Blockchain technology is changing the way we store and transfer information in a big way. It is the revolutionary technology behind Bitcoin, but it has so much more to offer than a platform for cryptocurrency.
The great benefit of Blockchain for small businesses is that it is a cheaper and more secure way to use applications. Here are the top 7 Blockchain applications that we think small business should seriously consider.
There are a number of ways your small business can benefit from the implementation of Bitwage. First and foremost you will save your company at least 25% in banking fees. You can split this saving between yourself and your employees so that you pay them more but it still costs you less. Payment is sent and received within 10 minutes, so your employees can be paid on the day or however they wish to receive it. It doesn’t stop there. If you are making International payments, the fees and processes are exactly the same. So everyone wins with this system. Once Bitwage becomes widely known, people will prefer to work for companies who have implemented their payment system, over those who still use the traditional banking method. - Read our guide on how to use Bitwage.
Whatever your business, there is bound to be an occasion where people are in disagreement with the facts. Oftentimes there is no way to prove who is right. Uproov has designed an application that immediately timestamps, geo tags and locks an image as soon as it is taken. It is impossible to make any changes to the image afterwards, therefore giving 100% proof of an event or the condition of something. This prevents fraud and gives the customer reassurance that what you see is what you get. Whether you have an online shop, insurance company or claim, renting a car or need proof that something has been done, the possibilities are endless with Uproov. It can even be used to take images of important documentation such as contracts or notarised letters.
Filament is a secure long-range wireless network that enables you to build your business from anywhere. You don’t need to be an expert on security as this is all inbuilt in the application. It has a range of products available. Their Smart Vending app enables you to keep on top of stock levels in vending machines. This means you only send someone to restock the machine when necessary and can keep a track of inventory. Asset Tracking allows you to track the location of equipment in remote areas using GPS receivers. It will even tell you if the equipment is functioning correctly. For Health and Safety, Filament have designed patch-enabled devices which can be placed in safety equipment such as hard hats and safety clothing. These patches can detect an accident such as a fall and even monitor the environment for potentially dangerous materials.
Storj is a decentralized blockchain-based storage solution. In other words, it is like a cloud that is shared by the community. It could potentially be the largest cheapest and most secure cloud available. It works by taking your file, shredding it, encrypting it and then spreads all the little bits across its network. Only you have access to the encryption keys so no one else can access your information. Because it is spread around, it makes it impossible for someone to hack into a server and steal your stuff. The other great benefits of having a shared network is that you wont have any downtime and you get a faster speed without having to pay any extra. The implication for a small business is that you don’t have to pay for security, or extra storage or speed and you know everything is safe. It keeps your overheads low and your security high. Another bonus to using Storj is that you can rent out free space on your hard drive, which generates income for your business.
ShoCard is a virtual identity card that you use on a mobile app. The data is not available in any form to a third party and cannot be changed. It uses strong security techniques like multi key encryptions, two-factor authentication, data matching, which makes it suitable for many industries. The set up is simple and the app is very easy to use. It makes your company easy to do business with and cuts the cost of implementing the banks current authentication systems.
SkuChain is changing the way the supply chain for business is managed. Using blockchain technology enables companies to manage and distribute products quickly and smoothly, which in turn increases profitability. Using secure Smart Contracts to govern the complete purchase cycle ensures a smooth and consistent relationship with suppliers. SkuChain use crypto-serialization codes to track the flow of products and Inventory Financing, which takes the risk out of transactions. This helps to source capital that would not otherwise be available.
Gyft Block has designed a blockchain application that will store your gift cards on your mobile device. This can be a cost-effective way for small businesses to reward their customers’ loyalty without the expense of having physical cards printed and delivered. Using the blockchain platform also gives the added benefit of secure access so the gift card can’t be used by anyone else. Transactions are quick and easy. Simply scan the merchants QR code at time of purchase, using the mobile app. The customers' card is debited and the balance updated immediately.
Guest Post by Jen Starr. Jen Starr is part of the community team at Next Day PC. Jen enjoys staying on top of the latest tech trends and sharing how new tech can positively impact people’s lives.