Blockchain is one of the most important technologies to emerge in recent years, with many experts believing that it will change our world in the next two decades as much as the Internet has. These days, the whole mess of firms and agencies choose new technologies to make it in a global digital world. So, it’s time for you to catch up and get yourself a nice blockchain to keep things going. This is a simple guide to introduce to you how to implement Blockchain in your business.
Research agency Gartner predicts that by 2025, the business value added by blockchain will grow to over $176 billion, surging to over $3.1 trillion by 2030.
We can say that blockchain could give rise to a number of peer-to-peer networks not run by any centralized parties that enable the creation and transfer of money or other assets. For example, the technology could be used to create an Airbnb-like network without the company Airbnb. When combined with the Internet of Things (IoT), it could create an Uber-like program without Uber. Such peer-to-peer networks are often referred to as distributed autonomous organizations (DAOs), and someday, they could transform our whole conception of companies.
Steps in Implementing Blockchain in your Business
Here are the key steps you need to take for implementing blockchain in your business:
- Identify a Use-Case: The first natural step is to identify the use-case of why you want to implement Blockchain in your Business. It is a process of identifying, clarifying, and organizing your needs for a blockchain. It simply adds clarity to your goals related to the blockchain. You identify a use case and then build your next steps around it. The best thing is to start small. Start with some pilot blockchain use-cases, explore them, test them, use them, analyze results, and then implement blockchain on a larger scale.
- Selecting a Blockchain Platform: You should select a platform that suits your budget but also has a concrete history of being effective in your chosen field. Often, one can get mislead by impressive marketing tactics and make the wrong choice. Therefore, research is critical. While choosing a blockchain platform, you should ascertain whether they possess an open-source station. One should also ensure that their technical team is organized properly.
- Building and Testing Blockchain Solution: If you are a new user, then you should first observe the current blockchain technologies. Select and implement those that can be modified to suit your needs. For example, you need to look into multiple factors that include:
- Technology depth that means security and consensus it offers, and if it supports both public and private blockchains.
- Technology breadth, which means if it supports multichain and multiple platforms.
This is one of the most important decisions to make before implementing Blockchain in your business.
- Onboarding Partners and Integration: You may be tempted to get carried away and switch completely to the blockchain. It is easy to get swept away once you reap the rewards of new technology. You will still need legacy systems and the ability to integrate into the same because there will be several businesses or firms that will not have incorporated the blockchain tech. Therefore, you will be required to liaise with them from time to time. As a result, you will have to integrate legacy systems into your recently implemented blockchain tech. This will allow you to maintain business relations with anyone who has not made the switch yet. Perhaps you will slowly become a symbol of change. The businesses that have not made the switch will look towards you as an example. In time, they may be convinced that switching to a blockchain is the solution.
- Operate and Manage the Network in Production: To get things rolling, you can simply build the initial block on your own. However, such a block must incorporate every attribute of the chain. This process also requires a secondary connection so that the internal correspondence of the blockchain is provided. Think of it this way. In the first step, we laid the groundwork for nodes to send information. Now, we shall have to lay the foundation for them to receive information. This is where an encrypted token or for the layman, cryptocurrency comes into play. It will be used to harness the computing power necessary to ensure that the communication of the nodes persists.
- Come up with a structure: The main solutions you need here are: consensus rules, data privacy for ledger users, a set of algorithms to run.
Things to Consider when Implementing Blockchain
Here are the quick things to consider and checks during the process of blockchain implementation:
- Make it work: If you wish to test whether your system actually works, you have to test it fully. It is essential first to test it in a controlled setting. Then you must also test it in the real work. You may end up finding a unique variable that you did not previously consider. Any factors like that can impact the results of your blockchain implementation.
- Failure is always an opportunity: Every aspect of your blockchain implementation protocol will not function to its maximum at the beginning. Create a copy of all the issues and failures, then try to fix them. You will find many methods to do so. However, you should try to make sure that the blockchain remains simple. Trial and error at such times will be your best friend. Make sure you make enough trials and are not letting any go to waste. Treat each trial as part of your learning curve. Ensure that it allows you to grow instead of regressing.
