Nowadays Blockchain attracts everyone’s attention, including those people who have never faced it before. And that is no surprise since these technologies hide incredible prospects. Partially, it gained so much attention because of the popularity of a cryptocurrency market. Interest in Blockchain technology is more closely related to the field of finance, especially cryptocurrencies. However, distributed ledger technology has other applications as well.
Next to banks and fintech startups, specialists from other fields, which have no relation to finances, are also focused on the technology and searching for ways to employ the advantages it provides. And it’s no wonder because the technology offers a unique opportunity for financial companies to reduce the vast and expensive number of intermediaries necessary for work. The Spanish bank Santander estimates that the industry can save about $20 billion per year by investing in solutions using online distributed registration technology (DLT).
Let’s see what the blockchain is, and also consider some inspiring examples of Blockchain application on practice.
Blockchain: how does it work?
Blockchain is a kind of database that is an unbroken chain of blocks and located simultaneously on thousands of devices. New blocks, containing information about recent actions (called transactions) and a header, are constantly added to the chain.
The transaction is any action performed by the network’s members. It includes sending money, establishing property rights, buying virtual content, etc. To understand the details, we recommend you to read more information on how Blockchain works.
In addition to new information, the block also stores encrypted data about previous blocks. The base is automatically updated on all devices that are part of the system, after which the validators (that is, miners) proceed to the generation of the next block.
Key principles of Blockchain technology:
- High level of security and fraud protection
- Distribution and decentralization
- Unchangeable data
After all, it is an open distributed accounting book that can regularly and efficiently enter information about the actions that users perform.
Tech Giants: Blockchain in Use
The development of Blockchain is in full swing, and the largest companies in the world do not disregard this technology. Let’s look at some of the largest corporations that use blockchain today.
Recently, the tech giant believed that the usual databases kept in the “cloud” from Amazon Web Services, are enough for use. However, Amazon has entered the Blockchain market as well, giving tools for analyzing and creating blockchain networks.
The corporation is going to present two services for blockchain applications at once: specialized service for analyzing the work of the blockchain and the toolkit itself for creating decentralized blockchain networks.
The first one is the Amazon Quantum Ledger — centralized database, which gives an opportunity to provide an analysis of the blockchain networks work, giving their developers decent statistics that help to constantly improve the product.
The second service — Amazon Managed Blockchain — let clients develop the blockchain projects by their own forces without spending time and money on creating the necessary infrastructure from scratch. The platform will simplify the creation of blockchains, and it will scale and manage them without difficulties. Clients may use Hyperledger Fabric technology or Ethereum for it, as they wish. As Andy Jassy, the lead of Amazon Web Services, claims, AMB gives an ability to handle thousands of transactions per day employing user-friendly application programming interfaces (APIs).
Some technology companies avoid applying the Bitcoin blockchain, but definitely not Microsoft. The IT company is using this technology in all sorts of ways. We would like to tell you about some of them.
Connect to NASDAQ
In October 2018, the NASDAQ Exchange imploded Microsoft Azure Blockchain into its own Financial Framework infrastructure. Microsoft Azure Blockchain monitors real-time actions on the exchange, looks for suspicious trading operations and transmits data about business processes between companies.
In addition, the NASDAQ implemented crypto indices in early 2019.
On May 6, 2019, Microsoft announced that the Starbucks coffeehouse chain would use several services of the Azure cloud platform in the Starbucks Rewards mobile app. With the help of Azure Blockchain, coffeehouse clients will have an opportunity to get information on coffee from the purchased pack. For example, where it was grown, when the beans were roasted, and so on.
Sale of aircraft engines through blockchain
In May 2019, the manufacturer of aircraft engines GE Aviation announced a partnership with Microsoft: the company will launch a blockchain platform based on Azure, with which it will monitor the production of parts for aircraft, monitor the delivery, operation and repair of engines.
In February 2018, Microsoft announced the system of decentralized identification (DID), and in May 2019 told about the first developments. The system received the name ION, it is based on the bitcoin blockchain.
The idea is to create a universal identifier for services, sites, and applications, similar to how Facebook Connect works. But personal data will be stored on an independent and decentralized platform, not on Microsoft, Google, Facebook or other corporate servers.
According to supporters of DID, decentralization will reduce the possibility of spying on users. Plus, it can eliminate the likelihood of serious leaks and hacks, since the data will be stored in a distributed network.
Why do some companies don’t trust to blockchain technology?
Many people and companies are still afraid to use blockchain technology — a lot of cases of hacker attacks on blockchain projects spread in the Net every day. And not technology is to blame for this, but its incorrect or incomplete implementation. Unfortunately, because of the youth of the idea itself, there are still very few blockchain developers.
Aso, a lot of corporations still refuse to switch to electronic document management (EDM), considering that the implementation of such a system requires a lot of financial and time resources. An unwillingness to switch to EDI entails is a slowdown in internal and external processes, and this, in turn, may also affect economic performance. That’s why companies should use it. This technology will not only advance work with documents but also protect them from loss and forgery.
The global introduction of the blockchain at once will bring down dozens of barriers — organizational, managerial, technical, social. It can be said that there is still only the beginning of future grand coups. And we will be happy to follow and apply them.
With Blockchain, we can create a world where all transactions are made on a digital level and stored in secure public databases. One couldn’t temper or remove them. If it will be so, every transaction, every payment, and every task would have a digital signature available for identification and verification. There won’t be a need in intermediaries such as bankers and brokers. The vast potential of the blockchain lies precisely in the possibility for common people and organizations to interact with each other freely and directly.
Nowadays not only IT and financial corporations use Blockchain. Its potential is much broader. Logistics companies are hoping to advance delivery control with the introduction of blockchain. With the help of distributed registries, it’s possible to protect data on the status of the cargo and its location. Banks expect to reduce the cost and enhance the speed of international and bank payments significantly. Insurance companies can rely on almost complete automation of refunds to customers in case of insured events.
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