Bitcoin, and the blockchain technology behind it, didn’t disrupt the world as was initially thought when Satoshi Nakamoto published his invention in 2009. More recently, however, the blockchain companies like Satoshi Systems Ltd has become one of the most widely discussed buzzwords, not only in the payment industry, but across multiple industries. In fact, some believe that blockchain technology could eventually be more important than the internet.
For the time being, however, let’s take look at some applications that could help your small business:
1. Payments and Money Transfers
Perhaps the most well-known blockchain application is being able to send and receive payments on a commodity trading platform. Since blockchain technology has it’s beginnings in cryptocurrency, this makes sense. But, how exactly is this beneficial for small business owners.
By using blockchain technology, you’re able to transfer funds directly and securely to anyone you want in the world almost instantly and at ultra-low fees. That’s because there aren’t any intermediaries slowing down the transfer of funds between several banks and charging outrageous transaction fees.
This practice is especially useful if you have remote employees or are involved in the global marketplace.
Companies like Abra, Bitwage, and Coinpip are leading the charge in using the blockchain to transfer funds or handle payroll.
2. Smart Contracts
Believe it or not, the term “smart contract”’ has been in-use since 1993, but now it’s associated with the blockchain thanks to the emergence of 2013’s the Ethereum Project.
This Project “is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third party interference.”
“Smart contracts” are “self-automated computer programs that can carry out the terms of any contract,” writes Chris DeRose in American Banker. In a nutshell “it is a financial security held in escrow by a network that is routed to recipients based on future events, and computer code.”
With “smart contracts” businesses will be able to bypass regulations and “lower the costs for a subset of our most common financial transactions.” Additionally, these contracts will be unbreakable.
Companies like Slock, which is an Ethereum-enabled internet-of-things platform, is already using this application so that customers can rent anything from bicycles to apartments by unlocking a smart lock after both parties agreed on the terms of the contract.
Furthermore, global banks are using “smart contracts” to improve the syndicated loan market. One such company that is using blockchains to issue microloans is Synaps.
Blockchain technology can also be used as a convenient and inexpensive notary service. For instance, apps like Uproov, which is a smartphone multimedia platform, can be notarized instantly after a user creates an image, video, or sound recording.
Meanwhile, stampd.io, can actually be used to notarize proof of ownership of digital creation.
4. Distributed Cloud Storage
Cloud storage will be another application that businesses can take advantage of. Storj, company that’s using the blockchain to provide users with affordable, fast, and secure cloud storage.
While talking to VentureBeat Storj founder Shawn Wilkinson said that, “Simply using excess hard drive space, users could store the traditional cloud 300 times over,” much like how you can rent out a room on Airbnb. Wilkinson added, “Considering the world spends $22 billion + on cloud storage alone, this could open a revenue stream for average users, while significantly reducing the cost to store data for companies and personal users.”