Do you want to be first? Do you want your business to boom? If you do, you need to take advantage of all the latest and the most futuristic technologies ever. One of these technologies is Blockchain. In our previous article, we listed the advantages you'll get if you apply the technology. But Blockchains are still shrouded in myths which we are going to dispel with this article. Moreover, we will introduce you to the most practical Blockchain technology applications to your business to bring you maximum benefits with minimal efforts.
Real-Life Application of Blockchains in Business
Common myths about Blockchain
Blockchains are now on everyone's lips. If you read our previous research on this topic, you should understand what the advantages of the technology are and how promising it is. However, only a handful of people are brave enough to start working with it. Why? It can be explained with the prejudices which come to mind every time we hear about Blockchains. It's high time to dot the t's and cross the i's. Let's get over all the myths about Blockchain to understand what blockchain potential applications we can use.
Common beliefs about Blockchains
There is only one Blockchain
For those people who have just started figuring out what Blockchain is, it may seem like there is only one unique Blockchain platform. In fact, there are lots of blockchains. Each has it's own differences due to the purpose it has to serve. Which means that you can apply blockchain for small business too. For instance, Bitcoin uses public blockchains and half-public platforms which have some access limitations. For the most complicated tasks, there are private systems open only for very few members.
Blockchains are absolutely secure
Yes, blockchains were created to provide users with a new level of security because of it's distributed structure. Customers tend to believe that the system is impossible to crack. It is not true. There is no 100% secure system in the world. But the fact of hacking will be recorded and it wouldn't go unnoticed.
Blockchain is open for everyone
Blockchain is an open database where all members have access to it. It is the basis of Blockchain. But, as we've already mentioned, access can only be given to the stakeholders. Moreover, a private blockchain can be built on top of a public blockchain, providing access only to those users who need it.
The full list of advantages you can get by integrating blockchain technology in supply chain and logistics, in our research!
Blockchains are only used by criminals
This myth is more connected with cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin is considered to be untraceable and therefore is used only on the black market. However, this is not true. As you remember, Blockchain records all actions and no one can delete this data. Along with all that, the transaction can be tracked back once a customer has cashed out cryptocurrency.
Blockchains cannot be used for business
Many people simply don't understand what the nature of Blockchains is that's why it is difficult for them to imagine what are blockchain applications. In plain English, Blockchains were created to protect blocks of data, verify information and record all actions. From this point of view, Blockchain is an irreplaceable technology for any sphere with sensitive data.
All these myths prevent us from believing that Blockchain is not only a trend, it is the way we all are going to do business in the nearest future. And the sooner we understand that the better position we can get with our businesses. Now, let's get back to the topic and figure out what real-life blockchain technology applications we can take advantage of.
How to apply Blockchain technology to your business
In this block, we wanted to collect only those approaches which you can easily apply to various kinds of business and really benefit from it.
Blockchain application examples
We all know that blockchains began from cryptocurrency and it is obvious that they work perfectly with payments and money transfers. But why is the use of blockchain so beneficial for small businesses? Fees. It's all about fees that banks charge when you need to pay for something or transfer money to somebody. With the blockchain technology, you don't need to pay to the banks which dramatically cuts your expenses. In the transfer chain, there are no more intermediaries, only you and a person you send your money to. If your business is located in several countries or you have a remote team of employees, Blockchain based business model implementation is a necessary step
#2. Smart contracts
This terms appeared about 25 years ago, however, only after the project Ethereum was launched, the smart contracts system became widely publicized.
To put it shortly, it is a distributed system that manages all smart contracts. The platform excludes the possibility of delays, suppression or any outside influence. The system provides comprehensive financial security, monitors the terms of the contract and is unbreakable. If in your business you deal with lots of contracts (especially, if you need to sign a contract with every client), Smart contracts are the best solution for you. What can we say if the biggest and the most powerful banks in the world take this system into account?
#3. Distributed storage for cloud computing
Distributed storage for cloud computing. To understand how it works, we need to look at Storj, the company which offers cheap and fast cloud storage. Their system is built around blockchains. The platform helps store more data using the same amount of hardware and saves a tidy sum at the same time. So in case your business operates big data, integration of blockchain in cloud computing is a great opportunity to cut down your expenses.
Still don't have any idea? Here is a list of the best startups based on the Blockchain technology in 2017.
#4. Digital Identity
If you still don't understand why this issue is so urgent, then you need to see the fraud statistics of all internet operations. To tell you the truth, the size of your company doesn't matter here because fraud happens just as much in big companies as it does in the small ones.
