Blockchain technology has the potential to transform both the economy and broader society. And that’s not idle speculation. Some of the world’s leading experts, including billion-dollar investment fund manager Cathy Wood of ARK Invest, say that blockchain will be one of the five most significant technologies of the 21st century.
Blockchain, at root, is a distributed ledger than grows with each piece of activity on the network. So, for instance, if somebody made a transaction with somebody else using, say bitcoin, the blockchain system would record that transaction and ensure that everybody in the network had a record of it. By doing this, blockchain prevents hacking. A hacker would not only have to change the record on their computer but also on more than half of the rest of the computers in the network, roughly speaking. In a sense, blockchain bypasses the need for trusted third parties because a single nefarious individual cannot easily commandeer the system itself.
This might all sound very promising for the Silicon Valley tech elites, but what about the regular economy? How can it possibly help businesses like yours run better? It turns out that blockchain has a broad range of exciting applications that apply to your business too. In fact, you can read about all the various ways that it can help at https://blockchain.intellectsoft.net/blog/consensus-protocols-that-meet-different-business-demands/.
So how can you use blockchain today in your business?
Traditional voting systems are prone to fraud. Just take a look at the American system over the last few decades. America is a bastion of democracy and has held “free and fair” elections for hundreds of years. But even with such a rich history and tradition of voting, fraud still happens. There are all sorts of ways to commit voter fraud, from turning up to the polling station more than once to rigging electronic voting machines.
But voter fraud, at least outside of the political sector, may be about to come to an end, all thanks to blockchain technology. Proof-of-stake is a kind of global database shared among various computers which proves that a particular person has a right to vote. When they vote electronically, the proof-of-stake system records their vote across the network, and the votes are counted when all parties agree. Rather like monetary transactions, this system prevents voter fraud, even for small-scale voting decisions, such as who to promote to board member.
Systems for paying domestic workers are already fairly advanced. Few companies would say that they had problems here. But when it comes to paying overseas employees, the situation is very different. Delays in international payments can be considerable, especially when paying to non-developed countries. And costs can be high, meaning that companies must either pay less competitive wages or cough up hefty fees according to https://www.nasdaq.com/article/4-ways-to-use-blockchain-in-your-business-cm754185.
Blockchain promises a solution. Because virtual currency isn’t location-bound, transactions can essentially take place wherever there is an internet. Paying using blockchain currencies will eventually reduce the high cost of paying employees overseas by eliminating transaction costs. Payment should take no longer than it takes to create a new block in the chain, something which depends on the computing power available rather than regulation and red tape.
Supply Chain Management
Keeping track of inventory is a significant challenge for small businesses. With so many items moving from supplier to warehouse to customer, it can be a nightmare keeping track of it all. Knowing who owns what is the biggest challenge.
Systems are already in place that tries to prove where an item came from and who currently owns it. But these systems are not foolproof. Ask most retail managers, and they’ll tell you that unexplained “shrinkage,” or loss of stock, is still a major issue that cuts into their bottom line. Blockchain, on the other hand, can provide a permanent and unchangeable record of who owns what, almost in real time. It can also prove where an item originated so that retailers and customers know that they’re getting the genuine article.
Finally, businesses could make money through the blockchain cloud, a new kind of decentralized cloud storage technology. The traditional cloud is highly centralized. Big companies like Amazon and Microsoft rent out server space to cloud providers and get money in return. Blockchain could potentially put an end to their dominance by allowing individual users to open up their own hard drives for cloud storage. The technology promises to be able to keep third-party information perfectly safe and secure while providing businesses with an additional source of income.