As practical applications become more readily available, these industries are on alert for blockchain disruptors.

Can you imagine how the cobbler felt when he first stumbled upon (pun unashamedly intended) a factory shoemaking operation? It probably stopped him in his tracks. Secure in his skills, he likely thought folks would always need to be shod by one with advanced knowledge and old-world techniques in the gentle art of making shoes.

Much like the cobbler on the corner back in the mid-18th century, there are industries out there in which blockchain technology is set to disrupt. Here are four to watch:

Blockchain Disruptors

Real Estate

Those familiar with real estate know that it is traditionally one of the most stuck-in-the-mud industries out there. Real estate is awash in paper. Contracts on top of contracts on top of contracts means deforestation today. But that could mean a big blockchain disruptor is in the near-term. Blockchain technology makes for speedy transactions, transparent tracking, and easy verification of ownership. All without paper, much faster, and at a fraction of the cost of current methods.

Healthcare

Yes, the pace of change in healthcare can be dizzying. But when you drill down a bit, most healthcare record-keeping systems are cumbersome and archaic. They also store data on massive, centralized servers. Meaning? The most sensitive personal information available—health AND financial data in one place—is susceptible to hack. It has happened before and will happen again … unless, more healthcare providers adopt blockchain technology. By moving to a blockchain oriented record-keeping system, healthcare providers can store data securely, and share data—like test results—almost instantaneously.

Crowdfunding

The upside of crowdfunding? You can raise money for your project from people you don’t even know. The downside? The fees can cut into your margin considerably. And it is the fees that have us tossing this one in the blockchain disruptors category. The fees primarily stem from the ability to use a trusted platform (Kickstarter, Indiegogo, etc.) to make your product available. But when it comes to a blockchain-based solution, trust is built through a smart contract. There are several crowdfunding-related blockchain applications being developed which allow for individuals or organizations to tap the crowd without paying the “hey you can trust us!” fee

Government

This category could be broken down into multiple blockchain disruptors, as there is probably not another industry that will be changed more by blockchain. We could dig deep on everything from utilities to marriage licenses, but anticipate in the coming year, much of the blockchain buzz will be centered on elections. Blockchain applications can certify registration, identify individual voters, and ensure that one person gets exactly one vote. We may be optimistic in putting this on the 2018 list, but if this year is anything like 2016, we guarantee you will be hearing more about blockchain regarding elections.

Did we miss one? Comment below to let us know what blockchain disruptors you see!