If you have been on the internet recently you have probably heard about NFTs and how they are selling for crazy amounts of money. These NFTs offer a blockchain-created certificate of authenticity for digital assets. However, NFTs and Cryptocurrency are not the only uses of blockchain. Let’s talk about what Blockchain is and how it will be relevant for all businesses.
What is Blockchain?
First thing’s first, blockchain is a public electronic ledger that can be openly shared among users to create an unchangeable record of transactions, each is time-stamped and linked to the previous one. Every time a new transaction is added, it becomes another block in the chain.
Blockchain can only be updated by consensus between the participants in the system and once new data is entered it can never be erased. This makes it a verifiable and auditable record of each and every transaction.
Why Should I Care About Blockchain?
Blockchain is not the solution to all technical problems. However, there are certainly some interesting value propositions to consider when determining if blockchain makes sense for your business:
Immutability: Once a transaction occurs on the blockchain, it is persisted into perpetuity. This is an excellent property for concepts like proving ownership, authorship, accomplishment, or digital rights indefinitely.
Distribution and Availability: Transactions on blockchain networks have natural high availability properties, ensuring that the information in the transaction or data present therein will be available even if a substantial part of the network is destroyed by any means.
Global Uniqueness: We have learned from NFTs that globally unique ownership on a distributed network is a valuable resource and should be considered for publication of assets.
How Does Blockchain Work for Businesses
Blockchain has huge potential for real world applications in every business. It has been positioned to change IT in the same way that open-source software did 25 years ago. At its best, blockchain holds the promise of transactional transparency. This means you can create secure, real-time communication networks with partners around the globe.
Blockchain networks can also be used for “smart contracts”. Creating business automation that executes scripts when certain contractual conditions are met. For example, after a bad batch of lettuce resulted in customers becoming sick, Walmart and IBM created a blockchain based supply chain that tracked produce from farm to table. Once on the blockchain, produce can be automatically tracked through smart contracts, removing human intervention and error.
Why Do I Keep Hearing About NFTs?
Unless you have been living under a rock recently, you have heard about NFTs and all the crazy things people are making and selling for millions of dollars. Let’s start with the basics, an NFT is a non-fungible token. This means it is a “one-of-a-kind” digital asset, that can be bought and sold like any other piece of property.
The way many touted Bitcoin as the digital answer to currency, NFTs are being called the digital answer to collectables. With all the tech giants of the world promoting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, NFTs are another use of blockchain in our increasingly digital world.
While it is fun to read about a gif of a meme of a flying pop-tart cat selling for $500,000 or Jack Dorsey’s first tweet selling for $2.9 million, it does shine a light on the importance of blockchain and how it will impact the way we do business in the future.
What Industries Will Likely Involve Blockchain?
Blockchain could likely be applied to any business. Industries that could really benefit include: Healthcare, Supply Chain, and Financial. At its core, it improves trust and eliminates duplication of effort.
The benefits of blockchain for businesses is the ability to help build more efficient processes and utilize more transparent, secure financial models. We are still in the early stages of adoption of blockchain, and the scalability is still a challenge.
How Can I Learn More?
Blockchain experts at Sierra are ready to answer your questions about blockchain viability for your business. Give us a call 412-722-0707 or send us an email at Sales@SierraExperts.com.