Blockchain is a fast-developing technology for processing and storing information in a secured and immutable way. It is like an electronic ledger or database on which the data is stored in blocks chained together in chronological order, and so it gets the name, blockchain. On the blockchain, the data is shared instantly, and all the members of the database can view the information but not edit or erase it. Other than cryptocurrencies, this innovative technology can have other useful applications like banking, healthcare, messaging, cybersecurity, supply chain management, etc.
Blockchain technology allows several parties who may be unknown to each other and from different geographical locations to have access to a digital ledger that is continuously updated. The information shared on the database is encrypted and, therefore, cannot be edited or deleted. The blockchain network is decentralized in nature, which means it is not controlled by one central computer system that can be hacked and the data compromised. This feature of blockchain makes the banking transactions encrypted with the highest security. So, the banks can win the trust of their clients. Also, the traditional banking process involves many intermediaries, and extra charges are paid to each of them. With the low-cost blockchain-based transactions, it is a win-win for both the banks and their customers. The banks will have more profits as the middlemen are not required and they will pass on more of this to their clients.
So, the banking industry will benefit the most when it integrates blockchain technology into its operations. The transactional information of the clients processed by the banks must be accurate and secure. In a blockchain, the transactions are digital and, therefore, very accurate. Another advantage is that both – the banks and their clients – can save the service charges and transfer fees paid to the intermediary service providers. Also, blockchain allows no security breaches, so there will be no chance of any loss of money by hacking attacks.
Using this decentralized blockchain technology, banks can transfer funds in a fast and commercially viable way. However, the banks will spend a lot in implementing blockchain into their functioning. As a result, they will win over the clients’ trust and loyalty.
Blockchain technology will allow individuals to share their medical data on the network and authorize the healthcare companies to access it. For example, when a patient is brought to the emergency room, the doctors can access all the medical history, and the treatment started immediately. Also, as the data stored on the blockchain is immutable, no tampering with this medical data can be done by anyone.
By integrating blockchain technology, the healthcare industry can gather different pieces of information about their patients like their diagnostic test reports and past health records. As these records will be stored in a secure and non-destructible format, the hospitals and healthcare professionals can be sure of the authenticity of the data. So, blockchain will improve the levels of treatment offered by healthcare services and remove any chance of data tampering.
Users of popular messaging applications Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp became concerned about the secrecy of their data after there were events of security breaches. Considering the enormous number of messages sent on these apps (60 billion messages sent daily during the year 2018), switching to the blockchain database will ensure the strongest data encryption that cannot be tampered with.
Telegram messaging app has incorporated blockchain technology and all the messages sent are encrypted. Telegram is now working on TON (Telegram Open Network), a platform based on blockchain. It provides huge file storage for the 200 million users and secure browsing and payments.
Supply Chain Management
This sector faces enormous challenges of fraud, theft, and poor data management. The supply chain processes have many steps and dozens of human agents who can never be as accurate and accountable as blockchains. Blockchains can improve the supply chain to a great extent by facilitating faster and affordable delivery of the products. End-to-end tracking will be more accurate and fully transparent. Also, the nature of the ledger in blockchain is such that to edit data, the whole chain has to be edited, which is impossible. The parties can record all their physical assets in a digitized format on the blockchain network create uneditable data of all the transactions so that the product traceability and coordination between the parties involved is transparent.
Blockchains will give all the parties in a supply chain, a transparent and effective way to track all the transactions alongside the steps of the supply process. This real-time tracking reduces the costs also as no intermediaries are necessary. Also, the records are accurate and impossible to erase, giving the clients an edge as there is no chance of data tampering from the supplier’s end.
With the highly developed internet, people are doing everything online, starting with banking transactions, shopping, online business, etc. With the opening up of the world of the internet, hackers have also become more active. The security and encryption that the web security service providers are always cracked by cyber fraudsters. Blockchain technology has the best standards of digital security and is not susceptible to hacking or cyber fraud due to its decentralized nature. To corrupt any information, the hacker has to destroy the data on all the blocks forming the blockchain, which is non-viable. Blockchain has the potential to guard the sensitive data of organizations and businesses by using end-to-end encryption in which the stored data cannot be erased or modified. The bigger the blockchain, the more secure it will be as then the chances of bringing down so many linked computers become very low.
Blockchain is being incorporated in many industries and organizations for its accuracy, high security, and cost-effectiveness. The banking, healthcare, mobile messaging, supply chain management, and cybersecurity industries may find it very useful and implement it soon. These industries can witness an all-around-round improvement due to the usage of blockchain technology.