Are You Ready for Blockchain in Your Business?
Cryptocurrencies are proving to be one of the hottest topics in financial technology in recent memory. The potential behind these digital coins and blockchain, the technology that fuels them, continues to cause excitement as businesses large and small are questioning if there is value for their organizations.
There is reason for skeptism as instances of crypto scams have pushed authorities to institute stringent regulations, sometimes slowing down the development of the technology in the worst case scenario.
However, where regulations have been thought through and implemented, including the United States, businesses and individuals step up everyday to invest in blockchain and cryptos.
What Is Blockchain?
Blockchain is a decentralized, incorruptible ledger on which Bitcoin and other altcoins are built. Transactions such as payment from one person to another or shipments being received and forwarded are added to a set of transactions called a block. The block is added to the chain and becuase of the security employed to create a block it cannot be changed, so users can trust the validity of the information represented.The chain (or ledger) is hosted across a network, either publicly or privately (by one organization), of nodes (servers) without any one central connection. The blockchain holds the full history of every transaction that has ever taken place. The blockchain checks, verifies and records each withdrawal, payment and trade process, all without the need for any third-party interference. In essence, it is a decntralized database that no one entity can alter.
What Could It Do For Your Business?
The potential that blockchain technology can hold for any business is huge. It can help improve the security of transactions, lower overall costs and reduce potential lag time of your supply chain. With faster and more accurate transactions that are far less prone to hacking, fraud or theft, businesses could improve any number of business-to-client transactions.
Blockchain technology not only ensures that there is no third-party interference with payments, but it also provides transparency – something that most consumers are demanding nowadays. Data regarding shipments, payments and other information can be updated in real time, giving businesses better access to this information and ultimately cutting down administration time and costs.
Is it Ready for Prime Time?
Cryptocurrencies – and the blockchain by extension – are still a new technology without a clear understanding of it's ultimate uses. As a result, governments have been slow to generate legislation and regulations. One reason is that regulators can’t seem to grasp what it is or what the effect on their economies could be. Without fully understanding its use cases, it’s difficult for governments to form regulations and laws around their use. However, this is starting to change. Only time will tell as to whether these regulations help or hinder the growth of the crypto industry.
Businesses can benefit from many of the features of blockchain technology, if not cryptocurrencies themselves. Understanding the blockchain's potential and how it can work inside their business will move the ball down the field and begin to make it as much a part of our lives as the Internet.