Think of a future where all of your data is secure. You don’t have to worry about hackers or identity thieves running off with your personal data and ruining your life. You don’t even have to worry about remembering 50 different passwords that you have to keep changing every month.
Not only that, but imagine a world where when needed, your data is easy to share and transparent. Imagine being able to access and look at all of your medical records whenever or even manage your finances without a middle man.
You may be thinking that this seems like a dream world, but it actually might be a lot closer than you think. Blockchain technology has the potential to do all of this and more if implemented throughout the world’s economy in every industry. Already, large companies are jumping on board to take advantage of the many benefits of the technology. More and more small businesses are also starting to look into blockchain for work and personal use.
When many people think of blockchain, their first thought is of Bitcoin and the shadowy cryptocurrency marketplace. Although this is certainly where the technology got its start, numerous big companies became interested early because they recognized the potential power of blockchain.
The blockchain works by creating transaction “blocks” of information that get added to a “chain” of previous transactions; information is shared among a network of computers. If someone were to try to hack the information, they would have to chain not only the block they wanted to hack but also the blocks connected to it and so on in order to avoid detection. The records use cryptography and each transaction requires the personal key of participants that act as a digital signature for transactions.
Using blockchain would eliminate the need for all of the passwords and security questions that you’re required to remember to access all of your accounts. And it would still be more secure. Your information is encrypted and private only to you. Any new block that would be added to your account (say to deposit, extract, or transfer money) would have to be approved by you.
One industry where the technology is really making waves is within personal finance. In fact, blockchain is really revolutionizing the entire banking industry as we speak (or read in your case). Some of the big ways blockchain will change the banking industry is though improved security, 24/7 transaction processing, and easier international purchasing without transaction fees.
When it comes to real life, tangible things that most of us use, think of your personal online banking. Over three-quarters of the U.S. population uses online banking in some form or another. Although all banks work hard to protect their reputations as safe and secure places for your money, there are a number of inherent risks of using online banking. First and foremost is the potential for a data breach or personal information hack.
Blockchain has the ability to completely protect all of your banking transactions without a high likelihood of these risks. As blockchain becomes more and more mainstream, some people have even discussed the possibility of a safe and secure cashless society. Countries like Sweden are already working towards these goals with blockchain being one of a couple of means of potentially securing all data and making a cashless society safe and successful.
Incorporating into Your Business
For those running small businesses or looking to start one, blockchain can be an important feature to incorporate into your long-term goals and small business financial planning. For one, the technology is safe and secure, which can help protect your hard-earned money and other important business information. Furthermore, incorporating it early can help you reach a broader market and keep up with many of the larger companies that are already starting to innovate.
Setting up things like smart contracts for your small business in a blockchain system can help relieve some of the struggles that come with cash flow by streamlining the process to make sure there is always enough money in the coffers. Blockchain ledgers are hard to argue with and easy to enforce, which can remove the middle man in the process of money transfers and questions about when certain funds will be released for use.
Along with big data, blockchain can also put more information into the hands of small business owners which can ultimately lead to greater profits. Big data provides a lot of potential benefits, especially when it comes to marketing and understanding customer purchasing preferences. But it can be expensive and out of the price range of many smaller companies. Some blockchain services can incorporate big data and allow you to get two services for the price of one as well as cut out the software and data experts that come at a heavy price.
Blockchain technology may seem a little far-fetched and distant for now, but it is quickly becoming mainstream. Within the world of business and finance, we can already see major companies incorporating it to improve transaction speed and security. Small businesses can greatly benefit from incorporating blockchain into their business models sooner rather than later.