Blockchain technology is a subject that most people have heard of but have no idea how to describe what it is, or what it does. This rocket scientist technology is possibly going to change EVERYTHING. So listen up! Because as the Harvard Business Review said, “the spoils of blockchain may go to early adopters who commit to ruthless innovation.”
What are the benefits of blockchain technology and what can it be used for?
So how can we break this down for you in bite-sized pieces? First, some important properties of blockchain – transparency, immutability and security. This is why banks are jumping on as first adopters. Its transmission model reduces the costs of transactions, enables verification and efficient exchange of ownership, and opens the door to real-time micropayments. Imagine having instant recording with no fees for things like credit and debit card transactions. Other important applications of this technology include supply chain management, smart contracts, financial reporting, the Internet of Things, the management of private (e.g., medical) information, and even electrical grid management.
How can consumers benefit from blockchain technology?
But it gets better for marketers AND consumers. Blockchain can be used to set up “smart contracts” in which a user can subscribe to receive marketing materials from a company and actually EARN money every time they see and interact with an ad. How great is that? A win-win I say! HBR says, “For example, a grocery store chain with a mobile app can pay users $1 for installing the app in their phones, plus an extra $1 if they allow it to enable location tracking. Every time they open the app and spend at least a minute on it, the retailer can pay them a few cents or loyalty points’ worth of store credit, up to a maximum per day. During that time, they push deals and special offers to the user.” So early adopters are going to be able to break the Google / Facebook digital advertising duopoly! Blockchain technology can bypass social media and directly interact with consumers – and PAY them instead of paying for ads! Pure genius!
Blockchain can also help prevent fraud. That is, it is almost impossible to deceive the system. As HBR says, “Blockchain technology holds the potential for societies to become more trustworthy and empowered, increasing visibility, connecting parties, and rewarding individuals for their contributions to transactions.”
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