Of course, that's not all Blockchain might be good for. Since 2011, the potential of Blockchain technology is gradually grown more impressive, allowing the solution to become more than just the ultimate answer for Bitcoin trading, and tap into possibilities throughout the rest of the business world too.
Before big-name companies like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon started offering cloud storage services to their customers, most storage solutions were decentralized. Companies simply had to host their servers within their own offices, which gave them more control, but also meant that they struggled with things like cost efficiency and scalability. If you wanted to really take care of your data, then you needed a huge in-house team to maintain and manage costly servers on your behalf.
It's not surprising then, that many companies have begun to make the switch towards cloud computing instead. After all, it's much more flexible and cost-effective, giving organizations access to incredible value, and allowing them to replicate their data across a range of data centers, offering redundancy and reliable uptime solutions.
Of course, with all the benefits cloud computing has to offer, there are some downsides too. Whenever we use a cloud service, we need to put a significant amount of trust in third-parties to secure our most private and sensitive data. This is very similar to the finance world, where organizations need to rely on trusted third parties to keep money safe. Just as the financial world could be overtaken by the blockchain as a more efficient and affordable technology, the cloud computing world may see the same transformation.
In simple terms, blockchain allows for the creation of a distributed and decentralized marketplace. The most successful marketplaces identify a range of under-utilized resources and match them alongside demand. For example, Uber matched under-utilized cars with demand for cheaper transport options.
In a blockchain storage marketplace, for example, hosts are selling their storage capacity to renters who need to upload excess files, and payments can occur over that blockchain, making transactions more secure and traceable. Blockchain-focused financial services have already raised around $240 million in funding over 2017, and the potential for Blockchain is growing in almost every sector and industry.
While the implications that blockchain might have in the financial industry seem the most obvious, any organization or industry in which oversight in transactions and recording might be necessary could benefit. In the healthcare world, IDC predicts that around 20% of organizations will have moved beyond pilot options and operationalized the blockchain by 2020.
Additionally, in the recruitment and HR industry, blockchain CV solutions have been developed to streamline the selection process by verifying candidate qualifications and experience. Even legal work which involves tracking ownership such as intellectual property law could be made more efficient thanks to the help of blockchain technology.
To understand the potential that Blockchain has to offer in 2018, you really need to get to the bottom of what makes this technology so unique in the current marketplace. When it comes to trading and buying Bitcoins, Blockchain means that people around the world can manage their cryptocurrencies with transparency and security. This is because every time something is changed on that Blockchain, the ledger records the alteration for the entire public network to see.
This means, for example, that in the health care world, Blockchain technology could allow for complete transparency when insurance companies want to track the procedure that was given to a patient. In the cloud computing world, implementing Blockchain could mean that businesses can record every piece of data that they need to save to their cloud and keep track of anyone who accesses that data for compliance reasons.
Smart contracts are also emerging in the Blockchain world - an idea that contracts can automatically execute when certain conditions are filled. This simply means that blockchain helps you to automatically send out products or complete orders whenever payment is made - simplifying the way that businesses are run.
Blockchain makes smart contracts a possibility because of the consensus-driven nature of the technology. As soon as agreed conditions are met, the contract can be filled. Insurance company AIG is already piloting a system on blockchain that oversees the creation of complicated insurance policies which require international collaboration.
By this point, you should have at least a basic idea of what Blockchain technology is capable of, but let's look a little closer at how blockchain enables some things that might have been impossible in the past.
Blockchain offers complete redundancy and decentralization: Blockchain ensures redundancy in the cloud computing world by allowing customers to spread files throughout individual nodes across the globe. This means that it's very difficult for anyone to cause severe distributions which might harm the way that the company works.
Complete privacy and security: As security concerns become ever more significant in the digital world, blockchain could be the answer. With this solution, you can ensure that no third-parties will ever have the option to access user files or data. Every node only stores encrypted data fragments where users can control their own information.
Cost reduction: Finally, Blockchain storage method is predicted to cost somewhere in the region of around $2 per terabyte each month. Compared to $25 per terabyte each month from Amazon, it's easy to see just how cost-efficient blockchain can be.
Ultimately, Blockchain has a lot to offer various marketplaces, but one of the first changes we'll see in 2018, is the evolution of the cloud storage world. Infrastructures like IBM, Microsoft, and Google will change, allowing for the entry of blockchain technology on a massive scale.