Much like the internet, blockchain is considered a disruptive technology – in the best way possible! And just as the internet became the new norm, blockchain will too. In the last several years, more and more businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators, and inventors have embraced the fact that blockchain technology is here to stay.
It’s shaping industries because it benefits just about every single business model out there, no matter how basic or complicated. It streamlines processes, protects ideas, and enables improved efficiencies and collaborations at minimal costs.
So, what exactly is blockchain and why is it so important? Blockchain is a decentralized distributed ledger that backs and supports cryptocurrencies. It records information from every transaction onto a block. That block is then attached to the existing line of a chain that is connected to initial transaction. Because the technology is decentralized, the need for a middleman is eliminated, as there is no single authority to authenticate a transaction, essentially doing away with any mistrust. Any change in the network is directly notified to the users connected to that blockchain network, providing full transparency.
To help put the efficiencies of blockchain into perspective, consider that the network has been setup to check itself every ten minutes, conducting a self-audit reconciliation. With an unmatched level of security and trusted timestamping, naturally, time is freed up for other vital tasks such as research and development.
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With the verification process blockchain provides, it removes intermediary validation and establishes trust without using a centralized authority. This means that blockchain has the potential of becoming one of the most important financial services innovations of the 21st century. Remember, blockchain is the revolutionary technology behind cryptocurrencies, starting with Bitcoin to Ethereum and on to nearly 1,000 others!
Additionally, the blockchain is open to all members of the network. By sharing all information, businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators, and inventors can be assured that the chain streamlines resources and processes, resulting in improvements in existing data flows. Blockchain technology, by the nature of its shared structure, automatically resolves any disputes, ensuring a safe and secure environment to conduct business between all parties.
Blockchain is increasing business opportunities and reshaping the operations and outlooks. It is innovating the technology that touches upon every industry that can be imagined, from the government to healthcare to manufacturing. Again, think about the inception of the internet, specifically Google Docs, which enables users to have access to any shared documents, monitoring and editing in real time. A shared ledger is the beginning of a decentralized system.
So once the capabilities of blockchain are understood, it makes perfect sense that both emerging and well-established businesses, that are serious about longevity and operating efficiently, are already exploring how it works and how they can utilize the technology. It has been suggested by many industry experts that firms that do not consider blockchain within their processes, are at “risk of falling behind competitors.”
Leading multi-million dollar companies, banks, real estate, financial institutions, and organizations have taken notice of blockchain technology. Walmart is the newest example, recently receiving a blockchain-based patent to track package contents, environmental conditions, location, and other details. Their main goal being to create greater security in the shipping packaging that the items are shipped in. The Commonwealth Bank, Wells Fargo, and Brighann used the Skuchain Brackets technology, a blockchain system developed specifically for collaborative commerce and enterprise-grade operations. IBM, Nestle, and Unilever have all joined in an effort to reduce food contamination. Amazon has moved to launch AWS blockchain templates that give users pre-set frameworks, enabling them to create projects for their businesses with each. And the list continues to grow!
Why? Because blockchain followed the basic entrepreneurial formula for solving an inherent problem, and in the vast majority of cases, that is security and protection. When the basic mission of any business is gaining and retaining user confidence, it only makes sense to implement blockchain technology.
A great example of blockchain improving long standing processes is the current USPTO patent process. Any entrepreneur or inventor would agree that it is a dreadful experience in its current state. Just filing a patent application, which includes government filing fees and fees paid to a registered patent practitioner to prepare and file the application, can run into the thousands of dollars. Next is what you could call a “vetting” process where all patents undergo prosecution where the merits of a patent are often argued before the USPTO. This can cost thousands of dollars and at the end of the day, it still doesn’t protect your idea.
One of the biggest issues is that your patent is not protected throughout the pending process. If someone has the same idea and receives their patent before you, there is nothing you can do except for starting over from square one. Oh, and if your patent is challenged, oftentimes cases are settled at no small expense. And once you get past all those hurdles, don’t forget that maintenance fees are due to the USPTO every few years after a patent is granted, and failure to pay them may result in a loss of patent protection.
That is just a quick synopsis of what the majority of entrepreneurs and inventors have to endure to make their vision come to life. There is no way around it, right? Actually, the immutable nature of blockchain technology may be a perfect solution for this. Loci provides entrepreneurs and inventors with an easier way to discover the novelty of your ideas, a secure home for your ideas on the blockchain, and an exclusive marketplace for the sale of your intellectual property.
With the help of blockchain, Loci utilizes LOCIsearch , a tool that presents the opportunity for entrepreneurs to participate in IP pools made up of several related patents that are available for purchase during the patent process. The mere act of searching for a patent will timestamp your idea on the blockchain, and provide you with the right to exclusively patent your idea for a year. LOCIsearch creates a marketplace that allows for the exchange of ideas between entrepreneurs and companies, or investors seeking to develop them for their own advancement and goals. However, the most beneficial aspect is that you have peace of mind knowing your idea is protected while you can continue your research, at a fraction of the cost of USPTO!
Though blockchain is still relatively new and complex, it is here to stay and will continue to evolve, bridge gaps, and restore fundamental trust. There is now an opportunity for better idea protection, saving money, and improved time management, all thanks to blockchain technology.