Blockchain Technology: Beyond Bitcoin
Bitcoin caused a furor in 2017 when it erupted on the crypto market, drawing the attention of businesses and industry to the revolutionary blockchain technology behind it. Developed by the enigmatic person or group calling itself Satoshi Nakamoto ( a “Satoshi” is now the smallest monetary unit of a Bitcoin), the decentralized “incorruptible ledger” has security and transparency advantages that quickly became apparent to tech-savvy business professionals.
One of the easiest ways to wrap your mind around the decentralized nature of blockchain is to consider the Google Docs analogy by William Mougayar, a venture advisor and author of The Blockchain is the New Database, Get Ready to Rewrite Everything. In the analogy, Mougayar compares blockchain to a shared Google doc with a team of writers contributing, with a Microsoft Word doc representing the traditional way of handling transactions on the internet.
The Google document is constantly updated in real-time so that everyone is literally on the same page with a record of who is responsible for any changes. The traditional internet transaction, the Microsoft Word document, results in many different copies sent back and forth, requiring an editor, or centralized authority, to determine which altered copy is the final authentic version.
The fundamental concept of sharing without copying on a continuously updated incorruptible spreadsheet has obvious advantages for any business application relying on accurate and timely data.
- Storage distributed across the network of individual computers (nodes) eliminates any single point of failure.
- Blockchain cannot be controlled or manipulated by any single entity.
- Data is transparent and public. Any attempt to alter data after the fact is easily detected by the network.
- Blockchain provides the highest degree of accountability.
- Blockchain enhances peer-to-peer transactions, eliminating “middleman” roles, fees, and commissions.
Let’s take a look at how businesses across the board can apply the advantages of the blockchain.
Smart contracts are coded on the distributed blockchain ledger and execute automatically when specified conditions are met. According to the World Economic Forum, smart contracts could equal 10% of the global GDP by 2027.
Andrew Meola, writing for Business Insider, states that smart contracts for insurance might arguably be the greatest application for blockchain. All contracts and claims would be recorded transparently on the public blockchain. Multiple claims on the same accident would easily be detected and rejected by the network.
No industry will be more disrupted by blockchain than real estate as we know it today. Tokenization of real estate is enabling high-value assets trading via digital channels, as well as fueling investment by enabling fractional ownership. Liquidity is also improved as tokenized assets can be readily traded for fiat currency on exchanges.
Smart contracts will allow buyers and sellers to save on commissions and fees by eliminating intermediary roles for brokers, lawyers, and banks. Companies such as ATLANTare already mobilizing to handle peer-to-peer real estate transactions and tokenized ownership.
Big Data and Data Storage
A distributed super-secure network where virtually every computer is continuously verifying stored information is the tool Big Data has been waiting for. Blockchain security prevents loss of critical data and preserves data integrity, for example eliminating the possibility of confusion caused by two separate and conflicting data sets.
The Health Care Industry
In 2015 health insurer Anthem was one target in a wave of cyber attacks which resulted in 100 million hacked medical records. Believed to be from China, the hackers were able to access the Anthem database revealing the names, social security numbers, and birth dates of over 78 million customers. The hackers were able to obtain administrator credentials with a phishing email.
Blockchain will eliminate these types of vulnerabilities to cyber-attack but it’s continually updating characteristic will also keep medical records up-to-date, avoiding misdiagnoses caused by multiple datasets generated by various medical practitioners. Blockchain would create a single precisely accurate resource on each patient, used by all practitioners involved in treatment.
General Business Applications
The immutable security and real-time updating of the blockchain distributed network make it inevitable that blockchain technology will indeed rewire the internet and business as we know it. All businesses will benefit from enhanced asset tracking and blockchain is sure to become the standard for supply chain management, enabling the tracking of goods from order to shipment.
Integration with IoT can convert inventory management to a nearly fully automated process. Accounting and record management will achieve optimal levels of accuracy by eliminating duplicate or fraudulent entries. It won’t be long now when the question “Why are businesses moving to blockchain?” is replaced by “How did businesses ever operate without Blockchain?”
At Concepts Rise we’ve made it our mission to focus on the latest cutting-edge technologies to increase your business revenues, lower costs, and help your business grow so don’t hesitate to contact us.
Majid Abai – March 2018 – Los Angeles
About The Author:
Majid Abai is Managing Director of Concepts Rise, LLC. (www.ConceptsRise.com), a High-Technology and Innovation Consultancy based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. With over 30 years of experience in supporting US and global organizations, Mr. Abai focuses on strategic and tactical approach to use of innovation and technology to increase revenues and reduce costs for organizations. Majid could be reached at 424-320-0524 or via email at majid.abai@ConceptsRise.com.
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