No matter the industry, ensuring the security of all our digital transactions is everyone’s biggest concern. Aside from bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, enterprise blockchain technology has the potential to overcome many current (and potentially future) hurdles digital transactions must face.
So how do organizations determine if blockchain is right for their business?
How do companies know when is the best time to implement and start using blockchain?
Before we answer these questions, let’s first provide some background on what blockchain is and how it works:
Blockchain is an ever-expanding list of ordered “blocks” that are logged publicly and in chronological order. Each block is time-stamped and connected to the previous block, constituting a “blockchain.” The reason blockchain is attractive to organizations across multiple industries is because “blocks” cannot be changed, deleted or modified. They are a permanent record that a given transaction has occurred. Which is what companies and IT executives find so exciting. Its open and decentralized structure lends itself to securely managing transactions and validating user identity. As opposed to a centralized database, a blockchain record is distributed and shared across networks, allowing credentialed users to add to the transaction log, but not delete or alter it. These transactions are encrypted and must be verified by the network.
Keep in mind, blockchain technology is nothing new. It was first introduced in 2008 by the financial industry for use in cryptocurrency transactions. But with the continuous evolution of technology—including blockchain technology—the potential benefits are great. Following are some examples of how blockchain can deliver value for the financial and healthcare industries.
Emerging Use Cases
Since its 2008 introduction in the financial industry, advancements in blockchain security features—including multi-signature verification—help ensure trust in digital financial transactions (e.g. electronic wallets). Additionally, faster blockchain networks mean reduced latency in financial transactions which means faster mobile payment transactions overall.
Healthcare organizations and executives feel two of blockchain’s biggest benefits are data interoperability and security. For example, blockchain could assist the move toward interoperable, comprehensive health records (e.g. master patient index, smart contracts, EMRs, etc.) securing data as it is exchanged between organizations in a format that is usable for healthcare professionals throughout the healthcare realm.
Now let’s get back to our original question: “How do we know if blockchain is right for our company?”
As mobile strategists, we always advise clients to proceed cautiously when adopting any new technology. Developing a prototype or a proof-of-concept in order to test the waters before jumping in with both feet will help minimize investments in time, resources and money in something that might ultimately prove to be the wrong solution.
Here then are some options companies can consider (and experiment with) before making the leap into blockchain:
Blockchain can make a big difference in the enterprise in countless ways: by reducing transaction costs between organizations, by eliminating the need for third parties and labor-intensive manual verification processes, by enabling authentication and verification across large networks, and by creating new efficiencies in project-collaboration between departments in large enterprises.
As more organizations and industries begin to explore and use blockchain technologies, a myriad of new possibilities and use cases will be revealed. To learn more about blockchain and bitcoin, check out this episode of our Device Squad podcast featuring a former Bitcoin Armory Software Engineer.
And if you are interested in using blockchain in your enterprise but aren’t sure how to get started or how to determine which use cases might work for you, don’t worry. Propelics can help. Our Emerging Technologies kickstart is designed to help business and IT leaders realize first-hand the near-term benefits of adopting cutting-edge technology by developing a working proof-of-concept and an actionable plan to start delivering value for your organization.
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