In plenty of domains, people are using blockchain quite extensively. However, they are still unaware of its generic nature and the use cases it can serve. Therefore, it is important to have a clear idea about the technology before we discuss the specifics in this blockchain tutorial.
What Is Blockchain?
Essentially, it is nothing more than a data structure. However, the way it stores the information and keeps it in a decentralized and immutable ledger is truly commendable.
You must be aware of the databases. Every company consuming digital resources is using them. It is worth noticing that these are centralized. Also, a single person is authorizing the CRUD operations.
Well, that’s what the blockchain opposes. Firstly, there is no stored data on a centralized machine. Moreover, every node maintains its copy. Therefore, in any unforeseen incident, the network can keep working even if a machine goes down. The second most celebrated perk is that the network never executes an operation if there is no consensus (you will understand it better towards the end of this blockchain tutorial).
These are the reasons why every second organization is trying to embrace technology. Besides, programmers are also learning blockchain to advance their careers.
How Does It Work Beyond Cryptocurrencies?
It is hard for some of you to imagine that the very tech that powered Bitcoin about a decade ago can be used to empower any other industry. Well, let’s explore now.
This aspect is almost the same as what we have discussed in the previous section. There is no way of changing the data stored on a blockchain, so it is not prone to a hacking event. Additionally, there is absolutely no possibility of data loss. With this, several organizations can amplify the robustness of their cloud storage and offer enhanced security to their clients.
The reason why many firms have started implementing blockchain-related use cases in various departments is to make their networks securer.
Incompetent and greedy bureaucracy is at the core of killing society and its governmental system. With the help of blockchain, there can be no corruption or favoritism. Moreover, there will also be a great deal of transparency. Furthermore, everyone, even ordinary citizens, will be able to observe what the government is doing.
For instance, social security, old-age benefits, and other welfare-related work can be vetted and automated through smart contracts. This way, they can ensure that none of the authorities have autonomy over such matters.
When people pour in their money for a cause, they want to be sure that it is well-spent. Unfortunately, some are creating ventures or donation campaigns just to grab the funds and misuse them.
With the help of blockchain, donors will have clear visibility of their funds. Additionally, there will be a presentation of a tamper-proof record showing how their funds are being utilized. In an extensive use case, the blockchain programmers may implement smart contracts. Thus, enabling efficient utilization of funds without any human intervention.
Some of the programs are already using this functionality like the United Nations. This is to allow the refugees in different parts of the world to buy food with necessary verifications.
Industries That Can Benefit The Most From Blockchain
In the above section of this blockchain tutorial, we have established a decent sense of how this technology is applicable in a variety of domains. Let’s have a broader look now. We will see how different industries can take advantage of blockchain.
Supply Chain Management
In the last couple of years, researchers have introduced several techniques and strategies to get rid of the shortcomings in this industry. However, nothing comes close to the extent of efficiency and traceability that blockchain offered.
It can be the origin of raw materials, procurement, transfer from one warehouse to another, or the state of each item at a specific instance. Blockchain can collect and maintain all these details. What’s most exciting about this data structure is that you can rely on the authenticity of the information at any stage. This is because no one can tamper the ledgers. Thus, simplifying the processes related to ownership transfer and payments as well.
Human error and tampering are two of the most expensive issues to handle in accounting firms. This is where blockchain comes in handy. Please note that every node keeps a copy of the ledger. Moreover, after passing it from one node to another, there is verification to ensure data integrity. Therefore, the likelihood of any tampering and forgery stands next to null.
It also helps auditing forms in saving time and working hours, thus lowering the financial burden as well. This is because they do not have to spend time in verifying the authenticity of the information.
Let it be accounting, supply chain, or any other use case. If the users or auditors detect any irregularity in the records, the data can be traced back to its origin. To understand it better, consider a supply chain with food or medicine tracking. If the end consumer has any doubt regarding the product, he just has to enter the identification number. Doing so, he will see a display showing the history of the product.
This blockchain tutorial would be somewhat meaningless if we don’t mention this aspect. In plenty of countries, rigging at general elections is always happening. This has led to a feeling of mistrust among the masses. Governments can introduce (just like Moscow did) blockchain-based systems. Using this, the possibility of electoral fraud would stand next to null. Moreover, voter identity will be safe.
NASDAQ is practicing a futuristic example of a blockchain voting system. They utilize this technology to conduct shareholder voting.
It may sound unusual to some of you, but a couple of developed countries are utilizing the blockchain to increase the efficiency of distribution through the grids. Apart from that, they are using blockchain to thwart or at least diminish the losses and mismanagement.
In one of the most advanced use cases, the government transmits electricity from grid stations to local houses. However, it will be sent back in the grid if there is a surplus (if the house generates its electricity through solar panels).
The usage of blockchain might be a blessing for environmentalists. The reason is, it enables the end-users to determine if fossil fuels or any other renewable source of energy due are empowering their houses. This is due to its inherent property of traceability.
Pros Of Blockchain
If you asked this question about a decade ago, nobody would have a decent answer other than suggesting you buy a couple of BTCs. In this blockchain tutorial, we’ll explore how the industry has gone way past that and offers an array of pros to an average person.
Eliminates The Need For Trust
In today’s world, people cannot trust each other. But the situation begs a question – since the internet runs on collaboration and understanding between two parties, how would they make both ends meet?
Well, this is where blockchain comes into play, and since it features a decentralized and tamper-proof ledger, you do not have to trust anybody’s word. In most of the cases, if the data concerns you, it is stored on a public ledger, so you can see everything for yourself without asking anyone.
It is also worth noticing that with the power of smart contracts if two people get involved in a business agreement, they do not have to worry about any forgery by the counterparty.
In blockchain networks, everything is executed with the help of smart contracts, and there is no intermediary in any transaction. As a result, the operational costs are reduced to a significant extent, and the ultimate beneficiary is the end-user who avails the service.
This is yet another benefit of removing the intermediaries. Since there is no one to depend upon, and every agreement executes automatically with smart contracts, the efficiency is simply astonishing. Furthermore, since any geographical restrictions do not bound blockchains, they can operate and get things done in relatively less time.
Before the advent of blockchain, most of the end-users were deprived of verifying the logistical aspects of the item before consumption. However, things are quite changed now, and you only have to input the ID number before the ledger fetches every aspect of the product in your hand.
This feature is particularly important when we take into account the automotive and healthcare industries.
In the last couple of years, we have seen a rise in the demand for blockchain developers. The reason is quite straightforward. Most of the well-known organizations are keen to incorporate blockchain within their regular operations. Therefore, if you happen to be a developer, you just need to fine-tune your skills and learn blockchain protocols (as necessary) to have an edge while applying for the job.
It is worth noticing that companies are reasonably paying these latest positions.