Breaking down the Blockchain

Primarily designed for the crypto-currency Bitcoin, the blockchain is a digital bookkeeping system. It is a “chain of blocks” used to execute and store all kinds of transactions in a fault-tolerant way. The blockchain is a Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and though it was invented to support the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, it has begun showing its prowess in many other areas. In a layman’s term, blockchain is a secure and encrypted digital database shared by all parties in a distributed network. Any transaction that occurs in the network is recorded, verified and stored in the database, and is visible to all participants—creating an unalterable transaction log.

As an emerging technology, blockchain enthusiasts are hopeful it could be the next big development disruptor. The technology is already being developed across industries. Brands from financial services to manufacturing; other areas, like retail, are also beginning to experiment with possible applications. The existing use cases can help a professional understand as to how blockchain-based applications might be applicable to his/her business.

Experts and industry stalwarts are of a belief that Blockchain could disrupt traditional business models and automate certain processes so businesses. It has the capability to redeploy time and resources toward more value-generating opportunities.

A few features that make blockchain a top-of-mind technology:

Exceptional Transparency:

Blockchain enables multiple participants to view the entire life cycle of the digital ledger. It serves the members an auditable trail of all transactions.

Cost Efficient:

In few business processes, duplication of information and many rounds of reconciliation is required. It can cost a greater amount of time and money. Blockchain enables a shared infrastructure between counterparties, and if parties are willing to share infrastructure, it can save them a considerable amount time and money.

Better traceability:

If a business deals in products which are traded via a complex supply chain, one can imagine how difficult it is to trace an item back to its origin. When such movements of goods are recorded on a blockchain, one can easily spot the related shipment with an audit trail that shows where the shipment came from and every stop it made on its journey. Such exceptional transaction data can help verify the authenticity of shipment and prevent fraud.

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