So What Can We Do With The Blockchain Anyway?

Debarshi Chaudhury is the CEO of Quantilus Innovation Inc., a tech solutions firm providing software development and consulting services.

At the height of the dot-com bubble in 2000, I read a humor article about Cisco. The piece discussed how investors in the tech giant were shocked to learn Cisco made actual products and did not just sell stock. The Bitcoin and crypto craze (I refer to it as a “craze” and not a “bubble”) that we are currently experiencing has a parallel to that story.

As cryptocurrency prices go through the stratosphere, most people focus on crypto purely as an investment and ignore its use cases. If you came to this page expecting to learn something from yet another expert about how you can buy Dogecoin and get a 5,738% ROI, this article is not for you. Here, we are talking exclusively about the practical uses of the blockchain and cryptocurrency and how it can genuinely, radically revolutionize business processes.

For starters, cryptocurrencies are built on blockchains, a fancy term for a network of computers that store data collaboratively. This data is public and unalterable. Cryptocurrencies collect and hold data pertaining to the ownership and transaction details for each coin. For example, imagine a public database that uses the serial number assigned to each dollar bill to track who possesses each banknote. The database would also update its records every time the bill changes hands.

Furthermore, the blockchain can collect various other data such as timesheets, inventories, freight movements and commission payments. This is key because companies can use the blockchain as a business tool, not simply a piggy bank.

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As someone whose current business has built a platform to enable content producers to create, market and sell NFTs, I believe blockchain is the future because of the unique and practical use cases it can be applied to, which we will discuss in greater detail below.

Transparency And Trust in Processes

At its core, blockchain addresses trust. If all parties in a business process or transaction trust each other, the transaction proceeds much smoother. Since blockchain data is public information and cannot be altered without recording the change, blockchain provides unprecedented security and traceability for transactions.

It is not merely large corporations that can take advantage of the blockchain. In fact, small and medium-sized businesses can benefit as they usually possess less leverage in a transaction and are forced to make decisions based on data provided by larger companies. For example, picture a supply chain scenario for a small business where there is no option to dispute the order date, the delivery location and time, or the payment date. In this scenario, all parties will spend less on overhead, leading to faster fulfillment and faster payments.

No More Intermediaries (Unless You Are An Intermediary)

Having trust in a business process can negate the need for intermediaries. The function of go-betweens is mainly to arbitrate between all parties in a transaction. Therefore, intermediaries who operate as adjudicators of the truth, such as title companies and escrow agents, will become largely obsolete. However, intermediaries who facilitate deal-making, such as business brokers and loan generators, can become even more essential by providing the blockchain platforms where transaction data can be referenced. There will be only one truth, but businesses will still need someone to verify the one truth.

Smart Contracts

Smart contracts are a vital benefit of the blockchain. Events can be triggered automatically when specified conditions are met without requiring any human validation. Examples of these conditions include an order being delivered or a certain number of days have passed and rent is due. Once the parties agree that a condition has been met, payments against the contract can then happen automatically and instantaneously.

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)

NFTs are a direct outcome of the blockchain. Businesses can now insert specific assets on the blockchain to establish ownership and then buy and sell those assets. For instance, a housing developer could register their plot of land on the blockchain, which would create a public record of who owns the land. Furthermore, each time that piece of land is sold, the change of ownership would be recorded for posterity on the blockchain. This process makes assets far more liquid than they currently are and removes all possibility of title disputes.

Reach a Global Market

Cryptocurrencies are global currencies. This enables businesses to sell worldwide without incurring transaction fees involved in multi-currency transactions. It also allows buyers from countries with restricted currencies to buy directly using tradeable crypto.

Background Checks

Additionally, the blockchain can store more mundane records that can be used for background checks. For example, universities can share graduates’ degrees and employers can share employees’ job titles and employment dates. This enables an open and straightforward verification of data provided by job applicants, potential vendors, partners and even clients. Businesses can make informed hiring, partnership and collaboration decisions with a bundle of verified information.

These benefits are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the blockchain and business processes. As the blockchain becomes increasingly pervasive, we can expect companies to get more creative using this transformative platform and generate new use cases for the emerging technology.


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