this as part of an affiliate/reseller opportunity on a recurring basis.
This solution is a great innovation considering the fact that a physical passport has its own constraints:
1. Refugees: This service can be very useful for refugees; they need not carry their passport everywhere.
A number of other startups built around blockchain technology include BlockCypher, BitPay and BitPagos. Another interesting startup, Chain, helps companies build financial products around blockchain technology with its bitcoin data API. NASDAQ has chosen Chain to run a pilot around blockchain technology on the NASDAQ Private Market.
With growing applications of blockchain technology and triggers by VC firms like KPCB Edge, the day is not too far when the blockchain might disrupt the entire FinTech industry.