Blockchain needs no introduction to digital age investors. Not many technologies have succeeded in capturing the imagination and interest of people as has blockchain. Many instantly relate bitcoin to blockchain which has been the most highly identifiable of all digital currencies which succeeded in creating new millionaires in 2017.
The basic advantages of Blockchain technology are decentralization, immutability, security, and transparency.
1. The blockchain technology allows for verification without having to be dependent on third-parties.
2. The data structure in a blockchain is append-only. So, the data cannot be altered or deleted.
3. It uses protected cryptography to secure the data ledgers. Also, the current ledger is dependent on its adjacent completed block to complete the cryptography process.
4. All the transactions and data are attached to the block after the process of maximum trust verification. There is a consensus of all the ledger participants on what is to be recorded in the block.
5. The transactions are recorded in chronological order. Thus, all the blocks in the blockchain are time stamped.
6. The ledger is distributed across every single node in the blockchain who are the participants. So, it is distributed.
7. The transactions stored in the blocks are contained in millions of computers participating in the chain. Hence it is decentralized. There is no possibility that the data if lost cannot be recovered.
8. The transactions that take place are transparent. The individuals who are provided authority can view the transaction.
9. The origin of any ledger can be tracked along the chain to its point of origin.
10. Since various consensus protocols are needed to validate the entry, it removes the risk of duplicate entry or fraud.
11. With the smart contracts, the businesses can pre-set conditions on the blockchain. The automatic transactions are triggered only when the conditions are met.
All businesses that are keen to invest in blockchain technology must first perform a strategic evaluation to see if it is truly feasible for their business model. Many companies may not see a return on their investments in the initial years. Any unstructured implementation of the blockchain technology may lead to strategic failures. Thus, it is advised that companies perform granular assessments at the use-case level to determine which application can be induced with blockchain technology. The points where it can be applied has to be identified and its impact has to be assessed with specific use cases. A right strategic approach is what is needed to leverage the maximum benefits of blockchain technology.
The blockchain technology can be practically applied to any industry. Agriculture, banking, healthcare, education, e-commerce, property, mining, retail, transport and logistics, media and entertainment, automotive- the list goes on. A thorough understanding of its implementation will yield the areas where it can be applied and in what way.
The blockchain architecture includes the public and the private options. In the public option, anyone can join and read. The blockchain in the public can be made secure by permitting only authorized participants to write. In a private-based blockchain ownership model, only authorized participants can join and read. Here also, the writing option can again be allotted to only a few. The type of blockchain architecture will depend on the business type and the area where it is to be implemented.