Blockchain has applications that reach far beyond just the cryptocurrencies that have covered news outlets over the past year. With the astronomical rise of tokens like Bitcoin and Ethereum, tech enthusiasts and investors flocked to blockchain in hopes of discovering a wider variety of use cases that could be implemented soon.
As a result, both startups and tech giants have begun to release new products that use blockchain technology in novel and helpful ways. Here are eight reasons why blockchain technology will have a huge impact on enterprise business.
Supply Chain Management Will Become Simpler
Blockchain technology has applications in nearly any industry where value is exchanged as blockchain has a security and speed edge on every comparable data transfer technology. As a result, large companies have already started to implement the tech into supply chain management, an industry built around the exchanges of value. Walmart has teamed up with IBM and Tsinghua University in Beijing to create the Blockchain Food Safety Alliance, an application of the technology that allows Walmart to efficiently track food safety and processing metrics of fresh and unprocessed foods.
Automotive Tracking Will Become Simpler
Blockchain has the power to simplify the process of collecting and processing telemetric data. In the automotive industry, this kind of data would help manufacturers, dealers, drivers, mechanics, and insurance companies all keep track of the status of the car accurately in real time. This past year, Volkswagen’s Financial Services division began experimenting with the technology and hopes are high that the technology will make it to market soon.
Trust in Retail Will Increase
China has long experienced a type of epidemic in fake goods, with imitation high-end clothing and bags flooding out of the country through online commerce sites. This past year, Alibaba announced that one of its plans to counter the flow of fake goods through its site was to implement blockchain technology. Utilizing QR codes, Alibaba creates a digital passport for goods that flow through its site, allowing the company to verify the products’ legitimacy through tracking its origin.
Business Developers Will Have Easier Access to the Blockchain
Currently, it is hard for small businesses developers to gain access to blockchain applications tailored for their needs. One of the companies that is easing this process is Dispatch Labs, who cite security breaches of centralized business applications as demonstrating the need for decentralized applications in small business. Dispatch Labs CEO Matt McGraw states that success for his company and companies like it come “…where my mom is running an application on her iPad that’s running something like Dispatch in the background, and she doesn’t know it.” Platforms like that offered by Dispatch Labs allow for nearly any application to easily access the blockchain, allowing small businesses to benefit from the tech’s increased speed and security.
The Internet of Things Will Become Optimized
The Internet of Things (IoT) has slowly crept into the everyday lives of middle-class Americans over the past few years with the release of products like Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home. IoT technology allows for seamless integration of multiple platforms on one interface, with use cases including the ability to control every aspect of one’s house from a smart assistant or smartphone. There are concerns with identity verification in the technology, however, and companies like Cisco have begun to explore blockchain solutions to that allow users to have a more secure IoT experience.
Shipping Will Be Streamlined
Another industry in the supply chain that allows for some of the best applications of blockchain technology is shipping. Keeping track off all the complicated moving parts involved with transporting goods around the world is made much simpler by blockchain storage and information retrieval technology. Shipping giant Maersk has partnered with IBM in order to simplify their end of the supply chain and hope to bring the product to market for general use in streamlining supply chains.
Management of Aircraft Will Become Easier
Aircraft are some of the most complicated pieces of machinery on the planet, made of over 350,000 unique parts. It can be incredibly difficult for mechanics to keep track of all these parts on their own, especially with the speed at which planes take off and land in order to keep air schedules on time. Air France has begun to explore blockchain as a method of tracking the wear on these parts, allowing for less time on the ground and safer flights due to easily targetable fixes.
Blockchain Will Revolutionize Financial Services
Blockchain’s ability to provide safe and secure data transfers make banking and financial services an obvious application of the technology. As the new tech far outclasses traditional transfers in terms of security and speed, many institutions have begun to investigate how the technology can optimize their process, both for customers and internal. Credit giants American Express and Santander have teamed up with Ripple, a blockchain startup in order to streamline transfers from U.S. banks to U.K. Santander branches with unmatched security.
As the technology continues to grow, it will be important for investors and analysts to keep their eyes on what technologies are novel and applicable soon. With the power of blockchain, the question has become where exactly will blockchain stop improving on existing processes across industries?