Should a small business be built on a blockchain platform? The answer is: Blockchain is not appropriate for every business.
I own two businesses: One of them is a traditional small business and the second is an online business. I am always looking for an advantage, and I keep hearing about blockchain technology and how revolutionary it is. So I started asking myself, should my businesses be built on a blockchain platform? Here is what I learned from doing my research.
Why Is Blockchain Good For One Business But Not Another?
Let's start with a few reasons why a blockchain holds so much potential value for a business...
Is Blockchain Right For Your Business? Helpful Questions To Ask Yourself
What kind of businesses would benefit from Blockchain?
Hospitals, Doctors, Walk in Clinics: Healthcare businesses who retain high amounts of confidential patient information such as medical records or credit card information would be good candidates for blockchain. Blockchain could allow doctors to exchange patient information with other doctors, but also keep patient information private and secure on a blockchain ledger.
Warehouses and Storage Facilities: Blockchain could add simplify the supply chain process and also reduce costs by cutting out middlemen. Because no ledger transaction can be changed or altered, you could verify with trust that each step of the process has been adequately followed, while also eliminating the need for someone to manage each step of the process.
Accountants, CPA’s, Auditors: Having a companies transactions built on a blockchain would assure that there is less fraud or number manipulation. Transactions can be continuously updated and verified without the threat of being altered or corrupted.
Identity Services (Passports, Id’s, Licenses, Notary's): Having personal information stored in a decentralized manner could help reduce the need for paper or plastic ID cards. Using blockchain also accomplishes the same thing that a notary does when they sign and stamp a document for you. It is basically a digital signature with a time stamp which is also registered in a secure blockchain ledger. Therefore, if someone can be digitally verified there is not a need for the old way of tracking personal information.
Banking / Financial Services: Transacting money between two entities without the need for a central authority (like a bank) certainly could change the way your business is done. You as a business owner become more in control of your transactions.
Real Estate / Mortgage Services: Blockchain could help cut middlemen, such as mortgage officers and real estate agents, out of the process. In doing so, consumer costs and business expenses could be cut while also making the real estate transaction process more efficient.
If Your Business Would Benefit From Blockchain...What Should You Do Next?
I have not personally built a business on a blockchain platform (yet), so I interviewed a friend who is a blockchain developer and asked for his thoughts. Here is what He said...
"Currently it is quite expensive to build a business using blockchain. So my first thought would be to make sure that you are using a blockchain to solve an actual problem facing your customers or your business. However, if you believe blockchain is right for your business, the best thing to do is to find an experienced blockchain programmer who can accomplish your end goal. Finding a programmer with blockchain experience is not cheap, or easy, but will be well worth it.
Another alternative, if you are willing to invest some time, would be to hire an intern who is learning how to build blockchain. Ask them to work on building a small sample project and continue to work your way toward the desired end result one step at a time. This would be a much cheaper alternative but would probably take longer because of their inexperience. One encouraging thing for a business owner to know is that there is a massive wave of people rushing to gain experience in coding, programming and cryptography."
Also read: "Should You Consider A Job In Blockchain?"
When computers were first introduced into the business world most people could see the potential but it wasn't easy to implement into real world use. However, as the industry matured it became impossible to do business without them. Blockchain is the same way.
If blockchain solves a specific problem that you currently face in your business, becoming an early adopter of this technology may give you a competitive advantage. However, keep in mind that this technology is going to continue to mature. As it does, it will probably become easier to implement and also become less expensive. Each business has their own different needs, and those needs should dictate how aggressively this new technology is adopted.
I wish you the best on your business endeavors!
Please leave comments or questions below.