Security is a huge concern for everyone, especially when it comes to online transactions. The increasing number of cases of fraud, hacking and unauthorized personnel access of data poses a significant risk for all businesses. So, how do we secure online transactions? According to many data security experts, the answer lies in two buzz words: big data and blockchain. Both have the potential to change the way businesses operate and can help businesses become more secure and efficient.
Satoshi Nakamoto’s landmark technology, a blockchain is a decentralized and distributed digital ledger that records transactions across many computers in such a way that the registered transactions cannot be altered retroactively. It accepts inputs from several different parties and can only be changed when there is a consensus among the group, making it more secure and eliminating the need for a central authority to approve transactions. This innovative technology controls digital information by allowing it to be distributed but not copied.
Originally developed for the digital currency, Bitcoin is increasingly being used in different business sectors, with some parts of the financial industry taking advantage of the technology already, and others are sure to follow. There are numerous other practical uses for blockchains. Here are five potential uses of blockchain technology:
At present, the process of buying or re-financing property involves significant transaction costs because these are labor intensive. Putting property records on the blockchain can help cut admin costs and reduce errors. This also allows prospective buyers to quickly and easily verify information about properties. At the same time, blockchain technology will help reduce real estate fraud as forged ownership documents and false listings will no longer be possible with “digital ownership certificates” for properties saved in the ledger.
In Goldman Sachs’ report, titled “Blockchain: Putting Theory into Practice”, it discusses how the use of blockchain technology can assist in the growth of the Sharing Economy by allowing users to validate their identity and “credentialize” themselves. By improving user authentication and reputation management systems, concerns about safety, security among guests, and property damage among hosts are alleviated.
With blockchain technology, music can be published with a unique ID and time stamp so that it can no longer be illegally downloaded, copied, or modified. Also, through the use of smart contracts, programs that are run on the blockchain linked with the payment transactions, this technology can improve the way music is monetized. Composers and artists will no longer have to go through purchasing platforms and financial brokers; they can get compensated right away each time their songs are played.
Through blockchains, the online gaming industry stands to benefit from this technology’s low transaction costs and ease of use. Steam, for example, offers Bitpay payment option so games can be purchased using Bitcoins. Those who have played online at Bitcoin-based online casinos such as Bitcasino will be familiar with how the currency can be used to try to win money. Payouts are real-time and fully automated, so users can easily request withdrawals by clicking on a customized payout button.
Ashley Kindergan, editor and writer at Credit Suisse, sees that this particular technology behind Bitcoin can help speed up the settlement process after an order is placed on the stock market. And since the European Union plans to remove physical stock certificates by 2025, “the next logical step is to digitize and combine the individual ledgers that brokers, exchanges, clearinghouses, registrars, central securities depositories, and custodians keep to make reconciling trades cheaper, faster, and, for clearinghouses that hold assets while waiting for trades to settle, less risky,” said Kindergan.
Undoubtedly, blockchain technology poses more than just a few advantages, and it is just a matter of time when this advancement is implemented in several other industries aside from the ones already mentioned.