In today’s connected world, organizations operate more as part of a business ecosystem comprising multiple parties, each driving value creation for the end consumer. This often requires the exchange of data among stakeholders across organizational boundaries, very often, with conflicting interests. This data exchange comes with its own share of challenges such as disparate sources of truth, inconsistent data formats, and a lack of transparency that eventually lead to erosion in trust.
To understand what blockchain is, one needs to imagine a virtual ledger capable of registering and verifying a huge number of electronic transactions quickly and safely. Today, this shared ledger technology has greatly expanded the area of application.
The first blockchain use cases originate from financial institutions and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum—to name a few. The annual global market for blockchain development has increased almost twice since 2017, industries from healthcare to food to notary are beginning to adopt blockchain. To dive deeper, let’s go back to the basics of technology.
A blockchain is a file that stores data. From a technical perspective, it’s a decentralized database, where all data is replicated and shared through multiple computers. No single entity can gain control over the blockchain, be it a federal or a private organization. This unique feature makes the DLT (distributed ledger technology) a revolutionary shift from using centralized and fully administered databases.
Blockchain works this way: the file comprises a series of interconnected pieces of data that create a chain. The great thing about shared ledger tech is that each section of the chain (so-called block) registers any modification of its content, allowing it to create a full history trail that cannot be faked, mislaid, or damaged. This is called an immutable record as a whole.
Since the blockchain is replicated across many computers, there can be many users who access the entire chain of data. It’s not a central manager who runs and controls all the transactions or records, but a network of users who collaborate to check the data and reach an agreement. As we mentioned, the first real-world example of applying blockchain is bitcoin, a type of cryptocurrency that works the same way.
Distributed databases, smart contracts, and immutability of the blockchain ecosystem make the technology a massive game-changer for many industries. Progressive companies are ready for transformation and many have started adopting DLT and reaping the benefits.
Blockchain unveils opportunities for those who aren’t afraid of innovations. Below are the most impactful benefits of employing Blockchain.
1. Greater transparency and traceability of payments between multiple entities.
2. Secure management of digital relationships using smart contracts.
3. Fewer intermediaries and, therefore, massive cost savings.
4. Tracking and managing access to critical data in real-time.
5. Prevention of fraudulent activities and mishandling of data stored on the blockchain.
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