Blockchain technology is not necessarily novel, but its prominence is rising. In May, research and consulting firm Deloitte released its annual Global Blockchain Survey, and the results reveal a continual trend toward more and higher adoption rates at the enterprise level.
According to the survey, 40% of companies are willing to invest $5 million or more in blockchain initiatives, and 53% of participants saw blockchain technology as a critical priority in 2019, a 10% year-over-year increase.
Of course, this reality is playing out in the headlines as well. Popular platforms like Facebook are rumored to be developing its own digital currency, and even J.P. Morgan Chase is getting in on the action. The once-skeptical financial institution launched the Blockchain Center of Excellence that is pursuing the technology’s development and implementation across the industry.
While this is undoubtedly good news for blockchain supporters, the growing desire for the technology has many consequences for companies and their customers. In many ways, it’s a complete reorientation of the technological landscape, which means there are bound to be ancillary changes that are worth noting.
Here are three implications of the rise of the blockchain as a business priority.
#1 Crypto Accounting Takes on a New Meaning
In the past, cryptocurrencies were mostly a personal passion, not an institutional priority. Now that blockchain technology is gaining entry at the enterprise level, businesses need a method for accounting for the cadre of utility tokens and digital currencies that fuel the distributed ledger.
Cryptocurrency portfolio tracking is important for companies striving to manage an assortment of tokens, but it also has legal implications as well.
The regulatory landscape surrounding cryptocurrencies remains dubious, and companies need a simple solution for producing auditable records, tax documents, and other professional paperwork. For most organizations, choosing the right crypto accounting software makes this an easy problem to solve, but it’s one that demands a solution.
#2 Customer Rewards Become Better
Customer rewards have long been a way for companies to derive loyalty from their customers by providing value in exchange for their reliability.
Often these rewards are redeemable within the company in the form of discounts or merchandise in a “use it or lose it” format that can seem trite in the digital age.
Consequently, many companies are turning to digital currencies to rework the reward system by offering more tangible, immediately redeemable rewards that can drive customer loyalty and satisfaction.
For instance, EZ Rent-A-Car is allowing customers to immediately convert rewards points to cryptocurrency. As Bloomberg notes, “Companies are hoping digital coins can reverse these trends by capturing the attention of younger consumers.”
This dynamic is sure to change the nature of customer rewards, making them more usable and appealing along the way.
#3 Cybersecurity Has a Real Chance
New data breaches and cybersecurity threats are continually emerging, and they seem to be getting more frequent and more destructive with time.
As enterprises adopt blockchain technology, there is hope that this new technology can make meaningful progress toward stymying many of the threats that so frequently disrupt business and hurt their bottom line.
The Ponemon Institute estimates that a data breach will cost a company $3.9 million, almost as much as organizations are ready to invest in blockchain initiatives.
Indeed, the blockchain’s decentralized database and immutable ledger offer the security and transparency demanded of today’s organizations.
In reality, Deloitte’s blockchain integration survey merely confirmed what many of us already expected. Blockchain adoption is rising, and it carries additional implications for companies and their customers.
As the technological landscape begins to shift once again, it’s a reminder that the only constant is change, but change presents its own set of opportunities.