Even small-scale businesses aren’t left behind in leveraging blockchain.
Blockchain, since its origination in 2008, has come far from being just a buzzword. The technology that was developed with an idea of serving as a public transaction ledger for bitcoin is now no longer restricted to the cryptocurrency industry.
From healthcare and finance to supply chain, blockchain is finding takers across sectors globally. In fact, the spending on blockchain-based solutions is anticipated to cross 12 billion dollars by 2022, as per Statista researches.
What’s more interesting is how actively small businesses are embracing this technology to accelerate their entities. Primarily due to the benefits it offers, including increased transparency and security, without going broke.
How blockchain can help with business
- Smart Contracts
Smart contracts are self-enforcing contracts that operate within a blockchain independently once they are programmed. Such computer-programmed contracts are irreversible in nature and execute only when the predefined conditions by the involved parties are met and verified. That makes these unbreakable contracts – with near-zero possibilities of fraud – more reliable, secure, and accountable.
Above all, smart contracts entirely eliminate the need for third-party involvement as they don’t require a middleman to oversee proper enforcement of the contract. That translates into significant cost savings for small businesses as they can enter into enforceable contracts without hiring dedicated experts, such as a lawyer.
- Distributed Cloud Storage
The threat of data theft is real, especially if you’re storing your private, vital business data on centralized, public cloud storage. However, with the evolution of software technology, the door to distributed yet secure cloud storage has opened for large and small corporations alike.
The blockchain-powered cloud storage solutions are rising in numbers around the world, offering small business owners space on the cloud with blockchain’s inherently stringent data security. The best part is such decentralized solutions are available at lower rates than the centralized cloud options – creating a win-win scenario for SMBs.
- Money Transfers And Payments
Out of all the blockchain applications, this one is probably the most popular. It allows individuals, as well as organizations, to receive and send payments anywhere in the world in an instant. Not just that, blockchain facilitates faster transactions and money transfers around the world with robust security at minimal fees. Moreover, there are no intermediaries involved in any transactions, making the process thoroughly decentralized.
From the perspective of small-scale businesses, it proves extremely beneficial as they can utilize quicker, more secure payments without breaking their banks. Something quite impossible to achieve with traditional money transfer systems which usually involve higher transaction fees, are slower, and more vulnerable to risks and attacks.
- Digital Identity
Thanks to the technology of blockchain, small businesses would be able to save themselves from online frauds. Wondering how?
Well, blockchain and software technology makes digital identities’ management and tracking much more efficient than the conventional methods in use currently. The data stored on the blockchain, irrespective of its kind, becomes immutable – it can’t be modified by anyone. This inherent feature of blockchain makes way for a watertight identity verification system that uses digital signatures and cryptography techniques.
Using such a system, businesses can verify identities and ensure that they’re collaborating with or paying money to the right people, not the imposters.
- Networking And IOT
Networking is as much critical for small businesses as bigger organizations. Interestingly, blockchain has touched upon this requirement as well.
Blockchain technology could be utilized to act as a public ledger for a variety of devices where each device can communicate with another device independently at a reduced cost, without requiring a central port. For example, the Autonomous Decentralized Peer-to-Peer Telemetry concept by Samsung and IBM that utilizes blockchain for securing transactions.
- Loyalty Programs And Gift Cards
Loyalty programs and gift cards are considered valuable in engagingly building strong customer bonds. However, conventional systems make these programs expensive and difficult to manage. Furthermore, third-party involvement makes it less secure.
By incorporating blockchain-based systems, all of this can be avoided by businesses. Not only can they carry out unique authentication of such programs securely at affordable rates but can also get rid of middlemen. That way, they can achieve both – customer satisfaction and a safer system.
- Notary Service
Small businesses can make the most of blockchain technology to conduct notary services in an economical and convenient way. There is no need to hire dedicated notary professionals for document/transaction verification as blockchain can do it for you. There are plenty of companies offering blockchain-based notary services.
Take stampd.io for instance. It can be utilized to validate proof of ownership of your digital creations, marketing proposals, research papers, images, content, videos, and more. The platform provides timestamped entry of such content on a public blockchain for their services.
- Supply-Chain Management
Blockchain has become a boon for those in the supply chain domain. With the conventional supply chain management, it wasn’t possible to identify what went wrong and where or track details if the product failed. Blockchain has changed that as the system offers complete transparency with documentation of every minor detail, including the materials used along with their origin, at each stage – right from manufacture to sales.
As a result, there is a greater level of transparency and reliability. In addition, such blockchain-enabled systems also lets small businesses better plan their inventory, reduce delays, and avert cases of frauds.
Blockchain is undeniably an innovative technology that has a lot to offer to businesses, small and large, and individual users alike. As we explored above, its applications are boosting transparent and more secure business operations while helping businesses cut down costs. What’s more, it is continually undergoing evolution. That means we shouldn’t be surprised if it dishes out more exciting use-cases for us in the near future.