Although “blockchain” is a buzzword in the tech world, the average person may not be able to grasp how this advanced system will affect their lives, too. The biggest reason blockchain will play such a critical role is because no single person controls it. There is no middleman, or potential for corruption. It is simply a system designed to protect its users through strong cryptography. Here are three primary ways that blockchain will affect the security and everyday lives of the average person:
It Can Increase Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty is one of the most critical components of running any business. It’s a widely circulated fact in the business world that it’s much less expensive to retain your existing customers than to acquire new ones.
In the future, blockchain will affect customer loyalty in ways you might not be able to fathom today. Simply put: blockchain-based loyalty programs can be more cost-effective for customers and brands, as well as more effective. From a financial perspective, implementing rewards programs would be easier and cheaper, mainly because blockchain based tokens don’t rely on third parties.
Additionally, one of the biggest benefits for blockchain loyalty programs is that it allows consumers to better manage their points across all stores. Why? Because statistics show that customers are in polygamous “relationships” with the brands they love. According to an ICLP study titled “Deeply Devoted,” 97% of consumers “cheat” on brands because they have loyalty to several programs.
As a result, businesses are suffering from low engagement. Blockchain would make it easy for those consumers to access a one-stop shop for their points, much like a virtual wallet. This way, instead of keeping track of dozens of loyalty cards, they only need one key, central area.
It Can Transform the World of E-commerce
Over the next few years, as blockchain becomes more mainstream, you can expect some strong changes in the world of e-commerce. Simply put, e-commerce is progressing at a rapid rate, and one that cannot be sustained with the current security model for much longer.
By 2020, experts estimate that the e-commerce industry will surpass $4.5 trillion. And as the value of the industry skyrockets, so too does the number of security threats. Today’s current online payment methods are not only behind in terms of security (there are 230,000 new malware samples being launched daily to compete with more strict payment gateways), but are costly for business owners, with high processing fees. On any given platform, a retailer will pay 2-3% of the price of the total transaction. As you can imagine, those fees quickly add up. A blockchain marketplace makes transactions much more secure. Each transaction will be cryptographically secured, providing every customer with their own airtight digital private keys (much like a digital signature).
Even small businesses—who suffer the most from hacking attempts and stolen information, due to lackluster security—can benefit from blockchain tech. For example, a startup using a basic WordPress website would be able to install bitcoin plugins to make transaction across WooCommerce even more seamless. According to DreamHost, “We ensure your website has the latest WordPress and WooCommerce updates to protect your store from new vulnerabilities.” But with blockchain, the security capabilities of any host are significantly increased.
Blockchain will also make it much easier for companies to stay transparent with their consumers, which is a huge buzzword in today’s business world. Label Insights found that 94% of surveyed consumers were more likely to be loyal to a brand if they felt the company was transparent with their supply chain and business model. Amazon, Walmart, and Unilever are just a few companies spearheading their own blockchain efforts to solve some of the more common e-commerce issues, like security and transparency.
It Will Impact the Internet of Things
The average consumer many not fully understand the Internet of Things (IoT), but that doesn’t dispute the fact that it’s all around us. Everything from advanced vehicles to smart refrigerators are connected through IoT.
So what is IoT, exactly? In layman’s terms, it’s the interconnectedness of all devices (to one another, and to the Internet). For example, your laptop having access to your mobile notes is an example of IoT. Or, your car having access to your calendar to remind you of a meeting, or accessing your Spotify playlists. Eventually, IoT will take further leaps and bounds, and the development of smart cities is a clear indication of this.
As previously mentioned, security is the biggest issue in today’s tech-centric world. Blockchain will be able to handle the connection between all devices from a central location, and will decentralize all information and data that it processes. As it stands, anything that’s connected is potentially vulnerable to a third-party attack. For example, hackers would able to hack your vehicle if they wanted to, controlling everything from your music to your brakes.