Reading the news, you’d be forgiven for thinking that people use blockchain exclusively for cryptocurrency. Headlines like to lump the two together – with the relatively bookish and technical blockchain piggybacking on the excitement around digital currency.
But there’s a whole world of possibilities in blockchain technology beyond Bitcoin trading. Blockchain has advantages and commercial applications that are already making waves in various industries – as new sectors, entrepreneurs, and innovators dream up new ideas for emerging technology.
In this article, let’s take a moment to divorce blockchain from its flashy companion, Bitcoin. Let’s discuss what blockchain is, why it’s exciting, and how some forward-thinking companies are using it to create transformative app experiences that rock their respective industries.
What Is Blockchain?
Blockchain is an immutable, decentralized digital ledger that records and stores transactions across a peer-to-peer network. Because blockchain is a) shared and b) nearly impossible to tamper with, and c) automatic, people can use it to instantly verify and record transactions without the need for a centralized clearing authority.
In basic terms: it facilitates fast, honest and secure transactions.
What Are the Advantages of Blockchain?
So, it’s a digital ledger – what’s the big deal? The section above alludes to the benefits of blockchain, but here they are in bullet-point form:
- Transparency: Some organizations use blockchain’s open-source and unalterable ledger to introduce transparency into otherwise opaque industries.
- Security: According to MIT Technology Review, “The whole point of using a blockchain is to let people — in particular, people who don’t trust one another — share valuable data in a secure, tamperproof way.” This includes companies in partnership, transactional parties, etc.
- Cost Bypasses: Blockchain is beneficial because it removes the need for unnecessary audits, third parties, and associated costs for purchases and transfers.
- Fractional Investing: Because people can post secure, cost-free, and transparent transactions, sometimes using decentralized currencies, they can use blockchain for “fractional investing” or tokenization.
How blockchain can Benefit Your Business: Examples and Inspiration
Adopting blockchain solutions isn’t challenging, per se, provided you work with app developers experienced in building and implementing the technology. If you’re interested in leveraging the power of blockchain for your business, your first step should be to vet app developers for experience and blockchain fluency.
And how exactly will your business use it? To give you a sense of how people are using blockchain, let’s single out and survey four applications: real estate, healthcare, legal services, and supply chain management.
- Real Estate: Real estate investors can use blockchain for fractional investing, essentially buying small shares of a property rather than the entire thing. This could radically transform the real estate industry, lowering the bar for investors.
- Healthcare: Healthcare companies can use blockchain to securely record and transfer patient records, pharmaceutical patents, and more.
- Legal: The legal industry has already started using blockchain in several cases, including smart contracts, IP transfers, land registration, etc.
- Supply Chain Management: blockchain can aid in transportation and logistics, adding straightforward precision to a complex system of processes.
Blockchain is far more than a digital marketplace for cryptocurrency transactions. It promises transparency, security, cost savings, and novel ways to approach investment for any business that wants to use it. If you’re interested in how blockchain can elevate your business, partner with experienced app developers.