For many people, ‘blockchain’ is just another cryptocurrency word like ‘Bitcoin’, ‘hodlgang’, and the rest. But blockchain is potentially a lot more than the technology behind Bitcoin. So, what could it mean for your business?
What is Blockchain?
The basics of blockchain technology: it’s a piece of software which encrypts the history of that software’s use, and which keeps that history in multiple places across the cloud.
Which means that there’s no way to edit that history, delete it, or disrupt it. A blockchain is a secure, distributed record.
Will Your Business Take Bitcoin?
For Bitcoin and other digital currency, it’s like having a ten-pound note which has to have everyone who’s ever owned it written onto the note, in order. If you’re offered that note by someone who isn’t the last name on that list, you’d be suspicious – and that’s how Bitcoin is protected from hackers or fraud.
It’s this security, rather than the intention-grabbing leaps in value, that have major players in online retail interested. For example, Amazon – always worth watching when it comes to future-proofing your business – has had several patents concerning cryptocurrency approved recently. (And those patents were first applied for back in 2014 – so the retail giant has a head start again).
One of their patents, now about a year old, is designed as a service for governments. Those names on the Bitcoin note aren’t actually names – they’re number codes, each unique, each generated for the user by an algorithm. So taxing Bitcoin isn’t easy. It relies on Bitcoin users being 100% honest and self-reporting.
Amazon has patented a method to help governments identify cryptocurrency users and tax their transactions appropriately.
This Would Allow Your Business to Take Bitcoin Without Worrying About Tax Implications.
That’s a big step forward to allowing eCommerce businesses to confidently accept payment in Bitcoin, as well as all the other cryptocurrencies out there.
Rumours persist that Facebook, Amazon, and Google are developing plans for their own cryptocurrency. Would you turn down payment in Amazon Dollars?
Building Blockchain: Other Business Uses
But there are plenty of other reasons you’d use blockchain. Digital finance is just the one that makes for big headlines.
Late last month, news broke that Artory, a major art auction house dealing internationally, had bought Auction Club. Auction Club is a privatised database with information on over 4,000 auction sales across the world – and it’s built on blockchain.
There’s a lot to the merger, but the key point here is that by May, records of auction sales dating back to the 1970s from over 250 businesses across 40 countries will be public record, all on blockchain, undeletable and unhackable.
And that’s a major step forward in combating art fraud and counterfeiting.
Other businesses will find other uses for an archive of sale transactions. At Cloud Commerce Pro, we’re big advocates of migrating your data to the cloud where it can be better preserved, and blockchain technology adds another level of security.