The year 2009 saw a significant milestone in the financial and business industry when Satoshi Nakamoto coined a new term for cryptocurrency, the bitcoin. This would be a new investment method where one would purchase virtual ‘bitcoins’ when the demand was low and sell them once the demand rises. To make the transactions secure, Nakamoto popularized the use of a 1991-invented technology, the blockchain technology. Although blockchain is closely attributed to bitcoin and cryptocurrency, this technology has expanded in applications. It is soon going to take over other applications in data management. How so?
Blockchain technology in smart contracts
One of the techniques used by businesses to make their operations efficient is the smart contracts technology that exists courtesy of blockchain. Blockchain use cases technology is an online ledger system that encrypts data. It organizes the data into safe and secure ‘blocks.’ By applying the fast-growing blockchain technology, smart contract-based businesses have reached milestones in their operations. Smart contracts use blockchain technology to carry out tasks related to verifying, validating, capturing and enforcing the agreed-upon terms between multiple parties. This improves and maintains a business’s reputation when the conditions that are agreed together are observed.
Additionally, when information is captured, validated, processed, and validated whenever need be, the required data is availed in real-time. This makes operations fast and enjoyable. Moreso, the need for human labour is eradicated since the blockchain-based smart contracts take over and run the repetitive tasks that would otherwise require a human presence. Such tasks are automated using special keys that are alerted when the initial conditions are met. For example, the supply chain industry has adopted blockchain-based smart contracts to automated invoice generation when the shipments and deliveries are due to their destination. As the client goes to pick the ordered products, he finds a pre-generated invoice. This saves the time he spent waiting for someone to finalize the final process and generate the invoice.
Big data is maximizing on blockchains
Big data technology is another application that is now popular because of blockchains. In big data technology, complex, voluminous, fast-streaming data flow into the system from external and internal sources. The data that flows through such a channel is so complex that the traditional methods would not suffice the data’s processing. Processing such information is no longer a challenge with blockchain technology in place. Blockchain is immutable in nature, and this makes it efficient in handling the continually flowing data.
Blockchain, like its name, arranges information in ‘blocks.’ You know how blocks are; compact, merged, and inseparable. The system used in blockchain technology ensures that the data that is transferred is decentralized. Big data handles the complex information, while blockchain ensures data’s decentralization. This makes big data and blockchain technologies such a great marriage! The data is safe and secure while on transit, owing to the blocked nature that makes it almost impossible to hijack and manipulate. Only the stakeholders on both ends with encryption and decryption keys can access the data.
Cloud data storage using blockchain technology
About half a century ago, many organizations, institutions, firms, companies, and individuals relied on manual files to store data. This posed many challenges as the files were voluminous, bulky, and loses data once the files go missing. The next strategy that slightly improved the situations was the floppy, jazz, and optical disks. These too phased out when they could only store limited amounts of data. Recent advancements have seen the introduction of flash disks which are also limited in the data amounts stored. The most recent inventions have seen cloud storage being introduced.
In cloud storage, data is stored in virtual systems that are not limited in data volumes to be held. Companies like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are now making millions of dollars, all thanks to cloud data storage. Blockchain technology can be applied in cloud data storage to make services better. How so? A combination of blockchain and cloud storage results in techniques that take the client’s data and break them into smaller chunks. The hashing function or the encryption features are then used to add an extra layer that secures the system, resulting in data being stored permanently and securely.
Employee and client payment made easy with blockchain
Blockchain technology is so practical an application that even employees can be paid using this technology. As previously mentioned, blockchain creationis traced back to 1991, but it only became popular with bitcoin invention in 2009. So then, let’s not forget the prime market of blockchain: bitcoin. Firms are now engaging employees worldwide who are paid at the end of a week or a month. Blockchain technology has made employee payment easy, no matter where one is.
The companies with workers hailing from different continents and nations use bitcoin payment, otherwise called Bitwage. What’s the advantage of Bitwage over other forms of payment? The bank transactions are now needless and meaningless. Usually, when you send money through a bank outside your country, the transactions take at least a day or two to process. This means that the recipient cannot have the money to use it immediately it is sent. With blockchain, though, things are different, and the transactions are instantaneous! Besides, the blockchain technology incorporated in the Bitwage allows the stakeholders to literally see where the money is at any point in time. The betting industry is also adopting blockchain. Most business software is blockchain-enabled to make the whole process secure and instantly pay clients when the time is due. All this is a blockchain and bitcoin liaison.
Blockchain for strengthening Internet of Things (IoT)
Another aspect of business that is now getting more substantial courtesy of blockchain is the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT technology embeds objects with sensors and software to acquire and exchange data over the internet. Today, the IoT is coining blockchain technology into its operations more than ever, and the result is a blockchain-IoT nexus which is quite effective.
The sole purpose of IoT is data acquisition and exchange over the internet. The data that is being acquired should be securely transferred over the internet so that it is not corrupted by the time it gets o its destination. That’s what the blockchain-IoT nexus ascertains. An example is the asset tracking industry that uses the nexus to follow through assets and machinery and transfer the data as output securely. The supply chain industries also appreciate the nexus and use it to monitor products’ progress while in shipments to ensure they stay in the pre-set conditions.
Although initially identified closely with bitcoins, blockchain applications have surpassed bitcoins and cryptocurrency. Big data, cloud data storage, IoT, and smart contract-based technology are now adopting blockchain into their operations. Processes like employee and client payment are now using blockchain to run the activities smoothly. Are you wondering how to improve your business using blockchain technology? Embrace any of the ideas discussed above and transform your business.