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How Can a Blockchain be Used in Business?

What is a blockchain and how can it be used in business processes? This is a question being asked by companies worldwide as they seek to take advantage of these new technologies. 

Read on to learn more about blockchain, how it works, and how it can help businesses. 

What is a Blockchain? 

A blockchain is a secure method of storing transactional information electronically without a third party necessary (for typical transactions, this would be a bank or the government). Blockchain is typically noted for its critical part of securing cryptocurrency transactions like Bitcoin  

It is used as the main storage form of security for cryptocurrencies because it can maintain a secure, decentralized transaction record for purchasing. How it works is, as data comes in to be saved, it is entered into a new block, then it chains itself to the last block, saving in chronological order. 

It works so well for crypto specifically because decentralized blockchains are immutable, meaning the data entered is irreversible and provides a permanently recorded record of transactions. 

key features of a blockchain

Key Elements and Features of Blockchain 

What makes the blockchain so effective? These key elements work together to make it a secure way to record and store digital data: 

  • Decentralization: A decentralized network means no governing body or third party looking over it. 
  • Immutable Records: Records stored via blockchain are immutable (incorruptible and unalterable). Blocks on the chain cannot be changed or updated and to add more, every node on the chain must check for validity. 
  • Greater Security: Blockchains utilize cryptography to protect data using a complex algorithm that acts as a defense against attacks.  
  • Faster Settlement: Blockchain tech makes transactional periods much quicker than traditional banking systems which can take days to process information. Blockchain speeds this up and makes transactions over long distances faster, easier, and more secure. 
  • Distributed Ledgers: Distributed ledger technology allows for simultaneous access, validation, and updating of records in an immutable manner across a network that is broken up across multiple entities. This is a core component of blockchain technology because it makes it possible to secure a decentralized digital transaction database. Having networks distributed removes the need for a third party to check for authenticity and manipulation. 

How Do Businesses Use Blockchain? 

Securely Share Records 

Businesses can more securely store and transfer records using blockchain networks with strong, built-in encryption. This can sometimes be a cheaper way to store data rather than renting space in a data center.  

Supply Chain Management 

Supply chains are complex and managing them takes hours upon hours of time from businesses and their teams, especially when different links in the chain are in different states or countries. A blockchain’s immutable record holding technology solves many issues associated with supply chain management by eliminating lack of transparency and inefficiencies in payment processes,  

Smart Contracts 

Smart contracts can use blockchain technology to ease the headaches associated with managing contracts for businesses. A smart contract is an automated, self-fulfilling contract where payment is only released once it is confirmed that both parties have fulfilled their agreed upon terms. 

In Conclusion 

A blockchain is an effective way for businesses to store their digital records and data but it can be a complicated topic to discuss, learn about, and implement.  

You can learn more about its benefits by attending our business technology summit, Impact Optimize, where we’ve assembled experts from across the country, including the founders of Orca Capital Austin Barnard and Jeff Sekinger, to speak more on blockchain and how businesses can use it every day. 

Learn more about Impact Optimize 2022 and the tracks and sessions available.