As an entrepreneur or business owner, you must understand the importance of staying up-to-date on evolving trends in business, marketing, design and more. And one trend that has grown in the business sector is that of blockchain investment.
In a world that is constantly evolving — politically, financially, economically and technologically — businesses can’t afford to fall behind or miss out on burgeoning opportunities. They have the potential to make or break a business and its success.
It’s a known fact that businesses consistently rise and fall all across the globe. Two-thirds of business survive two years in business, half of all businesses will survive five years, and one-third will survive 10 years.
These businesses take work. Your business takes work. Businesses need to be staying in the know. They need to be constantly evolving. brands need to know what it takes to be successful next year, not just next month.
$2.8 billion will be spent globally on blockchain technologies and solutions in 2018. That’s a significant increase from last year. In the next 10 years, rising numbers are expected as well.
Blockchain is an evolving and innovative technology that brings businesses into the future through carefully crafted solutions and systems that can help businesses in a variety of different areas.
From cybersecurity to capital, blockchain investment can have a major impact on you and your business. But what is this technology and how can it affect you?
What Is Blockchain?
Blockchain technology is, in essence, a publicly distributed ledger with no singular entity controlling it. This series of recorded transactions keeps track of information in a chain-like system.
This chain is controlled by a whole community of blockchain users, and every addition to the chain is carefully tracked. This means that no organization, entity or even single person can make changes to the information recorded once its there.
In essence, it’s the supposed backbone of our increasingly technological world, allowing people to record information and transactions in a distributed database that is constantly being added to and saved.
Things aren’t just added, though. Little “nodes” of data are created every time there is a change or addition so that there is never any question as to the authenticity of a piece of information or action.
According to Don Tapscott — a world-renowned authority on innovative technologies and proponent of blockchain technology — the future is in this emerging tech:
The first generation of the digital revolution brought us the Internet of information. The second generation — powered by blockchain technology — is bringing us the Internet of value: a new platform to reshape the world of business and transform the old order of human affairs for the better. Blockchain is a vast, global distributed ledger or database running on millions of devices and open to anyone, where not just information but anything of value — money, but also titles, deeds, identities, even votes — can be moved, stored and managed securely and privately. Trust is established through mass collaboration and clever code rather than by powerful intermediaries like governments and banks.
Blockchain is what cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum are built on. And these cryptocurrencies are revolutionizing how businesses and individuals alike are going about their business.
What Is Cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency is a form of digital currency used to transfer money for goods and services on the internet. This system is a peer-to-peer electronic exchange that is centralized and secure.
This cryptocurrency exists on the backbone of blockchain technology. It takes the overall concept and uses it to complete financial transactions.
Cryptocurrency relies on the network of blockchain and its users to keep these transactions credible, secure and legitimate. Since it’s successful creation, a number of different types of cryptocurrencies came into being.
The first cryptocurrency that was successful and impactful was Bitcoin. It was created in 2009 by a group of programmers that went under the alias of Satoshi Nakamoto.
Bitcoin is essentially electronic cash -- like an even more virtual credit card. There is no bank administrator facilitating Bitcoin transactions. Instead, people can just transfer funds on their own.
Its ease of use and lack of fees make it particularly appealing. So much so, in fact, that businesses are beginning to accept Bitcoin as currency.
What's more, Google and Goldman Sachs are even backing a new Bitcoin startup called Veem, which helps small businesses use Bitcoin accounts for needs.
Ethereum is an open-sources computing platform that helps developers create and execute programs and applications. Also known as Ether, Ethereum is both similar and very different from Bitcoin.
It is a publicly distributed Blockchain technology. However, Bitcoin technology only has one purpose: monetary value.
Ether, on the other hand, has many applications -- money is just one of them. Other Ethereum uses include executing contracts and managing company supply chains.
Other Forms Of Cryptocurrency
As of 2018, there are thousands of different types of cryptocurrency all with different weights and worths. But the top five would include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, ZCash and Dash.
With these cryptocurrencies are endless possibilities. You can make purchases with these cryptocurrencies and use them as payment options that you and your business can accept.
You can invest in opportunities or markets. You can use it to raise funding or fund projects as well. Cryptocurrency and blockchain investment have many different uses and benefits to you and your business.
But outside of just cryptocurrency, what other uses for blockchain are there? Because from a business standpoint, making financial transactions with blockchain can be beneficial.
But blockchain investment should be more impactful than simply changing up your currencies. What else does blockchain investment have to offer?
How Blockchain Works Today
There's more to blockchain than just cryptocurrency. In fact, organizations are brainstorming exciting and innovative ways to use this technology to secure their data, strengthen authenticity and provide better good and services.
Blockchain Is Used In Data Protection
One way that blockchain has evolved from just a way to send an receive money is its integration into data backup and storage applications.
