Blockchain, or distributed ledger technology (DLT), is commonly linked solely to cryptocurrencies. However, it’s a versatile tool across sectors; as a digital system of independent computers recording, sharing, and synchronizing transactions, DLTs aim to enhance trust across stakeholders. According to a global blockchain technology report, DLTs and other blockchain capabilities are expected to grow at 62.73% through 2027, reaching a market value of $65 billion.
The integration and operation of blockchain technology can redefine how various industries operate, improve efficiencies, and reduce the cost of doing business. With the continuing pandemic, climate change, and data risks, blockchain offers businesses the opportunity to rise to the challenge and innovate. Here are four ways you can adapt blockchain tech:
Expand payments with cryptocurrency
In an era of globalization, cryptocurrency is the most well-known use case for blockchain technology as it can speed up cross-border payments and reduce costs by eliminating intermediaries. By keeping ledger systems in real-time, cryptocurrencies can keep international payments secure, which would be ideal for extending your products and solutions to other regions.
Case in point, PayPal launched its cryptocurrency service in 2021, enabling customers to buy, hold, and sell cryptocurrency directly from their PayPal accounts. PayPal also allows users to pay for purchases using crypto with its 26 million merchants worldwide, instantly converting their selected cryptocurrency balance to fiat currency upon checkout. One small electronics retailer has even reported selling more than $300,000 worth of merchandise to nearly 40 countries, merely by accepting crypto payments.
This concept was the motivation behind our OneLedger – Binance Smart Chain (BSC) project. With a mutually compatible system that enables bi-directional asset transfers between networks, plus the integration of the OLT Token with Pancake Swap, we give OLT holders access to one of the most vibrant and widely-adopted ecosystems in crypto.
Notably, cryptocurrency regulation is picking up in the US, to cater to the 14% of Americans invested in digital assets. Soon, president Joe Biden is expected to sign an executive order directing federal agencies to study cryptocurrency as “the future of money,” especially as crypto dominates the financial landscape, surging past $3 trillion in value last year.
Monitor your supply chain
Blockchain can support the digitization of supply chains, reducing the time and cost of moving products, through integration with other technologies like the Internet of Things. Products are tagged and assigned with unique identifiers, which are then transplanted onto the immutable, transparent, and secure blockchain. This allows businesses to trace supply chain products to flag potentially damaging in-transit events, such as signs of tampering, careless handling, or extreme environmental conditions.
Real-time, collaborative networks for retailers, suppliers, and third-party labs let them keep a shared record of a product as it moves along the supply chain with full visibility — and this is why leading players in logistics are rushing to invest. Walmart’s early adoption of blockchain technology has made it easier and less time-consuming to trace back issues related to fresh produce. When an E.coli romaine lettuce problem caused 200 people to get sick, it took weeks to trace the source as the company needed to sort through vast amounts of information from suppliers in varying locations.
Walmart now uses Hyperledger Fabric for its food traceability system, where each node on the blockchain represents an entity that handled food on the way to the store — making it clear to see if a farm has sold an infected batch to a specific location. Instead of taking seven days to trace the origin of mangoes, blockchain technology reduced it to 2.2 seconds. Blockchain can also resolve issues in product authenticity, such as counterfeit goods. By attaching smart tags like QR codes or RFID to a product, you can identify the item’s proof-of-origin, from its manufacture to its purchase.
Explore advanced use cases
Blockchain is rapidly developing in how it can be used, especially now that it’s become more widespread. It’s helpful to continue educating yourself on the potential of DLTs. You can do this is through examining real-world examples and following the latest trends being taught at higher education institutions. Many of these institutions put their curriculum online and they can be used as a jumping off point. Modern finance programs put a value on constantly learning about the latest financial technologies — not to mention the best practices in accounting, analytics, risk management, marketing, and sales, which can guide you in managing your business. There are also many resources available to learn about blockchain outside the above examples, including videos, books, blogs, and podcasts.
Moreover, there are plenty of articles that offer insights on more advanced use cases. These can help you evaluate new ideas like Initial Coin Offerings and security tokens. You can also examine concepts like blockchain notarization to ensure proof-of-existence for documents. Land assets in the Republic of Georgia often get locked because of inadequate proof of ownership. The country has since invested in a blockchain-based titling system, allowing the public to easily verify their ownership of a property deed using their smartphones.
The proof-of-existence model saves the hashes of Georgian citizens’ land registry documents on a non-editable ledger, providing each title owner with a unique identifier that is resilient against data leaks and manipulation. By reading up on the various ways blockchain is being used around the world, you open yourself up to new ideas and keep your business at the forefront of the blockchain trend.
Use blockchain for smart contracts
Smart contracts are regular contracts wherein the rules of said contract are enforced in real-time on the blockchain. “If/when… then” scenarios are programmed and stored on DLT, then fulfilling the predetermined criteria can trigger a specific action. You can have protocols like automatically executing product delivery the moment payment is initiated, or a new employee receives onboarding materials immediately upon submitting the required credentials. Smart contracts eliminate the middlemen, ensure compliance, and save resources for all parties involved.
One area where smart contracts have seen traction is the real estate industry. Global real estate store Propy processes its sales through a blockchain-powered platform. Sales are executed through Ethereum smart contracts and recorded on the blockchain registry, providing complete security to each deal. Smart contracts ensure that the transaction is executed according to regional regulations. If a buyer reserves a property by paying money to the escrow company currently holding it, they can get the money back if the seller ends up refusing to sell the property. Likewise, the smart contract will also allow the sale to proceed once the buyer submits the necessary paperwork and payments.
Future trends in blockchain smart contracts involve state-of-the-art contract management solutions where parties to a contract must provide proof of identity and authenticate access to data. Any documents associated with a contract will be stored in a revision-secure manner, then encrypted in a cloud-based platform, doubling-down on agility and security.
Exclusively written for OneLedger.io
By: Rayette Jianna