While ordinary investors focus on the monetary value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, futurists, industrial leaders, and businesspeople are looking beyond the currency. Those leaders may be interested in Bitcoin as a disruptive currency, but it is the disruptive nature of the blockchain itself that has their attention.
The blockchain concept is the thing that underlies not only Bitcoin but other popular cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Litecoin as well. It is the blockchain that provides the security, the anonymity and the integrity of those cryptocurrency transactions and it is the blockchain that will ultimately change the face of business and government in the 21st century.
There are some industries that the blockchain is almost certain to change. These industries are the most susceptible to the disruptive power of the blockchain, but they are by no means the only industries that could be impacted. Here are some of the ways in which the blockchain concept is likely to change the world going forward.
Banking and Finance
It is easy to see why blockchain would have a disruptive impact on banking and finance. After all, blockchain-based cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are already changing the way consumers buy products and the way individuals and companies invest.
By providing consumers with a new way to pay for goods and services, the blockchain concept could ultimately make the traditional banking system irrelevant, or at least rob it of its current power. This change will not happen overnight, but there is reason to think that it will occur.
The blockchain is also likely to disrupt payment systems that work across borders, including giants like Western Union. These cross-border payment systems currently have a virtual stranglehold on these types of transactions, and as a result, they can charge high fees for their services.
Blockchain-based transactions are already loosening that stranglehold and eating into the market share of firms like Western Union. Since Bitcoin can be converted to virtually any currency, residents of countries around the world can send money back and forth without high fees and hassle. Just as importantly, users can remain anonymous, further disrupting this old-school financial industry.
The cybersecurity industry is vitally important to the future of business in the United States and around the world. Significant hacking events like the one that happened at Equifax have reinforced the importance of robust cybersecurity – and the fact that current security methods are wholly inadequate.
The blockchain concept could ultimately solve these cybersecurity problems and turn the business world on its head. The blockchain ledger is both public and transparent, giving it a significant advantage over other forms of payment. At the same time, the data contained in that public ledger is encrypted and verified through the use of advanced cryptography. This cryptographic verification provides another level of security, one that could change the world of cybersecurity forever.
Supply Chain Management
Managing the supply chain has always been a challenge for manufacturers, and it can be a costly one as well. Having too much stock on hand increases carrying costs and drives up the price of the finished product. Having too little inventory increases wait times and leads to customer dissatisfaction and other problems.
The use of blockchain technology could ultimately disrupt supply chain management and change things for the better. The distributed nature of the blockchain ledger could be used to verify the status and authenticity of products throughout the pipeline. Through the use of blockchain technology, manufacturers could easily track their products from the loading dock to the warehouse to the retail store and ultimately to the homes of the customers that buy the goods.
The disruptive nature of the blockchain concept is hard to overstate, and this still young technology is already making waves and changing the world of business. In the future, you can expect further changes to the business world, all courtesy of the blockchain that makes Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies possible.