Blockchain technology has rapidly evolved since Bitcoin first came into the limelight in 2008. What began as the building block for Bitcoin is now spreading across various industries. Today, the benefits of integrating blockchain technology into various sectors from medicine to finance cannot be overemphasized. From reports, annual spending on blockchain solutions will reach nearly $16 billion by 2023.
What is Blockchain
According to Builtin, Blockchain, sometimes referred to as Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), makes the history of any digital asset unalterable and transparent through the use of decentralization and cryptographic hashing. A simple analogy for understanding blockchain technology is a Google Doc. When we create a document and share it with a group of people, the document is distributed instead of copied or transferred. This creates a decentralized distribution chain that gives everyone access to the document at the same time. No one is locked out awaiting changes from another party, while all modifications to the doc are being recorded in real-time, making changes completely transparent.
This is a simple illustration of blockchain but it goes beyond that. This technology can solve many problems for us and lead to new opportunities for businesses since it offers greater transparency and enhanced security. It is easy to trace through its distributed and decentralized nature.
World-renowned influencers have explained the high importance of Blockchain technology. Chinese business magnate, Jack Ma said, “Blockchain is a very critical technology for the future development of the world. It’s not only about the financing, blockchain technology is not about bitcoins. Bitcoin is just a small function of the blockchain technology.”
McKinsey & Co. noted that one of the advantages of blockchain’s distributed ledger is that it reduces costs “Cost can be taken out of existing processes by removing intermediaries or the administrative effort of record keeping and transaction reconciliation,”
Benefits of using blockchain technology
- Multi-level payment protection: Blockchains can help prevent payment scams by providing better levels of protection.
- Better Security: Blockchain is far more secure than other record-keeping systems because each new transaction is encrypted and linked to the previous transaction.
- Decreased Security Risks: Blockchain decreases the chance of your company encountering a security breach or hack. Since it is built on a decentralized system, there’s no one server or system to hack so those without the specific digital keys cannot access your data.
- Enhanced Productivity: The technology provides real-time updates for company data. All members of a given network have open access thereby improving the rate at which your business operates.
Companies using blockchain technology
With the numerous benefits that blockchain offers, many companies in the Healthcare, Government, Insurance, Banking, Real Estate sectors have already adopted blockchain technology for their businesses
Unilever: Unilever is one of the companies leveraging the blockchain in their supply chain list. The company is currently using tech to manage its tea industry.
SureRemit: SureRemit also uses blockchain in its remittance process. The platform works by utilizing blockchain technology to allow Africans anywhere in the world to make non-cash remittances to their friends and families back in Africa.
Pfizer: Pfizer, one of the large companies in health tech using blockchain technology. Biogen and Pfizer led the Clinical Supply Blockchain Working Group (CSBWG) just completed proof of concept for tracking records and managing the digital inventory of pharmaceutical products.
Maersk: Along with IBM, Maersk is working with blockchain technology to streamline its supply chain management. But to do that, they are using blockchain-based IoT systems to get transparency in the platform.
Why blockchain technology matters
Blockchain is truly a disruptive force and has signified the dawn of a new era. It is rapidly changing the way data is being stored or exchanged. It is one of the biggest technology breakthroughs and has already started disrupting major industries. Many top companies are already harnessing the power of blockchain technology to simplify the way they carry out transactions, audit data, etc.