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5 Benefits of Blockchain Technology for Businesses

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article | 5 Benefits of Blockchain Technology for Businesses

Many people are using the world blockchain these days. So much so that the phrase has become a buzzword. Currently, ASX blockchain companies are providing these services to users.

Finance and business executives often joke that the word blockchain placed at the end of the company name is enough to increase the share price of any entity at least twofold.

Jokes apart, it is a fact that more than 50% of companies are using – or planning to use – the blockchain technology, which gives a boost to the relatively nascent market.

Before we discuss its business benefits, we should first find out what blockchain really means, and what value it has to offer.

Blockchain Technology Defined

Blockchain technology is simply defined as a list of records known as blocks linked through cryptography. Each block contains transaction data and a time stamp.

It was first introduced for circumventing the traditional banks and financial institutions and satisfy their fears regarding unregulated money, making its way into the mainstream.

Blockchain technology authenticates and enforces financial transactions. Every aspect of the transaction, from creation to settlement, is carried out in real-time.

Businesses can use this technology for making and receiving payments, store data on clouds, or executing agreements.

In the article below, we will discuss some benefits of blockchain technology for businesses.

1. Money Transfer and Payments

This is perhaps the most widely known use of blockchain. With the help of this technology, businesses can carry out payments and transfers. Blockchain offers a secure and safe transfer of money anywhere in the world with a very low fee.

There are no intermediaries involved in blockchain transactions which usually charge high commissions, and also cause slowdowns in the process.

A business that has clients or employees in different parts of the world can carry out instant crypto-currency transfer in a cost-effective manner.

There are some organizations, including Abra and Bitage, who are spearheading the blockchain money transfer phenomenon.

2. Supply Chain Management

Most people in business abhor paperwork. They think that it stalls their speed and decreases their efficiency. When the matter is urgent, paperwork becomes a burden.

For businesses that are involved in supply chain management, logistics, or shipping, blockchain allows opportunities to bypass delays created due to excessive paperwork, and track all the shipments in real-time.

3. Transparency of transactions

Blockchain technology has allowed transaction histories to be more transparent. The reason is that it is a distributed ledger.

The same documentation is shared with all the participants involved in the transaction. There are no separate copies for each user.

Every participant in the transaction must agree on the documents, which will not become valid until there is a consensus. If a single change is needed in any document, it will mean changing all the existing and subsequent records after obtaining confirmation from all participants.

This system of affirmations and confirmations maintains the accuracy and transparency of the data. This also means that the data on the blockchain is more accurate than similar data shared through papers.

Blockchain can be understood with the help of Google Docs. There is a document that is available to many people who can make changes and save them. The same document is available to every user. However, there is just one difference. No single user can delete previous entries made in the document. They can only make additions.

4. Safety and Security

Blockchain technology is way more secure than the traditional systems of record keeping. First of all, every transaction must be agreed and affirmed by all participants before it is properly recorded.

Secondly, once approval is received from all participants, the transaction is encrypted, and then connected with the preceding transactions.

Thirdly, the information encrypted through this process is not stored in a single computer. Rather, it makes its way into a network of computers belonging to participants involved in these transactions. The availability of the same data on many computers across different geographical locations renders it impossible for hackers to attack all of them simultaneously.

The sanctity and security of data are imperative to every organization, whether it is healthcare services, banks, financial institutions, or government entities. Blockchain technology offers a novel way of sharing information without the fear that it will be compromised in any way. The risk of unauthorized access or activity or willful fraud is almost non-existent through blockchain.

5. Better management of inventory

Blockchain technology offers a complete and concise record of every monetary transaction that takes place in your business.

It also offers the opportunity to connect with every other part that you are dealing with, whether it is your supplier, clients, warehouse, or a retailer.

Everyone who is part of the network has the same data available to them. Since the information is similar to everyone, there is little room for confusion regarding the transactions that took place at each end. This leads to much better management of inventory as compared to the traditional method where every participant has their own set of documents that are reconciled with the rest at the end of any given period.

It will be useful to note here that the world’s largest shipping company, Maersk, is currently using blockchain technology for handling its workflows. The company started using blockchain after it found out that a simple shipment involved hundreds of interactions between different people across the globe, hindering speed and efficiency.

With the help of blockchain, the company is able to keep and process that data of its thousands of containers scattered all over the globe with ease and efficiency.

The Final Word

Initially, blockchain was envisaged as a technology that would support the Bitcoin. However, as time passed, experts suggested that it may have many more advantages. Currently, it is being discussed that blockchain may fundamentally alter the internet itself.

