Blog article
See all stories »

The Future of Blockchain, and How It Goes Over Cryptocurrency

It was bitcoin that introduced blockchain to the world, but the technology goes beyond this cryptocurrency. Businesses are looking to process data and manage their transactions more efficiently and securely, and blockchain is the answer.

One of the key competencies of today’s business leaders is that they are able to adopt disruptive technologies to drive their brands and yield long-term results. Blockchain is one such technology.

Investors, companies, developers and many startups are getting more interested in blockchain development to enhance corporate efficiency and transparency.

But here’s one question professionals often ask: how do I know blockchain is right for my business? The answer to that question lies in your practices and what you consider your business goals. If transparency, risk reduction, streamlined processes, or a unique data sharing platform is what you strive for, then it’s time for you to think about adopting blockchain indeed.

What Is blockchain and How does It Work?

Basically, blockchain is like a giant ledger that records and verifies every transaction. But more importantly, it is a distributed and incorruptible digital ledger which can be engineered to take record not only of financial transactions but practically of everything that possesses value. The most efficient and transparent blockchain systems are developed in finance, real estate, supply chain management, insurance, healthcare, and other data-intensive industries.

Blockchain: The Ultimate Fintech Software

Currently, the strongest use cases for blockchain technology are in the finance sector. Financial companies know how important it is to integrate blockchain into their processes.

Let’s consider international money transfer, for instance. According to the World Bank’s estimation, over USD 430 million were transferred in 2015 alone. Blockchain potentially lowers transfer costs by eliminating the intermediate in these types of transactions. Also, for such institutions processing multiple remittances, blockchain will serve as a public ledger that traces and authenticates transactions.

Wirecard is a good example of using blockchain to this means. Since its inception in 1999, Wirecard has evolved into a leading electronic payment solution provider. A company with more than 2,000 employees and over 20,000 clients spread across the globe, Wirecard AG has the primary responsibility of providing and ensuring utmost transparency and security of payment processing. In his recent article The 6 Payment Megatrends – #1: A Cashless World, Marcus Eichinger, Executive Vice President of Group Strategy at Wirecard AG, expounded the importance of blockchain to a cashless world. Wirecard operates in the virtual currency world where validation is done by the network, using data saved in their databases. For such a company that processes massive electronic instant payments, a game-changing revolution like the blockchain one will be a key driver in 2018 and beyond.

Blockchain Applications: Other Sectors

  • Real Estate

Several countries are commissioning blockchain-based land registry projects, with Honduras being the first government to announce such an initiative in 2015. This year, the Republic of Georgia made a deal with the Bitfury Group to develop a blockchain system for property titles. Also, Sweden recently announced it was testing a blockchain application for property titles too.

  • The Sharing Economy

Companies like Uber and AirBnB are thriving, and that is an evidence of blockchain’s business value. With services like ride-sharing offered by Uber, blockchain enables peer-to-peer payments by opening the portal to direct transactions between parties.

  • Supply Chain Management

Blockchain can make obscure supply chains more transparent, providing data that helps customers choose their products. Companies often make claims about the quality and source of their products, and consumers want to know if these claims are true. Distributed digital ledgers like blockchain will provide an easy way to ratify these claims of authenticity. Transparency comes with blockchain-based time stamping of the manufacturing date and location.

  • Governance

In the private sector, for example, the app Boardroom enables organizational decision-making through blockchain. Practically, this means corporate governance becomes fully transparent and provable in the management of digital assets, equity and information.

In the public sector, the distributed database technology could bring full transparency to elections by making the results open and publicly accessible. Right now, Ethereum-based smart contracts help to automate the process.

  • Identity management

Unbreakable identity verification is a key process for authenticating online financial transactions, but a lot of security risks go hand-in-hand with ecommerce. Blockchain provide enhanced methods for proving a person’s identity, along with the potential to digitize personal documents. Having a secure identity is critical for subscribers to online transactions.

  • Energy

On the west coast of Australia, residents enjoy sunshine virtually all year round, and rooftop solar panels are becoming increasingly popular in the region.  Using blockchain, rather than selling excess energy back to the power company, residents can trade directly with the people around them, with the distributed ledger keeping track of the transactions.

Afterword

George Howard, Founder of George Howard Strategic, speculated that “2017 will be a pivotal year for blockchain tech. Many of the startups in the space will either begin generating revenue via providing products the market demands/values or vaporize due to running out of cash…”

Steadily going into 2018 now, the blockchain craze is only solidifying, with the technology entering its next maturity level. Hopefully, this trend will keep bringing more security and transparency to the digital world.

7398
External | what does this mean?
This content is provided by an external author without editing by Finextra. It expresses the views and opinions of the author.

Comments: (0)