Is Blockchain Hype, or World-Changing Technology?

May 25, 2021 - 6 minutes read

As the world continues to grow more interconnected and businesses across the globe move through a digital transformation, business leaders are faced with new unprecedented challenges. With the global fraud economy set to hit 5 trillion by 2024, data privacy concerns reaching an all-time high, and data growth reaching unfathomable levels, businesses are in need of innovative solutions to help regain control of data, limit risk and position their organization for future success. 

And as organizations continue to search for answers to meet today’s growing business challenges, one technology continues to create buzz promising a silver bullet effect in addressing these issues: Blockchain. From general app developers to developers in the MedHealth space, blockchain is becoming a hot topic on the design and development front.

By this point, many of us are only familiar with blockchain technology through its application in cryptocurrency, supporting cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Etherium. It may be true that blockchain is the foundation of many cryptocurrencies today however, blockchain technology is so much more than a supporting role for cryptocurrency.

Blockchain Essentials

So, what is blockchain really? At a fundamental level, blockchain technology offers a decentralized mechanism for storing data in an extremely secure fashion. Let’s look at the example of Bitcoin to better understand. With the use of blockchain technology, every Bitcoin transaction can be added to a public-facing digital ledger (or blockchain). This digital ledger is shared in a peer-to-peer network amongst many different users transaction Bitcoin, so at a high level, this transacting process does not require the security of facilitation of third-party banking institutions to facilitate transactions. How can this be?

The blockchain and any blockchain entry are validated through computers solving very complex consensus algorithms. Any participant in the blockchain validation process will use their computational resources to solve these computational-intensive consensus algorithms, validating entries. By having so many independent users, validating this public-facing ledger simultaneously, it makes it nearly impossible to fabricate or falsify a change on the blockchain, again completely removing the need for a third-party verification service like a bank to validate transactions. 

So, blockchain makes sense for cryptocurrencies, but how can it solve these other challenges around data security, privacy, and compliance?

Real-world Implementation of Blockchain

When we look at the implementation of blockchain in real-world scenarios, it all comes down to secure data management. This is, at its core is the true value of blockchain. Let’s take a look at some example implementations of blockchain that are helping organizations build more secure and reliable data management processes.

Boeing

In 2017, aviation giant Boeing introduced IoT-enabled blockchain technology into its manufacturing process. Understandably, the aircraft manufacturing and assembly process are extremely complex composed of many interdependent processes such as design, build, schedule operation, monitor, and maintenance. Prior to the implementation of blockchain, Boeing had to account for thousands of disparate processes in its aviation manufacturing process. This more manual process introduced risk through the lack of insight into the manufacturing process causing manufacturing delays and lack of dependability. By introducing IoT-backed blockchain into the process, Boeing gained rich insight and analytics into every stage of the manufacturing process. This dramatically drove down the incidence of failure in the manufacturing process effectively optimizing this process.

Walmart

In the world of retail, Walmart one of the world’s largest retail and e-commerce businesses is also using blockchain to its advantage. Walmart is leveraging blockchain technology to enhance data tracking and management processes. By adopting blockchain, Walmart is able to more easily track how items such as meat and poultry are sold in various outlets Further, as this technology proves to add value to Walmart’s operations, Walmart is looking to expand on the implementation of blockchain to track and manage distribution from the source to the end-user, with the intention of building secure and reliable data management processes that span the entire product lifecycle.


Medicalchain

Blockchain, of course, isn’t only being adopted in the major multinationals. Medicalchain, a startup in the healthcare space aims to leverage blockchain technology to make healthcare record access and management more secure, reliable, and accessible. Today, healthcare record management is ripe with challenges. From strict compliance requirements under HIPAA to outdated record management systems, healthcare is due for an overhaul in how doctors, providers, insurance organizations, and patients have access to secure medical records. Medicalchain is looking to use blockchain as the foundation of a new medical record transit and management platform to redefine how medical records are stored and transmitted.

Moving Forwards

So is blockchain simply hype, or is it the next major distributor in secure data management? Our assessment is that blockchain is here to stay. Through major adoption seen in the multinationals, and the startup space fighting to standout as the next leader in innovative data management, blockchain is positioned to redefine the look of organizations over the next five to ten years.

Are you considering implementing blockchain technology in your organization?  Let us know in the comments below!

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