The time since 2020 has shown even the biggest critics – business should be digitalised. Our lives could and have been easily moved mostly online and if a company isn't there, then it's not responding adequately to its customers' needs.
The somewhat forced change in the environment has led companies to adopt various technologies, some of which they were not even aware of before. That's how blockchain applications in business were recognised. Even though it's been a long time coming, the past few years were an opportunity for the technology to manage and find its place even more firmly in several industries.
Whether you're a business owner or an individual simply curious about where blockchain can be used, this text will be very suitable for you. We'll explore in a little more depth how the technology can be applied in various ways and which companies can benefit from it.
Before Blockchain Applications – What Is This Technology?
The order of exploring blockchain applications for business requires first getting a little bit into more detail about the technology itself. Although many companies have utilised it, there are still plenty that have little to no clue what it’s really about.
Blockchain emerged in 2009 when an individual or a group of people under the name Satoshi Nakamoto introduced the first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. Although an early prototype of the technology was created at the end of the previous century and is still used at The New York Times, blockchain, the way that we know it, was introduced as a network for Bitcoin.
The technology is a digital ledger that stores information in blocks, linked with one another. Each block contains data about the previous one and editing a single one wouldn't be possible without disrupting the whole chain. Nakamoto made blockchain this way to establish even further his intentions of providing the public with a secure and transparent currency.
The transparency comes from the fact that everyone online can see the processes on the Bitcoin blockchain and on every similar public blockchain. This means that the operations of creating new cryptocurrency units as well as the financial transactions are open to the public.
The fact that public blockchains are also controlled not by a single entity but by many people across the globe contributes to the decentralisation this network is known for. Additionally, blockchain also offers considerable speed, security, and scalability, compared to similar technologies.
Enterprise Blockchain: The Most Useful Invention for Companies
It may be difficult to think of blockchain applications for business, reading the description of the initial purpose of the technology. It's true, blockchain was created with a public model and many projects utilised it for this purpose. But luckily for companies, it evolved to suit their needs.
As a natural alternative to public, a private kind of blockchain was established, once organisations realised how many advantages they could have from such distributed ledger. Another common name is enterprise blockchain, which speaks on its own about who it's catered towards.
Instead of open to all Internet users, enterprise blockchains are specifically made for organisations and are accessible to their employees. They are given various levels of access in order to retain its high levels of security. There's another big difference from public ones – a single figure has a bigger responsibility than the rest here.
It could be an assigned administrator or a notary, but enterprise blockchains have a central decision-maker that oversees that all operations are legitimate and approves or disapproves of their execution.
Although to some it may seem like the decentralisation part of the technology is taken away, its main benefits – encryption, stability, and traceability, remain. It's simply not possible to put all the existing data of any company online, whether it's with a blockchain or with any other technology. That's why it makes sense for companies who want to benefit from it to modify it and take advantage of the business blockchain applications.
The Most Interesting Blockchain Applications for Business
By now it should be more than obvious that blockchain applications go beyond cryptocurrency projects. Since companies of various sizes took the opportunity offered by enterprise blockchain, its use cases grew significantly.
In the following paragraphs, some of the more interesting ways where blockchain can be used in business will be introduced. For companies that have decided to use enterprise blockchain, they include:
Internet of Things (IoT)
Personal data storage
Supply chain management
Smart contracts are programs or protocols whose purpose is to automate a certain process according to terms of a contract or an agreement. This can be control or documentation over events or actions or even the complete execution of said events. They are mentioned among blockchain applications for business because they can be created and facilitated on this type of network.
Companies can benefit from smart contracts because they reduce the need for intermediates, the risk of malicious or accidental faults, and arbitration costs. And indeed, many businesses have already seen their potential. This is illustrated by a statistic about the global smart contracts market size. According to it, from $397.8 million in 2022, the usage of the technology will grow to $1460.3 million in the next seven years.
To those unaware of how diverse blockchain applications for business are, the mention of it in the governmental environment may seem unconventional. However, the technology acts as a far more superior storage option to conventional methods, including paper or other digital ways. Countries and states can speed up administrative processes, lower bureaucracy, and reduce financial costs, all done by simply integrating enterprise blockchain.
Governments can store documents or citizen information or even utilise blockchain technology to create accessible and easy-to-use systems for medical needs or social security. On an upper level, blockchain applications are even noticed in the European Union which is working to build European Blockchain Partnership (EBP) through a public blockchain infrastructure. The EU recognised how influential this technology is back in 2018 and since then has been working to modernise various aspects of European citizens' lives. Established blockchain leaders like INDUSTRIA have partnered with EBSI to accelerate this change.
Aligned with the previous blockchain applications for business, it's possible to use it for easier voting. This can be applied both within communities and organisations or used by countries for local or governmental elections. Many governments are working towards digitalising elections through different technologies, however, there isn't a unified approach yet accepted globally.
