Blockchain Technology Inspiring Startups

Businesses are Jumping on the Bandwagon to Find New Uses for the Bitcoin-Inspired Technology

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A number of startups have grown up recently by developing new services that make use of blockchain technology – the latest big technological development since the internet. A recent conference in Tokyo saw around 100 companies turn up at the event to showcase their innovations. Some of the ideas featured include using blockchain for job-matching sites as well as marketing services.

Blockchains use peer-to-peer networks that link directly through people’s computers to share information, with no central server. This network keeps a record of all transactions and the data can be monitored by individuals connected to it. People are incentivized to process transactions by contributing their computer processing power with the chance to earn cryptocurrencies as a reward.

This record ensures that once a transaction is registered in a new “block” in the blockchain, it cannot be modified or deleted, therefore, manipulation of the records is practically impossible. This transparency makes it an attractive system for businesses and customers to want to use.

Blockchain Increases Reliability in Job-Matching Site

Osaka-based startup, Beepnow, has introduced a blockchain-based platform to help freelancers and clients find appropriate jobs and workers. Beepnow saw a flaw in the current system used by job-matching sites which allows freelancers to reset their accounts if they receive bad feedback from their work on previous jobs. This reduces the reliability factor for clients hiring as the feedback they see may have been manipulated. By using blockchain technology, Beepnow can improve the integrity of their matches.

Beepnow will also issue its own digital token for sale. This will not only raise funds for app development but it will also create a “token economy” where payments between client firms and freelance workers connected on the Beepnow blockchain can be made within the platform.

Blockchain technology – the latest big technological development since the internet.

Influencers Can Benefit Financially

Patron is a Japanese startup using the blockchain system to help boost the earning potential and reach of social media influencers. The company, set up by influencer and entrepreneur, Atsushi Hisatsumi, works a little like Airbnb. It connects a ‘host’ to an influencer and allows the host to purchase content and posts, or hire the influencer to work for them for a specified amount of time. Hisatsumi saw the need for reform as the current systems sees influencers having to pay up to 40% of their earnings to agencies who act as intermediaries. Patron will cut out the middleman, reducing costs for both parties and building transparency in the hiring and payment process.

So far, the company has raised over $10 million and has plans to develop the applications and infrastructure, set up shop in San Francisco and finally, set up studios and workspaces for influencers.

Fully-Autonomous Vehicles May be Closer than We Think

Toyota Motor Corp, which was a founding member of the Blockchain Mobility Consortium, is exploring the possibility of using blockchain technology to advance the development of a new mobility ecosystem that could accelerate the development of autonomous driving technology. Hundreds of billions of hours worth of data is required to build completely reliable self-driven vehicles so with manufacturers co-operating using blockchain the time needed would be greatly decreased.

The considered system would allow users, both business and consumers, to securely share driving and autonomous vehicle testing data, manage ride-share and car-share transactions and store vehicle usage information that could be used in the setting of fair insurance rates, as well.

With blockchain being touted as the fourth industrial revolution, we can be sure that we’re going to see a lot more business startups finding ways to incorporate the technology into their working systems. Who knows where it will lead, but, it is certainly an exciting time to be in the world of business and technology.

Today’s “otsumami” – a bite size snack:

Not only is blockchain technology driving business forward but it is increasing the transparency of our online interactions, as well.

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Written by Catherine McGuinness

Writer and Journalist with a love for all things Japan.

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