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Blockchain Technology: An introduction

The Blockchain is an encrypted, distributed database that records data, or in other words it is a digital ledger of any transactions, contracts – that needs to be independently recorded. One of the key features of Blockchain is that this digital ledger is accessible across several hundreds and thousands of computer and is not bound to be kept in a single place. Blockchain chain has already started disrupting the financial services sector, and it is this technology which underpins the digital currency- bitcoin transaction.
With Blockchain technology in financial sector, the participants can interact directly and can make transactions across the internet without the interference of a third party. Such transactions through Blockchain will not share any personal information regarding the participants and it creates a transaction record by encrypting the identifying information. The most exciting feature of Blockchain is that it greatly reduces the possibilities of a data breach. In contrast with the traditional processes, in Blockchain there are multiple shared copies of the same data base which makes it challenging to wage a data breach attack or cyber-attack . With all the fraud resistant features, the block chain technology holds the potential to revolutionize various business sectors and make processes smarter, secure, transparent, and more efficient compared to the traditional business processes.



Benefits of Blockchain Technology

• Increased time effectiveness due to the real-time transactions
• Direct Transactions eliminate the overheads and intermediary costs
• Reduced risks related to cybercrimes, frauds and tampering
• More transparent processes with a proper record creation and tracking
• Highly secure due to cryptographic and decentralized Blockchain protocols


Applications Of Blockchain Technology In Various Industries

Blockchain technology can be utilized in multiple industries including Financial Services, Healthcare, Government, Travel and Hospitality, Retail and CPG. Financial Services: In the financial services sector, Blockchain technology has already been implemented in many innovative ways. Blockchain technology simplifies and streamlines the entire process associated with asset management and payments by providing an automated trade lifecycle where all participants would have access to the exact same data about a transaction. This removes the need for brokers or intermediaries and ensures transparency and effective management of transactional data.
Healthcare: Blockchain can play a key role in the healthcare sector by increasing the privacy, security and interoperability of the healthcare data. It holds the potential to address many interoperability challenges in the sector and enable secure sharing of healthcare data among the various entities and people involved in the process. It eliminates the interference of a third-party and also avoids the overhead costs. With Blockchains, the healthcare records can be stored in distributed data bases by encrypting it and implementing digital signatures to ensure privacy and authenticity.
Government: Blockchain technology holds the power to transform Government’s operations and services. It can play a key role in improving the data transactional challenges in the Government sector, which works in siloes currently. The proper linking and sharing of data with Blockchain enable better management of data between multiple departments. It improves the transparency and provides a better way to monitor and audit the transactions.
CPG and Retail: There is a huge opportunity for Blockchain technology to be applied in the retail sector . This includes everything from ensuring the authenticity of high value goods, preventing, fraudulent transactions, locating stolen items, enabling virtual warranties, managing loyalty points and streamlining supply chain operations.
Travel and Hospitality: The application of Blockchain can radically change the travel and hospitality industry . It can be applied in money transactions, storing important documents like passports/ other identification cards, reservations and managing travel insurance, loyalty and rewards.


Key Challenges of using Blockchain Technology

The lack of awareness and understanding of the Blockchain concept and how it works are the key challenges of using Blockchains in industries other than financial services sector. The challenges associated with existing legacy infrastructure in organizations and lack of proper technical understanding are major hurdles to the adoption of Blockchain in the mainstream. Adopting Blockchain also require a cultural shift from the traditional ways of doing things, as it involves a major shift by decentralizing the whole process. Complying with the existing regulations and ensuring the required data privacy and security for the shared data bases also adds to the major roadblocks in adopting Blockchain.
The global business world is yet to explore the intricacies of the Blockchain concept to its fullest. However, we believe that with the ongoing researches and explorations happening in this space, the business world will soon realize the massive potential of this technology and it will drive a new wave of decentralized applications.



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