“Blockchain” may sound like something that goes on a vehicle’s tires in icy weather or that perhaps is part of that vehicle’s engine. Indeed it is a type of technology that may help drive business worldwide at some point soon — but digitally, not physically. No matter what your industry, now’s a good time to start learning about blockchain technology implementation.
Blockchain is sometimes also called “distributed ledger technology.” It was introduced in 2009 to support digital “cryptocurrencies” such as bitcoin. Entries in each digital ledger are stored in blocks, with each block containing a timestamp and providing a link to the previous block.
Typically, blockchain management is on a secure peer-to-peer network with protocols for validating blocks. After recording the data, no one can change it without altering all other blocks. This task requires approval by most network participants. Blockchain proponents argue that this process essentially authenticates all information entered.
The financial industry led the way in recognizing blockchain’s potential, foreseeing that users could execute transactions without relying on banks and other third parties. Another potential application is in the M&A sphere. Buyers and sellers could shift due diligence documentation to blockchain, so financial and legal advisors wouldn’t have to spend as much time poring over so many different and disparate records. The M&A process could thereby be completed more quickly.
There are also many industries that could employ blockchain technology to conduct quicker and more secure transactions or simply track data more efficiently.
Take manufacturers, as well as virtually any supply chain business: Blockchain technology implementation could provide safeguards against errors, fraud or tampering. This functionality could bolster trust among supply chain partners. Over the long run, blockchain may even eliminate the need for third-party payment processors.
Another example: medical accounting services with blockchain technology in the healthcare industry. One can use it to:
– Better secure electronic health information.
– Improve billing and claims processing.
– Avoid prescription drug supply chain challenges by enhancing the integrity.
Each of these factors can positively impact the health care insurance market for every employer.
Most business owners don’t need to scramble to for a blockchain technology implementation plan right this minute. However, you might want to get ahead of the curve. It is better to learn more about it now and spend time pondering ways that blockchain could affect your company. Let us know if you need further information or other ideas on the future of business.