In a world where information is extremely valuable, and most data lives online and on our technological devices, we need to make sure we're doing everything in our power to keep it protected.
That's where data backup services like Carbonite and Acronis come in. These businesses provide software and solutions that protect data and keep it from getting lost in the void after a virus, hacking or from device destruction.
And in recent years these companies have started working on initiatives to ensure that data is even safer. Acronis is one of these brands, stating this about the merging of these two concepts:
Today's digital world contains a huge number of assets whose originality and ownership are difficult and costly to define and track. Blockchain technology can solve this problem by providing global authenticity and security for data and transactions of any kind, reducing the cost and complexity of centralized systems while making data ‘tamper-proof’.
Essentially, by integrating blockchain into data protection and data backup solutions, businesses can create a more secure and authentic storage system that is seemingly impenetrable. This is ideal in a world where data is everything and hackers are doing their best to steal that data and ransom it off.
Businesses could benefit from similar integrations, strengthening their own security or data storage systems with a blockchain investment in these endeavors.
Blockchain Helps People Vote
But there are even more innovative uses for blockchain. Another way businesses are using blockchain has been in securing voter systems to eliminate voter fraud.
BitCongress is an organization that's been working to create a decentralized voting system using this technology. They began investing in these solutions after recent scandal and outrage occurred over faulty voting systems and fraud.
The way their system works is relatively simple. Every vote is made, logged and entered directly into a candidate's "wallet" once that vote is placed.
Each vote stands on its own and gets its own little "node" on the chain. This keeps it out of the hands of people who might want to change these votes, and documents it so that if anyone were to try and change it, you could go back and see its authenticity.
After the 2016 election in the United States, plenty of voter fraud initiatives were born and further pursued. With the help of blockchain, we might actually get to see a new and secure way to vote for elected officials, eliminating the stress, anxiety and doubt we have now.
Blockchain Technology Improves Healthcare
Another way blockchain transforms the way businesses and individuals live their lives is in healthcare.
According to a study by IBM, 16 percent of healthcare executives have made plans and are raising funds for the implementation of a blockchain solution to their systems. That number is expected to rise to 56 percent by 2020. This is a result of the endless amount of security possibilities that blockchain provides hospitals and medical information.
Hospitals have been victims of ransomware attacks too, so blockchain solutions would be an ideal way to ensure all of this information is safe, secure and free from the hands of hackers looking to make a quick buck.
But not only that, a lot of hospitals are looking to blockchain to make it easier to store medical data.
This system of transactions — think prescriptions, check-up results, vitals readings, etc. — could be stored using this technology, and it can be tracked, documented and easily accessed. Records won't go missing when you change providers, and you'd be able to see a full history of your medical records thanks to the open, decentralized nature of the system.
Blockchain can make it easy for healthcare providers to track and obtain all the medical information about a patient that has been taken quickly and easily. It also ensures that medical records can't be altered or lost.
Businesses could invest in similar solutions that would open the door for easier information documentation and access.
Supply Chain Productivity Is Improved With Blockchain
Another popular investment in blockchain technology has been in the supply chain. Right now, there's a lot of worry and uproar about the state of the supply chain and the number of things that just fall through the cracks.
People find that there are too many steps, locations and products to navigate and track properly. This leads to incidents like damaged goods, tainted products and lost supplies.
In general, the supply chain as it stands is extremely unreliable. And a new system needs to be put in place to track every individual product at every step of the way to ensure it's properly documented and makes it to its final destination.
Companies have started experimenting with blockchain to revolutionize and modernize this process. Trials have been made, tracking things from meat to coffee beans and diamonds. From the second these items are obtained, until the second they land in the consumer's hand, they have been tracked using blockchain and it seems to be working.
Brands like Walmart and Everledger are just a few of the name brands using blockchain to simplify the supply chain and increase transparency to promote authenticity, trackability and security.
These are just a few of the more popular ways blockchain has been used outside of cryptocurrency.
But businesses can benefit from both its use as a cryptocurrency and in its application into other avenues of tech and organization. Blockchain investment has far-reaching impacts and it can touch on a number of industries and aspects of your organization.
It's obvious, however, that you can't ignore blockchain and its investment opportunities. It's a vital tool that businesses should be taking advantage, and that can be taken advantage of with relative ease.
Whether you have a background in tech, or you're oblivious to the concept, blockchain can make a positive impact on your business. Here are just a few of the ways you can see success.
How Can Blockchain Investment Aid In Business Growth?
Investing in blockchain can drastically change the way you do business. It can give you added security, peace of mind and even help you make a profit.
Here are just a few of the ways blockchain can give your business a boost. From startups and law firms to investors and small businesses, there is a benefit to be had from learning more about cryptocurrency, blockchain and the advanced ways this tech is being used.
Raise Capital More Effectively
Cryptocurrency as a whole has fundamentally changed how startups and other companies raise capital funds to get their businesses off the ground.
