Even as the concept of ‘Blockchain’ is bouncing off everyone’s radar and everyone is keen to know more about this trending topic – let us see more about this new and emerging technology.
‘Blockchain’ is popularly associated with ‘Bitcoin’ cryptocurrency. The Blockchain system shot into prominence and more industry experts took notice of it only after Bitcoin’s surge and ultimately its downfall!
‘Blockchain’ as you might recollect from my earlier post is the shared ledger system. Each transaction is recorded and added to the shared ledger after being approved by the ‘miners’. The beauty of ‘Blockchain’ is that each miner or node has a copy of the transaction. None of the transactions can be modified or deleted.It allows total transparency of the system with no central authority and promises complete anonymity and security.
It is the lack of central authority and the complete anonymity in transactions that is making industry experts to take notice of the “Blockchain” concept.
Where can it be used?
Now, the Blockchain concept is considered to be useful in any industry which has a lengthy process from the source to the destination. The supply chain industry, food industry, retail industry, jewellery industry, insurance industry, financial industry inclusive of the banking sector all are either already embracing the blockchain technology or planning to, in the near future.
Organizations embracing Blockchain:
Microsoft, Oracle, VISA, IBM are a few of the organizations embracing ‘Blockchain’ for reducing costs,enabling trust and so on.
Food safety – a big point of concern in today’s world can be enhanced by making use of the Blockchain technology. IBM and Walmart are working together to ensure that food safety is achieved by employing the concept of ‘Blockchain’. Walmart is making sure that the food that is found on the shelves of its grocery stores can be easily tracked and the consumer will know the source of their food and the process it took to reach the shelf(Source: https://www.ibm.com/blockchain/supply-chain/)
Visa has also initiated the process of Blockchain payments. Visa hopes that by embracing the Blockchain technology, cross border payments will be simplified with minimal third parties. (Source: https://www.coindesk.com/visa-launches-first-phase-of-blockchain-b2b-payments-system/)
Advantages of using the Blockchain technology:
The whole process from the beginning to the end is transparent
It is decentralized – meaning that there is no central authority to monitor and regulate it. The system is built in such a way that it can be regulated on its own
In the industry setting, the Blockchain concept “improves inventory management and reduces fraud”
It speeds up the automated business processes
There is enhanced security with the ‘blockchain’ technology rather than the centralized database approach
Future of Blockchain:
Even as more organizations are pondering how the Blockchain technology can be incorporated into their business objectives, it is a possibility that we will find it in these industries:
Banking sector: Even as India is raging with instances of new banking frauds, the banking sector can incorporate this new game changing technology to prevent frauds in the future. (Source: http://www.thehindu.com/business/blockchain-tech-could-help-prevent-frauds-like-at-pnb/article22818844.ece). SBI and other banks of India are already part of ‘Bankchain’ which will try and implement blockchain solutions to ease the pain of traditional banking problems.
The automobile industry: will also try to incorporate blockchain technology for car pooling and payment schedules. Blockchain might displace the other car pooling apps or the car sharing apps might have to incorporate it into their business processes. There is also the possibility that driverless cars can be achieved by using this innovative technology.
Election process: The entire process of casting ballots and counting the votes can be regulated by means of Blockchain technology. This will greatly reduce recounts of votes and improve voters trust in the election process.
Digital wallets: It is also possible that the whole process of digital shopping without actually taking the card out (where multiple cards are stored on the respective phone’s wallet and once a payment has to be made – the phone is just kept next to the payment accepting machine) might be automated with the Blockchain technology.
There are still plenty of industries that will benefit from implementing this amazing new technology. It is just a matter of time before we hire a cab, walk into a store, see the produce, check where it is from, make a payment and see if it reaches the vendor – all by means of the Blockchain technology!