You’ve probably heard of blockchain technology, but you might not know that it’s quickly revolutionizing the way the world shares information and does business.
Blockchain technology has already been adopted by many prominent institutions. According to IBM, 91 percent of the world’s banks plan to invest in blockchain solutions by 2018. Today, most small to mid-size business owners and future employees are aware they should know a thing or two about this new technology, but they don’t know where to start.
Let’s break down what blockchain is and why you – as a future entrepreneur, business owner or employee of a large corporation – should care.
So, what is blockchain?
Blockchain is a decentralized, digital public ledger – or record – of transactions. Blockchain was originally developed to record transactions of the cryptocurrency bitcoin, but today it offers many important opportunities for businesses of all types and sizes.
Blockchain technology is an effective, business-friendly way to structure data, allowing information to be shared easily and securely from business to business. As a result, large companies can automate processes and scale operations more easily.
Small businesses and entrepreneurs can benefit from blockchain technology, too. By leveraging blockchain technology, smaller businesses can operate with more autonomy and efficiency.
Here are the three ways blockchain technology could affect operations for small business owners and entrepreneurs:
1. Automate HR processes
Using blockchain technology, a company could verify the identity and employment background of potential hires. This could save businesses a huge amount of time and resources by eliminating the extensive research and background checks typically conducted by an HR department.
2. Develop “smart” contracts
Blockchain technology could help businesses potentially automate legal agreements and contracts between clients and customers. Since blockchain is a “smart contract,” meaning the information is instantly verifiable and accessible, small businesses could use blockchain to streamline certain legal or administrative processes and free up capital for other business areas.
3. Improve security
Managing large amounts of consumer data is a risk for businesses that could be the target of a cyber-attack or data breach. Today, many consumers are wary of exposing their personal information, whether they’re shopping online, swiping their card in the store or filling out a form for more information. With the enhanced security enabled by blockchain, businesses can rest assured that their customers’ sensitive information is encrypted and safe from hackers and cybercriminals.
Blockchain technology is already changing the business world. By familiarizing yourself with this new technology – and its applications to a variety of businesses and industries – you can prepare and position yourself to be a forward-thinking future business leader.