Some popular examples of blockchain are Bitcoin and Ethereum, which are used to create and track transactions in Bitcoin and Ether, respectively. After the spectacular rise and fall of Bitcoin, and many of the other highflying digital currencies that captured the imagination of investors and speculators, some critics are sounding the death knell for cryptocurrency. However, the reports of the death of the blockchain have been greatly exaggerated. In reality, the nascent technology is in its infancy and the very best is yet to come.
Here are a few ways blockchain is changing everything from Accounting to Shipping.
If ever there was an area of business that can benefit from blockchain technology, it is accounting. The complexity of the tax code, the challenges of managing business operations in far-flung locations and the need for precision and accuracy can all be managed with blockchain technology.
In a recent article in the Journal of Accountancy, the author noted that “[b]lockchain’s ledger-based technology can simplify the procurement process because it enables secure recording of transactions in a way that can lead to unprecedented transparency and increased operational efficiency… Blockchain’s transparency gives visibility to all transactions for approved users, and this may decrease auditors’ work with sampling and validating transactions. But this allows auditors more time to focus on controls and investigating anomalies. Meanwhile, opportunities are emerging for CPAs to use blockchain technology as they expand their assurance services to areas such as cybersecurity and sustainability.”
While some entrepreneurs, like the Winklevoss twins, are striking it rich with cryptocurrency, the best chance for the rest of us to be millionaires continues to be hoping for a large inheritance or winning the lottery, despite the fact that the chances of winning the Powerball jackpot are aboutone in 175.2 million. And here too, blockchain technology will have a role.
Blockchain technology has the potential to disrupt the 260 billion dollar a year global lottery market by providing participants and providers with anonymity and confidentiality, as well as transparency, while reducing the potential for fraud and manipulation to nearly zero. Prime Ball will be among the first fully decentralized and transparent lottery platforms using blockchain, managed by Ethereum smart contracts. All the winning results will be publicly recorded and distributed on the Ethereum blockchain without any third-party involvement, providing a new model for an industry where scratch-offs and pencil-filled in play slips are still commonplace.
Advertising & Marketing
A new report from Juniper Research has found that advertisers will lose an estimated $19 billion to fraudulent activities next year, equivalent to $51 million per day. This figure, representing advertising on online and mobile devices, will continue to rise, reaching $44 billion by 2022. The technology underlying bitcoin and other cryptocurrency, can help dramatically reduce “click fraud” and help marketing and advertising executives ensure their campaigns are reaching their target market.
“We’re seeing that the principles of blockchain, which were historically developed to prevent fraud in banking, can be applied to programmatic media buying,” explains Amir Jan Malik at Accenture Interactive, “by using the system to monitor and govern budget spend, advertisers can to track investment from the initial transfer of the media budget to the final publication of creative with the media owner; reducing the risk of overcharging and underperformance.”
Human resources professionals plan, direct, and coordinate the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring of new staff; consult with top executives on strategic planning and often handle other human resources work, such as those related to employee relations, compensation and benefits, and training. Don’t let the “human” in Human Resources fool you, there is a lot of technology behind hiring, retaining, evaluating, compensating and terminating employees.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), blockchain technology will soon revolutionize hiring – allowing HR professionals to quickly verify credentials of job candidates and existing employees, “[b]lockchain systems would reduce the chances of third-party companies providing inaccurate historical data about a candidate or existing employee, since those individuals would have greater input and control over data that’s already been verified by multiple parties.” Blockchain technology will also impact payroll, especially for multinational corporations or businesses with foreign employees, by simplifying and standardizing payments in multiple currencies.
Shipping and Logistics
The logistics and transportation industry will grow to $15.5 trillion, from a current market value of $8.1 trillion, according to a recent Transparency Market Research report. IBM estimates that the global container shipping and logistics market can save $27 billion of costs a year by introducing the blockchain technology. The fragmentation of the global shipping industry, and inefficiencies throughout nearly every stage of the process makes this one of the areas prime for innovation.
Matrix AI Network, a global open-source, public, intelligent blockchain-based distributed computing platform and operating system that combines artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain, is developing a groundbreaking technology to make blockchains faster, more flexible, more secure, and more intelligent, qualities that are uniquely suited for disrupting the shipping and logistics industry.
Matrix AI Network recently announced a new partnership with the Beijing Haitong Transport Company, an international freight forwarding and integrated logistics services company covering maritime, land and air transport, listed on China’s New Third Board Market, to develop an intelligent global freight shipping application platform integrating big data information processing, smart contracts, DApps, financial services and payment systems on the Matrix AI Network blockchain.
Led by companies like Matrix, we are seeing a technological revolution taking place right now in the shipping and logistics industries that will change the way goods are transported all over the globe.
What’s Next for Blockchain
For blockchain technology’s early adopters and evangelists, it feels a lot like Silicon Valley in the early 1990s where there was a potent combination of great ideas, intermingling of smart money and dumb money, iconoclastic personalities mixing brains and braggadocio and a strong sense that the Internet was going to change everything.
Blockchain technology has this same potential. Its practical applications are only limited by the imagination and effort of the entrepreneurs and visionaries who are looking at ways blockchain technology can be used to transform their companies, profiting from the upheaval and disruption of traditional business models.