Bitcoin and the blockchain technology that underpins it did not have the global impact that Satoshi Nakamoto predicted when he published his invention in 2009.
However, in recent years, digital currency, IoT, and blockchain have become some of the most widely discussed buzzwords. This is true not only in the payment industry, but in many others as well. In fact, some believe that blockchain technology will eventually eclipse the internet.
For the time being, consider the following five blockchain applications that could benefit your small business (while also providing you with app business ideas):
Money Transfers and Payments
The ability to send and receive payments is perhaps the most well-known blockchain application. This makes sense given that blockchain technology has its roots in cryptocurrency. But how exactly does this benefit small business owners?
Using blockchain technology, you can send money to anyone you want almost instantly and for a very low fee. This is because there are no intermediaries slowing down funds transfers between banks or charging exorbitant transaction fees.
This practice is especially beneficial if you have remote employees or work in a global marketplace.
Blockchain technology can also be used to provide a quick and low-cost notary service. Apps like Uproov, a smartphone multimedia platform, can be notarized instantly after a user creates an image, video, or sound recording.
Meanwhile, stampd.io can be used to notarize proof of digital creation ownership.
Cloud Storage That Is Distributed
Another blockchain application that businesses can use is distributed cloud storage. Storj is a blockchain-based company that provides users with affordable, fast, and secure cloud storage.
Storj founder Shawn Wilkinson told VentureBeat that “simply using excess hard drive space, users could store the traditional cloud 300 times over,”. This is similar to how you can rent out a room on Airbnb. “Considering,” Wilkinson added.
As a result, one of the more intriguing blockchain applications is distributed cloud storage. It’s one to keep an eye on for small businesses.
Supply-Chain Communication and Provenance
“Most of the things we buy are made by a chain of suppliers who sell their components (for example, graphite for pencils) to a company that assembles and markets the finished product.”
The issue with this system is that if one of these components fails, “the brand bears the brunt of the backlash,” says Edelman Digital’s Phil Gomes.
“A company could proactively provide digitally permanent, auditable records that show stakeholders the state of the product at each value-added step” by utilizing blockchain technology. This is one of the novels ways businesses could use blockchain technology.
The term “smart contract”‘ has been in use since 1993, but it is now associated with the blockchain as a result of the Ethereum Project’s emergence in 2013.
This project “is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed, with no possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud, or third-party interference.”
According to Chris DeRose of American Banker, “smart contracts” are “self-automated computer programs that can carry out the terms of any contract.” In a nutshell, “it is a financial security held in escrow by a network and routed to recipients based on future events, as well as computer code.”
Businesses will be able to avoid regulations by using “smart contracts.” “Reducing the cost of a subset of our most common financial transactions.” Furthermore, these contracts will be unbreakable.