What You Need to Know Before Using Blockchain Tech in Your Business
Whether it’s because it attracts more clients or makes your processes more efficient, incorporating the right technologies can help your business succeed. One such technology is blockchain. Indeed, Yahoo states that the global blockchain market size is expected to grow to $39.7 billion in 2025. This is at least 13 times more than last year’s blockchain revenue ($3 billion). If you want to keep up with the competition, consider incorporating blockchain into your business.
However, before you do so, there are a few things you have to think about. Here are some of them:
The first thing you have to consider is what you’re going to use blockchain for. Its most widespread use is cryptocurrency, which is a form of payment that’s distributed using blockchain. Bitcoin and Ethereum are some examples. Using crypto has plenty of advantages. For example, since it doesn’t employ the services of a payment provider, it has lower fees. This is also why money flows much faster. Some of the biggest companies in the world like Microsoft, Subway, and Newegg, have already begun accepting crypto as payment.
However, crypto isn’t the only thing that blockchain offers. In our previous article ‘How Startups & SMBs Can Benefit From Blockchain’, we mentioned some of blockchain’s other uses like distributed applications (Dapps) and smart contracts. Dapps function like normal apps, except they run on a blockchain. This means that no entity fully controls it (even you), increasing its security. There’s also little to no downtime since, again, it doesn’t rely on the technology of a third-party provider.
Meanwhile, smart contracts are self-executing programs where the terms between all involved parties are written directly onto the blockchain. It automatically signs itself when the predetermined conditions are met and can’t be tampered with.
Other blockchain functions you may want to consider include but are not limited to: cloud storage, decentralized voting, and patent filing. Amazon is even working on a new electronic tracking system that will function on the blockchain. From customers to distributors, it will grant every party real-time visibility of the package as it moves to its destination. Any software that needs additional security, speed, and transparency can be built on a blockchain.
No matter what industry you operate in, your company’s security is a top priority. From customer information to business transactions, hackers have made businesses their top targets. And with blockchain and cryptocurrency becoming the next frontier of finance, cyber crime is increasingly targeting companies in this field. A report from the Information Systems Security Association states that the world needs at least 4 million more properly trained cyber-security professionals to defend organizations from attacks.
This has led to a drive from higher education institutes schools to develop security programs, both on-campus and online, that will encourage graduates to enter the field. Many of these establishments include work experience within their courses. Students taking Maryville University’s online cybersecurity program are trained within the institution’s Cyber Fusion Center. Through the Cyber Fusion Center, they develop technical hacking and analytical skills in a protected environment and then apply them to real world situations through partnering with a company. Students can even specialize in defensive techniques, so they can help businesses eliminate vulnerabilities and preserve their data integrity. Other institutions like Purdue University Global and the University of Kent are offering similar programs.
Each transaction on the blockchain is secured with a private key. Plus, blockchain uses a consensus model to verify every transaction. Every new block is stamped by multiple computers all over the world. This ensures that every piece of information that passes through the ledger can’t be tampered with. However, blockchain’s security isn’t perfect. For example, hackers can take nodes offline to break the blockchain’s security structure. They can also steal keys to gain access to the files. This is why blockchain is now a key part of modern cybersecurity courses and training programs, with specialists in the field highly sought after.
Every bit of software that is created on the blockchain will fall under two types—public and private—and you have to choose which one best fits the software that you’re building. A public blockchain is the common definition of the technology. The data is validated by global systems and can’t be edited. Crypto and most smart contract apps are good examples of this. On the other hand, a private blockchain is only used and governed by a single entity. Those who want to enter the network need your permission. Permissions can also be amended according to the employee’s level of access.
Both have their advantages and disadvantages. For example, software on public blockchains is more expensive, since it will require more time to check transactions. However, it’s also more transparent. Meanwhile, software on private blockchain loses one of the most defining features of the technology: decentralization. Since the network is governed by you, data is more private but less transparent. Fortunately, it’s also easier to scale, making it ideal for enterprise solutions. Sectors that deal with really sensitive information, like the finance industry and the government, can also benefit from private blockchain software.
Recently, however, people have begun developing a hybrid blockchain solution for those that want the main advantages of both (security and transparency). Called “co-chains,” Hackernoon’s experts explain that this environment lets both blockchain types communicate under one umbrella. Technically, the software still operates on the public blockchain, but the owner can choose its own validators. Plus, the program runs its own consensus algorithm. Companies like Algorand, Polkadot, and Kadena are already working on refining the process.
All that said, here are some questions you might want to ask yourself before you incorporate blockchain into your business:
• Who do you want to be in control? This affects how transparent and fast the system is going to be.
• How secure do you want the software to be? This will affect the software’s cost.
• What is your budget for the blockchain-integrated software? The lower your budget, the more you have to rely on the public ledger.
• Who needs access to the blockchain data? If your customers, for example, don’t need to see the information, then a private blockchain software might meet your needs better.
Blockchain is a multi-faceted system that has a lot of uses, considerations, and costs that you need to think about. So, never skip the research. Blockchain has a lot of benefits, but its solutions are not one-size-fits-all.
Piece specially prepared for PrimaFelicitas
Prepared by: JBranen
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