With the recent dramatic rise in the value of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, the concept of blockchain technology has come to the fore of the public imagination. A blockchain, in basic terms, is a continuously updated, decentralised ledger, where each entry is encrypted, and tied to previous entries by a timestamp and transaction information. The principal security benefit is that no entry can be altered retroactively, without also affecting every previous record.
Cryptocurrencies rely on this method to ensure that there are accurate and updated records of every transaction made, without the need for a central bank or administrator. But less talked about are the many other uses of blockchains, which could have a significant effect in a wide range of industries over the coming years.
Transferring money between bank accounts, especially when there are large sums involved can be a slow and laborious process. If the accounts are in different nations or held at separate institutions, it is even more drawn-out. Security checks are carried out to prevent fraud or money laundering, and accountants must be sure the amounts transferred are correct, and free of error or duplication.
Blockchain removes the need for most of these lengthy checks and balances by providing an encrypted record that even the account holders themselves cannot alter. Significantly reducing the amount of time taken for money to be transferred internationally.
One of the most significant overheads in the insurance industry is checking for fraudulent or inaccurate claims. Unscrupulous actors will often try to make multiple claims for the same incident or request compensation for items that they were never in possession of in the first place. This malpractice drives up insurance premiums for everybody.
By making retroactive alterations impossible, blockchain provides insurance companies with a low-cost and efficient method of preventing fraud by keeping track of claimant inventory and contracts, bringing down premiums for all consumers.
Managing the flow of products as they move through a supply chain from manufacturing to consumption is vital for quality control and business planning. Elimination of bottlenecks, inefficiencies and safety concerns is impossible unless there is a clear picture of the entire process.
Blockchain potentially provides a clear, unalterable record of every event in a supply chain. Reducing malpractice and corner-cutting, through preventing modification of safety records at a later date, and cross-referencing every part of the process with earlier stages. This transparency allows for future workflow improvements to drive productivity and efficiency.
Encryption is a standard practice for anyone serious about keeping their information safe from cyber-criminals. But aside from encoding your data, one integral feature of blockchain technology provides an additional level of security.
The decentralised nature of blockchain makes it ideal for data security purposes. Distributing information between multiple computers means that hackers have a much harder time than if they were targeting just one machine.
Using blockchain security in collaboration with other methods such as SSL certification and two-factor authentication is a wise choice in an IT world plagued with hacking attacks and ransomware that could potentially disrupt, or even destroy your business.
SwiftCase is a secure, cloud-based, business process management platform configured to your organisations specific needs, whatever your industry.
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