Coin offerings allow these organizations to raise money quickly and easily because they are reaching out to a wide community of investors with cryptocurrency to dole out.
An example of a successful startup initiative funded by cryptocurrency is that of the cryptocurrency Ethereum.
In just a few years, he was able to raise $18 million to fund his project, and now Ethereum is one of the most widely used cryptocurrencies in the world. Similarly, your company can take to the cryptocurrency market to raise funds and get your business up and running.
Faster And Cheaper Payment
Instead of jumping through hoops, worrying about foreign currencies and having to wait for payments to clear, your business can use cryptocurrencies to expedite the payment process.
These currencies are constantly being monitored for their value, and you can set it up so that consumers can make quick and easy payments from their cryptocurrency wallets.
Similarly, you can use cryptocurrency as a type of currency across the globe and it's accepted at the same value — whether you're in New York or Istanbul.
There are no foreign transaction fees or wire fees. There's no wondering if it's acceptable or accepted. It's quick, easy and efficient. This is also good for peer-to-peer transactions, and it eliminates a third party authority that monitors and controls the market.
As a businessperson, it's important to constantly be looking towards the future. You need to be ready for the next trend and the next best thing. Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are that next best thing, and putting in money now can help you in the long run.
In just a few years, the value of cryptocurrency alone has skyrocketed. This should be enough incentive to get you motivated to throw down money on cryptocurrencies and blockchain investments.
Blockchain Technological Innovations
When you invest in blockchain tech, you're opening the door to a variety of different solutions and initiatives that can change how you do business. It's already being done in healthcare, data protection, voting systems and even in the supply chain. You can learn from these initiatives and adapt this tech to your own needs.
These innovations expedite processes — just look at the supply chain as one example. Blockchain investment into technology and solutions provides transparency and authenticity.
This can be beneficial for growing your brand and establishing trust with your customers. It can cut costs in the long run, helping your business to run smoother and more efficiently.
This, of course, is vital for businesses to grow and thrive by giving them some wiggle room to improve and adapt.
Accessing Growing Blockchain Communities
People love blockchain tech, and people love cryptocurrencies. There are thousands of entrepreneurs, investors and experts in these communities that you can share a common bond or thread with if you begin investing in these initiatives and using these currencies.
From a business standpoint, connections matter. You need them to fund projects, find quality employees and get access to resources that will help your business succeed.
If you begin dabbling in this world, you'll be able to reach out to these authorities and learn from them. You can get insights into how to integrate these technologies and make the most out of cryptocurrencies.
Joining these communities can quicken processes involving funding and starting projects because there is a world that is already interlinked and communicating with one another at such rapid speeds.
It doesn't have to take months to connect and kick something off. With these communities, it can take minutes.
Use Blockchain To Boost Security
Blockchain tech is revolutionizing the security and data protection industry. With brands analyzing and researching these new solutions, new advancements and implementations are coming to life. And you could use these to your advantage.
This blockchain tech is a digital asset that is opening new doors and changing lives. You can't afford to lose data or suffer through a breach, and blockchain can help you batten down the hatches and further secure your business and its information databases.
If you're a company that deals heavily with data, blockchain research and blockchain investment is definitely worth it. It will alleviate any stress or anxieties your customers have and can help you stay ahead of the competition.
Cryptocurrency, as well as the backbone of blockchain itself, have many different uses and many different benefits for business. And once you get the hang of it, the whole process begins to flow naturally.
You can get a lot done, make your business run more efficiently and align yourself as an expert and innovator in your industry by joining the blockchain community and making blockchain investment a priority. You just have to dive in.
Blockchain Investment For Business And Beyond
Blockchain is a new and exciting technology with a lot of hype surrounding it — but that doesn’t mean it’s just another fad that’s going to come and go as it pleases.
The most common use of blockchain technology currently is cryptocurrency, which allows people to make purchases and invest online without fear of fraud or loss.
Cryptocurrency gives businesses the freedom to buy, sell and grow faster and bigger than they could before it. It opens the door into possibilities that wouldn’t be possible without this decentralized ledger or record of transactions.
Cryptocurrency gives businesses the ability to widen their audience by offering other, safer avenues of purchasing products. It also allows businesses to invest using the cryptocurrency to follow business opportunities and projects.
But this blockchain investment is so much more than just money movement. Blockchain is used for a variety of different things.
From the supply chain to medical information and to cybersecurity and data protection, blockchain technology can bridge the gaps that have left your business vulnerable and propel you leagues ahead of the competition.
Pursuing blockchain technology and solution investments can help you solve problems, answer questions and revolutionize your market or industry.
Blockchain investment is a powerful path to success that businesses should consider going forward — it could lead to growth, success and industry domination.
If you're thinking of investing in blockchain technology, DesignRush has a list of top cybersecurity and risk management agencies to keep you safe.
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