For more than a decade now, cryptocurrencies have fascinated the general public even though few have dabbled in buying digital coins. The media frenzy sparked by Bitcoin and sustained by the quick proliferation of other cryptocurrencies often neglected to shine a proper light on the revolutionary technology that made them all possible: blockchain.
To their credit, some business sectors refused to be blinded by the glamor of cryptocurrencies, focusing their attention instead on blockchain and the myriad of opportunities it promises. IBM offers a simple definition of this incredible technology, describing it as “a shared immutable ledger for recording the history of transactions.” However, this simplicity belies the massive disruptive potential of blockchain, which many believe capable of rendering old business models obsolete and spawning entirely new industries.
Whether blockchain changes the world for good remains to be seen, but there are already indications that it can be a transformative force in multiple industries. Here are a few that stand to reap huge benefits by adopting the technology.
It seems a bit ironic that the industry Bitcoin set out to topple has proved the most enthusiastic adopter of blockchain-based solutions. Being dependent on multiparty transactional communication, banking has been keen to explore the application of blockchain in areas such as digital payments, data validation, anti-money laundering, asset transfer, and trade finance, among others.
By virtue of being a record-keeping system with no central controller, blockchain minimizes the risk of failure and fraud while improving efficiency and cutting costs. According to one report, the application of this technology in cross-border payments could help reduce bank infrastructure costs by between $15 billion and $20 billion annually by 2022.
Furthermore, banking institutions expect blockchain-based solutions to make payments much faster, highly transparent, and exceptionally secure. Due to the lack of intermediaries, transaction fees will drop sharply, which will make digital payments affordable in countries with inadequately developed financial infrastructure.
The fact that some of the world’s biggest stock exchanges have been testing various applications of blockchain speaks volumes about the potential of this technology to transform a market activity that has remained largely unchanged at its core for more than two centuries. Granted, the rise of computers and the internet made stock trading faster, but it also created new problems and did not really simplify the process or improve transparency.
Due to the involvement of multiple intermediaries in today’s system, the settlement process for the majority of trades can last for days. As noted in an article published by leading brokerage firm Charles Schwab,
“If trades were recorded on a blockchain network, settlement times could drop from days to minutes, improving efficiencies and reducing errors. Because the blockchain would be transparent to all parties, the need for time-consuming reconciliations and audits would be dramatically reduced, potentially lowering the cost of doing business. These savings could be passed on to traders in the form of lower commissions and fees.”
In a sector built on digital infrastructures, any technology that can enhance security, reduce costs through automation, improve transparency, and facilitate regulatory compliance should be more than welcome. And it is, indeed: online casino operators have traditionally been forward-thinking and open to innovation, and they are proving it again with their keen interest in blockchain adoption. In fact, this is one of the few business sectors that is also willing to give cryptocurrencies a chance, with a growing number of online casinos accepting Bitcoin and some other digital coins.
With regard to blockchain, iGaming companies that adopt the technology see as one of its greatest benefits the ability to guarantee transparency and fairness, which are critical for building trust. In addition, blockchain provides an exceptional level of data security and protection, making it especially attractive for an industry that sits on huge amounts of sensitive data.
What is more, blockchain is of tremendous help in regulatory oversight, enabling both online casino operators and watchdogs to navigate with greater ease one of the most complex regulatory landscapes. Licensing, reporting, monitoring, and auditing are vastly facilitated in a blockchain-based system as it eliminates the risk of fraud and ensures transparency for all parties concerned.
Technology, Media, and Telecoms (TMT)
According to a study by Deloitte, TMT companies differ in their pursuit of blockchain solutions, but they all believe that technology can drive value, trust, and transparency. What is more, the survey conducted by Deloitte showed TMT respondents to be the most active investors in blockchain solutions, leaders in terms of implementation or near-term plans to implement, and top hirers of blockchain talent.
Examples of use cases cited in the report include cloud service providers incorporating blockchain development tools to offer full traceability, telecom operators adopting blockchain to address roaming and other types of fraud, and media organizations relying on the technology to pay content creators and enforce digital rights.
While some industries are hard-wired to embrace transformative technologies early on, all signs point to blockchain becoming a universal favorite sooner or later. The degree to which it gets adopted will undoubtedly vary across industries, but this technology certainly has something to offer to every sector of the economy.
Disclaimer: This is a paid post and should not be considered as news/advice.