With the help of blockchain technology, it is much easier to track and monitor digital identities. And the best thing it does is identity authentication, where blockchains are needed to secure the whole procedure. While the usual authentication methods use the system based on passwords, the blockchain system only checks whether there was a correct private key.
You may not believe this fact but blockchain can work as a cheap notary system. Blockchains are able to provide evidence of existence, ownership and validate the identity of sets of data. What blockchain can also do is generate prior art or certify the ownership of any type of data. Believe me, it is a very cheap method, unlike the usual one which will cough up the cash for you. For instance, to certify a document in Europe, you'll have to pay more than 200 euros. With the blockchain platform, you'll spend 0.2 euros. And if you deal with such certificates, this blockchain business idea will help you stay afloat.
#6. Gifts and discounts
These steps are inevitable if your business is connected with the e-commerce sphere. Various loyalty programs help you engage customers and show them your care. And, again, blockchains can help us avoid different types of scams and create unique certificates which would be easy to verify.
#7. IoT systems
IoT devices collect megatonnes of data to learn how you behave, what you like, how you live and so on. All this information needs to be processed and stored. And blockchains fit these criteria the best. We can explain it with two facts. Firstly, blockchain can communicate with all your devices simultaneously. And secondly, it saves lots of money because it eliminates the central hub and acts as a bridge between all IoT devices.
Have no time to read about IoT? Here's a short video for you to explain the main terms in plain English
#8. Chain of supply
Blockchain is a real must-have for your business if you work with deliveries of any kind. Usual software that manages supply chains is very fragile and in a case of a crash, you have all chances to go bankrupt. The structure of blockchains is designed to eliminate the human factor and flaws in the system. Blockchains records everything that happens which means that even in case of a failure or crack you can always find out what happened and rehabilitate the system.
These blockchain-based applications show how useful the blockchains could be for your business no matter how big your company is. We advise you to apply blockchain not only because it is a very advanced technology but also because the system has a very bright future. Let's take a look at what financial future the blockchains have.
Future of Blockchain technology
There is no doubt that blockchain is a technological leap, not an empty shell. And it will not fade away even when the dog and pony show is over. Here are the areas blockchains will influence the most and which will become the leading technology:
The future of blockchain technology
Cryptocurrency. To date, there are about 150 cryptocurrencies. It is a very lucrative field if you know how to work here.
China is a leader in the industry of mining, they control over 60% of all the market. So, despite a very popular opinion, the most popular pair of currency is bitcoin-yuan, not dollar. But be careful, China is a country that can easily twist you around it's finger. Take at least a sweep of the online lending market, which the local central bank is forced to deal with after a series of bankruptcies and frauds. And coping with them you need to use their instrument. Such functions as high-frequency and margin trading are rapidly developing, derivatives are being actively produced, as well as index investment funds. It all works as a huge pyramid, you can earn if you jump out in time.
Want to make money on IoT? Check our detail guide to the IoT in business: opportunities, benefits, and challenges
Financial sphere. Blockchain applications in finance mostly concern bank establishments. They are, like nobody else, interested in the blockchain technology. It was estimated that for the few last years about $1.5 bln was invested in the sphere. In 2016, the biggest international financial establishments (Deutsche Bank, Santander, UBS and Bank of New York Mellon) reported about their intention to create a new cryptocurrency that will work with blockchains. The banks will use the currency for their transactions to simplify and speed up all the financial operations. The currency is now being tested and will be officially launched in 2018.
Service sector. These are the spheres where cryptocurrencies weren't in use at all before. But soon it will all change. For instance, Estonia, the leading country in electronic services, is working on a united database for medical histories (something similar to EHR system), which would be available to doctors as well as to the insurance companies. The main database structure would be based on blockchain platform.
Similar blockchain based businesses and projects are being launched all over the world and touch such areas as medicine, land cadastre, logistics, transportation and so on. We even heard some rumours that the whole country wants to transfer their state document flow to blockchain.
Along with all that, every day we see new Blockchain business opportunities and how many blockchain startups are appearing all over the globe. It all proves that this system is a bridge to the future. I am not quite sure that blockchain will drive old-school databases out completely, but the fact that they will become dominant is true. In our article, we described the future of blockchains and their benefits for your business. There is no time to hesitate anymore, write us and let's advance your enterprise and edge all your competitors over.
Evgeniy Altynpara is a CTO and member of the Forbes Councils’ community of tech professionals. He is an expert in software development and technological entrepreneurship and has 10+years of experience in digital transformation consulting in Healthcare, FinTech, Supply Chain and Logistics
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