Mayank Pratap

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Co-founder of EngineerBabu.com | Writer at Entrepreneur, Hackernoon | Helped 100+ founders build awesome Web & App products| 30+ funded, 2 selected in YC 16 & 17

How to Build a Mobile App like Instagram? (Instagram Clone)

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app like instagram

How to Build a Mobile App like Instagram?

What You Must Know for Developing a Photo-sharing Mobile Application like Instagram

Instagram has been the reason why people across the world have taken ”travelling” as a serious hobby. Also, Instagram is the reason why digital businesses have started considering the photo-sharing app as a serious business.

Can a mere photo-sharing app be a serious business?

Yes!

All that a business needs are engagement. Moreover, with the rise of the smartphones, it has become pretty easier for the users to click pictures to their heart’s content and share it with their peers.

Selfie is the new norm set by the millennials for the years to come. This photography culture has not even spared the baby boomers from its addictive influence. The point remains, irrespective of the identified user persona, the photo-sharing app is constantly widening its horizon by engaging users of different age groups.

If we believe the stats on Hootsuite, Instagram has over 1 billion active users today and they share around 95 million posts per day.

What does this convey to the aspiring Instagram-like photo-sharing app businesses?

The stats show that the photo-sharing app business is not yet to be concluded. It has a huge potential in terms of both innovation and expansion. With video-first content being the very near future for the digital businesses, video ads will turn out to be the most promising source of revenue generation for photo-sharing mobile apps like Instagram.

All in all, the time is right to build your very own Instagram-like mobile app. Let me provide you with a complete guide to build an app similar to Instagram.

How Exactly is it like to build a photo-sharing mobile App like Instagram

app like instagram
Source: Alberto Conti (Dirbbble)

Instagram is a lot more than just a photo-sharing app. It is a bundle of smaller businesses run under a single umbrella.

Instagram as a Photo-editing App:

It is a photo-editing app in disguise with so many colourful filters in place.

The users can crop the picture, adjust the contrast and brightness, use markers and text in their pictures, or simply play around with the filters.

How can this benefit you as a photo-sharing business?

Since you already equip your user with the additional tools they require for editing their photographs, they stay on the platform for a longer period of time. During this time, it is upon you to fill their feeds with sponsored ads, video ads, etc. and earn out of it.

Instagram as an eCommerce Portal:

The success of eCommerce has conceived a new term known as “Social Commerce”.

Undoubtedly, photo-sharing applications keep the users engaged on the platform. This creates ample of opportunities for the brands to showcase their products in the best of its light for the already engaged customers and create an additional source of income other than their own apps and websites.

The brighter side?

You, as the owner of the photo-sharing application, can earn commission for every transaction made.

Instagram as a Messenger App:

Be it any type of application, a direct message feature has made its place in the MVPs of the feature list.

Direct message helps the users to connect deeply with other users. Other than scrolling for hours in their feeds, the direct message has the capability to engage the users with emojis, share pictures from the feed, create groups, and chat!

The Set of Features Required to Develop a Photo-sharing App like Instagram

app like instagram
Source: Ivan Martynenko (Dribbble)

The features of a photo-sharing app like Instagram have a fair share of contribution in keeping the engagement intact and constantly elevating. It helps the user differentiate between a quality app and a crappy app developed with the sole intention to make money. By providing user-friendly features, you communicate that your business cares for its users and this is all that is required to engage the customers and retain them especially when you have no physical product.

Here is a list of features that you must know for developing a photo-sharing app similar to Instagram:

A Quick and Simple Registration Process

What’s in a signup screen? Well, it is the deciding factor that determines whether the user stays in for a longer time or directly uninstalls the app. Most of the times, businesses feel the need to extract the complete information. However, it might do more harm than good to your business by frustrating your users with pages and pages of data to type and submit.

Plan to extract the information from your users, the Facebook way. Facebook never asked it’s users for a mobile number during the time of registration. With time, it called out for the ease to log in with the mobile number and smartly collected the contact details.

