Refugees, turkeys, the collection of plastic and endangered species.

While there are still critics discarding blockchain technology, insanely cool applications that previously would not have been possible without the technology are released onto the market every day. They cover anything, from art to football and from food to refugees. As I run two blockchain companies and discuss the subject often, I am frequently asked about special, working applications. I hereby list the favorites that I have come across in recent weeks.

Of course, I really like it that Albert Heijn uses blockchain to explain to the consumer how the private label orange juice makes it to the shelves. The scanning of a QR code makes it possible for the consumer to view the entire production chain starting at the tree. In addition, the app contains additional information about the harvest as well as the acidity of the bottle in question. Consumers in the United States can already do this for 30% of milk cartons, and the supermarket chain Walmart — where currently only lettuce and spinach can be traced back to the farmer — aims to have all vegetables on the blockchain before September 2019. Cargill has even made the traditional turkey fully traceable during last Thanksgiving via blockchain. It went all the way down to the loft where the bird had lived. India goes one step further and is currently investigating the possibilities of putting the entire distribution of dairy products, vegetables and fish on the blockchain. This to optimize the logistics process and to combat food waste.

Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus, two international top football clubs, have issued their own “fantoken” through the Socios platform, which predicts that this will see the investment of $300 million into the sports sector. Various football clubs in the United Kingdom are going to issue their own token to raise money and the company Tokenstars uses the blockchain to facilitate the donation of money to young top athletes who would otherwise be unable to participate in sports. There is even talk of a “Fan-Controlled Football League (FCFL)”, where fans are offered the opportunity to greatly enhance their football experience. Playing decisions by the fans can be made in real time via the app, enabling them to be the coach and General Manager of the team.

Various car manufacturers are already busy with broad implementation of the blockchain. Several manufacturers have introduced their own joint coin to share data between cars and to use cars to make payments. Porsche, together with the Berlin startup XAIN, has investigated the possibility of putting the entire history of antique Porsches on the blockchain. Daimler (Mercedes, Smart) has introduced its own coin, the MobiCoin, to reward drivers for environmentally friendly driving. Other modes of transport will follow soon. The manager of the Russian railway network, for example, has already achieved considerable efficiency gains by putting her operations on the blockchain. Together with IBM, Maersk has developed a system that can significantly speed up all handling of containers (sometimes 18 different signatures are required). Several airlines have already placed some of their business elements on the blockchain, including loyalty programs, maintenance contracts, and communication systems for delayed and canceled flights.

The number of projects that have a real social impact is really cool to see. IBM and the PlasticBank have set up a project in Haiti that pays the locals in tokens (with which they can buy food) when they collect plastic from the beach and from the ocean. The number of robberies has fallen sharply and the amount of plastic that has been cleared in the last three years is so vast that the project will soon be expanded to various other countries. The World Food Program in Jordan has put the data of refugees on the blockchain to ensure that various aid organizations can always access the data. In addition, money for refugees to purchase food and goods is distributed via the blockchain. The De Beers Group, the world’s best-known diamond company, has put its entire logistical funnel, from digging to selling, on the blockchain to block diamonds from conflict areas or which have been mined through slavery and to prove the authenticity of those that make it to De Beers. The Chinese government has even put its waste processing on the blockchain to increase its efficiency and to track carbon assets. In Palestine, Bitcoin is widely used to make payments, receive money and to invest, as many of the common banking services are blocked by the Israeli government. The startup Bitgive has made the donating of money to charities and the eventual spending of it transparent, and the non-profit Care for the Uncared from Uganda tags endangered species such as blue whales, Indian tigers, Asiatic elephants, and pandas, etc., to map the movements and health of the animals and to protect them better through blockchain. Soon you will even be able to support an individual animal with Bitcoin J

NFC KPI chips are linked to the blockchain to authenticate artworks, to follow the aforementioned turkeys and even to see if Kayne sneakers are real. Even space organizations NASA and ESA are implementing blockchain on a large scale since previous tests have already yielded great results in the field of efficient communication and collaboration.
 In my next post, I will discuss the next steps in the field of blockchain technology.

Jan Scheele is active in the web3 (blockchain, crypto, NFTs, DeFi) industry since 2013. Besides (former) CEO of a web3 scaleup and founder of an advisory boutique (working for governments, family offices and several multinationals), he is Digital Leader at the World Economic Forum and Board Member at the Blockchain Netherlands Foundation (BCNL). He is writing, consulting, speaking and training regularly about everything web3, all over the world. Furthermore, he is currently finalizing his book about the rise and global impact of blockchain technology.