When people think of using the blockchain, they often just imagine buying Bitcoin or some other cryptocurrency as an investment. What they fail to realize is that the blockchain that makes cryptocurrency possible is a framework that has a lot of different applications. One of the biggest advantages of blockchain technology is its security.
This makes it a very attractive system for a business to be able to use. In fact, there are so many advantages to using the blockchain for business that the future looks like it may become a viable alternative to using servers and the cloud for many businesses. All it takes is for business owners to understand the capabilities of the blockchain is for them to see a few ways that they could take advantage of it. In this article, we will go over several ways that companies can use the blockchain to help their business.
1 – Investment
Every business should have a diverse investment strategy. To face the future, there needs to be a solid strategy in place that can grow the company’s profits without much work or resources needed to do so. Letting the company’s money do the work is the best way to have a healthy ledger going forward.
Although it wouldn’t be wise to invest very heavily in cryptocurrency, it should at least be a part of the strategy. Having some of the company’s investments in cryptocurrency is a way to hedge against some of the negative market forces that happen. When there is a crisis, cryptocurrencies tend to keep their value and even gain in some cases.
There are so many cryptocurrencies besides Bitcoin that it is very important to look into the ones that are either gaining the most in value or have a less volatile history than some others. If your company is Canadian then knowing how to buy Dogecoin stock in Canada, for example, is important so you can determine which currency is going to be the best fit.
2 – Smart contracts
One of the biggest advantages of the blockchain is how it can host data in a very secure way that can’t be manipulated. The entire idea of the blockchain is that it is a decentralized database. The difference is that it doesn’t reside on a server. Instead, the blockchain is a series of hashes that are hosted on anybody that is running the blockchain. This means that the blockchain is on thousands or even millions of computers.
With this being the case, any data on there can’t be manipulated without it showing up on all of those other computers. Because of this, the hash would never be allowed to change since they are only formed and changed based on collaboration with encryption. Smart contracts are essentially these hashes on the Ethereum blockchain and are extremely secure.
Businesses love having these smart contracts since they can put whatever documents or data that need to be shared like digital signatures on an actual contract, a receipt, or even some sort of deed. They are totally secure and can’t be changed by any party at all. When there is a breach of contract, for instance, then the court case is going to be much easier to win when you have the contract stored in a smart contract.
3 – Cloud storage
Storing your data in the cloud is cheaper and far more secure than using the traditional cloud. Since the blockchain is essentially millions of computers, cloud storage is going to be the unused storage in these computers so there is no huge server to maintain. That means it is a fraction of the cost to host data storage for many companies. The savings will be passed onto their customers so your business can take advantage.
When data is stored in a cloud, there is essentially one big server that hosts the data. Since this is vulnerable to attack since a hacker only needs to get into one server, the host will make copies of any data you’re storing and then send it on to other servers. This adds to the cost and inefficiency.
There is also less of a need for expensive machinery to do the computations required for the encryption which lowers the price of data storage even further. Lastly, another benefit is the speed at which data can be accessed since there isn’t a single server anywhere. The patches come in from the nearest node so it doesn’t have to make as many “handshakes” for the data to be accessed.
4 – Proof-of-provenance
With the complexity of the supply chain being fully evident these days, it is very helpful for a lot of companies to have a very detailed and accurate reporting of all of the phases of a shipment of goods. With smart contracts, there is a ledger of every part of the process. There will be a report on where the parts for a particular were manufactured, when they arrived at the next manufacturer, and then all of the other information after. You can see who signed what as far as customs declarations, when the shipment started, and every other aspect until it arrives in your warehouses.
If there is something that goes wrong along the way then the exact moment will be clear to everybody. Each step is auditable and transparent for all stakeholders to see and stay informed about.
This is extremely important when making deals when information is very sensitive or where there are regulations that need to be adhered to. Not only will auditors see every stage of the process, but they will see if any regulations are broken along the way. Compliance issues are very rare when using these smart contracts.
These benefits are just the tip of the iceberg since the blockchain is still in its infancy. As technology gets better, there are going to be far more advantages to using the blockchain as it grows. Take advantage now and reap the rewards as it does get stronger.