Blockchain technology and commercial enterprise

In recent months, many notable corporations, including Facebook and Amazon, have set up research labs in an effort to dive deeper into blockchain technology and explore its enormous potential for business.

Organisations are also increasingly exploring how cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology’s best-known application, could be leveraged or integrated into their business models. If 2017 was the year we saw the Cambrian explosion of cryptocurrencies onto the global marketplace, then 2018 will be the year of commercialising blockchain.

It’s a transformation already underway, and blockchain supporters have an ever-growing number of substantive industry case studies to point to. Major blockchain-backed companies ShipChain, EBCoin, and Ternio have shown real-world use cases for their respective industries. As its name eludes, ShipChain is taking the process of creating, shipping, and delivering products and placing it onto the blockchain.

>See also: More than just cryptocurrency: The advent of blockchain for business

Meanwhile, EBCoin is removing the barriers and boundaries surrounding the global tourism industry by digitising the entire tax refund process for tourists making international purchases, and Ternio is providing transparency to the marketing and advertising industry.

While the hype around blockchain has ignited a “blockchain for everything” sentiment among enthusiasts, blockchain will actually do very specific things for specific industries – and do them in a way that has not been seen before.

Which industries will benefit from blockchain?

There are many industries that can benefit from incorporating blockchain technology into everyday operations. Any industry that requires trust or has specific and sensitive data can significantly strengthen processes with the transparency and veracity that blockchain technology provides to digital information systems.

Imagine buying a car and with a simple scan of a QR code, gaining access to its entire history. The code will allow buyers to access data showing every relevant date on the lifespan of the car from when it was built, to quality checks, to its final destination — all stored on an immutable blockchain.

>See also: What is blockchain’s role in the future of Intellectual Property?

The same simplicity and access can be imagined for emergency medical services. Using blockchain, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) will be be able to pull critical information on unconscious patients without documentation in a matter of life-saving seconds — and at a fraction of the cost of traditional processes. This information would also be anonymised, ensuring that the patient receives the care that they need, without compromising their data security in the process.

The traditional to blockchain transition

To the dismay of blockchain enthusiasts everywhere, many in the mainstream world — from startups to major multinationals —are skeptical of the benefits, incorporation, and widespread adoption of blockchain. This not due to lack of interest per se, but a lack of time and energy. And for companies with longstanding backgrounds in traditional processes, pursuing blockchain technology means completely re-organising practices and retraining staff, as well as attending to a laundry list of compliance obligations with an evolving regulatory landscape — a list that can seem overwhelming to companies without the resources necessary to undertake it.

However, this transition is not nearly as daunting as it seems. In fact, there are currently a handful of organisations that are tackling the financial and educational gaps in the industry, and are working on solutions to bridge them for future growth.

>See also: How businesses can use blockchain to boost revenue

One of these organisations is the aelf Innovation Alliance — a coalition of some of the most prominent and influential industry players looking to to fast-track the road to blockchain adoption.

The companies that formed the alliance, include Huobi Labs, Roland Berger, and Arrington XRP Capital. They will actively encourage open information sharing based on their unparalleled experience in the crypto and blockchain community, inviting businesses of all sizes to join the conversation.

Another option for those interested in entering the space is to enroll in education programs provided by some of the world’s top universities. Every year, the MIT Media Lab Digital Currency Initiative holds a one-day Business of Blockchain Conference, providing leading-professionals in myriad industries with a crash-course in the intricacies of blockchain technology.

>See also: Blockchain technology: from hype to reality

Similarly, on June 19-21 this year, the NYU Stern School of Business attracted hundreds of executives, alumni, and students to its 2018 Future of Fintech Conference. The day-long conference is purposed to foster the next generation of blockchain experts, with the hope of quelling any misconceptions about the industry, and inspiring new experts to make tangible improvements to business applications of blockchain.

There are many clear benefits to adopting blockchain technology. While there are certainly gaps in the journey to mainstream integration, many industry leaders are beginning to make great strides in their understanding of the benefits of blockchain-based adoption into their respective environments. It’s a process that won’t happen overnight. However, thanks to growing partnerships, investments into research, and coalitions dedicated to the long-term success of the space, we’re surely on the right path.


Sourced by Zhuling Chen, co-founder, aelf

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

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