Although blockchain is one of the hottest topics in IT today, the concept remains elusive to many. Heralded as one of the most transformational technologies of our time, it is next to certain that blockchain will affect your business in some way, sooner or later. Hence, executives that understand the mind-boggling scope and opportunities of this technology are likely to unlock future growth.
Transactions involving company assets – such as money, patents, contracts or just about anything that holds value – are traditionally tracked in ledgers. These ledgers, however, are inefficient, costly and non-transparent. Moreover, they are trust-based, making them sensitive to fraud and misuse. Blockchain aims to solve all of these deficiencies.
The basics of blockchain
A blockchain is a tamper-proof, shared digital ledger that records transactions in a public or private peer-to-peer network. All assets are embedded in digital code and stored in transparent, distributed databases. Every transaction has a unique digital signature that is identified and validated by the entire network, protecting them from deletion, tampering, and revision. As such, blockchain’s new form of data sharing and asset transfer has the potential to eliminate intermediaries and central third parties.
What this means for businesses
Blockchain may be the technology at the heart of digital currencies like Bitcoin, but its potential goes far beyond financial applications. Every business process that somehow relies on trust, security, transparency or operational efficiency can benefit.
From managing complex supply chains to setting up global collaborations or even enhancing marketing and customer service initiatives: blockchain has the potential to disrupt all of it. While there are still many challenges to overcome, the technology promises to evolve fast. In order to unlock future growth, business should begin by exploring the realm of opportunities it has to offer.