The majority of people only discovered blockchain technology in relation to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. They may even know that it is the underlying technology that makes it possible. However, blockchain has more applications aside from facilitating transactions and it likely will transform businesses, organizations and even governments.
Here are five ways businesses can use this innovative technology to their advantage:
Perhaps one of the easiest ways to utilize blockchain technology within a business is order fulfillment. Using a blockchain, businesses can track products from when they leave the warehouse to the moment they reach their destination. In addition, if anything goes wrong with an order, businesses can easily check the blockchain and see why. Plus, as all data in a blockchain is public, partner companies can see this information too, which builds trust.
Subsequently, blockchain technology can also help businesses with inventory management. By using it , a business can develop a better understanding of what products sell most and where. With such data, businesses can distribute their products more efficiently, selling the right products in the right places.
Aside from businesses themselves, customers could also have access to the blockchain. Customers would be able to see how the product was made and if its value corresponds with the price. Additionally, unethical or illegal practices can also be rooted out as well. Such transparency builds trust with customers and regulators.
Smart contracts were first introduced by Ethereum, however, since then, a number of other blockchains have created same They are described by Ethereum as “account holding objects”, which means that they can facilitate a lot more than funds.
By utilizing smart contracts businesses can pay their employees easier and more efficiently. One of their greatest benefits is that they are automatic. Once set up, they can run in the background without being monitored. This is incredibly useful for companies that need to execute thousands of transactions very frequently.
Others are using smart contracts for a number of different reasons already. These companies range from flight insurance services to invoicing to renting products. A blockchain explorer also offers more insights into what happens on the blockchain. Smart contracts can be reviewed using a blockchain explorer. The use of a blockchain explorer offers many more benefits than many people realize. .
Essentially a blockchain is really a giant record keeper. Aside from facilitating transactions, it is also an ideal way for businesses to keep track of them. When they happened and what they were for, etc. This can be extremely useful in the auditing process of crypto assets and your day-to-day business.
Aside from tax purposes, blockchain can also be used to prove ownership. If a blockchain was in place to prove ownership, it can show who owns property, patents, and intellectual property. With such a definitive record in place, businesses can reduce the likeliness of being involved in legal conflicts.
One of the most well-known companies that uses blockchain for property ownership is Propy. Propy uses this new technology to allow people to purchase houses all around the world. They support cross-border pay and uses the blockchain ledger to prove ownership to governments.
Blockchains can more accurately register ‘votes’ than any other system, which has a number of uses. In fact, it has been highlighted as an alternative for elections across the globe. In regards to businesses, it can be very beneficial for voting amongst shareholders. More importantly, it can ensure that all components with a computing system share the same information and reduce errors.
Blockchains can reach a consensus much faster and more accurately than any other known system as well. This means that companies can ensure the data is correct faster. It is also incredibly tough to manipulate, hackers need to control at least 51% of the network. To reach this point, a hacker would need to take control of potentially hundreds or thousands of computers.
Businesses that are able to reach consensus – in whatever form – are able to move in a direction faster. With time saved in the decision-making process, businesses can be more responsive to changes and survive a disaster. That said a lot of work is involved in deciding the right to use – Proof-of-work or proof-of-stake, etc.
If something goes wrong, businesses can follow the chain of events that led to it. With such information to hand, they can investigate what went wrong. With the origins of the mistake traced, businesses can remove any possibly faulty products much easier.
The market that would benefit the most from this would actually be the food industry. If there was a salmonella outbreak at a restaurant, theoretically, the blockchain could trace its source. This way other possibly contaminated foods from the same source can also be found and the outbreak contained.
A recent use for blockchain is how it can create high-quality records of how machines communicate with each other. As the IoT and machine learning become more prominent, QA testers need records on how they are performing. Using blockchain, testers can observe this communication and trace issues back to their origins.
Blockchain adoption is not just more practical for businesses, it is the inevitable direction they will take. There are already businesses replacing their databases with blockchain and others that are solely built on top of blockchains. Some experts even predict total adoption within the next five to ten years. There are just too many advantages, which will soon be viewed as necessities.
Businesses that do not adopt this technology will likely get left behind, despite how large they might be. Further to the point, if they do not adopt blockchain they will likely get sidelined by partners. It is also possible that companies that don’t use blockchain may be accused of not being transparent and viewed suspiciously.
Some companies claim that it is still too early to predict how useful this technology will be. Though there is some truth in this and issues to be resolved, they must keep an eye on it.
About Stevan Mcgrath,
Stevan, is a Bitcoin and cryptocurrency enthusiast, passionate about the potential these tools and blockchain technology bring to the world and writes consistently for CoinReview. He has been following development of blockchain for several years. To know his work and more details you can follow him on twitter, Linkedin, facebook.