Blockchain can be the answer to this as it can be easily followed and nobody votes twice. The network can also filter and allow only eligible voters to vote. Lastly, trying to influence the results will be a lot more difficult to do than with paper voting. The fact that blocks contain detailed information, from timestamps to data about users, makes processes even simpler. The convenience can be established further since voters wouldn't be required to go anywhere, they can simply access the system through their electronic devices.
The Internet of Things, or simply IoT, isn't a new concept at all, however, it's among the blockchain applications for businesses, because the decentralised technology can speed up its adoption. IoT refers to physical objects with sensors or different types of software that connect to the Internet and through it, to other devices.
It's very convenient to ask your smart assistant to do simple tasks on your behalf but it's almost as convenient for hackers to access it and steal your data. The safety concerns that this technology rises can easily be solved through the means of blockchain. Thanks to it, devices can remain approachable and useful but due to encryption and transparency, they can be a lot more secure than regular IoT practices.
Personal Data Storage
This one from the blockchain applications for business is useful in two ways – for inside enterprise purposes and for customer data. Despite the technological advancements many companies have gone through, most still store their data in centralised databases, be it employee records or clients' information. This has proven as quite a vulnerable decision throughout the years, as various companies have suffered malicious attacks and had their sensitive data stolen.
Enterprise blockchain is more than an obvious choice when it comes to keeping safe information. That way records are not only encrypted but also very hard to alter. It's also transparent, so a company's employees can see all the processes that went with recorded data. Additionally, it's easily accessible, so no more looking at many sources or losing paper documentation, can also be ensured.
Following its initial purpose, money transfers as business blockchain applications seem more than obvious, right? As mentioned, not only crypto firms can benefit from this type of network to initiate financial transactions. Enterprise blockchains can be more than equal rivals to traditional banking, as they can offer faster and often times cheaper sending and receiving of money.
Using this one of the blockchain applications can not only reduce costs for customers but for organisations as well. Handling financial transactions across borders is also simplified because the technology doesn't rely on third parties and works globally, without limitations.
Supply Chain Management
There are many more blockchain applications for businesses but one that must be mentioned is supply chain management. If companies in this field of work build a reliable enterprise blockchain, they can increase the quality of their services and simplify their internal work process.
Blockchain can act as a reliable record of every step in the supply chain, allowing for easier detection of potential issues and potentially preventing delays. The transparency of this type of network facilitates work for supply management businesses and offers automation of many crucial processes.
Should Your Company Utilise Blockchain Applications?
Seeing just a few of the many diverse blockchain applications for businesses, you may be wondering if your company should venture into this technology as well. This isn't a question of yes or no, but one of how soon should you do it. Blockchain, and the enterprise kind, in particular, is bound to continue evolving and improving. With time it's likely to take the place of methods we use today because it's safer, more scalable, and more effective than many of them.
But building a reliable enterprise blockchain isn't a simple task. That's why it's best to trust professionals like INDUSTRIA to do it for you. From the very early stages of consultancy and advising, through planning and design, and finally building and deployment – you can rely on their professionals to carry out all complex procedures for you. This is one of the market leaders when it comes to delivering fully-functional enterprise blockchains that facilitate workflow and offer a stable and secure network for clients.
If you’re looking into incorporating enterprise blockchain into your company, contact INDUSTRIA. You'll benefit from their extensive knowledge and expertise. After all of your questions are answered, you'll be able to receive your blockchain and improve the quality of your services.
The sooner companies take the crucial step into modernisation and digitalisation of their work through blockchain applications, the better. That way they can become more competitive and offer customers various advantages that others can't provide.
Will the Blockchain Applications in Business Increase With Time?
Expecting the number of blockchain applications in business to grow isn't just wishful thinking, it's a fact. According to forecasts about the global blockchain market, its size will grow more than 50% from now to 2030 when it will reach a record $508.1 billion. That's impressive on its own, but even more when compared to 2021 – one of the strongest periods in blockchain history so far, when it was estimated at only $6.1 billion.
It’s more than simple, as blockchain grows, so will its applications in business. In return, as businesses endorse and adopt this technology, its maturity and development will speed up. That’s why it’s better now than later for organisations to implement enterprise blockchain and benefit from it today and in the years to come.
INDUSTRIA is a global technology consulting, development, and ventures company with expertise in the field of enterprise blockchain, confidential computing, process automation, and digital experience. As one of the official partners of R3, we are implementing cutting-edge blockchain technologies and reshaping the fintech world. At INDUSTRIA, we are focused on providing permissioned blockchain solutions, such as Central Bank Digital Currencies, Electronic Bill of Lading, and Smart Contracts. Our solutions apply to a wide range of industries and use cases to empower and modernise society.
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