Blockchain

Blockchain, the public ledger underpinning of digital currencies like Bitcoin, is poised to transform the way we do business. Cryptocurrency, once an obscure tool embraced primarily by those interested in anonymous, even shady transactions, is becoming increasingly mainstream, as individuals and businesses embrace it for a wide variety of reasons. If you aren’t using digital currencies in your business right now, you almost certainly will be in the days to come. Here are four ways to use blockchain right now, and help your company gain a competitive edge.

Accepting Payments For Goods and Services

One of the simplest and most effective ways to leverage blockchain in your business is to accept payments from your customers. Accepting blockchain payments, in the form of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, can offer your company several advantages. First, it is yet another option for customers to pay for goods and services; the more payment options you offer customers, the better chance you have of getting paid.

Additionally, using blockchain can help you effectively eliminate the middleman on many transactions, especially on real property items, and help save both you as well as your clients substantially on brokerage or legal fees. Finally, since cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are universally recognized, using them helps facilitate international business transactions as well.

Facilitate High Volume Transactions

For businesses that process a high volume of transactions – large numbers of sales or other forms of interactions with clients – conventional financial systems may slow down the speed at which your company operates, and cut into your bottom line. Blockchain operates significantly differently than other financial transactions. It is a

It is a decentralized system and lacks the middleman that most banks and brokerages rely on. Therefore, most blockchain systems are tailor made for processing uninterrupted, lightning-fast transactions. Blockchain’s encryption also means that you will not sacrifice security for speed in your transactions, ether.

Raise Capital

If you are looking to raise significant capital -either to start your business or significantly expand it – then you should consider how blockchain can help facilitate this. Much like accepting customer payments, accepting blockchain for fundraising provides investors yet another way to securely fund your business. It allows your fundraising to go from local to global, as universal digital currencies make it easier for people around the world to instantly provide funding.

Moreover, the digital, unique nature of each blockchain payment allows you to set conditions for the funds raised; you can define the terms for things like company control and ownership, interest required, and the like for all of the funds raised in this manner, and all without the service fees typically required from brokers who traditionally handle these issues.

Build Perfect Contracts

Blockchain can help your company build near-perfect, easily enforceable contracts with your customers. For instance, if providing a good or service at a specific time is a critical factor in your business, you can use blockchain to stipulate payments based on that, and employ a sliding payment scale that requires your customer to pay less the further past the deadline you go. These types of smart blockchain contracts can be extremely useful for automated and Internet-based businesses, which rely heavily on AI and other tools to speed massive volumes of conditions-based transactions. In fact, blockchain may be able to help you automate contracting activities that you currently have to dedicate costly human resources against, and help improve your bottom line. Finally, the use of these types of smart contracts will, like in other blockchain transactions, help your company eliminate the costly fees associated with brokering and other middleman activities as well.

William Lipovsky owns the personal finance website First Quarter Finance. His most embarrassing moment was telling a Microsoft executive, "I'll just Google it."

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