Blockchain beyond Cryptocurrencies: Industry 4.0 brought several innovations to business, such as the Internet of Things, machine learning, and Blockchain. These innovations can improve processes, bring more efficiency to companies, and increasingly dominate the market.
Its use generates greater security for processes, especially in sectors that use sensitive data, such as banking, civil, and health information.
What Is Blockchain?
Blockchain is a type of database, which is nothing more than a set of information stored electronically in a computer system.
Database information is typically structured in a table format to allow for easier searching and filtering of specific details.
The big difference is that a blockchain collects information in groups, also known as blocks, which contain data sets. Blocks have specific storage capacities and, when filled, are chained to the previously served block, forming a data chain.
Any information that follows that new block is compiled into a newly formed block which will also be added to the chain after it is filled, forming multiple chains of blocks.
A DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology) is a decentralized database managed by multiple participants. It is a digital ledger of information exchanges duplicated and distributed across the entire network of computer systems on the Blockchain.
Each block on the chain contains a series of transactions, and each time a new exchange takes place on the Blockchain, a record of that transaction is added to each participant’s catalog.
If a hacker wanted to corrupt a blockchain system, he would have to change every block on the chain across all distributed versions. This recording system makes it difficult or nearly impossible to alter, hack, or cheat.
Satoshi Nakamoto created blockchain technology for Bitcoin. Like other cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin is a virtual currency that allows the user to buy and sell products and services. This new technology is safe and is already used by large companies.
How Have Blockchain Functionalities Been Incorporated Into New Areas?
Blockchain has several benefits, which lead it to be applied in several areas. It is a great system to apply in the case of sensitive data. By creating an end-to-end encrypted record that cannot be altered, Blockchain helps prevent fraud and unauthorized activity.
The information is stored on a network of computers rather than on a single server, making it difficult for hackers to access the data.
Additionally, all network participants with permitted access see the same information simultaneously, providing complete transparency. All transactions are recorded and time-stamped.
This creates an audit trail that documents the provenance. In industries where consumers are concerned about environmental or human rights issues surrounding a product or in an industry with counterfeiting and fraud issues, this helps build credibility.
Thus, it is possible to share data on origin directly with customers. Traceability data can also expose weaknesses in a supply chain, where goods are stopped for a long time in the same place, for example.
Blockchain also simplifies traditional processes, which are time-consuming and paper-intensive. With it, transactions can be completed faster and more efficiently. Documentation can be stored on the Blockchain along with transaction details, eliminating the need for paper exchange.
Transactions can even be automated with a “smart contract,” which increases your efficiency and speed up the process even more. Once pre-specified conditions are met, the next step in the transaction or operation is automatically triggered.
Smart contracts reduce human intervention and reliance on third parties to verify that the terms of an agreement have been fulfilled. For example, once a customer has provided all the documentation needed to file a claim, it can be automatically settled and paid.
Blockchain is used in supply chains, banking and finance, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, governments, and insurance for all these benefits.
The Various Applications Of Blockchain
Now that we’ve seen its benefits let’s see some areas of Blockchain application:
The public Blockchain is used in notary offices as a secure way to store and validate the information. As we mentioned earlier, it is a safe and leak-proof technology, which makes it possible for notarial registration to be carried out at notary offices.
Blockchain can store sensitive and crucial patient information in healthcare, such as their medical history and health plan data.
Blockchain technology enables the traceability of information in the food supply chain and helps improve food safety. It facilitates the development and use of data-driven innovations for intelligent agriculture.
Blockchain can make logistics companies more efficient through a system that records the movements of each shipment in real-time. Using this data, companies can implement faster routes and eliminate unnecessary steps in the delivery process.