- Stay focused: You must keep your initial target in mind while you are making improvements and edits in your protocol. The different aspects can easily get you mixed up in them. This can harm your overall plan. Try to see that you and your organization continue to follow what it promised its customers and what they require. Making the system more effective should be your aim, not changing it completely while in the middle. This, in turn, can lead to an almost fatal distraction. This will not only result in extreme disappointment but also a substantial financial loss. In short, it is imperative that you maintain focus and not get distracted. Otherwise, the entire exercise could prove to be fruitless for you.
- Prepare for the future: Once you are able to create a working blockchain implementation protocol, you should prepare for what comes next. Try and see if some features need improvements. You also need to keep a check if the blockchain is scalable for your future growth needs. This is important so that the technology does not stagnate. Therefore, you cannot rest on your laurels and must adopt kaizen. Kaizen is the Japanese term for continuous improvement. Continuously work towards perfection in the form of small improvements.
Other Aspects to Consider
Here are some other important angles of our blockchain implementation guide that you should seriously consider:
- Permission type: This is an important facet of blockchain implementation and choosing the technology itself. There are 3 types of permission, namely Private, Public and Federated. You have to decide according to the blockchain presets already available. That is if the pre-set is public, but you select a private preset, it may eventually create noticeable hurdles for you.
- Immutability: Essentially, immutability is what permits a system to notice and check any ‘double spending’. At the current stage of its development, the Internet cannot cater to ensuring immutability. Blockchain must have the ability to maintain immutability in transactions. It will keep the relevant information within the network. It will allow individuals to utilize it with appropriate identification. This shall create immutability in the network. This will provide an additional level of protection, allowing the combined blockchain implementation to have greater localization.
In establishing your system for the long run, you may face some of the problems mentioned below:
- Inefficient system: If a new technology is not working to its full, required efficiency, then it does not last long. Bitcoin had similar issues when it began. Customers may not use your blockchain implementation for long if problems in its workings keep rising. If your blockchain provides them with the same features as other systems but at a greater cost, then customers will not join you. You should always do some market research to see which features are in demand.
- Difficult user interface: Some blockchain implementations become too complicated to work with because of all the modifications. All your customers are not very good at using technology. So they will not want to use a system that is too difficult to follow. Many customers will not have used blockchain technology before. You can appeal to maximum people if you keep your system simple. Your system should not easy rules that most people can understand.
- Too expensive: Starting a system from scratch takes a lot of money. With modifications, a project can cost up to millions of dollars. If you are a startup, it will be difficult for you to find such large funds. So you should consider working with other, bigger companies at first.
- Not growing: The requirements of customers are increasing all the time. There are many different requirements out there. All these requirements cannot be handled by every blockchain business. Some systems can become outdated soon after they are launched if they do not deal with what customers need.
Reasons for Relying on the Blockchain
Here, we give you the list of reasons for relying on the blockchain in your business:
- Multi-level payment protection.
- Better enterprise cooperation.
- Better chances of new business values.
- You can forget about middlemen.
- No more waiting for transactions.
- No one can access your data except for you.
- Using a smart contract
- Greater regulatory compliance.
“Don’ts” you should Consider in your Business
Though blockchain technology offers lots of interesting features, it’s not a panacea and can’t solve every single issue you can face. In fact, there are a few “don’ts” you should consider:
- Don’t rush to start: Take your time and learn as much as you can about blockchain technology itself. This will save tons of time in the future. For instance, some data systems can work outside your blockchain network. Remember, knowledge is power.
- Don’t use untested software: Even if you’ve heard about some apps that can make it easy to integrate blockchain into your business, try to test them before using it in your project.
- Don’t push your partners: It would be nice if all of your business partners were obsessed with the idea of a blockchain network. In reality, you need to be patient enough to convince all parties of the value of blockchain technology.
- Don’t think that blockchain can improve every single business function: For a modern blockchain concept, this is not true. We are, however, quite confident that this will change over time.
Attracting New Audiences
You may have a lot of customers, but there could always be more. Unfortunately, startups don’t usually have access to large markets like their corporate counterparts. They don’t have the capital for massive advertising campaigns. In this way, even an excellent product or service could be ignored merely because people don’t know about it or don’t have the proper access.