Gradually, with time, blockchain tore the boundaries of money-related transactions and became a distributed ledger phenomenon.

Presently, the demand for blockchain in businesses has been increasing exponentially. The demand for blockchain is expected to shoot up by more than 75% by 2022.

 

Determination is Not Enough; Content Creators Need Blockchain on Their Side

Imagine earning a living as a writer, artist, freelance reporter, photographer or any other content creator trying to scratch out a living in today’s overcrowded, hyperactive digital landscape.

You may have something to say; you may have something to share. Now what? What can you do to ensure your work is discovered?

Before answering, consider these stats: Wikipedia users publish 600 new pages every minute. Meanwhile, almost 50,000 new photos are uploaded to Instagram every minute. Bundled together, this deluge of videos, posts, texts and tweets make up about 2.5 quintillion bytes of new data posted online each day.

Faced with this tsunami of information, one has to ask: What inspires content creators to share their hard work in the slim chance it will gain traction?

Obviously, sheer determination is a driver. Scrappy fortitude and confidence are necessary for those creators confident their work will be discovered.

But stick-to-itiveness is not enough.

High-Tech Heavyweights

If creators are hoping to have their work unearthed, many share their wares on popular outlets such as Facebook, YouTube, SubscribeStar, Twitter and other popular online platforms.

But this is a proverbial double-edge sword. These outlets promise creators the potential to build big followings, but – because these sites depend on advertisers, payment processors, and other third parties to pay the bills – they also demand final control over a creator’s work.

Such arrangements can get messy when it comes to revenue. Mainstream content platforms are notorious for demanding steep fees to showcase a creator’s work. (The most extreme example may be YouTube: Google – YouTube’s owner – can keep up to 45 percent of any advertising revenue a creator’s work generates.)

The arrangements can get even messier if an artist’s work leans towards controversy. The internet is littered with examples of creators who have been deplatformed – or demonetized as the practice is called. When a controversial creator is demonetized, it means the big sites that once welcomed them and their work has had a change of heart. They can be 86’d from the platform, loosing ownership rights of their own content – and their income stream.

Blockchain-Powered Content

Before signing on the dotted line with a popular content platform, creators should know there is an alternative. Blockchain technology – the decentralized tech that was famously introduced to supports bitcoin – is now be leveraged to remedy the many disparities that exist in today’s online content landscape.

Popular content platforms– Twitter, Facebook, etc. – operate using for-profit, centralized business models that are wholly dependent on third parties. They are loaded with inefficiencies; excessive fees and the threat of censorship come with the territory.
Blockchain-powered content platforms offers creators an alternative method of showcasing their work while operating under a far more equitable arrangement.

Artists, citizen journalists and other creators can use blockchain platforms as digital galleries to showcase their work directly to appreciative fans. No advertisers or payment processors are required. Conversely, blockchain permits fans to directly support the creators they prefer. They can subscribe to preferred creators, promote their work and even offer financial support directly to the creators. (Mainstream currencies aren’t even needed; fans can offer support through cryptocurrencies.)

This subscription approach enables creators to thrive, keeping the full amount of what fan compensation. However, should they post offensive content, blockchain empowers fans to immediately withhold their support. Needless middlemen – advertisers, payment processors, content watchdogs – who shudder at the thought of controversy, are all removed from the mix.

This is the beauty of blockchain technology. It fosters collaboration and cultivates trust. It’s efficient and transparent. Those who associate it strictly with bitcoin are missing the boat. Don’t take my word for it. IBM, Walmart, FedEx, Microsoft, Mastercard, Overstock, and Bank of America are just a few the corporations now using blockchain. By 2024, the global blockchain market is projected to exceed $60 billion.

The reason these name-brand companies are migrating to blockchain is because they recognize it offers a more efficient way to manage projects and tasks. It levels the playing field.

That is exactly why content creators should think twice before striking a deal with the digital devil and surrendering creative control and a significant slice of their earnings to big, centralized content heavyweights.

Blockchain technology offers an alternative path. Instead of depending on big-name content outlets, creators owe it to themselves to explore the possibilities that decentralized, ad-free platforms offer.


About the Author

Brad Robertson is the founder and CEO of Polyient Labs, a Phoenix-based blockchain incubator with offices in Denver and San Diego. Prior to launching Polyient, Robertson was the CEO and founder of CX, an early innovator in cloud computing. Before that, Robertson served in several executive roles on behalf of numerous internet startups.