So, in order to build your photo-sharing app, a social media login and signup is a must to have feature. It not only makes it easier for your users to register quickly but also creates an opportunity for your business to create cross-platform ads.

Push Notifications

Let’s face it. A photo-sharing mobile app is but an entertainment app for your users. And your app isn’t the sole source of entertainment for your users. In this case, how to keep them coming back to your app and ensure that they spent a good amount of their digital time using your application?

The answer is simple – push notifications!

Your users are curious social beings. They want to know even the most minute update about their friend’s life.

Set an algorithm that will help you know whom the user follows the most. Whenever there is an update or a photo shared by the particular user. Send a push notification to the fellow users to keep them coming back to your photo-sharing app, wanting to know more.

Social Media Integration

Your users have posted an image on your platform. What next? They want to post the same photograph on other social media platform.

Now, keeping the competition aside, consider the fact that your platform needs promotion and what better than doing it with Facebook! If not others, at least provide a Facebook integration. This way your users will be able to post their pictures on your photo-sharing app and share it on other social media platforms with a tap!

Not only you are building up the customer experience, you are promoting your app by leveraging user-generated content on popular social media platforms. Could there be any better win-win marketing strategy?

Cross-platform Compatibility

Instagram doesn’t run on many desktops and operating systems with all the features. It is a dedicated photo-sharing mobile app. To make the maximum out of this bottleneck of Instagram, you can create a fully-functional web app along with a mobile app.

While a smartphone’s camera plays an important role, code your app in such a way that it can access the webcam to click a picture.

And why only for posting and sharing pictures?

You can create a photo-sharing app for helping the user to perform all the actions using a web app – like a picture, share it with a group, comment on a picture, etc.

Stories

Stories, as witnessed in Whatsapp, Facebook, and Instagram have become the most engaging form of user-generated content. Whenever a story is published, a push notification is sent to the fellow users. Stories can be used as an invite-to-engage feature.

An innovative way of building a story feature can be by providing the user with the control to choose the amount of time they want their story to be displayed for.

By default, the time duration can be for 24 hours and the users can set their story display duration as per their wish.

Direct Messaging within Stories

An exciting feature for the users is a direct message within stories. It is like speaking to the public but getting personal replies.

The user can create questions for their followers, ask them to make suggestions, create polls, and keep the engagement going on within the platform with the image, short video, or even plain text.

Search option

The search module helps the users to look out for people, tags, and places. Moreover, the app also provides suggestions in the search bar.

It is an MVP feature for a photo-sharing app. You can leverage the search results to know the best of the followers for a particular user and fill his feed with the updates of those followers.

This way, the user will be more interested with the help of personalized feed.

GPS Integration

Your users love to travel to places. More important is the fact that they want their followers to know where they have been. This calls for a GPS integration for your photo-sharing application.

The location feature is dynamic in nature. This means that the user can either automatically fetch the location or can add the location manually when their connection is poor.

Activity

The activity feature in itself can be divided into two categories:

  • Your activities
  • Follower’s activities

Here the users can get suggestions as to whom to follow and keep a track on their recent actions on the photo-sharing application.

While on the other hand, the follower’s activity feature shows complete information about what the followers are doing on the photo-sharing app along with the exact time activity.

How can you stand out with your Instagram-like photo sharing app?

app like instagram
Source: Yi Li (Dribbble)

With a successful business model on Instagram, you are not going to be the only business. There’s already a cut-throat competition to serve the customers and earn their loyalty.

If this is the situation, what can be the solution to emerge as a winner in the photo-sharing app market?

An important aspect to keep in mind is that the photo-sharing businesses do not have any apparent revenue model. A lion’s share of their revenue is contributed by video ads, sponsored ads, and e-commerce. This implies to the fact that engagement is the revenue for such photo-sharing applications.

The proposed solution can be to follow a customer-first approach to your business by developing user-friendly features. A better way is to build an Instagram-like app with just the right features to elevate your customer’s engagement.

