Technology has changed how we live, and more change is sure to follow, as traditional methods are being disrupted. The legacy mindset that championed the ‘this is how we have always done it’ mentality is a thing of the past. Capitalizing on technology has never been easier.
There is an “app” for everything. Cloud services, SaaS, AI, smart databases, deep learning algorithms, and applications we have yet to conceive will all play a part in the next cycle.
Disruptors like Airbnb, with over 4 million listings globally, offer more rooms “than the top five hotel brands combined,” but owns no properties. Traditional banks and finance are being challenged by Fintech companies. In medicine, the old hypodermic needle model of vaccine and drug delivery is being upended by painless dissolving microneedle patch technology.
New iterations of solar and wind power are proving efficient and effective, shaking up energy markets. The shift away from fossil fuels will continue and these changes will result in positive environmental returns.
Companies realize that transparency is the new normal. Opaque supply chains and murky business models are losing ground to visible, verifiable data. A key driver in this regard is blockchain-based solutions.
Blockchain Delivers Transparency and Security
Unless you just crawled out from under a rock, you have heard about cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and others are capturing headlines around the globe as prices soar and plummet. But the underlying mechanism – blockchain – has much greater capability than solely for currency trade.
Created in 2009 for Bitcoin cryptocurrency, “the blockchain is intended to provide a tamper-proof record of transaction metadata, regardless of transaction type.” It provides full transparency, and, most importantly, allows the end-user to review the entire chain of events.
Simply put, blockchain is a secure chain of data blocks. Each time information is added, new blocks are attached to existing ones, hence the blockchain. Every data point linking the blocks has a unique, unchangeable fingerprint called a cryptographic hash, a timestamp, and all documents related to the transaction. Together, this creates the blockchain. Security is further improved by the fact that data is stored on devices around the world, or decentralized, and cannot be altered. The entire process is transparent and open for anyone to view.
How Blockchain Is Applied to Transparency-First Business Models
Blockchain technology has many more applications than cryptocurrency and industry leaders have already re-imagined this technology for other transparency- first business models.
Whether tracking how and where fish are caught, processed, and land on your plate or following the life cycle of medical cannabis from seed to your home, blockchain technology has an array of applications. Hollywood is eyeing blockchain technology to “discover and support underrepresented filmmakers using a blockchain-powered web platform.”
Global accounting giant EY has developed a blockchain-enabled platform TaxGrid, hailed as a new solution for global investors. Its “zero-knowledge proof element of the system ensures that sensitive data is private and verifiable.” It reduces paper costs and fraud while speeding processing.
Trade in Space uses satellite images to solve problems in the coffee farming sector, applying machine learning algorithms to detect the area of the farm and the number of bags of coffee in each field. It uses blockchain technology to add those bags of coffee to a digital ledger, allowing players at any point in the supply chain to trace the coffee back to the field.
The first blockchain-based real estate company is reported to be “streamlining the entire house hunting and property management experience for prospective homeowners and tenants, while gradually exposing them to the blockchain via an intuitive UX and its wide range of features conducted in the background, making the process not only cheaper through disintermediation, but also safer.”
A recent article in Cryptopolitan featured “notable blockchain projects that have had massive real-world impacts.” From healthcare and education to travel, energy management, and smart cities, blockchain is enabling businesses, individuals, and nations to develop effective transparent solutions.
Where Do We Go from Here?
We all want to stare into the crystal ball and see the future. But the crystal ball does not exist. Nonetheless, our questions remain.
When it comes to the future, transformation specialist Rishad Tobaccowala says there are four questions that most companies and individuals would like answered:
- The Future: How will the future be?
- Change Management: How does one navigate change?
- Modern Leadership: How to lead in today’s landscape?
- Purposeful Growth: How does one grow/remain relevant?
He argues that “organisations grow and change only when people grow and change.” Old management styles need to transform. People must be willing to adapt and change. An unwillingness to embrace change will lead to failure.
The old days of corporate opacity and standard operating procedures are gone. Now, more than ever, transparency, corporate purpose, and ethics are essential. Clearly defining what your brand stands for and opening to public accountability increases trust – which leads to a stronger bottom line.
Blockchain-based technologies set new standards in terms of how we will conduct and evaluate a business. Transparency ensures our ability to see corporate statements turned into actions. Without traceability, consumers cannot use our collective purchasing power to drive and reward more responsible production.
Organizational growth does not happen without personal growth, which results from exploring new ideas, embracing creativity, and applying technological advances to improve systems and outcomes.
Tech companies, once seen as breaking the rules, are now making the rules – new rules based on change that evolve and are rewritten continually.
Regardless of the sector you work in, there has never been a better time to transform and grow your brand. People who use your products want to know where it came from, if it is responsibly produced, and safe. Technologies like blockchain offer solutions to strengthen core capabilities, demonstrate a commitment to transparency, and growth. Combined with other smart technologies like AI and deep learning algorithms, data insights emerge that benefit your business.