Although blockchain enthusiasts herald the technology as being revolutionary, the business world has yet to grasp its implications fully. Below are four ways in which blockchain technology promises to change business.
Large organizations are starting to use blockchain technology for authentication and verification purposes. This capability is particularly true with projects involving several different parties. By utilizing the blockchain, larger organizations can more clearly track a project’s progress. This capability is especially helpful where highly variable processes are involved. As one project management expert notes,
Blockchain technology can be used to automatically record information and provide a single source of truth where team members and stakeholders can always refer to, without a doubt, as the valid source of what happened. Tools or resources needed to facilitate validation, verification or reconciliation will no longer be needed. In addition, the technology is resilient because of its distributed replicated nature.
Given that timestamps cannot be changed, blockchain technology releases the need for businesses to rely upon a trusted third party. And, of course, this has the added benefit of eliminating internal fraud as well.
By eliminating third parties, blockchain technology also improves the capability for organizations to cooperate with each other. Multiple corporations can confidently share information with each other without worrying about data integrity (companies still have control over their data). This feature has yet to be fully explored, as Adi Ben-Ari suggests,
Why not create an invoice reconciliation network on the blockchain? If invoices and payments were tracked on a shared private blockchain, invoices could be automatically reconciled and their payments tracked. A reliable, immutable, shared record of invoice activity could be recorded on the distributed ledger which would be automatically shared, propagated and agreed with the other parties to render the data immutable. The data would feed from the blockchain into each company’s internal accounting systems and vice versa, feed from each company’s internal accounting system onto the blockchain which would act as the master source for invoice related activity. Therefore, if any party later attempted to challenge the status of an invoice, the distributed ledger would serve as an immutable reference to resolve any disputes.
In a similar manner, smart contracts can be set up to verify that separate entities are adequately completing business processes (particularly important in industries where regulatory compliance is a high priority). With smart contracts, all contract parties must sign off on rule-completion for the contract to be fulfilled. Such capabilities ensure quality service and satisfaction with project outcomes. In essence, providing real-time auditing for projects
Supply Chain Management
Closely related to this is how blockchain will streamline supply chain management. Just as blockchain can be used to ensure the integrity of a company’s internal workflow, so too can it be used with the supply chain. Thus, a business owner would be able to determine when and how every component supplier helped build a product it sells. For instance, as Forbes magazine reveals,
In the food industry, it’s imperative to have solid records to trace each product to its source. So, Walmart uses blockchain to keep track of its pork it sources from China and the blockchain records where each piece of meat came from, processed, stored and its sell-by-date. Unilever, Nestle, Tyson
,and Dole also use blockchain for similar purposes.
As a result, companies can use the blockchain to eliminate transaction disputes and guarantee project consensus. With all supply chain participants viewing the same ledger, there is no misunderstanding about the chain of ownership for a physical asset. For suppliers, the blockchain achieves greater transparency far beyond what they would typically expect.
A blockchain-based phenomenon, cryptocurrency is changing how businesses compensate international employees. By using bitcoin, employers ensure prompt payments and avoids international money transfer fees. The latter is both cumbersome and expensive, with wire transfers costing over $20 each. As Bitwage CEO John Lindsay notes,
Previously, the U.S. and European companies had to send international wires that were expensive and took two weeks. This created big friction because if anything went wrong they had to send it again. Then those companies didn’t want to work with these groups. But now because of cryptocurrency, it can arrive on the same day,
Not incidentally, Bitwage is a third-party platform that enables workers to receive compensation in almost any currency – and in any percentage they choose. Among US companies that use Bitwage, 95% employ the service to pay international workers. Given that many such workers are “unbanked,” Bitwage provides a valuable service to both employers and employees.
The changes noted above are only the “tip of the iceberg.” Once businesses fully adopt blockchain technology, they may find its cost-savings to be a game-changer.
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We don’t just publish articles, XTRABYTES is a whole new blockchain platform that allows DApps to be programmed in any language, utilizing a new consensus algorithm called Proof of Signature. In doing so, XTRABYTES presents a next – generation blockchain solution capable of providing a diverse set of capabilities to the general public.