With blockchain technology, you have a chance to expand your audience and your market along with it. First of all, it allows you to target global markets and offer them smooth transactions without the hassle of exchange rates. Second, and more importantly, the press would give you added attention if you accept Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple, etc.
With this recognition comes familiarity. When more people are familiar with your name, they’ are more likely to contact you for your goods and services. This leads to more leads, with a higher chance of converting into a sale.
Enhancing Business Processes
While blockchain could be an efficient business function in itself, it could also immensely improve business processes. Sure, you have a smart and profitable business system in place, but there’s always room for expansion and enhancement. With blockchain, you can solve more problems and challenges for your customers and gain a competitive edge over market leaders.
These advantages may be brought about with more perfect and efficient accounting systems, eliminating the middleman, or seamless sharing of data.
As an example, there’s PowerLedger, a company that provides a platform for energy trading. With the help of blockchain technology to smooth out financial transactions online, this startup successfully shortens the supply chain.
It enables direct selling to the final consumer, thereby increasing profit margins and lowering prices at the same time. It’s no wonder that investors have seen fit to support PowerLedger with more than $17 million for their continued work.
Increasing Online Security
Small companies are a more vulnerable target for hackers, scammers, and fraudsters, so you want to watch out! It’s necessary for you to have a high level of cybersecurity if you are going to conduct and expand your business in peace.
Data breaches have more than doubled in the past few years. In the current decade, such issues are only expected to increase. Even major companies such as HBO, Netflix, and Instagram have experienced severe hacks that have affected several million people.
Blockchain technology can come to the rescue of cybersecurity. This is because there’s a chance to track events, share data safely, and improve security sensors. Since personal data is most at risk, blockchain technology provides effective encryption that could keep our precious startups safe and sound.
It may be hard to believe, but blockchain technology could help you to fund your startup and achieve your dreams. Both outside and within the United States, entrepreneurs don’t have much access to modern financing, effective fundraising, or other instruments that could help them launch their business properly.
These issues are only made worse by the fact that business loans and business credit cards are not always optimal for small businesses. If not issued by a sincere authority, such crutches could slap a startup with several incremental fees, minimum deposit restrictions, and other burdens. Such hurdles wouldn’t get a startup very far. These situations would discourage startups from cropping up at all since the chances of failure become so high.
Blockchain technology serves to enhance the lending mechanisms that are less than stellar options for startups all over the world. It provides a platform for global investors to support the company of their choice, no matter what their respective locations may be. As a result, entrepreneurs from all corners of the globe would be able to ask for funding and ideally receive it if their idea is good enough. This would provide a more same market, at least as far as initial capital is concerned. The investments could further be sent to deserving organizations without being depleted by international fees, fluctuating exchange rates, and the like.
Making Fundraising Quicker
Fundraising is one of the most crucial business goals for cash-strapped startups, but also one of the hardest. Getting investors to take you seriously is not easy, especially when up to 90% of startups fail.
Startups may be excellent for the economy in general, but they do have the issue of limited funds, slowing them down. Startups can gain access to a decent amount of capital when implementing blockchain technology. With this technological advancement, it makes it easier, cheaper, and quicker for companies to raise the funds they need.
Blockchain technology has the potential to set you free from such distractions. You don’t have to invest a massive amount of time in chasing down angel investors, venture capitalists, or other means of finance. Plus, you don’t have to steel yourself for the drawbacks that come with such investments.
With the implementation of blockchain and cryptocurrency, you get time to focus on your core business and remain in control of it as well. You need to move quickly to make it in the business world. Since blockchain is a self-verifying process, you can get your funding within minutes if you gain the right connections. This would reduce friction, red tape, and a lot of obstacles that could slow down the fundraising process.
If you want to implement blockchain in your business or simply want to implement blockchain technology into your existing business, this article will help you achieve your goals.
However, it is important to remember that this is still a new technology for some. You may easily get frustrated at first. The key will be to persevere as this is truly the future of technology and digitalization.