Important Things to Consider While Building an Instagram-like Mobile App

You have got an idea to start a business with a photo-sharing app of your own.

What next?

The mobile app development demands a lot of planning right from the start to the end. This means that you have to be literally on-the-go before launching the first version of your application.

However, a lot of your hassles can considerably reduce, if you plan the development well. Let me walk you through a proper plan.

Every photo-sharing app looks alike at the grassroots level. Your basic version of photo-sharing app just demands a simple photo-sharing feature with followers. But the difference starts to build up when you add branding and UI/UX design to your app to create a strong brand awareness in the mindset of your users.

Other important elements to keep in mind while building an app like Instagram are:

  • User-friendly navigation
  • Clean UI/UX designs
  • Pleasing visuals and graphics
  • Personalized feed
  • Easy Photo-sharing option

The ideal way to go about building an Instagram-like app is mentioned as the following:

  • Your front-of-the-mind focus should always be your USP. Know what is the goal that you want to achieve with your photo-sharing mobile application. This has to be figured out before starting with the development process to be crystal clear in your app development approach.
  • Always plan your business with the most basic features and then gradually enrich it with advanced features. This way you can test your market and make implementations.
  • Same is the case with demography. You might have a strong personal reach but it is always a good idea to go baby steps with the demographics. Target a specific demography, earn their loyalty, and they will talk about your brand on your behalf.
  • Your ultimate goal is obviously to earn revenue out of all these painstaking efforts. However, your primary goal should be to create engagement for your users. Learn the photo-sharing app revenue rule: No engagement, no revenue!

What could be the possible Revenue Model for building an app like Instagram?

app like instagram
Source: Alejandro Ramirez (Dribbble)

Instagram makes money by monetizing on the user’s attention span. More the attention span, higher is the revenue.

The possible revenue streams for your photo-sharing app can be:

  • Sponsored Ads
  • Sponsored posts
  • Video Ads
  • Social commerce
  • Carousel ads

Since everything has been said about the development of a photo-sharing app, it is obvious for you to wonder about the budget. Let’s find out the cost of building an app like Instagram.

Cost of Developing a mobile app like Instagram:

Ultimately, as a businessman, your focus must be on the ROI. And to figure out the expected turnover, you need to know the investment required. To cut it short, let us find out what could be the cost of building a photo-sharing mobile application like Instagram:

Influence of features:

Basically, there are three possibilities with which you can develop your photo-sharing mobile app.

You might either go with the most viable features, advanced features, or a perfect blend of both the basic and some advanced features.

Influence of operating system:

It is a known fact that iOS app puts a bigger hole in your pocket as compared to that of the Android app. However, it is upon your target audience and their preference of device to select the operating system. The possibility is, your target audience can have an equal ratio and you might have to launch an app for both the platforms.

Influence of technology:

While coding your app in Kotlin would be costlier but trendy, it is upon you to figure out your app development needs. Similarly, you have to make a smarter choice with native and hybrid app development. If you are not technically sound, you can seek assistance from your developers.

Influence of resources:

If you don’t already have a team of hard-headed developers and you are thinking to outsource them, you need to be very careful in your selection process. Look out for the case studies and experience. Compare the cost of the app development and then make a decision.

While different app development companies have their own variables, there is quite an ambiguity in the cost of developing an Instagram-like mobile app. So, an exact figure cannot be determined but to give you a rough idea about the estimate, have a look at the following:

  • If we consider the most basic version of the app with only the MVP features and clean UI/UX design, the projected price can go up to $6,500 for development. However, there is very little support and maintenance required.
  • If we consider a blend of basic features along with some advanced features, the price can increase to somewhere between $20,000 to $25,000.
  • If we consider the app to be developed with complete advanced features, then the price can rise to as high as $65,000 to $75,000.

How to Outsource Developers for Building an Instagram like Mobile App?

app like uber
Source: Lina Leusenko (Dribbble)

Based on what you are planning to get developed for your business, determine the scope of work and then decide upon the number of resources for building a mobile app like Instagram for your business.

