The blockchain revolution appears to be gaining more and more followers on its path to disruption. Expanding within and outside the realm of finance, the blockchain has gained a devoted following in everything from construction to agriculture to entertainment. What may be less entertaining, however, is figuring out exactly what it can do for your business. Here, we round up the top five blockchain applications to help you get started.
According to The Economist, the blockchain is such a powerful technology, it will transform the very way we do business on a day-to-day basis. This, of course, involves Smart Contracts. Smart Contracts, in a nutshell are self-automated programs that facilitate the previously agreed upon terms of a contract. Not only will they make your business smarter, but they will also make it run more efficiently and with a lot less hiccups along the way. Tired of waiting around for your vendor or business partner to fulfill next steps? Why not let the blockchain enforce those terms for you, reducing limitations with time, costs, and most importantly, trust? That’s the thing about Smart Contracts, they render every contract transparent and traceable in the decentralized blockchain network.
One company called Slock uses Smart Contracts to securely rent bicycles. Once both parties have agreed to the terms of the contract, the next customer can go ahead and unlock a smart lock to start their next adventure. Even big name luxury brands like Dior and Louis Vuitton have begun to leverage the traceability of Smart Contracts to verify the authenticity of their goods. In the past, trust may’ve been seen as a luxury, but that is all about to change with the advent of the blockchain.
BlockCerts Blockchain has 4 unique new solutions with Smart Contracts that make them SMARTER. While there are numerous benefits that make current eSignature and paper contracts obsolete, here are the most notable:
- SMARTID with KYP (Know your person, place, product, program). SMARTID authenticates every individual with 3-Step authentication to insure that every party to a contract is verified. A government ID, a selfie with facial recognition, another form of ID and even background checks can be verified if the business use calls for it. Location level mapping also reinforces the verification. No longer can anyone say, “That wasn’t my signature”.
- An Immutable Record Everyone who is party to the contract can access it in seconds just be entering their 64-digit private key or QR Code. This makes the process ultra-secure and quick to access.
- Connecting the “Gaps” in contracts. Now a contract can include file attachments, instant message conversations, automatic payments and more to insure that the intent of the contract is carried out for better relationships and better results.
- Version Control – Allow each party to view the development of a contract and the past versions along the way.
Cloud Storage is another significant application, as reported by The Economist. According to the source, the world spends over $22 billion on cloud storage alone. That’s a pretty big revenue stream to capture and for companies that use cloud storage methods (AKA most companies today), the blockchain could significantly help to reduce costs and enhance security along the way.
Blockchain technology is a distributed technology, meaning that information is never left to one centralized source. Instead of storing online communications in one data center, the blockchain disperses puzzle pieces of information across a number of different ‘computers.’ The only one who can put the full picture together is the person holding the private key.
Employee Cash Flow
With deeply ingrained financial roots, the blockchain is an intuitive choice when it comes to compensating employees. For the internationally minded business, paying international workers can be costly and time consuming. But thanks to the blockchain, companies are learning to circumvent those costs along with the amount of time it takes for funds to reach employees’ bank accounts. For contractors, freelancers, and remote workers, this form of payment is a much quicker and convenient process as well. And for any business owner, the blockchain helps to see exactly where the money is going.
The key to any successful relationship is communication, but in today’s business landscape, communication is often the greatest problem of all. While many companies are based on relationships with outside suppliers, communications across the supply chain can get quite tricky. “Using blockchain technology would proactively provide digitally permanent, audit-able records that show stakeholders the state of the product at each value-added step,” The Economist states. This means greater accountability, greater understanding, and greater relationships in every phase of development, production, sales, and beyond.
Nomatter what happened in the 2016 election, the possibility of outside interference is certainly on our radar. Fortunately, blockchain protocol is designed to protect individuals against interference in the first place. In any given environment, the blockchain can help to enforce stakeholder approval voting and resolve consensus issues in the most democratic, secure, and efficient manner we’ve seen yet. It’s all about feeling seen, instead of exposed in the digital age.