Blockchain isn't just a ledger, it will help businesses boost revenue
Blockchain is a revolutionary technology, and it has the world’s business leaders talking. The distributed ledger system will change the way companies handle online payments, contracts and logistics.
But so far, there has been little conversation about how blockchain will help businesses increase their revenue. This is another benefit the technology will bring, as soon as businesses realize they can use it to buy and sell enterprise data without an intermediary like Amazon or Facebook.
Data is the most valuable commodity in business today, but so far only Internet giants can monetize information about customers and potential customers. Businesses are willing to pay handsomely for information, and Internet companies have been the only trusted sources for legitimate data.
But if the data itself is inviolable, and can be trusted, there will be nothing stopping businesses from buying and selling directly with one another. Businesses will be able to acquire the data they need far less expensively, and in turn sell the data from their own organizations that they were not able to access and monetize before.
Blockchain will be far more than a better system of online record-keeping; it will be a financial boon for businesses that are looking to buy and sell valuable information.
Why Data is Valuable to Businesses
Businesses want to know their customers as well as they can, and they want a steady influx of new customers. That’s why companies pay Google or Amazon for data on users’ buying patterns, personal tastes, health issues, investment decisions, social interactions and other information. This kind of information helps businesses get new customers and keep the customers they have.
Some businesses, for example social networks, want information from other social networks about users. Most run advertisements that help offset the cost of acquiring data from Internet giants.
Other types of companies have a Human Resources department that is always on the hunt for—and ready to pay for—data on job seekers that might help with recruitment.
Schools want student information from other schools that will help them promote their institution to the right types of students.
Information is valuable across the board, and businesses earmark a lot of capital to acquire it.
What if businesses were able to get data at a fraction of the cost while monetizing data they already have?
We are only in the beginning chapters of the blockchain story right now. Soon enough, most businesses will be talking about what the distributed ledger system can do for their bottom lines.
A New Marketplace for Data Will Change Business Forever
Blockchain makes data trustworthy, in a way that it has never been in the past. Because information stored on blockchain cannot be altered the way a database can be, buyers and sellers of data can now trust they are getting the genuine article.
This means that whole new marketplaces for data can be established, markets where Internet giants do not control the commerce or set the price.
If blockchain transparency enables businesses to buy data from sources they do not know—the way consumers often buy things--it will level the playing field for businesses. Companies can become more competitive if they shop globally, instead of locally, for business data.
If businesses can acquire the information they need inexpensively, and easily, it will change business models and it will change the fundamentals of global commerce.
We will see business revenue climbing as enterprises buy and sell data directly to one another.
We will see spending on advertising shrinking, because companies will not have to rely on ads to find the right consumers. Easier access to a far wider pool of data will mean companies have ample other ways to find the right consumers at the right time.
Blockchain is often described as a technology that can make the Internet more secure and transparent.
That is accurate, but blockchain can do far more than that. The conversation about this technology is about to change.
Soon, businesses will be saving money through the use of blockchain, and they will be seeing how significantly it can help them cut spending and increase revenue.
Andrew Ma is the Founder and CEO of LemoChain, a decentralized, open source platform for business data circulation built on blockchain technology. He is a serial-entrepreneur who has co-founded companies in various industries including remote sensing, hardware design & development, wearable devices, social networks, and education. Andrew holds a Master’s degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.