What is Blockchain?
A blockchain is a peer-to-peer network of computers known as nodes that both participate and monitor asset transfers. Every transfer is recorded on each user’s computer (node), generating a platform of trust based on several identical copies of the ledger.
What makes blockchain technology so valuable is that it removes the need for a centralized third party, which improves efficiency, security and reliability for countless industries.
Blockchain technology is revolutionizing industries from finance to agriculture. Businesses large and small are taking on the challenge of integrating this technology into their operations.
Blockchain has especially impacted marketing, legal and payments for countless businesses.
This enables the creation of a public ledger that can be traced and recorded by all participants.
With recent banking scandals and financial crises in mind, blockchain technology provides an extra level of security for small business payments. It may be in the best interest of small businesses to secure their funds with blockchain technology.
Similar to Google Docs allowing users to work on the same project simultaneously, blockchain allows users public access to money transfers that would otherwise be private. As a result, any modifications are monitored by all users, adding further security measures.
Blockchain technology found its origin in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. It enabled the exchange of the currency, recording each blockchain money transfer into a publicly-accessible digital ledger.
Notable users of public blockchains are Ethereum, Ripple, and of course Bitcoin.
Blockchain originated from cryptocurrencies, acting as a vehicle for these digital assets to be transferred. Here are three cryptocurrencies that blockchain helps to facilitate:
The first major cryptocurrency, Bitcoin blew up newsreels in late 2017 when its value jumped to nearly 20,000USD. It was created by the unidentified Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. Bitcoin’s blockchain ledger is the most popular and widely-used public blockchain. Despite its potential as a global digital currency, it has attracted stigma and critique due to heightened criminal activity and value volatility.
Ether is a cryptocurrency created by Ethereum, a computing platform focusing on blockchain smart contracts. Ether is arguably the world’s second most popular cryptocurrency behind Bitcoin. Like Bitcoin, it’s value has skyrocketed, while fortunately lacking the reputation in criminal activity of its predecessor.
Ripple worked with B2B payments as a currency exchange and remittance network before releasing its cryptocurrency, XRP. Arguably the third most popular cryptocurrency, XRP doesn’t require a proof-of-work system like Bitcoin. Instead, blockchain money transfers with XRP follow a consensus protocol in order to secure account balances within its system
Using Blockchain to transfer money
While it has been used in many fields since its introduction in 2009, blockchain technology is still most widely used in money transfers and transaction reconciliation.
But, cryptocurrencies aren’t the only funds that can be transferred on a distributed ledger. This is what you need to know to help you utilize this groundbreaking technology to its fullest extent.
Using Blockchain to send money
Blockchain was built for the purpose of facilitating money transfers that are fast, safe and secure.
While it has countless other applications, this is where blockchain has the greatest impact.
Is Blockchain safe?
A publicly-accessible ledger may seem like a breach of privacy. However, its public nature allows a blockchain money transfer to be monitored by all participating parties (nodes), providing a platform of trust that is tamper-proof and immutable.
To tamper with the information in a blockchain, each copy of the ledger on the majority of participating computer nodes would need to change the same piece of information. As a result, a 51% attack is the only way to effectively change the information contained with a blockchain. But with the proof-of-work consensus mechanism used by public blockchains, this makes this type of attack impractical.
Or in other words, nearly impossible.
Being a digital platform without any intermediaries or third parties, blockchain money transfers are sent and arrive almost immediately. Any delays would stem from the regulations or policies forbidding or stunting blockchain technology in particular countries.
In theory, there are no fees when it comes to sending or receiving blockchain money transfers. However, this doesn’t account for foreign exchange or transaction fees that could be charged depending on the company or platform the funds are transferred through.
Other business uses for Blockchain
Blockchain has a widespread impact outside of money transfers as well. Countless industries and multiple levels of business leverage blockchain to automate and optimize their processes and operations.
Marketing with Blockchain
Blockchain is drastically changing how marketing is done today. Editing, SEM (search engine marketing), and targeted advertising are just some of the areas of application. But, most importantly, blockchain marketing allows campaigns to be tracked, verified and quantified without the need for a centralized intermediary.
The performance of marketing campaigns is notoriously difficult to gauge and track, as it involves multiple parties and layers of influence. So, having data and results publicly tracked and displayed using blockchain technology cuts down on the potential for fraud and tampering.
Streamlining business operations with Blockchain
Blockchain improves processes across a wide variety of industries and verticals, streamlining operations and allowing businesses to optimize. Most importantly, payment operations benefit from blockchain by enabling senders and receivers to publically transact without the fear of losing money or revealing their identity if they wish to keep it private.
Smart contracts with Blockchain
Blockchain smart contracts can be used to automate asset transfers without the need for manual input, while providing an extra level of security to protect transfers. Since these contracts incorporate blockchain technology, they are decentralized, enabling equal authority for both parties.
Overall, smart contracts limit possible errors in communication and workflow through their automation and accuracy, greatly reducing the possibility of corruption and mishandling by eliminating the middleman.
How businesses can start using Blockchain
Veem uses blockchain technology to make payments faster and safer than ever before.
Small businesses on the Veem network can benefit from faster processing speeds and lower costs associated with their payments.