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blockchain in South Africa

Blockchain is what the internet used to be a few decades ago. There is a lot of mystery and fear, and very few truly understand what it is or what it is capable of doing. The close relationship that blockchain has with the development of crypto currencies further adds to negative perceptions by the general public. And yet blockchain is a bigger disruptor for good than the internet, or any other technology imaginable.

The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial = ,9transactions but virtually everything of value.” Don & Alex Tapscott, authors Blockchain Revolution (2016)

The proliferation of smart devices is creating more digital transactions from more sources, and traditional transaction processing systems can’t keep up. Blockchain, based on distributed ledger technology, is increasingly being recognised as the answer.

Blockchain securely records information across a peer-to-peer network. Blockchain ledgers can include land titles, loans, identities, logistics manifests – almost anything of value.

Benefits arising from the deployment of Blockchain include cost savings and increased efficiencies from a reduction of intermediaries like banks, lawyers and brokers; faster processing of transactions on a 24/7 basis; improved transparency leading to reduction in risk and fraud; better return on investment businesses become leaner, more efficient, and more profitable; improved security; and more automated transactions resulting in less human intervention.

By allowing digital information to be distributed but not copied, blockchain technology created the backbone of a new type of internet. Originally devised for the digital currency, Bitcoin, the tech community is now finding other potential uses for the technology. Blockchain theoretically has no limits, and can influence every facet of our lives and interactions.

The Blockchain is sometimes referred to as the new Web 3.0, and gives internet users the ability to create value and authenticate digital information.

Some business applications that are being enabled by Blockchain are:

  1. Smart Contracts: distributed ledgers enable the coding of simple contracts that will execute when specified conditions are met.
  2. Crowdfunding: crowdfunding initiatives can benefit from the emerging peer-to-peer economy.
  3. Governance: by making the results fully transparent and publicly accessible, distributed database technology could bring full transparency to elections or any other kind of poll taking.
  4. Supply Chain: consumers increasingly want to know that the ethical claims companies make about their products are real. Distributed ledgers provide an easy way to certify that the backstories of the things we buy are genuine.
  5. File Storage: Decentralizing file storage on the internet brings clear benefits. Distributing data throughout the network protects files from getting hacked or lost.
  6. Prediction Markets: the crowdsourcing of predictions on event probability is proven to have a high degree of accuracy. Averaging opinions cancels out the unexamined biases that distort judgment.
  7. Protection of intellectual Property: Smart contracts can protect copyright and automate the sale of creative works online, eliminating the risk of file copying and redistribution.
  8. Internet of Things (IoT): Smart contracts make the automation of remote systems management possible. A combination of software, sensors, and the network facilitates an exchange of data between objects and mechanisms. The result increases system efficiency and improves cost monitoring.
  9. Neighbourhood Microgrids: Blockchain technology enables the buying and selling of the renewable energy generated by neighborhood microgrids. When solar panels make excess energy, smart contracts automatically redistribute it.
  10. Identity Management: there is a definite need for better identity management on the web. Distributed ledgers offer enhanced methods for proving who you are, along with the possibility to digitize personal documents.
  11. AML and KYC: anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) practices have a strong potential for being adapted to the blockchain. Currently, financial institutions must perform a labour intensive multi-step process for each new customer. KYC costs could be reduced through cross-institution client verification, and at the same time increase monitoring and analysis effectiveness.
  12. Data Management; today, in exchange for their personal data people can use social media platforms like Facebook for free. In future, users will have the ability to manage and sell the data their online activity generates.
  13. Land Title Registration: as Publicly-accessible ledgers, blockchains can make all kinds of record-keeping more efficient. Property titles are a case in point. They tend to be susceptible to fraud, as well as costly and labour intensive to administer.
  14. Stock Trading: the potential for added efficiency in share settlement makes a strong use case for blockchains in stock trading. When executed peer-to-peer, trade confirmations become almost instantaneous (as opposed to taking three days for clearance).

VisionITSolved has partnered with industry leaders to bring comprehensive Blockchain solutions to the market.

We are also building internal capability and capacity to ensure that we are able to respond to new opportunities and demands.