5 Biggest Companies Utilizing Blockchain Technology in 2018Date Written: January 6 2018 Written By: George Miller
Blockchain is a technological innovation that brought more than just Bitcoin to society. This technology has the potential to dramatically increase efficiency and trust across multiple sectors of the economy. It is essentially a publicly auditable, automated distributed ledger that removes control of critical information from a small group of powerful individuals and spreads it across the entire community.
In addition, some blockchains can greatly increase the speed at which transactions can be completed through the use of smart contracts. A smart contract is a technology that allows transactions and deals to occur between two parties without the need for a lawyer or third party to validate the trust in the deal; this is all handled transparently and automatically by the smart contract. This results in deals between individuals and/or businesses that are faster, cheaper, and result in a huge decrease in the chance of fraudulent activity or interference.
Top 5 Companies Using the Blockchain
Successful, forward thinking companies and corporate giants alike are turning to blockchain technology to help their businesses run more efficiently and decrease the risk of fraud or unnecessary tampering of information. Technology companies are adopting blockchain in order to more securely and easily store and share information between parties, something blockchain has revolutionized.
Companies like IBM and Microsoft are perfect examples of large corporations that are capitalizing off of this technological advancement. BLockchain can help these types of companies track and organize all of the information surrounding their business to save them time, money, and enable a much more streamlined customer experience.
Here are 5 examples of companies that have implemented blockchain technology into their systems:
Kik is widely known as a popular mobile chat application similar to Facebook messenger. Kik has some big aspirations, as they must when competing with giants such as Facebook and Google. In order to step up their strategy, Kik announced in 2017 that they will be adopting a token system, called “Kin” that will allow for cryptocurrency functionality to be supported, of course, by their own blockchain. They are aiming to allow users to earn this Kin token by participating in multiple activities they will offer, including:
- Sending messages
- Viewing ads
- Listening to music
- Ordering food
- Hosting a group chat
- Building an AI chat bot
All of these activities will earn users Kin tokens, and incentivize them to spend more time on the platform. This model is similar to a company based out of Asia called WeChat, but the difference here being that Kik will use cryptocurrency rather than a fiat payment system. The company that owns WeChat recently invested $50 million into the Kik platform.
The blockchain wave has brought with it a new breed of developers. These developers come from all different types of niche backgrounds with ideas to use blockchain and cryptocurrency to improve their business or create a startup that will bring massive innovation to their industry.
In order for these entrepreneurs to affect their missions, they need development tools and blockchain management platforms to do this. Microsoft has launched a division of their company called Microsoft Azure, a SaaS platform that provides developers with a sandbox to create decentralized applications, and it also provides blockchain solutions such as machine learning and AI big data analytics to improve efficiency when it comes to information management.
Microsoft is also offering cloud services to accompany these analytic tools as well as offer storage space. Companies like Microsoft are helping to give developers and businesses the tools they need to capitalize on blockchain technology.
Another technological giant that is getting involved in the blockchain wave is IBM. Similar to Microsoft, IBM is also aiming to help provide the technological support and computing resources necessary to allow blockchain to help businesses thrive. IBM advertises that it helps guide businesses step-by-step in building out their own blockchain, and helping educate and pinpoint the best use cases for each individual platform based on your industry and specific niche.
Using the Hyperledger blockchain creator tool, they can help businesses create their own distributed ledger and smart contract systems. They offer blockchain workshops and incubators to help flesh out radical ideas and provide the technical know-how and resources required to bring these potentially revolutionary projects to life. IBM’s blockchain platform can help businesses accelerate development, increase management efficiency, and implement AI and smart contracts to reduce fees and improve overall business efficiency.
A lesser known company but still a giant in its own right, Everledger uses blockchain to increase trust and decrease fraud in the diamond industry. Prior to their model, it was a very time and energy consuming process to verify the origin and authenticity of diamonds sold across the world. They use the blockchain to trustlessly and transparently list diamonds out on their distributed ledger.
This allows for the information to be verified and also eliminates any chance of fraud. This is possible because blockchain enables the information to be cryptographically encrypted and if it is tampered with, it will be easily noticed and found by multiple participants in the community. Everledger digitally tracks all of the important identifying features of a diamond, helping keep the process accurate and efficient, and making it impossible to fraudulently place information within the system.
Everledger’s model has use cases for a few other luxury item markets as well that require a robust quality-assurance tracking process, something the blockchain is perfectly suited to facilitate.
Little known to the public, Walmart has used blockchain to completely renovate their data tracking and management processes. The corporate giant teamed up with IBM in 2016 to improve the efficiency and trust involved in the process of tracking the meat and poultry that they sell. The blockchain technology they utilize tracks all information (through QR code scanning) at all steps of this process from the farmer, to the broker, distributor, the retailer, and everything in between.
The reason they sought out this upgrade was due to Salmonella outbreaks within their supply chain. This outbreak took them months to sort out due to the complicated documenting and IT that they were using. With blockchain, all of the necessary data could be retrieved in seconds by AI technology. Walmart is using the IBM-offered hyperledger technology to accomplish all of this, and have already implemented this technology into the successful tracking and quality control of the pork they receive from China.
Blockchain technology was born with innovation in mind, and forward thinking companies have been keen to take advantage of all it has to offer. The blockchain brought with it a new generation of business models, one that removes inefficiency and unnecessary third-party interference. It allows for all members of the ecosystem to be rewarded and for fraud to not only be removed, but de-incentivized as well. For new businesses and startups that are beginning to develop their backend and information management systems, blockchain is becoming the new standard.