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Beyond crypto: how small businesses can benefit from blockchain

Thanks to digital coins, the word ‘blockchain’ has been typically associated with cryptocurrency and NFTs in recent times. However, there are more benefits of blockchain technology to businesses than first meets the eye.

“Think of blockchain as a digital ledger of transactions that’s duplicated and shared across an entire network,” explained Daphne Ng, CEO at Dedoco. “Each block in the chain contains a number of transactions, and when a new transaction occurs, a record is added to every participant’s ledger.”

Companies in a network can obtain up-to-the-second copies of the blockchain, with no need for a central authority, as cryptography enables participants to add to the ledger themselves.

This kind of decentralised, digitally distributed ledger of information is beginning to change the way businesses approach data security, transparency, and traceability. It can be applied across industries to almost any transaction that involves a value.

Said Ms. Ng, “The immutable properties of the blockchain allow it to provide tamper-proofness and security when applied to document management and workflows. It enables greater trust and transparency between parties.”

In fact, according to the National Blockchain Roadmap, outlined by the Australian Government in 2020, Australia can contribute an estimated US$175 billion in global annual business value in the next three years through blockchain technology.

Already, sectors of the economy like higher education, finance, and wine production can be seen using this technology for operations like signing documents or money transfers. Globally, publicly traded companies like Walmart, Oracle, and IBM are already using blockchain to streamline logistics and enhance their cybersecurity.

“Under the Australia Digital SMEs 2030 plan, it is said that all new businesses will be born digital, and 95 per cent of all SMBs will have a digital presence or are using digital processes,” Ms. Ng added. “But ultimately, SMBs want digital solutions that are efficient, easy-to-use, and result in higher productivity and cost-savings in the long run.”

At Dedoco, a two-year-old business, she notes that blockchain is used for digital document management as a service. Any changes to documents must be verified with all parties accessing this digital ledger, and only intended receivers can access it. It’s also a sustainable solution that reduces paper usage and streamlines the document signing process.

Still, blockchain is not without its sceptics. The Australian Government Digital Transformation Agency notes that blockchain should be applied pragmatically as it is an emerging technology. It also advocates focusing on the problem to be solved through blockchain rather than starting from a specific technology solution.

READ ALSO: Report reveals blockchain solutions and plant-based proteins as 2021’s major agricultural innovation trends

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Rhea Laxmi Nath

Rhea Laxmi Nath

Rhea L Nath is a Sydney-based writer and editor. In 2022, she was named Young Journalist of the Year at the NSW Premier's Multicultural Communications Awards.

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