Blockchain is a distributed digital ledger technology in which all activity is validated by every machine on the network (called nodes) and immutably recorded on the database.
This innovative decentralized structure gives blockchain several advantages as a database technology. Blockchain is:
- Transparent – Every node on the network can see all activity on the blockchain.
- Irreversible – The record cannot be changed or altered after the fact.
- Secure – Transactions on the blockchain are cryptographically secured and must be validated by a majority of nodes, making it extremely difficult for a hacker to gain control over the network.
These qualities make blockchain an ideal technology for any platform that deals with large-scale database management, as it can provide an accurate record of activity that is secured against fraud and allows for a large number of users who do not necessarily trust each other to safely and consistently transact with each other.
It’s no surprise then, that blockchain is becoming a hot trend in the field of software development. Although blockchain is still a relatively new field of computing, many organizations are partnering with experienced blockchain development services companies to create decentralized software solutions for their business.
Business Applications of Blockchain
The most well-known application of blockchain is cryptocurrency. Bitcoin, the original cryptocurrency, is still used as a speculative asset, and other crypto projects such as Ethereum, which forms a decentralized development platform, are used as the basis of smart contracts, decentralized finance, NFT collectibles, cross-border payments, and more.
But blockchain is much more than just cryptocurrency. Any industry that manages large databases with multiple users can benefit from the security and transparency of a blockchain. For example, a blockchain ledger can be used to:
- Secure sensitive data from unauthorized access – whether that be user data, transactions, company secrets, or other information
- Create an immutable record – this helps prevent fraud and keeps data consistent regardless of changes to the business
- Manage a decentralized database – useful if many individuals in different locations all need to access and update the same database.
Another significant benefit of using a blockchain is that transactions are automatically verified by computers on the network. Not only is this much faster than manually checking documents, but it is more reliable (as all nodes independently verify information, and then a majority must agree on the correct record), and also acts as a cost-saving measure, eliminating the need to hire middlemen to perform the verification.
Improve Efficiency With Smart Contracts
Self-executing programs called smart contracts can also be built on the blockchain. These programs will automatically check if certain conditions are met before performing dependent actions, e.g., to pay someone a certain amount if a task is completed, or to validate the identity of an account owner.
Because a contract on the blockchain cannot be changed or removed, it eliminates the need for trust and independent verification between all parties involved–there is no fear that the other side will not uphold their end of the bargain.
Smart contracts improve transparency and trust in business relationships, especially between peers. They are fast, automatic, and remove the need to involve lawyers and administrators in the process, which can greatly speed up business projects.
Unique IDs and NFTs
NFTs were a big trend based on the idea that digital items can be given a unique, unchangeable identifier on the blockchain. These identifiers became hot property in the digital art world and spawned an industry of blockchain-based collectibles as well as games.
But the applications of NFTs go far beyond collectibles. For example, being able to identify a unique item or user throughout a host of business processes would greatly streamline long-distance travel, tickets, membership schemes, subscription packages, and more.
Industries That Use Blockchain
Blockchain is used in a variety of business sectors, sometimes in conjunction with cryptocurrency. This is the case with Ripple, which partners with banks and financial services companies to use its blockchain and crypto token to facilitate fast and inexpensive cross-border transactions for remittances.
But even without factoring in cryptocurrencies, the blockchain’s digital decentralized ledger technology is being used in:
- Supply chain management
- Media and entertainment
- Database management
- eCommerce and retail
- Real estate
Blockchain In Software Development
Software development is often a collaborative process, with multiple individuals, sometimes spread across the globe, working on a database together. Blockchain has been used in software development to transparently track changes made to the codebase. That way, everyone involved knows what changes were made, when they were made, and by whom. This greatly cuts down on bookkeeping and reduces the risk of mistakes or falsification, streamlining and speeding up the project.
How To Create A Blockchain Platform For Your Company
Blockchain offers useful benefits for business, but to make the most out of this innovative technology, it is recommended to reach out to developers who are experienced with both blockchain technology and enterprise software development.
AccelOne’s Onshore-Nearshore development team has a proven track record of delivering quality blockchain solutions for enterprises, including cryptocurrency exchanges, DeFi platforms, and smart contracts. To learn how we can help your business leverage blockchain to achieve your goals, contact us online or call 800.863.6814.
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Chief Development Officer/Co-Founder