Most people will be familiar with the blockchain as the foundational technology for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Recently, however, organizations of all kinds have been finding innovative ways to extend blockchain technology’s utility beyond crypto. Scores of enterprises around the world, from multinational companies to up-and-coming startups, now employ blockchain to facilitate the development of new business models and enhance existing business processes.
At its core, blockchain’s utility comes from its fast, decentralized, and highly secure data sharing capabilities. This technology can grant businesses in any industry significant competitive advantages, whether they choose to use public blockchain networks or commission exclusive blockchain-based software. Below are five major examples of how incorporating blockchain technology could benefit your company.
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More and more businesses are beginning to expand their hiring reach beyond local borders in search of a wider, more global pool of talent. In light of this, demand for fast, efficient, and, most importantly, secure online payment platforms is growing. Companies with large numbers of international or remote workers can consider paying their employees in bitcoin or some other cryptocurrency.
Businesses with pressing privacy or security concerns, for instance, might use the privacy coin Monero as a viable alternative to more popular coins. Transactions on the Monero blockchain are rendered completely anonymous and untraceable by cutting-edge obfuscation technologies. These security features allow any two parties in the world to send each other funds quickly and safely, provided they have access to an internet-enabled device and a Monero wallet.
Regardless of your chosen coin, cryptocurrency-based payments will reach your employees faster than payments routed through remittance centers or banks. You’ll also get to skip out on the exorbitant transaction fees these traditional financial service providers tend to impose.
Enhances Privacy and Security
The advanced privacy and security features that blockchain-enabled systems enjoy is another major reason why businesses have chosen to embrace the technology. Blockchain technology uses end-to-end encryption to create a fully transparent record of transactions that cannot be edited. Thus, any information recorded on the blockchain can’t be falsified or tampered with by hackers and other malicious actors.
Furthermore, any and all data recorded on a blockchain’s ledger is stored across a network of computers, in contrast to traditional computer systems that consolidate all their data into servers in a single location. This allows for greater enterprise-wide transparency and accountability, as any changes made to the ledger can be easily spotted, traced, and verified by the computers on the network.
Lastly, blockchain-based systems contain more tools for addressing privacy concerns than traditional computer systems. For example, a blockchain can be programmed to anonymize or pseudonymize transaction data, making customer identities viewable to only select individuals or entities within the company. Many blockchain systems also enable administrators to edit user permissions extensively and restrict access to sensitive information when necessary.
Reduces Operating Costs
Blockchain’s efficient processing capabilities and decentralized nature can help organizations cut their operating costs significantly. Tedious and time-consuming tasks like data collection and reconciliation, financial calculations, and reporting and auditing processes can all be automated using blockchain technology. This frees businesses from the need to hire dedicated staff for routine manual work and allows company employees to focus on more challenging, value-adding tasks.
Blockchain technology also allows companies to reduce their dealings with third-party entities such as banks, lawyers, vendors, and other service providers. Traditionally, these intermediaries perform essential processing work for businesses—often at great cost and with significant amounts of bureaucratic paperwork attached. Shifting this work over to an intelligent blockchain-based system, however, eliminates the need to employ middlemen and allows companies to make significant savings.
Manages Company Data Efficiently
Blockchain-based systems can help streamline and fortify your company’s identity management processes. Through a blockchain, you can issue digital IDs to your employees and customers that will make it easier for you to verify their identities. Storing this identifying information on an immutable, secure blockchain network reduces cybersecurity risks like fraud, money laundering, and identity theft.
One of the most innovative business uses of blockchain technology to date has been authenticating the information on a company’s new job applications process. Research has long shown that large percentages of job applicants falsify their resumes on the assumption that hiring managers will not have the time or resources to verify these. Blockchain-based programs now exist that collect data on graduates and their official degrees from participating universities, expediting the verification process for employers.
The existence of comprehensive, up-to-date transaction records also allows your company to get a fuller view of your customer base. You and your clients will easily be able to see how your working relationship has progressed over time. Blockchain technology can help you analyze consumer spending patterns, pinpoint loyal clients, and develop strategies to grow your customer base at a steady and sustainable pace.
Blockchain technology has the ability to streamline and elevate many of a company’s everyday processes. Many businesses in the financial industry, as well as other sectors like manufacturing, government, and even healthcare, have now made blockchain a cornerstone of their operations. Following suit and harnessing the power of blockchain for your business could be just what you need to get a leg up on your competitors.