Blockchain technology continues to be in the news. But what does blockchain mean for businesses and better said what added value can it have? And how can companies prepare for its impact?
Thousands of transactions take place every second. Each party involved in a transaction has their own record of it. The existence of multiple records creates scope for error or, worse, fraud. One of the goals of blockchain technology is to see transactions end-to-end, reducing the scope for such vulnerabilities and improving trust, security and traceability.
What is blockchain?
Blockchain is probably the best known distributed ledger technology (DLT). Whereas a ledger in accounting is known as the principal book of accounts, in the context of DLT a ledger is a database which keeps a final and definitive record of transactions. Blockchain and/or DLT enable a ledger to be held in a network across a series of nodes, which avoids one central party and the need for intermediaries’ services.
While its obvious application relates to securities transfers and cryptocurrencies, blockchain is increasingly being considered for a far wider range of uses, from electronic voting, to storing health records or property contracts, or even evidence for criminal trials. There is a lot of potential for blockchain to be used in many different areas.