Until recently, however, actual examples of how Blockchain could be used effectively by commercial businesses have been relatively few and far between.
More commonly, we’ve heard that blockchain offers the potential for verifying contracts and records, making it most useful for established corporations such as medical insurance providers, governments and notaries.
However, it’s easy to see how these same principles could be used by much smaller organisations, such as startups, in the not-too-distant future.
In fact, there are a few startups already looking at ways to streamline their processes with blockchain technology.
Easy Data Verification Has Widespread Potential
The big hurdle for many entrepreneurs is realising that if blockchain can verify more than cryptocurrency transactions, it can ascertain information of practically any kind. Instead of hashing transactions (identifying the data they contain using a fixed-length string of letters and numbers), the chain hashes merely other information — eliminating the need for third-party oversight and creating a trustless connection between users.
This ability to cut out the middleman has the potential to make blockchain-based startups highly competitive. Once they’re up and running smoothly, they’ll be able to save money that their competitors are pouring into third-party services and use it to reinvest in other areas of their business.
Secure, Real-Time Payment for E-Commerce Applications
Businesses don’t necessarily have to reinvent the wheel to make use of blockchain, either. Instead of wondering how they can reorient their products or services around the technology, they could just as quickly start accepting payments for goods and services in blockchain-based cryptocurrencies.
Accepting Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies as a form of payment offers several critical advantages to startups that do so. Here are just a few:
- Pay in real-time (or close to it): Wire transfers can take days, and waiting for them to go through can limit the amount of liquid capital you have in the immediate aftermath of a sale. Blockchain payments are made in real-time (minus the waiting times for specific cryptocurrencies), which can help companies eliminate delays.
- Reduce credit card fraud: The security blockchain offers makes it practically impossible to falsify a transaction or tamper with the records of one. As such, businesses that accept payment in cryptocurrency will be able to reduce the risk they face.
- Increase customer trust: Customers who can pay in cryptocurrencies can limit the amount of personal information they need to disclose when they make payments, keeping them better protected. Businesses that provide this level of protection can count on higher levels of loyalty and more returning customers.
The Internet of Things? How about the Internet of Blocks?
A pressing concern for users of smart home technology is that the networks their devices use may be vulnerable to hacking attempts.
However, it’s predicted that some tech companies in the smart home space will soon start using blockchain technology to connect their devices, making these networks as stable and protected as the ones used for Bitcoin transactions.
Numerous industries have the potential to benefit from the advanced security and streamlined connectivity that blockchain can facilitate. Learn more about how this important technology works so that you can start thinking of creative ways to make it part of your own company.