Blockchain in business

Blockchain in business
Matthew Rhodes
Matthew Rhodes
Head of Sales
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Sydney held the first "Blockchain in Business" conference on November 17th, and the premise was to showcase how Blockchain can be used for real-world business outcomes.

Blockchain has been a buzzword for a while now, perhaps to many in traditional business it's even become a dirty word. The recent collapse of crypto markets and bubble bursting of hype and Ponzi schemes haven't exactly helped this perception.

However the underlying technology–a decentralised digital ledger known as the Blockchain–is just that, a technology. And like many new and innovative technologies that have the potential to shift how our world works, they are often initially dismissed, confused and abused, before being accepted and assimilated into our everyday.

The fact is, it might just be more enticing to read about raising millions of dollars for apes in the metaverse than it is to understand how blockchain transforms supply chain logistics or introduces tenfold efficiency gains.

Yet governments, large institutions and major banks are investing heavily in blockchain technology, and it's making its way into more and more business applications.

And it's being used in places you may not realise. For instance, some very large banks incl. HSBC are using Blockchain to settle foreign currency trades behind the scenes because it's faster, cheaper, and more secure than traditional old-school methods.

While the crazy land of crypto never fails to produce sensational stories of winners and losers, the technology that underpins it is quietly continuing to be implemented in ways that have nothing to do with pictures of apes.

Business Cases for Blockchain

So what are some real-world business use cases for Blockchain?

  • Contract Management. The digitising of paper-based contracts onto the blockchain unlocks the potential for massive gains in speed, compliance, transparency and tracking. Large construction projects with many contracts for products and materials, financial institutions that need to settle in seconds instead of days, and government agencies that need to maintain maximum transparency and traceability. All of these can be captured and worked within a single source of truth: an incorruptible blockchain ledger. tokenized.com is an example of a platform that helps organisations do this now.
  • Supply Chain Logistics. Many of the processes in today’s supply chains are slow and rely on paper. Blockchain can introduce faster end-to-end tracking and stronger traceability. As a modern example: BHP has invested in a blockchain solution for tracing materials straight from their mines through to delivery.
  • Real Estate. Through tokenisation of assets, smart contracts allow fractional ownership of real properties and lower the barrier to investing in property. In addition, the hidden costs and paper trail associated with buying and selling property could be reduced or even eliminated by the use of digital smart contracts. SolidBlock is an example of a company that's merging real estate with the blockchain.
  • Proof of Authenticity. The nature of the blockchain ledger, being permanent, indelible and alternative, makes it a perfect tool for tracking and showing history and provenance of a product. This can be used in industries where goods require certification, and proof of authenticity and origin to prevent fraud. Numerous wine companies and the Australian meat and livestock board are currently in trials of blockchain-based systems to track origin and provenance now.
  • IoT (Internet of Things). Blockchain can bring a level of security to IoT by keeping a record of every transaction. The distributed ledger in a blockchain system is tamper-proof and removes the need for trust among multiple parties. Xage is an example of a blockchain-protected security platform for IoT focused on industrial applications like agriculture, energy, transportation and utilities.

Real Impact on the Bottom Line

In short, Blockchain technology has the potential to increase trust, security, transparency, and traceability of data shared across a business network. This in turn can produce huge cost savings and massive efficiency gains.

Just the Beginning

People are still figuring out exactly how Blockchain can be used. Nobody knows where it's all going to land, but the fundamental technology is here to stay.

We are actively investing in research and development into Web3 and Blockchain technology, and are looking at where it could provide benefits for clients.

Come and chat with us if you have an idea in this area.