We often talk of cutting-edge technology of the futuristic kind – one that could potentially revolutionize the way we do business, the way we live – and it’s already here. It’s called Blockchain. In layman’s language, blockchain is an accounting ledger distributed over a network of computer nodes. Using a cryptographic code and popular programming languages, it adds and secures information, making data immutable. That means the data is safe, secure, and can’t be changed, modified, or hacked.

Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency, was the first application ever created using blockchain technology. Since then, every domain of business or personal life has been touched by this technology. Whether you’re transacting currency, protecting personal data, executing smart contracts, or filing a health record or insurance claim, blockchain has forever changed the way we transact and do business.

Four Ways You Leverage Blockchain to Develop Your Business

For any entrepreneur, accessing and leveraging blockchain could be the path-defining decision that forever changes one’s business trajectory. There are four ways blockchain development delivers benefits to businesses:

Strategic Business Planning

Growing from the seeds of ideas to finished products, you become the custodian of an enormous quantity of valuable information. Blockchain enables you to create a safe and secure ecosystem for your data. What you do hands-on in any business is transitioned digitally to the cloud to make your business adaptable, scalable, and growth-oriented. You leverage strategies that help you maximize the use of blockchain to meet the challenges you encounter.

Example: you can strategize blockchain to build efficiencies in a supply chain. Your business becomes cost-efficient by eliminating human error, cutting production losses, and by speeding up the logistics and timing of freight procurement and delivery.

Blockchain Application Development

If you want to improve the delivery and quality of services to customers, you need applications that are capable of catering to customer demands. Blockchain provides the architecture, the user interface, the quality assurances, performance testing standards, and a supportive network that helps your business aim for maximum customer delight.

Example: Blockchain can help you develop applications that enable the entire network of farmers, grocery shops, and retail stores to trace each step of the growing, processing, and distribution of organic produce from farm to plate.

Custom Blockchain Development

Custom blockchain development profoundly changes the way business entities organize and share data, trade assets, and follow through contracts.

Every business has a customer base with unique needs. So you have to identify technology that is most appropriate for that audience. You need customizable technology solutions to enhance customer experience. Blockchain allows you to do that by brainstorming ideation, and by creating executable prototype systems. Then blockchain follows through with Proof of Concept/Value (POC/POV) testing to ensure that the developed solutions are compatible with real-world situations.

An excellent example of custom blockchain development is the storage of digital identification data in the blockchain. Financial sectors companies can create a secure and impenetrable database of customer IDs that can be easily cross-verified in the process of approving loans.

Blockchain Accounting Solutions

The Blockchain accounting technology unlocks a slew of solutions that impact the financial sector in a significant way.

At one stroke, blockchain locks financial data in a cryptographically secured and distributed ledger. It enables cryptocurrency transactions that are more cost-effective than traditional currency. It has the potential of tying local and global operations to smart contracts that are safer and more actionable than any conventional deal.

How Blockchain Development Impacts Business Sectors and Governance

It’s not just the financial sector that is opening up to blockchain; the blockchain transformation is impacting a host of industries including healthcare, real estate, IoT, and public and corporate governance. 

Blockchain Development in Healthcare

MedRec is a blockchain based solution that is helping the medical community to maintain and store medical patient information. It offers a safer ecosystem where medical records are made accessible to medical experts for diagnostic scanning and to insurance companies for processing claims. A system of smart contracts provides opportunities for social auditing and is helpful in long-term predictive health analysis. 

Major benefits:

  • Physicians are provided with real-time cloud access to a host of patient health parameters and treatment history.
  • Medical records including patient identification profiles can be stored, retrieved, and shared safely.
  • Leads to faster insurance claim processing.

Blockchain Development in Real Estate

Blockchain solutions reduce the tedium associated with mountains of paperwork by designing smart contracts that eliminate human error in the documentation, maintenance, and upgradation of time-barred legal documents. They also improve transparency by identifying the rightful heirs and by tracing and eliminating fraudulent transactions.

