It is a well established fact, and a proven one that Blockchain technology has much to offer when it comes to e-commerce businesses. From payments to supply chain, and decentralized marketplaces, there are currently three main uses. And many such working applications are a work in progress.
To summarize what we know about Blockchain so far: It is a “distributed ledger” which records transactional data and stores it across multiple computers. You can combine multiple transactions that results in a “block.” Each individual block then gets linked to the block before and after it. This in turn creates a chain. Since this Blockchain data is stored on multiple computers around the world, there is no ‘single’ central authority controlling all the data. This is the biggest advantage that Blockchain provides; is secured, trusted, and for the most part unchangeable.
Use cases of Blockchain
Payments:- In terms of making payments, cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin uses Blockchain to record the transactions involving Cryptocurrency. The Cryptocurrency inherits same secure transaction benefits, which are connected with the Blockchain sans the need of involving a middleman like banks, payment processors, government agencies etc.
Today, accepting Cryptocurrency payment has become easier than ever as an increasing number of online merchants, physical venues, and consumers have adopted bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. A popular website that tracks venues and merchants accepting Bitcoin payments, Coinmap, says that close to 15,000 places worldwide allow consumers to pay using Cryptocurrency.
Currently, online retailers like Expedia, Overstock, and Microsoft, along with numerous Shopify store owners, accept bitcoin, allowing for customers to pay through new and modern methods. This brings in benefits such as low or no processing fees, no chargebacks, international usage, and easy setup.
You can easily set up an account with a bitcoin payment processor online like BitPay or Coinbase and integrate it into your ee-commerce store. If you have a technical background, it would not take much time. In case where you have your e-commerce website running on, say for example, Magento or Kentico CMS, you can get in touch with Magento or Kentico development firm for best results.
As it goes with all things related to payment, as a merchant you should consult an accountant and tax preparer to discuss their experience and comfort level with Cryptocurrency payments and consider their recommendations before anything else.
Operational Expansion:- As discussed, with Blockchain and Cryptocurrency, there comes a sense of freedom and security. With the decentralization to ee-commerce, you can create marketplaces to offer products for sale. Rare Bits is one such example. It is a marketplace for crypto-collectibles or Cryptocurrency-based assets.
Supply chain:- You can reduce the overall cost and complexity of your store’s supply chain by Blockchain. Many large retailers have adopted Blockchain and have been testing it. The use of Blockchain is to eliminate the paper and manual work associated with international product shipping.
Let us say that a bill of lading for the cargo shipments can be manually placed on the Blockchain at every stage of the supply chain. Or you can automatically enter the details, completely eliminating the tedious and expensive administrative process of approvals and guarantees.
For those merchants operating at a smaller scale, they have a similar opportunity for excluding cost. However, it may not be worth the effort to get your suppliers Blockchain enabled at this stage.
Companies across the globe are constantly working to provide Blockchain-enabled solutions. They are working on loyalty programs, advertising, contracts, fundraising, and commercial lending. Regardless of the type of store you operate, be it a Shopify-powered store, a Magento-based store, a WordPress-enabled site or Kentico-based e-commerce store, it is always advisable to consult your WordPress or Kentico development services provider before initializing Blockchain-based transactions or services. The current trends point to each type of merchant, be it online or offline, largely benefitting from embracing Blockchain.