There are many different types of pricing model that you could choose from – time-based, scope based, fixed price and fixed time pricing model, or dedicated resource hiring. While some of these models are based on the client’s demand, the others are determined by the app development firm itself.

Dedicated Resource-based Hiring

When opting for a dedicated resource based hiring, ensure that you know the scope of work and that you are not paying for an extra resource.

To develop a basic version of your Instagram-like mobile app, your set of resources will be-

  • UI and UX designer
  • 2 – 4 developers
  • Quality Assurance Engineer
  • A Backend Developer
  • A Project Manager

To develop an advanced version of the photo-sharing mobile app, you will need a team of –

  • Team Manager/Project Manager
  • UI/UX designer
  • 3 – 4 developers for each platform
  • Quality Assurance Engineer
  • 2–3 backend developers
  • Admin panel developer

Ready to bring your photo-sharing mobile app in the real world?

If you still have queries regarding the cost of building an ‘Instagram like’ mobile app, let us know your exact requirements here and we will help you with the exact pricing.

Having worked on multiple projects and with clients across the globe, we have reached a level where we can cater to any requirement and innovation that our client seeks.

Some of our clients came up with an unforeseen solution and we did face challenges. But along with it, we grew. Take some time to read our case studies to know how we overcame those hurdles to innovation.

How about knowing what our clients feel about our work? Have a read here to find out our client’ an experience with our profound team of developers.

Yet not convinced? Here we are with practical and live applications that we have created for our clients. You can go ahead by testing these apps, who knows you might find your perfect app development partner!

We would love to be your app development partners.

Please drop a detailed inquiry about your requirements and our team will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss further on the development.

On a scale of yay to nay, how helpful did you find this guide? Please share your views in the comment section below and we would appreciate your efforts.

Did we miss out on an aspect or two? We’d love to enrich our knowledge.

Lastly, for this exclusive guide tailored to assist you to build an app like Instagram, help us reach out to more readers by clapping and letting them know how helpful we are with our research and analysis! 


Also check out:

Top Rated App Development Company in USA

Top Rated App Development Companies in Singapore

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How to Build an app like Uber? (Uber Clone)

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app like uber

How to Build an app like Uber?

What Every Aspiring On-demand Business Should Know Before Developing a Mobile App like Uber

Taxi service was once a royalty, ‘Uber‘ made it a need by making it affordable. Not only did Uber disrupt the traditional taxi service, but also impeded the way people carry out their business.

Today, Uber’s on-demand service model can be applied to almost all the industries and their niches. It is not exaggerating to say that the demand for an on-demand solution is increasing with every passing day. People optimize their power of imagination and conceptualize a fairly unforeseen niche with an on-demand solution.

Uber started its disruption with an iOS app. Initially, Uber could only book the rides for the customers. With time, Uber delivered luxury cab services with the launch of Uber Black.

Uber Black allowed the user to choose the ride as per their preference from a wide range of luxury cars. However, it only managed to please the upper class and Uber had the solution to lure all the sections of the society.

UberX came up with a promise to charge what’s right and became a default cab hailing service for most of the people. But Uber had more plans to enhance the customer experience and this came in the form of UberPool.

Having explored all the ways to please its customers, it is planning to make a leap in the sky with UberCopter!

What makes this rise in the Uber clone business so obvious?

app like uber
Source: Studio–JQ (Dribbble)

The basis of the on-demand business model is the aggravation of demand and planning a supply to meet the demand.

However, the right approach to planning for an ‘Uber like’ app development is :

  • Dive into the industry with a Primitive Approach.
  • Build a sustainable model to aggregate the demand in the form of a mobile app for the service providers and the customers.
  • Meet this demand of the customers with a distributed supply chain management.
  • Retain your customers.

But what makes Uber different from other taxi-services?

The thoughtful features of Uber!