Veloxe.RE is a Cook County (Chicago) real estate solution created using blockchain. It establishes an immutable digital database of property holdings and supervises property ownership transfer and associated legal paperwork using smart contracts. The system empowers real estate stakeholders by ensuring transactional transparency, easier access to liquidity (through Bitcoin cryptocurrency), and improves profitability by reducing transaction costs and payments to middlemen.

Major Benefits:

  • Property records are permanently embedded in blockchain ensuring a safer tamper-proof environment.
  • Eliminates third party involvement and reduces title transfer costs that would otherwise make transactions unaffordable.
  • Payments are automatically put through once the underlying operations and terms of the contract are fulfilled. Owners (sellers) and purchasers safety issues are tackled.
  • The system prevents fraudulent transactions because the ownership of property is securely documented.
  • All operations are tied to smart contracts so nobody can tamper with the terms and conditions underlying each contract.

Blockchain Development Aiding Public and Corporate Governance

Blockchain solutions hold the potential for eliminating the bane of public and corporate governance – corruption and fraud. The blockchain is a decentralized technology that increases transparency in operations.  By digitally identifying the entity that is performing a transaction, blockchain ensures that the entity performs only authorized transactions. This can alter the way the public votes, pays government taxes, and the manner in which government services are delivered.

A classic example is the Bitfury Group which offers a single blockchain platform uniting businesses, institutions, and the public with the local and national government. Its major USP is cost-effective connectivity within the blockchain ecosystem, and seamless delivery of services and movement of assets between communities and individuals. Many other services in the pipeline are payroll services, accounting, and crowd-funding.

Major Benefits:

  • Eliminates middlemen between the government and the public and between corporates and the citizens.
  • Transparency eliminates corruption at all levels.
  • Data protection and data privacy are ensured. High-level encryption protocols prevent hacking.
  • Assets can be managed and moved without incurring additional costs.
  • By eliminating middlemen, fewer resources and time are wasted in putting through transactions.

Blockchain Development in the Internet of Things (IoT)

Blockchain development speeds up integration within the Internet of Things. To the uninitiated, by IoT we mean the sum total of handheld devices, appliances, and equipment that are connected via sensors to the cloud, enabling these devices to communicate with each other.

IoT generates a massive amount of data that needs to be moved, stored, and analyzed on a real-time basis. Block chain’s decentralized network offers the ideal platform for securely storing data in a scalable manner. Blockchain solutions provide substantial cost savings in building and operating IoT networks.

How privacy and security issues are managed can be seen in the blockchain based IoT controlled Smart Home developed by University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. Engineers created a blockchain platform that oversees each and every communication between an IoT controlled device and the external world. Blockchain verifies each intra-device communication against its core template to detect abnormal changes or deviant behavior. Whenever deviation is detected, the device communicating data is blocked till it is manually checked by engineers on the spot.

Major Benefits:

  • Data that is generated in any domain is safeguarded against external threats.
  • Privacy is protected as sensitive data generated in an IoT environment is layered in cryptographic protocols.
  • Devices can exchange data freely as the blockchain platform is capable of adapting and scaling according to the volume of data traffic generated.
  • Devices with embedded sensors improve the efficiency of supply chains.
  • Devices can take independent decisions without requiring human interaction.

Conclusion

The bad news is that the biggest challenge to blockchain development comes from governments that are reluctant to decentralize their decision-making process. But the good news is that corporate giants such as Microsoft, IBM, and Tesla are going to great lengths to harness blockchain in developing solutions to challenging issues. Blockchain development in the financial sector promises more significant benefits to people that are marginalized by big banks.

The startups that we have mentioned in this feature are only the tip of the iceberg as far as the development potential of blockchain is concerned. A whole new economic model may be in the workings going by the response that blockchain is receiving worldwide. The question you should be asking today is, how can blockchain develop my business?