Have you heard the chatter surrounding blockchains? If you're like me, you might have tuned out the noise--new technologies turn up almost weekly, and many of them fade into obscurity in no time at all. Blockchains certainly carry a lot of hype right now, but frankly, it looks like they are here to stay.
But what about this technology is so great? Can it really turn into the next "disruptor?"
What is a Blockchain?
Investopedia simply describes blockchains as “a public ledger of all Bitcoin transactions that have ever been executed.”
Firstly, blockchains are equally visible to every party in a transaction--this promotes transparency and honesty. Secondly, each transaction made in a blockchain is time-stamped and secure; even if someone could alter the chain, it would be easy to recognize because of the time-stamp feature.
Third, blockchains are unchangeable, or "immutable." Permanence leads to transparency.
Where did Blockchains Originate?
Do you recognize the name Satoshi Nakamoto? I doubt it--this is the name given to the anonymous person or group who first invented Bitcoin and the first blockchain database.
Because of its association with Bitcoin, blockchain technology has unsurprisingly been heralded as a new technology for the financial industry. Fortunately for everyone else, blockchains offer promise for other industries as well.
Communication Providers and Blockchain Technology
VoIP and UCaaS offer companies office phone systems with unparalleled mobility and flexibility, but the more mobile a business is, the more vulnerable it can be to fraud. Think about how many of your employees and colleagues use cloud technology to work remotely or attend a meeting virtually while on vacation; and then think about how their mobile devices (with access to your company's critical information) might pose a security threat.
Blockchains can reduce that security risk in two ways: First, they can use public and private identifiers to secure and validate devices, and second, they will render third-party security software, like Equifax, obsolete. Think of all the cash your business will save!
Blockchain may also take the place of SIMs in business phone systems; as a result, employees using mobile devices for business will no longer be a security threat.
Blockchains in other Large Businesses
Do you realize how much we rely on IoT devices, especially within large companies? Unfortunately, IoT devices are not always secure.
If your company manufactures products, then IoT sensors likely monitor the performance of your machinery. But did you know that without blockchain technology or expensive third-party software, those sensors can be a portal for fraud?
Additionally, some companies monitor their on-site IT hardware via IoT devices. Therein lies yet another security threat.
Through encrypted and time-stamped blockchains, administrators can monitor these networks of IoT devices and provide unprecedented security to their companies.
Do you think blockchain technology will impact your life or industry? Keep your eyes open, because you don't want to be left behind--this technology could be the "next big thing."