national
Close Nav

Degrees

Part of Western Governors University

August 27, 2018

Blockchain and the future of business.

What is blockchain?

What is blockchain?

New and interesting technologies are constantly being developed and implemented into companies. But some new technology is so impactful, it will likely be rewritten into business textbooks. Blockchain is one of those technologies. When you break it down, a blockchain is a transaction ledger that can only be written onto with new information. The previous information, which is stored in blocks, can’t be changed. It’s a way to track transactions that’s available to everyone on the Internet, somewhat like Google Docs versus a Word document. While the information is available to everyone, not everyone can add to it, and you can’t make changes to previous information that’s been added. Cryptography links the contents of the newly added block with each block before it, which means a change to the contents of any previous block in the chain, would invalidate all the data that came after. To help reduce attackers maliciously adding transactions to the network, blockchain technology requires you to complete a mathematical proof if you want to add anything to the network. The computers connected to the network must agree to the solution before the addition is allowed.

Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology

Cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrency has been a very popular buzzword lately, but what exactly is it, and how is it connected to blockchains? Instead of a physical piece of money or currency that you carry around with you, a cryptocurrency is a digital asset that you can trade or exchange. Usually, cryptocurrency transactions are recorded using a blockchain network. Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency and you’ve probably heard a lot about it. While there are arguments for and against bitcoin, confusion as to whether it’s here to stay or simply a popular fad, everyone has to agree that the idea of blockchain and cryptocurrency is changing ecommerce forever.

Ecommerce potential.

An ecommerce business is simply a company that sells their products online. With the introduction of blockchain and cryptocurrency, the potential for what could happen to ecommerce is greatly shifting. With more transparent transactions, safer ways to pay, and middle-companies being unnecessary, ecommerce will see large changes if blockchain technology continues to become more standard. Blockchain applications are getting even more simple so that regular ecommerce businesses that sell anything, from software to clothes, can utilize the technology and change their entire transaction and payment platform. Experts believe that as a result of the ease of blockchain technology, we will see an influx of startup companies that are eager to utilize the technology, and have a way to set up ecommerce easily and securely. If that’s appealing to you, learn more about becoming an entrepreneur and starting a new company with the help of blockchain technology. Even if the current way blockchain and cryptocurrency are set up doesn’t last, the changes to ecommerce are coming.

Blockchain and big data.

Blockchain technology is going to have an enormous impact on how companies get and utilize big data. With blockchain applications, companies can rely on secure and valuable data coming through their website. Instead of reviewing fraudulent purchases after the fact, the bank can see real-time what purchases are happening, and stop them if there are issues. The idea is that these two newer technologies can combine and evolve, creating something that can help customers and companies alike.

Applications.

There are a handful of industries that are already utilizing blockchain technology to their advantage. And there are many additional industries that could potentially benefit greatly from blockchain applications in the future.

Smart contracts.

Lawyers are utilizing blockchain to create smart contracts. Blockchain applications allow them to track the contract parties, the terms, ownership transfers, and even delivery of goods or services. All this is able to be done without physical legal intervention thanks to blockchain technology.

Supply chains.

Transparency is critical for supply chains, and blockchain technology is helping them get that transparency. Shipping tracking, deliveries, and progress among other shippers are made available to everyone.

 

Energy.

Energy transfer and distribution is made simple with blockchain applications as the data is sent, validated, and redistributed while payments are secured.

Healthcare.

Record transfers are simple when patient data is stored in blockchain applications. Doctors could see needed healthcare data and also get that data to insurance companies, justice departments, and employers.  Organized and cohesive patient data reduces the risk of misdiagnosis, and the security of blockchain technology means patient records would be safer.

Retail.

Product information, shipment, and payment are all recorded on blockchain. This makes retail and ecommerce transactions easy and straightforward for the company, and for the customer.

Insurance.

Smart car technology can communicate with insurance companies via blockchain, which could help reduce accidents and insurance premiums. The need for companies to audit and authenticate vehicle information would be able to quickly go away.

Travel and hospitality.

Travel documents and ID cards could be a thing of the past as data is stored on blockchain applications and utilized as you travel. This provides security, and ease of use for both the travelers, and the business owners.

Education.

While blockchain isn’t used in education yet, the potential is huge. Institutions could collect and store data on assessments, degrees, and transcripts. Credit transfers or knowledge transfers to other institutions and employers could then be hugely simplified.

While blockchain technology continues to evolve, and has yet to be majorly adopted in every industry, it’s important to note that the technology is greatly changing the business world. If your goal is to obtain a business degree, a crucial element of your study will be to understand how technology advancements like blockchain are impacting the day-to-day dealings of companies.

Share this:

One online university. Four colleges. Flexible degrees.

Our focus on your success starts with our focus on four high-demand fields: K–12 teaching and education, nursing and healthcare, information technology, and business. Every degree program at WGU is tied to a high-growth, highly rewarding career path. Which college fits you?

Want to see all the degrees WGU has to offer? View all degrees