Blockchain technology is considered as one of the critical elements of the next technology revolution. It is also often referred to as the “next internet” because of its robustness and transparency. The blockchain technology is expected to offer unique solutions across industries, from finance to retail, publishing and a host of other unlikely candidates.
What is blockchain?
The Blockchain is a digital ledger to record digital transactions which were originally created to record bitcoin transactions. The recorded digital transactions essentially take the form of a database or digital spreadsheet which is further duplicated multiple times across various computers. The information is up-to-date and public as the chain is shared and continually reconciled. It is harder for a hacker to corrupt the information as there is no centralized location and information is collected across a series of devices.
Why is blockchain important for small businesses?
Improve transactions security: One of the biggest advantages of the blockchain is that there is middleman or company who owns the data set. As information is listed across a distributed network, users are in complete control of all the transactions and information. In fact, all the users can validate the accuracy of the central ledger using their own copy. This makes it easier for small businesses to avoid malicious attacks.
Streamline business processes: Streamlining of business processes by blockchain is another biggest advantage for the small businesses. The absence of middleman makes the transaction process quicker. Besides, the aforementioned benefits, blockchain also allows the small business owners to exchange property, money, shares or anything of value in a transparent and conflict-free way. This not only makes the organization more efficient but also cut costs in long run.
Demand for Blockchain
There are indications that there would be increased usage of blockchain in a variety of sectors and industry verticals. Some sectors are which are advanced in their blockchain strategies, while others have an understanding but are just testing the waters.
- Blockchain startups and consortiums: Startups hiring in this space are numerous. Several startups are attempting to create blockchain standards in the financial sectors.
- Large tech firms: Many large companies like Microsoft and IBM are creating products to support blockchain development with ‘blockchain as a service’ tools built into their existing cloud portfolios.
- Banks and other private sector firms: Banks have been particularly active in blockchain space. Besides banks, Visa and Thomas Reuters have also been looking out for specialists, while Airbnb hired a team of blockchain and Bitcoin specialists earlier this year.
- Government: Several governments have realized the importance of blockchain in the government and conversations have begun in the public sectors around how blockchain can be used. Several discussions are being held on practical cases, such as tracking student loan payments.
- Professional services firms: Many big consulting firms are building out blockchain teams to advise their clients on what is expected to be a hugely transformative technology.
The blockchain is certainly vast and has a lot to its credits. More research and development is warranted. Irrespective of the size of the company, it is certainly a technology worth investigating, particularly if security is a priority.