Seems like everyone's asking about what blockchain uses can do for them.
And just as many people will tell you that blockchain can change the world.
How can you best use blockchain to help your business - and how have its uses evolved in the past several years? Keep reading to find out.
What is Blockchain?
First, for the kids in the back: what is blockchain?
Blockchain is a decentralized public digital ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions.
Here's how it works.
The blockchain is made up of blocks. A block records some or all of the recent transactions. Once the block is completed, it's added to the blockchain with a timestamp and a link to the block before it.
Here's the kicker: once a transaction is added, anyone can view it, but they can't copy it, modify it or delete it.
This is due to the design of blockchain, specifically the fact that every block is linked to the block before it, all the way up to the original block.
This means that to hack one block, you essentially have to hack the entire chain - while people are adding new blocks to it.
It's pretty much as impossible as it sounds.
What Can Blockchain Do?
So it's a ledger.
What, then, are blockchain uses for your business?
Well, that has something to do with what blockchain is good at.
For example, blockchains are secure. So they're good for writing data and reading data because of the proof-of-work consensus.
What that really means is in order to add a new transaction, you have to validate existing blocks within the chain (which is easier than it sounds) and perform a few calculations to find the number that makes your block valid to other participants.
There's also the fact that blockchains are difficult to hack (which should not be confused with the data on blockchain being encrypted).
In fact, the data on blockchain is by default unencrypted (otherwise you wouldn't be able to see all the transactions on the chain). But the encryption behind the chain itself is strong because you're unable to copy, modify or delete a block, even though you can read it.
All of which begs the question: how can you make money on blockchain?
Depends on what you want to use it for.
Blockchain is most known for its original use as the foundational technology behind bitcoin, a virtual currency that has been on the rise since 2008. But uses for blockchain have been expanding since then.
When trying to figure out what blockchain uses could work for you, it's important to keep in mind what blockchain was originally designed to be: a digital ledger.
In other words, a digital record of information that doesn't require trust (which is a pretty amazing thing in the Internet age).
Blockchain will prove most useful if you're using it for one of two purposes: information transparency and information security.
Here are four ways blockchain uses can work for your business.
In other words, building trust on platforms like Airbnb.
In blockchain, rather like Facebook, people can store their online identities and link it to reviews and scores on other marketplace sites. And unlike Facebook, people can't just delete their accounts or the reviews linked to it and start over from scratch.
Which is great for sites like Airbnb where trusted providers and users matter so much to the function of the marketplace.
This way, both providers and users can ensure that they're using someone they trust, thanks to a tamper-proof system for managing your digital reputation.
Securities are a big one with blockchain and for a good reason.
It doesn't matter how good your people are or how often they and their information get vetted - they're still subject to basic human error. And that's a problem when someone is trusting you with their money.
If you use blockchain in the clearing and settlement of cash securities, you can ensure three things.
Think of how much money you could save if you cut the middlemen out of your processes. It's not chump change.
It might seem counterintuitive that blockchain could be useful in the electricity industry. Until you realize that blockchain could rewrite the whole market.
In the world we currently live in, there are central electricity providers who power everyone's workplaces and homes.
Blockchain could turn that system on its head.
Instead, blockchain could serve as the basis for a distributed network where individuals generate their own energy to sell on the network, using blockchain to buy and sell to strangers and ensure they can't get screwed over by a customer who later claims they didn't buy from them.
Why use blockchain in your real estate business?
Because it makes your life so much easier.
If you put property records on blockchain, it becomes super easy for prospective buyers to make sure the owner, you know, actually owns the place (by verifying information in the chain).
In today's world, that process is done manually. It's slow and it's expensive and it's subject to a lot of margin for human error.
Introducing blockchain would help significantly cut down on the various costs that homeowners buying or refinancing their homes are subject to, especially title insurance.
Making Blockchain Work for You
We said blockchain can change the world.
So the real question is: are you ahead of the curve?
We deliver Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain solutions to help your business be more agile, including platform development with seamless integration, IoT and blockchain DevOps, and continuous delivery. We aim to achieve operational efficiency and excellence to all of our customers.
To learn more about IoT and blockchain, check out our blog for posts like how blockchain businesses are making money.
But, of course, if you're ready to get started, we're ready to start the conversation. Head to our contact page to get in touch.
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