Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few years, you have likely heard of blockchain. However, while you may have heard of this emerging technology, that doesn’t mean you actually know what blockchain is and what it means for the future. Understanding blockchain is the first step in taking on this new technology to discover what it might mean for you.

Thankfully, experts from around the tech industry are constantly looking for new use cases for blockchain. Since many believe blockchain will have a huge effect on the future of enterprise, we have put together a few of the ways in which blockchain can shape the future.

On top of that, we hope to provide a better understanding of blockchain development so you know what’s coming and might even begin working on your own blockchain solution. Without further ado, let’s get started.

understanding blockchain

Blockchain technology

Let’s begin by taking a look at the basics of blockchain technology. Like we mentioned earlier, you may have heard about blockchain before in reference to Bitcoin or some other form of cryptocurrency. While these companies are getting a lot of press and brought blockchain into the cultural zeitgeist, understanding blockchain beyond crypto will be necessary for future development.

In order to present a more simplified version of blockchain, we refer to the following analogy:

“Picture a spreadsheet that is duplicated thousands of times across a network of computers. Then imagine that this network is designed to regularly update this spreadsheet and you have a basic understanding of the blockchain.” Blockgeeks

So far, blockchain has mainly been used for securing digital currency transfers, but some have already theorized that blockchain will change everything from voting in state elections to filing taxes to running self-driving vehicles. All that blockchain technology truly needs to be successful and effect change in the aforementioned ways is through finding and utilizing the right data.

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Current use cases

As the situation stands right now, there are only a handful of blockchain use cases that are currently being utilized in the marketplace. One of the most popular of these solutions is digital assets, sometimes referred to as cryptocurrency. This blockchain application allows people all around the world to invest in ‘tokens’ of a company, similar to a stock, that can either be traded or cashed in at a later time.

Another common use case is smart contracts. These are automated, secure contracts that take advantage of blockchains benefits like the elimination of a third party and concrete rules for a binding contract. Other use cases include digital voting, distributing storage, and more. However, understanding blockchain and what it means for the future involves looking beyond crypto to future use cases of this technology.

Beyond crypto

While crypto and blockchain wallets have lead the way when it comes to innovation in blockchain, in order to achieve the full potential of blockchain we need to move beyond these initial successes. There will be plenty of adaptions that come and go, but by focusing on the core value of blockchain, we can build something that will last.

As we look at the various benefits that blockchain can bring to various industries and existing technologies, we encourage you to dream big. Next, we will review what blockchain means for the future. Our hope is that by seeing what is already in the works, we can set our sights on what will come next to get ahead of the curve and shape the future.

What blockchain means for the future

At this point, it’s clear that blockchain will have an effect on the future of business and technology in some capacity. However, in order to get a better idea of what is coming, we have put together a few possibilities that we hope will inspire your own development project. Let’s take a look.

Better collaboration

The first immediate consideration for understanding blockchain in the future is the effect it will have on collaboration and running a business in the global market. While some of the benefits here seem obvious, such as having a company’s data stored in one secure location, others are subtler.

For instance, some believe automated contracts and the instantaneous nature of the blockchain has the potential to level the playing field for small businesses. When contracts are sealed and transaction fees are eliminated, collaboration across businesses will be easier than ever before.

Concrete contracts

Along with the automated nature of smart contracts, blockchain can improve these processes through providing a unified, common set of trusted data. Not only does the transparency of blockchain reduce the amount of errors and fraud that take place, but it tracks and records each change in the contract automatically for further review by any and all parties.

Just looking at the financial industry, Accenture believes Blockchain technology could help reduce by 30% infrastructure costs for 8 of the 10 largest investment banks “translating to $8 billion to $12 billion in annual cost savings for those banks.” These numbers alone show just how powerful the blockchain can be.

Increased security

Part of the genius behind blockchain is the built-in security that comes with it. When there seems to be more data breaches than ever before in the news, running everything through the blockchain to eliminate these security threats seems like a better idea every day. Additionally, you can track every part of the process to see where things go wrong and prevent future security risks.

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Endless possibilities

While we have seen a few of the most prominent predictions for the future of blockchain, in truth the possibilities are endless. Just about every industry, business, and process can be improved through the use of these blockchain applications. Understanding blockchain and what it means for the future boils down to choosing which of these possibilities has the most potential and running with it.

Our words of encouragement to you are to get started as soon as you can and do it right the first time. The rapid expansion of blockchain shows that this is undoubtedly the next big thing in tech. Getting there first will be part of the battle, but doing things best is what will secure your spot in this future we are describing.