Even though the market capitalization of cryptocurrency has reached a staggering value of 600 Billion, there is a lot of skepticism surrounding it. Yes, bitcoin is becoming somewhat mainstream but people still think it is a risky investment. However, the blockchain technology used in digital currency is recently getting attention. That too for the right reasons.
More and more businesses are now using blockchain technology. This is evident from the fact that global spending on the technology is increasing. International Data Corporation conducted a research to assess the potential of the blockchain. They found that if the current expenditure and trends are to be considered, blockchain is likely to grow at a rate of 73.2 percent by 2022.
When you consider just how many businesses are making use of blockchain, this prediction may seem plausible. Think about it. Now when we buy cars today, we can use options like The AutoBlock to conduct the transaction. This business is one of the many out there that use blockchain.
Are you an owner of a small business? Are you wondering whether blockchain is of some use to you? The good news is that it is! You too can benefit from the technology, just like some big brands are.
Why small businesses should use blockchain technology?
Before we get into the details of how you can use blockchain, let’s first discuss why it’s beneficial in the first place.
- Big Data and Blockchain
The biggest benefit associated with blockchain technology is its role in big data. Now is the era of analytics. The fact that you can predict the future with the help of a few numbers is mind-boggling. But, big data makes it possible. And blockchain plays a role too.
No business can survive without proper planning. Devising strategies for the organization is an integral part of any business, regardless of how big or small it is. Big data is very useful when planning. It allows you to access real-time data regarding consumer behavior and alter your strategies as per the findings. This, in turn, can help you in improving your product for the better and gaining an upper hand on competitors.
How does blockchain fit into it all? Well, blockchain makes it easier to access data and hence implement big data strategies. This is because, in isolation, big data can be expensive and challenging to implement. But, with the help of blockchain, it can become much more user-friendly. Not to mention that it greatly reduces the cost associated with big data.
There are various platforms that can provide big data analysts with the required data in real-time. Endor is an apt example of this. This blockchain platform makes use of artificial intelligence and blockchain to deliver highly accurate customer information to businesses. You can then use predictive analysis to optimize your business functions.
The healthcare industry is also benefiting from this amalgamation of big data and blockchain. MedRec, for instance, makes a wide variety of information available among the EHR community which helps in delivering the best care.
- Benefitting customers
A small business shouldn’t just focus on survival in terms of profitability. Instead, it should also emphasize on customers. This is because customers, in the long run, are what ensure the survival for businesses. You should adopt blockchain to deliver benefit to your customers.
The blockchain is central to enhancing the transparency associated with conducting transactions online. Since blockchain allows businesses to exchange data with one another, they can engage in aggressive cost-cutting. This gives customers a lot of choice in terms of products and prices. Consumers are bound to appreciate this.
How your small business can use blockchain?
Wondering about how you too can jump on the bandwagon? Even if you are hesitant, we will advise you to incorporate blockchain in your business. Here are a few ways you can do so.
- Using smart contracts
If you ever used cryptocurrencies or related services, a smart contract is a term that will be known to you. The Ethereum project of 2013 led to a sudden increase in the popularity of this concept, even though it was coined much earlier than this. Smart contracts are computer programs that are capable of carrying out different types of contract on their own. Blockchain technology is at the heart of such contracts. Why should you use it? One reason is that it eliminates transaction costs and middlemen. However, at the same time, it does not compromise on the security.
- Communicating along the value-chain
There is much more to a business than the actual product. Product development or manufacturing is just one step of the value chain. There are a lot of other functions included. Not all of these processes are conducted by the business. Instead, some are outsourced while other serve as suppliers. However, when something goes wrong, the company is blamed because it is the face of the product. Blockchain technology helps in reducing your stakes. It helps in communicating across the value chain and making all data available on a digital platform. Hence, stakeholders can view the different steps and what role they each play. For a small business that is already struggling to build a brand image, this can be of immense help.
- Giving out salaries
When you think of blockchain, you automatically think of cryptocurrencies. It comes as no surprise that one application of the technology is related to the digital currency. You can use the technology to give wages to your international employees. This can help the organization in saving money, otherwise lost due to middlemen.
The question to ponder over isn’t whether or not your small business can use blockchain technology. Instead, the million dollar question is how you can best implement it. Even if you think that cryptocurrencies are not your cup of tea, do give blockchain technology a try. They are bound to transform your startup into a force to be reckoned with. Sooner or later, the big players will realize that you too are a rival. Isn’t that what every small business wishes to be?
Evie harrison is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences and express herself through her blogs. Find her on Twitter:@iamevieharrison