Is there any word more popular than blockchain in the business world right now? Everybody is talking about it, others are researching and learning about it, but very few have decided to ride the wave and make the most of this emerging technology. The reason for that lies in the blockchain being too complicated for someone who doesn’t have a good understanding of immutable, publicly distributed ledgers.
Let’s cut through the mystery by starting to explore what blockchain is, and how can your business benefit from enterprise blockchain solutions.
Simply put, blockchain technology enables us to share information and transactions between multiple parties, businesses, software, etc. We’re all excited about blockchain because it is decentralized, digitized, verifiable, and includes an immutable ledger. So, first, let’s take a closer look at each of these terms to understand their value for businesses.
Blockchain technology doesn’t rely on centralized control of one particular technology setup or organization. Any properly-authorized machine and user can access the blockchain, regardless of where they are accessing it. In other words, numerous computers can contribute to running efficiently on the blockchain.
Each blockchain framework runs digitally, usually across the internet and cloud-supported services. All the technology involving a certain blockchain sends, receives, processes, and verifies each piece of information digitally.
A specific blockchain “ledger” contains a record of all the transactions and information that’s ever been shared across the blockchain network. All of this data is independently verified for truthfulness and accuracy by multiple computers. This means it’s practically impossible for an individual user or machine to try and “fool” a blockchain network by introducing fraudulent or erroneous information.
Once a record has been written to the blockchain and passes the verification process, it can never be altered. Each record on a blockchain network is fixed at the moment of its writing on the blockchain. That said, changes can be made subsequently, but each change will be captured and saved as a separate transaction. This simplifies the audit of blockchain information, but also transactions.
If you’re hearing for the first time about a ledger, it is a place where all blockchain information and transactions are being recorded. You can think of it as a database built on blockchain technology. Each time someone adds a new transaction or information to the blockchain, it will be appended to the end of the ledger, allowing all machines to get the latest, and the most accurate, information.
Best Industries for Blockchain Applications
There are several industries that can benefit from implementing blockchain applications into their business. Companies in these industries will be able to get value out of the blockchain implementation, depending on how well the blockchain was deployed. The industries that are already maximizing the potential of blockchain applications are healthcare, real estate, supply chain, and insurance.
1. Blockchain Startup in the Healthcare Industry
A blockchain startup in the healthcare industry can record medical and patient details in the blockchain, from medical records and diagnostics to any other relevant information. The information will be stored securely while allowing the patient to have a single medical card that would be available to any hospital upon patient’s approval.
2. Blockchain Startup in the Real Estate Industry
A blockchain startup in the real estate industry can capture and share details about property listings, transactions, funding, contracts, and similar details.
3. Blockchain Startup in the Supply Chain Industry
A blockchain startup in the supply chain industry can gather information on raw materials, parts, or products, capturing the movement of goods through the supply chain, offering contract details, documentation, shipping, and payment processing to suppliers and third parties.
4. Blockchain Startup in the Insurance
Blockchain startups in the insurance industry can capture policy details, make payments, or manage claims.
How to Start Operating on Blockchain
You might decide to invest in blockchain to completely revolutionize your business or start fresh with a new business that is only focusing on developing blockchain solutions and offering them to companies in different industries. However, if you’re keen on developing any type of software pieces or applications supported by a blockchain, there are a few steps to follow to ensure you make the most of it:
1. Determine which areas of your business, information, and technology you will use the blockchain for and which functionalities you seek to get out of blockchain technology.
2. Create your blockchain solution and implement it into your business plan, costs, revenues, and profit estimates because building this solution will augment your costs.
3. Determine which framework will be the best option for your blockchain application, whether an established blockchain protocol like Ethereum or you will create your own.
4. Develop your blockchain solutions with all of your stakeholders in mind to ensure their feedback is implemented on time, allowing you to polish the product before it hits the market.
Blockchain is changing the business world, regardless of whether you’re aware of it or not. With new blockchain projects being launched, we can only expect that the number of companies maximizing the value of this technology will continue to grow. Keeping in mind that blockchain is still in the development phase, it will be interesting to follow its journey, for both businesses and individuals seeking to make the most of it.