What are smart contracts?
Smart contracts are computer programs designed to self-execute when certain conditions are fulfilled. Essentially, smart contracts are self-executory and cut out the need for intermediaries, aiding faster implementation of processes.
These smart contracts are powered by blockchain technology, like Ethereum. They help create transparent, traceable, and irreversible transactions on the network, increasing security and speed.
Use cases of smart contracts 2023
More often, when we hear smart contracts, we automatically associate them with the blockchain network. Although smart contracts facilitate blockchain processes, their use cases extend beyond this technology.
Here, we highlight some standard smart contract use cases across various industries.
The insurance sector is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world and is expected to grow by about 85% annually. Therefore, using smart contracts in insurance offers excellent methods to improve processes. For one, smart contracts can enhance the efficiency of filing claims. It can also ensure timely payments to policyholders and help limit malicious behavior.
Human Resource management is one of the essential areas of an organization. The use of smart contracts in HR processes can be found in recruitment and payroll exercises. Smart contracts can help in recruitment by enhancing and automating the hiring process. It can encode employment terms, track eligibility, and make job offers. Smart contracts can also help disburse salaries based on predetermined conditions like work hours and performance metrics.
In the real estate world, smart contracts use cases find expression in property ownership, renting, and investing. When a property is sold, smart contracts can facilitate the exchange of ownership. The listing and renting of properties can also be done using smart contracts. In addition, investing in real estate investment trusts (REITs) is better protected as smart contracts help deliver the earned dividends to investors.
The healthcare sector has also benefited from the use of smart contracts. Patients’ data is better protected and no longer susceptible to data theft. Smart contracts allow these data to be accessible only to specific researchers for clinical trials. Furthermore, they can automate the medical billing process and track the disbursement of medications to prevent fraud.
Intellectual Property is one of the fields that can enjoy the many benefits of smart contracts. IP rights are constantly subject to infringement, with many creators left with effective means to protect their rights. With smart contracts, IP protection is more effective, and creators can have access to indisputable proof of their ownership rights. Another significant smart contracts use case for IP is the lack of intermediaries, giving creators access to more of their royalty earnings.
Technology has evolved so that most manual processes can now be automatically done. With the smart contracts use cases that cut across several industries, there are the benefits of enhanced business performance, security, and increased trust, among many others.
As technology expands and gains ground in more industries, we can expect to find more smart contract use cases beyond blockchain technology.