In today's global economy, successful business transactions rest upon one’s ability to store and retrieve data. Such transactions require computing, which has traditionally been performed through a central database and a central set of resources to protect and maintain this critical information.
With the advent of blockchain technology, all of that is changing.
Blockchain technology treats the database as a network that anyone or anything may join. Blockchain experts call this “decentralization,” the promise of friction-free collaboration between members of complex networks without central authorities or intermediaries.
With blockchain, we can create a world in which transactions are embedded in immutable code and stored in transparent, shared databases, where they are protected from deletion, tampering, and revision.
In a world powered by blockchain, every process, every transaction, and every payment would have a digital record and signature that could be identified, validated, and stored.
There is hardly an administrative process or recordkeeping database that can't be transformed through blockchain technology, but that does not make it the ideal solution in every case.
The question remains, how can you determine whether blockchain technology is the right solution for your business?
When Is Blockchain the Right Solution for Your Business?
Blockchain might be the right solution for your business if:
1. You operate a marketplace.
Trust is critical if parties are to participate willingly in a competitive marketplace.
For example, Bitcoin users must be able to trust that the value of Bitcoin will be the same, regardless of where it's acquired. Bitcoin has no value if users cannot trust that it will be exchangeable at a similar or better rate in the future.
Because they are difficult to locate and disrupt, distributed systems (like blockchain networks) provide protection from untrustworthy outside forces. When a business stakes its funds, reputation, and authority on the integrity of a distributed system, it demonstrates a commitment to transparency and honesty.
If your organization operates a marketplace, a blockchain-based platform delivers a high degree of trust on both your (the merchant's) and your customers' ends. The cryptography and game theory that serve as a foundation for blockchain transactions establish a level playing field free from direct manipulation.
2. You rely upon a complex supply chain.
With distributed ledger technologies, there are many eyes on your product at every step of the supply chain, whether they be human or machine.
Establishing a digital supply chain that allows all parties to maintain a real-time, accurate record of inventory, from manufacturing to retail shelf (for example), engenders accountability, transparency, and – ultimately – trust, between producers, distributors, and consumers.
3. You are bound by regulatory compliance and legislation.
If you operate in finance, insurance, real estate, or another regulated industry, you are likely aware that legal complexities introduce risk, whether it is due to hackers, natural disasters, bad actors, or honest mistakes.
The transparency and level of trust promised by blockchain technology all but eliminate this risk. Imagine how much harder it would be to make a significant error (or get away with creative accounting) if the same adjustments must be made on hundreds or thousands of computers simultaneously.
When combined with proper encryption, blockchain is a particularly effective audit tool for large or layered organizations.
There is no question that blockchain technology has the potential to disrupt the world economy in unpredictable ways. Blockchain may open up a world of possibility for you and your organization.
The best way to find out if blockchain could positively transform the way you do business is to chat with a blockchain expert at Object Computing. We have first-hand experience building blockchain platforms and applications, and we are dedicated to finding the right solution for your business.
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