Where is Blockchain Technology Used?
Blockchain Technology in Use: Explained, What It Is and Why You Should Care
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As the internet of things (IoT) continues to take off, a vast number of solutions are being developed to make life easier for businesses and consumers alike. From smart homes to smart cars, IoT is enabling everything from remote surgeries to custom-made clothing at various shops and boutiques to be carried out remotely, all without leaving home. With so many solutions available, it can be hard for businesses and individuals to know where to begin. This is where blockchain technology comes in. It’s a digital ledger that can record transactions between parties effectively, with little or no cost to the parties involved. This means that instead of getting stuck with one vendor or another when selling products or services, buyers and sellers can more easily check out from wherever they are in the world via the internet. In this article, we’ll explain what blockchain is, how it can be used in business and why you should care if you are interested in learning more about it.
What is blockchain technology?
Blockchain technology is a form of digital ledger that’s based on a consensus model. This means that each transaction is verified and recorded on a cryptographically secure blockchain network, and then the details of the transaction are accessible to all the parties involved. Because the information is publicly available and transparent, parties can easily check out from wherever they are in the world. In other words, blockchain technology empowers the end user or business, who uses it, by making all the details of a transaction publicly verifiable and accessible. It’s the ability to verify and trace back each transaction from the time of checkout to make sure the goods got to their destination as expected that makes blockchain technology so interesting in the business world.
How does blockchain work?
Let’s start with the basics: blockchain technology works by using a consensus approach to verify and authenticate transactions. This means that all the participating parties involved in a transaction (buyer, seller and the business itself) sign a blockchain transaction that includes their private details and the goods or services being exchanged. Once the transaction is verified and authorized, the details of the transaction are then added to the blockchain. The blockchain then becomes a record of sorts and all the parties can see details such as how much was spent and by whom in real-time. This removes the need to keep track of paper trails, which can be time-consuming and cumbersome when it comes to large-scale business transactions.
Why you should care about blockchain in business
Blockchain technology can make the buying and selling process smoother, cheaper and easier. It can also be used for applications beyond the financial sector, such as the regulatory and supply chain checks in the food industry. There are many benefits to blockchain technology that you should know about if you’re interested in exploring its potential in your business. Reduced Costs There are a number of benefits to trading online that don’t involve actually going online. One of them is cheaper and faster shipping. Traditionally, companies have to pay for various costs such as handling, custom inspections, shipping and warehousing. Because of the blockchain, these costs are now possible to trace back to their source. Increased Transparency One of the most visible examples of advantages of blockchain technology is in the transparency of business transactions. Before the blockchain, each and every transaction was verifiable and traceable to its source. With blockchain, every transaction is verified and recorded on a public ledger accessible to everyone. This means that there is much less room for the transaction to go wrong than it would be with traditional systems. Improved Customer Experience Another positive effect of blockchain is the improved customer experience. With blockchain, you can make online payments easily, without going through a dozen different channels. This makes it easier for customers to buy from you and for you to sell to them. Increased Productivity Third-party verification and authentication solutions can slow down your business by taking up unnecessary resources and increasing the overall cost of doing business. Now, with blockchain, you can verify valid products and businesses without having to go through the tedious process of figuring out who to contact, what questions to ask and how to verify their identities. Easy and Cheap Collaboration Collaboration solutions like Slack or Google Hangouts have made communication between teams or individuals seamless. However, these tools charge for monthly subscriptions or yearly fees. This can turn off many businesses from using them. With blockchain, you can create visual communication platforms that don’t charge for usage or require a fee to use the full capacity of the platform.
Benefits of blockchain in business
Here are some of the benefits of blockchain technology that you should know about if you’re interested in exploring its potential in your business:
- Cost Savings One of the main benefits of blockchain is that it can lower the overall cost of transactions.
- Traditional methods of validating identities, such as photo albums and driver’s license, involve a lot of paperwork and can be expensive. With the blockchain, you can avoid the cost of a traditional verification process while still keeping track of who you sell to and where the goods should go.
- Improved Cybersecurity Another benefit of blockchain is its capability to improve cybersecurity. Every transaction on the blockchain network is associated with a unique hash that allows cybercriminals to't track down the people who made the transaction and prevent them from being able to do further damage.
- Finally, blockchain can be used to conduct more research. This is because, unlike conventional databases and computing power, blockchain can store an unlimited amount of data and provide an audit trail for all the data that is stored and changes that are made.
Why Should You Learn Blockchain Technology?
Blockchain technology can be used for a variety of applications, including supply chain, regulatory and financial systems. In all of these uses, it's important to remember that blockchain technology has great potential for positive change and disruption, but that it has made some significant advancements that have challenged the status quo.
To get a sense of how those advancements can impact your business, consider the following:
- Smart Contracts - One of the most exciting use cases of blockchain in business is smart contracts. A smart contract is a computer code that can self-execute according to certain conditions. This allows companies to create new products and services without going through the traditional procurement process.
- Decentralized Applications - Another exciting use case of blockchain in business is decentralized applications. These applications allow participants to make transactions without using a centralized authority. This allows these applications to scale better and allows participants to more easily check out from wherever they are in the world.
There are many benefits to blockchain technology, and though there are challenges, it is a technology that has great potential for positive change and disruption. As businesses start to adopt blockchain technology, they will see increased efficiency and reduced cost. Additionally, businesses will be able to implement new applications and services that have been previously unavailable through centralized efforts. Finally, it is important to remember that blockchain technology does not replace or replace traditional tools or methods of doing business, but rather adds to them. This means that you shouldn't just consider blockchain when needed, but use it as a regular part of business operations. If you are interested in learning more about blockchain technology, or want to learn how blockchain can benefit your company, feel free to get in touch with us at any time.