Blockchain technology has been around since 2008 and few will dispute that it will soon become an integral part of our society. As the backbone of new digital currency, blockchain technology brings with it the ability to alter industries in life-changing ways.
By allowing transactions to be made reliably without the addition of third parties, its transformations extend beyond money and could impact industries around the globe. The potential for such a major positive impact on our world is impressive. But is it really necessary?
Why Do We Need Blockchain
To some people, blockchain technology holds more promise than the cryptocurrency it was originally designed to support. Traceability and transparency are increasingly demanded by the supply chain, and blockchain can deliver results.
Traditionally, tracking the movement of goods was simple because commerce was local. In today’s global marketplace, their origin, quantity, and so forth is a complex set of operations. It’s incredibly difficult for buyers to truly know the value of products due to the lack of transparency in the current system.
Integrating blockchain technology will guarantee the accuracy of records and offer a highly traceable and transparent supply chain, bringing innovations that span multiple industries.
What is a Blockchain And How Can It Improve Industries?
Though most recognizable as a companion to cryptocurrency, blockchain is actually a standalone technology. In short, it is a distributed database where every unit of a transaction contains its own transaction history.
In the most basic sense, blockchain is the virtual, public ledger that records everything in a secure and transparent manner. Consisting of timestamped blocks that together form a chain, it’s a form of digital technology that allows for smooth and secure transactions.
The application of blockchain technology is profound, leading to innovative solutions to improved efficiencies.
Impacting everything from supply chain management, quality control, accounting, and peer-to-peer global transactions, blockchain will prove indispensable by:
- Lowering transfer and transaction fees through eliminating the need for third parties to oversee transfer platforms for interactions.
- Introducing a high degree of security and trust due to its decentralized nature, irreversibility, and automatic traceability.
- Increase transparency by allowing any system on an open public blockchain platform to easily see all trade-flows.
- Integrating the digital and physical world with technology that provides a way to represent nearly every asset, both tangible and intangible.
Blockchain Impact on Retail
Retailers need to pay attention to how blockchain technology will impact their industry. While it isn’t going to revolutionize retail overnight, being open to decentralized payment methods and providing the ability to pay from a mobile device will deliver endless possibilities.
With only 1.2 billion people having access to a bank account with payment capabilities, there are approximately 5 billion unique mobile phone subscribers. Adding the convenience of paying outside a financial system with little to no transaction fees will improve consumer experience and drive sales.
Blockchain Impact on Banking
Providing a secure way of sending digital assets without banks or title companies monitoring the transactions will automate many of the tedious processes within the industry. Blockchain tech will eliminate the need for intermediaries, drastically reducing transfer fees and increasing the speed in which transactions are processed.
Banks are left with little choice but to offer it to remain competitive. In fact, according to a survey by The International Securities Association, 55 percent of companies are monitoring, researching, or developing solutions using blockchain.
Blockchain Impact on Logistics
The logistical impacts of the supply chain span over hundreds of stages and multiple geographical locations. The integrated recording of exchanges helps to eliminate back-office costs because the technology does what companies have traditionally hired workers for.
Blockchain Impact on Agriculture
Food safety is a major concern and it’s crucial to have solid records to trace each product to its source. The traceability of blockchain creates efficient supply chains to provide records of where each item comes from. This transparency improves efficiencies, improves margins, and saves money, making food safer and more affordable.
Blockchain Impact on Real Estate
Blockchain technology introduces smart contracts, which will enable real estate contracts, escrows, and property records to be completed and monies distributed without the need for title companies or attorneys.
Real estate professionals will continue to thrive as the advice, knowledge, and hand-holding they provide will always be an important part of a buyer or seller’s process. Though, the potential for a buyer to complete the sale without a middleman will require brokerages to adapt their business models to survive in this new era.
Looking to the Future
Going into the future, blockchain technology has the potential to fundamentally transform our society. Will industries adapt and grow into the new application possibilities? Or will some change-resistant institutions fail to live up to this challenge?
It’s too early to tell. What is certain, however, is that the promises of lower transaction costs, increased transparency, and improved traceability will lead the incentive for industries to facilitate blockchain development. And it’s sure to alter our society, economy, and culture in ways we can’t yet imagine.