Since it first gained notoriety as the power behind Bitcoin, blockchain has forever changed the way the business world works. Today, the technology is becoming more and more ubiquitous, with myriad applications far beyond cryptocurrency.
Because blockchain has become such a popular solution across many different sectors, some businesses are turning to development companies to help them implement the technology in their organizations. Doing so has many benefits and ultimately allows your business to improve and grow.
How Does Blockchain Work?
Blockchain is a distributed, public ledger. The sequence of connected “blocks,” each of which stores information like purchase time and the parties between whom the transaction occurred, is unalterable, in that changing one block will affect the entire sequence. Anyone can view the information in the blockchain.
The ledger is decentralized, meaning it isn’t governed by a central authority like a bank. Instead, anyone can make a transaction on the blockchain, such that the information is on multiple devices, rather than concentrated in a single server supported by a single entity.
A blockchain consulting company works with blockchain technologies, developing stronger solutions for clients and helping them meet their business goals.
It Can Apply to Many Different Industries and Sectors
Gone are the days when blockchain was simply seen as the fuel of Bitcoin. While it did put cryptocurrency on the map, the technology can be used across plenty of industries and sectors. For example, in the renewable energy sector, blockchain can mitigate concerns about security by ensuring that the information researchers collect won’t be modified or stolen and ensure that multiple parties have access to the same information simultaneously.
And that’s not the only industry that will benefit from the blockchain. Finance and banking, of course, have already embraced the technology, and healthcare, retail, manufacturing, advertising, and many others are quickly getting on board, too.
It Addresses Security Concerns
Blockchain provides a level of security so sophisticated that it’s one of the most important reasons why many businesses implement the technology in the first place. It allows you to ensure that the data in the ledger can’t be altered or stolen and gives your customers the peace of mind that their information is safe, no matter what they’ve shared with you.
It Improves Tracking
If you need to trace products, blockchain can facilitate it. For example, from a manufacturing standpoint, you can track where your goods originated, where they traveled, and where they are now. Essentially, you can see everything that has happened to the goods since they left the original facility. Thus, you’ll be able to spot any problems and address them quickly. This will help you ensure timely deliveries, which translates to business success.
It Makes Information Readily Available
You need data to inform your business decisions. Information is key to improving your operations and ultimately growing as an organization. Blockchain makes it more possible to access essential information.
Take healthcare, for instance. If a patient were to change medical providers, the new practitioner could immediately access the patient’s information from the previous practitioner — as would any additional specialists they need to visit. The providers can simply view the information digitally, without the need for emailing or printing sensitive records. Because only authorized people can relate the data stored in the blockchain with a particular individual, the patient can know that their information is secure, too.
It Can Help Authenticate Information
On a similar note, while blockchain won’t eradicate misinformation entirely, it can go a long way in helping authenticate data. Because the records are immutable, no one can change the information within each block — without, of course, affecting the entire blockchain — preventing the manipulation or alteration of the data.
It Facilitates More Efficient Transactions
No longer do you need to wait days and days for a bank to process your transactions. With blockchain, they’ll be processed more quickly and easily, satisfying both businesses and their customers. That’s because they don’t require an intermediary — like a bank — and instead enable peer-to-peer transactions. This translates to increased efficiency, which will draw more customers to your business.
For example, in the case of a smart contract, you won’t need to engage a witness to verify the transaction taking place — only the parties exchanging goods or services need to be involved in signing it. Likewise, in the gaming industry, customers could make in-app purchases immediately, without the need for the transaction to be validated by the player’s financial institution.
It Reduces Costs
A major way blockchain is impacting businesses is through its ability to keep the costs down. It eliminates the need to hire a “middleman” to help facilitate transactions, for one. You can also better guarantee the security of your customers’ information without having to devise more intricate and costly solutions for safeguarding it.
If you hire consulting services to implement blockchain solutions for you as opposed to doing it in-house, you’ll save even more. This is because:
- You’ll only end up paying for the services you actually use.
- The company will have its own infrastructure, meaning you won’t have to buy expensive equipment and pay experts full-time salaries, although you’ll still benefit from their work.
- You’ll have access to extensive support as part of your package and won’t need to hire additional consultants to troubleshoot.
It Increases Collaboration
Without the need for intermediaries, blockchain facilitates direct contact and collaboration between two parties. This allows for greater interaction between the two peers who are involved in the transaction. And because anyone can view and participate in the blockchain, it facilitates collaboration on a widespread scale, given that everyone will have access to the same sets of information.
We still have a long way to go before blockchain will be adopted globally. In every industry, there are challenges with implementing and using the technology, such as the efforts it takes to maintain the blockchain. It can also be difficult to scale the technology.
That said, it’s clearly gaining traction in many sectors. Blockchain consulting will bring many benefits to your organization, allowing it to grow and thrive. We’ll likely see the need for these services to steadily increase in the future.