There's a lot of hype surrounding blockchain technology, and for good reason. Some companies that have pivoted to blockchain tech have seen their shares increase by 2,000 percent.
These companies' success prompts an important question for you:
Can your pharmaceutical company see similar success by adopting this technology. And if so, what can the blockchain infrastructure do for your business?
Before you find out the answers to these questions, though, you must first understand what blockchain technology is.
That said, let's start by going over a few blockchain basics:
What Is Blockchain Technology?
So what is blockchain technology? We've all heard about it, but many of us aren't exactly clear on its purpose or structure.
Here's your answer:
A blockchain is nothing more than a more distributed ledger. And by "distributed ledger," we mean a ledger that's distributed among several parties.
Just think of a physical ledger that has been digitized and shared with your colleagues. It contains information about transactions and other sensitive data.
All parties that have access to the ledger can view it. But no party can make changes to the ledger without the permission of a majority of all parties.
Why Are Businesses Turning to Blockchain Technology?
Now that you know what a blockchain is, you're probably wondering why businesses have jumped on the bandwagon. What, after all, is so special about a digitized ledger?
As it turns out, the blockchain infrastructure provides several benefits that typical ledgers can't. Here are just a few of those benefits.
What's the cost of maintaining a normal ledger? How much money do you put into recording data and sharing that data with others?
Recall that a blockchain is a distributed ledger. Because it's a distributed ledger, all involved parties have instant access to that data.
Which means that you don't need to pay middlemen to manually share this data with everyone. The proof is always in the blockchain.
As we said above, the blockchain infrastructure can cut out unnecessary middlemen. Additions to a blockchain are simply approved by all parties and locked into place.
And as a result, the entire process moves much more quickly.
Here's one thing we didn't tell you about blockchains:
The data they store is immutable. In other words, this data can't be changed once the majority of the involved parties confirm it.
For this reason, you don't have to worry about someone tampering with that data to steal from your pharmaceutical company. A blockchain's structure makes it an impossibility.
Will Using the Technology Put My Pharmaceutical Company at Risk?
Despite this technology's clear benefits, it has gotten a bad reputation in some circles. But let's be clear:
Using this technology isn't going to put your business at risk. And if people are telling you differently?
They're misunderstanding the tech, and we'll prove it.
Crytocurrency Vs Blockchain: Dispelling the Myth
Let's start by dispelling the most common myth about blockchain technology:
It isn't cryptocurrency.
In fact, the opposite is true. Cryptocurrency is built on top of the blockchain infrastructure. It's the tech that powers cryptocurrency.
So you can think of a blockchain as hardware and cryptocurrencies as software.
All of this to say: You don't have to invest in or use cryptocurrency to use a blockchain. The technology has its own uses outside of the realm of cryptocurrency.
The Unhackable Blockchain
We've written about Bitcoin heists and other cyber crimes on our blog before. But we need to be clear on something:
Hackers aren't going to crack your blockchain like they crack cryptocurrency wallets.
As we said before, cryptocurrency is built on top of blockchain tech. Not only that, but people who invest in cryptocurrency often use third-party software to store that currency. It's this third-party software that hackers target.
But even if they do attack your blockchain? Let's just say they're going to have a bad time...
Believe it or not, blockchain technology isn't some fringe tech. Governments have already begun legislating it and relying on it for certain tasks.
The island of Malta, for instance, recently passed three bills that set up a regulatory body for blockchain innovation.
The United States has also begun legitimizing and regulating this technology. So there are laws in place that will protect your business.
How Will Blockchain Infrastructure Impact Pharmaceuticals?
This technology's infrastructure will have other, more specific impacts on the pharmaceutical industry. Let's take a look at how it will impact day-to-day business processes.
Tracking the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain
The pharmaceutical industry handles billions of dollars worth of drugs each year. And the industry needs a way to keep track of these drugs.
Blockchain tech is an ideal solution.
If you remember correctly, a blockchain is immutable. It keeps a perfect record of transactions between all parties that have access to it.
So if you pay another company 2 billion dollars for a batch of drugs and use a blockchain to record the transaction? That transaction is permanently on record.
And you're not the only one who can see it. It's visible to everyone in your network. It's also visible to lawyers and other legal entities that look through your ledgers.
Let's get real:
How many of your business partners do you trust? How many of them do you think would undercut you if they could get away with it?
Fortunately, you don't have to trust your business associates when you use a distributed ledger. All of the transactions are recorded in the ledger.
But that's not all.
Each transaction in a distributed ledger is accompanied by a timestamp. So you know exactly when that transaction occurred.
A smart contract is a contract which immediately executes when certain conditions are met. Let's say, for example, that you order a shipment of drugs and want to pay once they arrive at your facility.
The contract wouldn't be rendered complete until these two things occurred:
The contract's outcome would be stored within the blockchain.
How Can My Company Join the Blockchain Infrastructure?
So how can your company join the blockchain infrastructure or at least find out more about doing so? What's the most reputable source of information?
We recommend that you speak to an experienced professional blockchain developer who knows the ins and outs of this technology. That said, don't hesitate to contact us to speak to a professional if you want to learn more about blockchain infrastructure.