Many companies are exploring the way blockchain technology can help streamline their operations, or those of their customers.

Think of blockchain as the technology that can work for all types of digital transactions involving an exchange of value, such as money, goods, identity, and property — and at the same time, promises to increase the speed, efficiency, and security of ownership transfer of those digital assets.

Here are five areas where blockchain is being put to use:

Government: The National Research Council of Canada is exploring blockchains for the transparent administration of government grants. The Canada Border Agency is working with IBM-Maersk, to expedite cargo movement. In the UK, HM Land Registry is looking at how blockchain can make the registration of property sales faster, simpler and more transparent. In Switzerland, the city of  Zug used a blockchain-based app in a pilot project to allow residents to vote in a municipal election with their smartphones.

Aviation: Airlines are finding multiple uses for blockchain including flight safety, tracking cargo and spare parts. Singapore Airlines is using it to streamline redeeming of frequent flyer points. Air France- KLM has been testing it for transparent aircraft maintenance records. Air Canada is involved in a blockchain-based travel distribution platform.

Finance:  Streamlining business and consumer banking is another area of development. IBM has taken the lead with cross-border payments. Mastercard has been awarded a patent for a way to partition a blockchain, making it capable of storing multiple transaction types and formats. The Bank of Canada is testing Blockchain to clear and settle stock transactions.

Insurance: Blockchain has proven to have a highly disruptive potential in the insurance space. Specific areas include: fraud detection and risk prevention; claims prevention and management; Internet of Things and reinsurance. Maersk also worked with Microsoft to develop a system that tracks ships and their cargoes down to the second.

Transport & Logistics:  Another application is faster and leaner logistics in global trade. This involves improving transparency in the movement of goods, traceability in supply chains and automating commercial processes with Smart Contracts.

These are just a few areas where Blockchain is energizing business processes. Many of the companies involved in this area can be found in Harvest Portfolio Group ETFs, including the Blockchain Technologies ETF (TSX:HBLK) and the Harvest Tech Achievers Growth & Income ETF (TSX: HTA)

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The views and/or opinions expressed in the blog are of a general nature and are for informational purposes only. Blog contents should not be considered as advice and/or a recommendation to purchase or sell the mentioned securities or used to engage in personal investment strategies. Investors should consult their investment advisor before making any investment decision.