Business models that implement blockchain will be some of the biggest game-changers. It's no longer just the use of cryptocurrency that has many interested in blockchain, but rather how it can change the global business landscape.
As with most innovative technologies, it can be challenging to grasp how it works fully; its immediate impact in the global market and even how it can change a business’s day-to-day operations. Blockchain is no exception. While it may look confusing blockchain is essentially a way to house and transfer decentralised data (i.e. a database). Instead of storing all your company’s information in one area, it would be distributed instead across some 40,000+ computers to track any changes made to that data. While blockchain’s name is primarily associated with the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, its potential is so much greater than just offering a decentralised monetary system.
Why Is Blockchain Important
Blockchain has a myriad of benefits that make it essential. It is a decentralised, peer-to-peer system and offers every user the ability to track changes made to their ledger (a copy of their data files). All users share these ledgers and see whenever a change occurs to the data, making fraud incredibly difficult. A hacker would essentially have to log into 40,000+ computers and falsify, then hide, all the data points/action. Moreover, the hacker would have to overcome state-of-the-art cryptography that ensures that all the ledgers are only accessible by the appropriate parties.
Not only does blockchain allow for decentralisation, generate an opensource peer-2-peer database, and employ some of the most advanced security measures, but it also enables companies to streamline their operations and workflow. For example, in the food production sector, the ability to track the possibility of any food contamination can drastically impact a business’s bottom line. Additionally, e-commerce brands can track broken products or falsified orders before they even go out. These features can save a fortune on time and costs.
The use of cryptocurrencies does away with the need for the extended waiting period for bank payments to be confirmed. Some banks are even quite eager to use cryptocurrencies as they allow for large sums to be transferred in a fraction of the regular intervals and via a more secure process. Additionally, health care providers and services can use blockchain to track the creation and implementation of a vaccine with incredible security, scrutiny, and efficiency.
In one of our latest Square One Podcast episodes, we had the very knowledgeable Steve Ross-Talbot, an expert in the blockchain market, discuss how blockchain can even revolutionise voting. He envisioned that blockchain might very well be our first step into a future of real digital democracy. It allows the citizen the ability to digitise their voting power and take direct action in the democratic process. If you would like to hear more about this, we encourage you to listen to this podcast episode on Spotify or YouTube.
Should You Invest in Blockchain?
Does all this fantastic and promising news mean that we should all invest in blockchain and cryptocurrencies? The best advice on this is to stay patient and observe. Imagine what the first few years of the internet were like when it came to forecasts. Yes, everyone could see the World Wide Web’s potential and knew it would be imperative and disruptive to practically every global sector. However, when it came to more specific predictions about which company or sector would benefit most from it, it was a different story.
The days of MySpace and AOL Messenger are long gone. The same can be said when it comes to cryptocurrencies and specific aspects/markets that blockchain affects. While no one holds a crystal ball to the future, blockchain innovation is sure to impact different companies, sectors, and practices significantly.
What is the Future of Blockchain?
With all these aspects in mind, the most crucial point to remember is that blockchain is still in its relative infancy. It will need to grow in its reach and use. That’s not to say that there will be pain points to address, such as scalability issues, the energy needed to run blockchains and the lack of experienced developers. However, it all depends on how the markets approach technology. Will it be one of embracement and improvement or suspicion and reluctancy. Either way, there is a generation of promise in its future.