Published on August 19th, 2019 | by Emergent Enterprise0
9 Blockchains Transforming the Way We Pay, Play, and Work
Blockchain technology can seem mysterious and confusing. How does one big database change the world? At readwrite.com, Jenna Dobkin shares some of the powerful ways blockchain is impacting business. Transactions of almost any kind can be tracked by blockchains securely and is quicker and more efficient than existing processes. In the long run, it may even mean money savings for you and your company. And that is good enough a reason as any to link on to blockchain.
Look past digital currencies’ nosebleed pricing volatility, and you’ll discover a robust, decentralized, secure database. Brands and technologists are quickly figuring out how to put this powerful ledger to good use. Here are several real-world examples that demonstrate cryptos’ underlying blockchain technology is well worth the media hype.
“The ledger consists of linked batches of transactions known as blocks (hence the term blockchain), and identical copies are stored on each of the roughly 60,000 computers that make up the bitcoin network. Each change to the ledger is cryptographically signed to prove that the person transferring virtual coins is the actual owner of those coins. No one can spend their coins twice, because once a transaction is recorded in the ledger, every node in the network will know about it.
“The idea is to both keep track of how each unit of virtual currency is spent and to prevent unauthorized changes to the ledger. The upshot: No bitcoin user has to trust anyone else, because no one can cheat the system.”
Bitcoin’s success is evident in its consistently high growth rate. Since its launch in 2009, the blockchain has grown to roughly 226.6 gigabytes in size.
Today, Overstock.com, Microsoft, and thousands of small retailers accept payments in bitcoin. Merchants love bitcoin because it eliminates the hefty transaction fees imposed by the likes of Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal. They can also use bitcoin across geographies without restrictions.
Contrary to popular belief, merchants don’t need to hold digital currencies in order to sell and therefore, do not risk price fluctuations. Anyone can trade into and out of bitcoin any time they want, without constraints.
According to the Blockchain Council, leaders in the payments industry may also be cozying up to blockchain. Mastercard has filed over 30 blockchain-related patents, including some under the title of “Method and System For Instantaneous Payment Using Recorded Guarantees.” This move suggests that they are building blockchain-based payment gateways. Bank of America has also applied for blockchain-related patents. They may be using blockchain to save billions of dollars in cross-border payments every year.
Digital payments are just the beginning. Blockchain shows early signs of disrupting gaming, retail, financial services, healthcare, real estate, and everything in between. These real-world use cases illustrate the digital payment potential.