Blockchain technology was named for the first time in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto (a pseudonym that has still not been uncovered) to refer to a system based on information contained in chained blocks and which makes it possible to complete transactions without intermediaries in perfect safety.
The technology has come a long way since then and is increasingly capable of offering value to businesses. This means that its use for many business processes is expanding, and investment in blockchain has risen steadily. IDC has estimated global spending on blockchain solutions at $9.7 billion by 2021. But what are these business applications? What are the benefits of deploying them?
Benefits of blockchain for companies
We look at 6 advantages from the application of blockchain for business:
Security. In general terms, blockchain technology offers greater data security, because it stores information in unalterable blocks that prevent any random modification, identity theft, unilateral changes, etc. Registration and data checking is faster and more secure, preventing hacking.
Traceability. This chain of blocks makes it possible to trace the itinerary and modifications of documents and products, a function that companies are making use of in managing their administration and logistics. Among other applications, it enables the supply chain to be monitored, detecting possible faults and anticipating the needs of the company.
Authentication. This feature of traceability means that blockchain allows the status of products to be monitored. In the food sector, for example, it can reveal possible contamination or deterioration of food, and in the luxury sector it can prevent forgery and enable items to be traced.
Automation. One of the advantages of blockchain is its suitability for making smart contracts, because it means that deals can be struck automatically when the required conditions arise. This relieves companies of the work of management; making the process safer, more agile and transparent.
Accessibility. Blockchain-based cloud storage offers companies more stability. Because this technology relies on multiple nodes in different geographical areas, it is more likely that some of them will continue to operate when a server crashes. This means that we can access our data and documents wherever we are, at any time.
Trust. All these advantages converge in a final one: the stronger trust of users in systems based on blockchain. Thanks to the security offered by blockchain, clients can have greater trust that their data and transactions are safe and cannot be subject to modification.
Blockchain trends in business
Although blockchain technology is advancing rapidly and is being applied in more and more processes, it still has to overcome a number of technical obstacles and political constraints.
As we have seen with other technological solutions, we can expect blockchain to evolve towards integration with other business tools and towards common standards that make it easier to use. A recent study by Deloitte shows that short term advances can be seen in the mayor greater scalability of the technology and optimisation of the cost-effort ratio.
There can be no doubt that blockchain will utterly change the way businesses are run. A highly digitalised world that is more open and relies on large amounts of data stored online is one that is suited to the security and traceability features, among others, offered by blockchain, which will be absolutely necessary for companies in the future.