Implementing blockchain and integrating DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology) into your business is a multi-step process that involves careful planning.
But this integration can make a difference in the way your business will be competitive in the future.
The countless possibilities brought by blockchain technology - and fintech in general - for businesses include not only the use of public ledgers but also hybrid or private blockchains that can be suitable for businesses across any sector and be in line with the choices of each business owner.
The major strength of blockchain technology lies in its flexibility, and this can make DLT the right choice for businesses that want to be competitive over time.
The future of blockchain technology in business
We’ve already covered what are the most relevant reasons why blockchain can be pivotal to your business, especially as competition increases at a global level and for what concerns the opportunities to save your business money.
Blockchain technology is able to make businesses save money not only by considerably decreasing transaction time and the effort needed to correctly handle data, but also by speeding up the whole business management.
As for any business model, also when it comes to the integration of blockchain into your business the first step is always the same: planning. One of the most important parts of planning a possible integration of blockchain with your business is the use case you want to implement, but let’s see what are the most important steps to consider.
Steps to follow to integrate blockchain into your business
When it comes to blockchain, its integration with a traditional business requires, for sure, more technical knowledge to correctly design a tailor-made solution for your business.
Fortunately, as time passes, B2B companies are realizing more intuitive solutions to make it easier for business owners to benefit from blockchain technology. Some bigs are also implementing blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS): an example is Amazon, which uses the solutions for private blockchains provided by Ethereum and Hyperledger.
The choice of the blockchain to use is just one of the steps to take into account, let’s see them all.
Designing a blockchain-based solution for your business is the first and more critical step, also because it requires you to find a particular use case that can improve your business.
DLT is not only used in the case of financial transactions, but also to better manage supply chains and, in general, to create safer databases.
They are safer because the characteristic of the technology of being distributed makes it not prone to single points of failure.
The choice of the use case is the major part of this first stage of the process.
2. Choosing the blockchain
There are countless options among which to choose from, but also in this case, the initial design and the choice of the use cases that are more suitable for your business can definitely influence your choice.
Some projects may require a higher level of flexibility of the technology, faster transactions, or less expensive fees.
A lot depends also on choosing between private and public blockchain solutions, and the preference towards a specific consensus mechanism can play a major role in your choice.
3. Implementing tests
If you had to realize a blockchain from scratch, or to check if the already existing solutions are suitable for your business by a trial and error process, it would be pretty expensive – in particular when you have to choose a blockchain that requires you to spend fees for any transaction you want to deploy to the ledger.
In these cases, you can easily choose to test your solutions first, thanks to testnets that don’t require you to spend real assets.
4. Launching a Beta version
As for any kind of product or project, you can start making your solution available to your clients or prospects.
This step is pivotal to understanding possible mistakes or segments that should be improved.
This stage will help you develop a minimum viable product (MVP) that can lead you to the next step.
5. Marketing & Fundraising
This step can determine the success of your project.
Especially when talking about blockchain-related projects, the importance of building a strong community is more relevant than for a more traditional project or product.
Actually, blockchain is still not as common as other technologies. The fact that it’s often associated with cryptocurrencies rarely helps: in fact, cryptocurrencies suffer from prejudices, many times because of scam projects that benefit from the possibility – for crypto project creators – to profit from complete anonymity.
That’s why it’s pivotal to rely on communities that can understand your project and find it actually valuable.
Moreover, strong communities can attract investment to allow you to implement your project.
A very common strategy, in these cases, is using ICOs – Initial Coin Offerings: project creators give investors a certain amount of cryptocurrencies related to their project and usually ‘freeze’ them for a certain amount of time to avoid a sudden loss in value.
A successful campaign requires comprehensive documentation, relevant use cases and strong commitment of creators to both build a reliable community around their projects and transparent relationships with investors.
This leads us to another point: skills. If you want to integrate blockchain with your business, benefit from the experience of professionals – especially because, as we said at the beginning, blockchain requires strong technical skills.
6. Launching the final project
When all these steps are complete, the last stage is launching your final project or product to make it available to a wider audience. The more user-friendly your solution will be, the better!
The last tip: since regulatory frameworks for blockchain-related projects and cryptocurrencies vary according to countries, always take into account this type of boundary if you want to create a public project, in order to build a strong business model.
Including blockchain-based solutions in your business can be challenging, but it’s worth it. It can make you save money, build a safer business model and make your business stay ahead of the competition for years to come.