Today, blockchain is widely considered to be the future of technology, making it a tool that more businesses will integrate and utilize in the coming years. Despite its potential, it languished for nearly 20 years without a practical application. Then, in 2009, Bitcoin appeared and blockchain was reborn.
Today blockchain is widely considered to be the future of technology, which means it is something that businesses will need to embrace. For those that are hesitant, experts generally agree that blockchain will provide a range of tools that can impact your business in positive ways.
In general terms, blockchain technology offers businesses two major advantages. Because it is decentralized, blockchain allows for a variety of transactions to take place without an intermediary, which reduces transaction costs. Because those transactions are certified and authenticated by data stored on a distributed ledger, infrastructure costs are reduced as well.
In addition to the innovative support that it has brought to businesses and brands, blockchain technology is also creating new industries. By exploring these new sectors, businesses have the potential to connect with new markets and build new revenue streams.
Here are some practical applications that those who are ready to explore blockchain should explore.
Positively Impact Your Brand By Embracing Cryptocurrency
Accepting cryptocurrency for payments is the easiest way that brands can benefit from blockchain technology. Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies are alternatives to traditional payment technologies. The volatility that persists in crypto markets has kept crypto from going mainstream as a form of payment, but there are a growing number of stores that accept it.
A great way to get involved in blockchain is to add Metamask or other secure crypto wallet to your ecommerce sites as a way to accept crypto during the checkout process. Metamask allows customers to pay with Ethereum or Bitcoin. Other wallets expand on the type of currency that can be accepted.
Businesses that accept crypto run the risk of seeing its value decline once it is accepted. However, they gain the benefit of removing the transaction fees that are associated with traditional payment methods such as credit and debit cards.
Some companies are taking advantage of the reduced costs of blockchain transactions by including cryptocurrency as a payroll option for their employees. Just as with any other crypto transaction, paying employees in crypto removes intermediaries on both sides of the transaction and speeds up transaction time.
Bonus Tip: If your brand makes a commitment to accept crypto as payment for products and services, the decision should be widely publicized. While crypto is not yet mainstream, it is also no longer in the shadows. Becoming known as a company that is familiar with crypto and comfortable accepting it will bring positive publicity to most any brand.
Positively Impact Your Brand By Utilizing Smart Contracts
Smart contracts are one of the applications of blockchain that reduce infrastructure costs. By embedding contracts within the blockchain, smart contracts authenticate and facilitate agreements made between two parties. The immutability of the blockchain keeps the contracts secure and its decentralization takes the burden of administration off of the business. In addition, no third party mediator such as an attorney or government entity is needed to certify the contract.
Royalty contracts are one of the most talked about examples of smart contracts being used today. They are often incorporated in non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to provide for ongoing royalty payments for NFT artists should their work be sold on secondary markets. The smart contract triggers the royalty provision of the contract, requiring that it be satisfied before ownership of an NFT can be transferred.
A wide range of businesses are exploring the utility of smart contracts. In the real estate world, they are being explored as a way to update sales contracts. In the airline industry, they are being explored as a way to streamline ticketing. Any business could use them for employment or vendor contracts.
Positively Impact Your Brand By Exploring Blockchain Marketing
Every brand engages in marketing. In the world of online marketing, it is difficult to ensure that your marketing budget is well spent. Marketing companies often charge their clients based on the number of “views” that their ads receive online, but just who is viewing the ad and what the view signifies can be difficult if not impossible to determine.
Blockchain provides the technology to gain clarity about marketing efforts by ensuring that traffic data is secure and reliable. As blockchain marketing develops, brands could benefit from ensuring that the marketing for which they are paying can show results that are authenticated by blockchain.
Positively Impact Your Brand By Keeping Data Secure
Security is part of the DNA of blockchain. By decentralizing and encrypting data, blockchain creates a space where data can be readily accessible and safe from hacking at the same time.
Businesses that rely on gathering and securing data, whether personal, financial, or some other type of confidential information, can benefit from exploring the secure storage options that are emerging in the blockchain sector.
Bonus Tip 2: Because of the high degree of security afforded by blockchain, hackers will often focus on the blockchain “gatekeepers” when targeting platforms built on blockchain. That means your company should train those who work with blockchain applications on the schemes that are commonly used to compromise security. In most cases where hacks occur, access is given by a careless employee rather than stolen by a skillful hacker.
Positively Impact Your Brand By Creating NFTs
NFTs, which are a type of crypto token built on blockchain, boomed in popularity in 2021 as artists began using the technology to create and sell digital representations of their work. As people continue to collect NFTs, either as investments or assets used to define their digital identities, businesses have the opportunity to promote their brands by creating NFTs.
Big brands like Taco Bell, Coca-Cola, Ray-Ban, and Gucci used NFTs as part of their marketing efforts in 2021. The NBA Top Shots NFT project, in which fans can obtain NFTs of videos featuring highlights captured during NBA games, made more than $700 million in sales in less than a year.
Positively Impact Your Brand By Finding The Right Application
Thanks to the growing acceptance of crypto and NFTs, the future of blockchain is secure. While the best applications may yet to be discovered, the time is here for businesses and brands to begin exploring where the technology can benefit them the best.
Finally, do not hesitate to promote whatever steps your brand takes to incorporate blockchain into your operations. Blockchain is a hot topic that the media loves to talk about. Leverage your adoption of blockchain, regardless of the level, as a way to attract attention to your brand.