Two years ago, very few people had heard of blockchain and even just 12 months ago, those that had heard of it just associated it with cryptocurrency. Whilst the popularity of cryptocurrency waxes and wanes with each month that passes, blockchain has emerged as what is potentially the most disruptive digital innovation since the birth of the internet.

For those that don’t know, blockchain is a digital ledger on which any kind of transaction (financial or data related) can be recorded chronologically, publicly, and in a totally immutable way before being share securely. One of the most attractive features of the blockchain is the fact that it is immutable and offers superior levels of efficiency, transparency, and trust in information sharing.

But how is blockchain going to change the way we do things in 2019? Experts from finance, business, and governmental institutions believe that blockchain will impact every area of business from operations to accounting, and according to some, the revolution is already underway. Here are just 5 areas that blockchain is set to disrupt beyond all recognition.

1.    Accounting

The field of accounting is one that is known for being traditional, and in some ways, old fashioned, particularly when it comes to embracing new technologies. Blockchain however, stands to not only turn the industry on its head, but to benefit all involved stakeholders. Blockchain can be used to record transactions in an immutable way, to manage complex tax matters, and to communicate time-sensitive information to business operations all over the world. Imagine a way to record every single transaction that a company makes, from all branches, in one centralised location in real time Then imagine that once inputted, an entry cannot be deleted or modified in any way- this is one of the biggest advantages for the accounting industry.

2.    Human Resources

Over the next seven years, the global HR industry is expected to be worth over EUR 30 billion but by adding blockchain into the equation, businesses can save a fortune whilst increasing efficiency. Whilst it may be known as ‘human’ resources, a lot of technology goes into planning, hiring, firing, and managing employees but the system can be significantly simplified via embracing new technologies. We already have Universities recording degree results on the blockchain, so imagine a time when an individuals entire working history and certifications can be relied upon completely, because they are available through digital ledger technology? This will significant reduce the risk of receiving inaccurate data about a candidate or existing employee, thus decreasing the risk of making bad HR decisions.

3.    Marketing and Advertising

Did you know that in 2019, advertisers are expected to lose around EUR 21 billion in fraudulent activities? A figure that is expected to surpass EUR 50 billion by 2022. By using blockchain, issues surrounding ‘click fraud’ can be negated and advertisers and businesses can be reassured that their adverts are reaching who they are supposed to.

4.    Real Estate

Buying or selling a property is notoriously a time consuming, laborious, and complex process that involves the timely input of a number of individuals. Lawyers, the buyer, the seller, banks, accountants, surveyors; these are just some of the individuals that can be involved in the process at any given time. Each individual has to submit documents, give their signature, and complete steps in the process- all of which are susceptible to human error and even fraud. By using smart contracts to self execute actions based on the completion of other previous steps, the process can be managed digitally and without the need for human supervision. This will significantly increase the efficiency of real estate process whilst reducing fees for everyone involved.

5.    Banking

In an increasingly globalised world, the need to make instant, cross-border transactions is increasing exponentially. When done through traditional banking methods, these transactions can come with delays and hefty fees, neither of which are conducive to efficient business activities. But with blockchain, financial transactions in cryptocurrency or even fiat currency can be executed instantly with little to no cost. There is no need to have to take note of IBAN numbers, Swift Codes and the like- instead the sender just needs to send the designated amount to the recipients digital wallet address- transfers can be made in real time with none of the obstacles we have become accustomed to in traditional banking.

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