What is blockchain?Blockchain has been one of the top buzzwords of the year, however many still don’t understand the actual technology behind it. In layman terms, blockchain is a decentralized, transparent, distributed ledger, used to validate transactions between parties. Data can only be added in the blockchain with time-sequential order and there is no central authority the update, the ledger is rather updated via consensus. Once data is updated to the blockchain, it’s almost impossible to change, hence is considered practically immutable. Though we often tend to tie blockchain technology to cryptocurrency, the technology itself can be utilized to transfer of any form of data, and effectively cut costs while significantly improving efficiency.
One thing is certain, regardless if you’re a tech-geek or your run-of-the-mill consumer looking for the best way to shop, there’s no doubt that blockchain technology will become more and more prominent in your everyday life. Following are a few ways in which blockchain will revolutionize the face of e-commerce.
“Today’s retail customers are highly concerned about fair trade practices, and the truth about the claims that retailers make about their merchandise”.
Blockchain technology has the potential to transform the retail supply chain. By tracking and managing supply chain data and providing the end user with access to reliable and transparent information on the entire process, retailers can retain customers trust and assure products quality. Moreover, cases of forced labor or unfair trade practices will become more and more rare, as the companies will have no little place to hide their misdeeds.
Another use for smart labeling is fighting against counterfeiting, an issue mostly plaguing luxury goods. Companies, such as Blockverify, harness blockchain technology to improve anti-counterfeit measures and promote a positive social message. Using this technology will allow consumers to know not only if the product is counterfeited but also if it has been stolen, diverted from its original destination or had any history of fraudulent transactions.
The Delivery Conundrum
It’s no secret that delivery in the retail industry is a logistic nightmare, whether it is a shipment from the manufacturer to the retailer, or from the retailers to the end consumers, there are a million things that can go wrong and often do. A blockchain-based delivery platform will allow easy coordination of documents on a shared distributed ledger. Furthermore, by utilizing smart contracts, approvals and customs clearance can be quicker and more efficient, thus reducing processing time and minimizing delays. Finally, blockchain ensures trustworthy data across the transportation and logistics ecosystem, significantly reducing issues faced by retailers while preventing frustration on the consumers' side.
Let’s Talk About Money
The story of blockchains first originated from cryptocurrency, or more specifically from Bitcoin. Though the technology can be used in various ways as discussed above, money transfers are still the bread and butter of blockchain. Cryptocurrency represents a huge opportunity for new businesses looking to go across international borders and the limitations of traditional currencies, as it for one allows them to remove currency exchange rates and the expensive intermediates fees. In addition, cryptocurrency support microtransactions, something which was never available on the “standard” payment system, thus opening the door for new fiscal opportunities.