Plan the features for your Uber-like mobile app, the Uber Way

Not many to-be Uber businesses know that basically Uber is made up of three mobile applications:

  • The admin app
  • The driver app
  • The customer app

Each of these stakeholders has their own set of features. For your ease to understand each of these features, I have jotted down the features in different categories:

  • Most Viable Features
  • Advanced Features

Let us first take a look at the features that build up the billion-dollar taxi-hailing company, Uber.

Customer App Features:

app like uber
Source: John Corcoran (Dribbble)

Track a Ride

Uber provides an option for its passenger to track a ride after they have booked their ride. What happens is, after the passenger enters the pickup and drop location, the driver accepts the ride request and approaches to the pickup location.

To find out how far the driver is from the location, the passengers can track them by using the map integrated into the app.

Fare Estimation

The Passengers are able to draw a fare estimate for their ride on the basis of their pickup and drop location.

The fare also varies as per the selection the car chosen for the ride. When the passenger stops at multiple destinations in between his pickup and drop location, it gets calculated at the end of the ride with the help of the powerful Uber algorithm.

Multiple Modes of Payment

For making the taxi-hailing ecosystem user-friendly for the customers, Uber provides multiple modes of payment to choose from for paying the fare.

The passengers can select any type of payment, e.g. credit card, debit card, cash, mobile wallets, etc.

Track Service History

For the passengers who commute on daily basis, Uber has a feature called Track service history. With the help of service history, the passengers can get details about their rides in a specific period.

The passengers can view any dates and the entire service history details will be available for them in the form of a report.

Book Now Ride later

Book Now Ride Later is an advanced feature of Uber. It allows the passengers to schedule their rides before the actual time of the ride.

Once done, the passengers get a confirmation. The passengers get the driver’s details before an hour of their scheduled ride and they can track the ride.

Book for Others

Similar to Book Now Ride Later, Book for others is an advanced feature for the passenger app. The passengers can book a ride for their friends and families by using their own account.

After the booking is made, the passenger gets all the details about the ride and an SMS is delivered to the rider. Here, the tracking can also be done by using the link present in the SMS.

Smart Wallets

Uber provides a smart wallet to its passengers for paying the fare. The passengers integrate these smart wallets with their bank accounts and transfer a certain amount of money.

The passengers can directly make their payments using the mobile wallets.

Panic Button

To ensure the security of the passengers, Uber has taken measures in the form of a panic button. As soon as the passenger is on-board, a panic button gets enabled in the mobile app of the passenger.

When the passengers feel threatened or sense danger, they can press the panic button. This sends a notification to the nearest police station, the Uber authorities, and the family members of the passengers.

Favourite Destinations

The favorite destination is an advanced feature for the passenger app. When the passengers have to travel to the same destinations day-in and day-out, they can enter the destinations for once and can select it using a single tap.

The passengers can save destinations for their home, office, restaurants, etc.

Split Charges

This is an advanced feature for the passenger application. When the passengers are travelling with their friends, they can split their fare and pay individually on the basis of the charge of the ride and the pickup and drop location of each passenger.

They can split their fare and if they have leveraged mobile wallet, the fare automatically gets deducted from the wallet.

Driver App Features:

app like uber
Source: Uber Design (Dribbble)

Driver Delivery Reports

In order to ensure the safety of the passengers as well the drivers, Uber has a driver delivery report feature. The report is a summary of the driving style of the driver during the entire week, month, etc. If the driver continues to drive rash, Uber can even remove the driver from the service.

On the other hand, if a driver drives smoothly, he becomes the trainer for the newbie Uber drivers.

Route optimization:

Route optimization helps the driver take the most efficient route so that they can reach the destinations in the fastest possible time. The driver can leverage the route optimization feature, reroute the entire journey and can navigate efficiently to the path.

Driver Destinations:

The driver destination is an advanced feature in the Uber’s driver mobile app. The driver can choose to take a ride to his preferred destination. This feature can be used by the drivers when they want to make money and have to reach their destinations.

Quest earnings:

Quest earning is a feature in Uber’s driver app. It helps the driver earn extra money. The quest comes with a pre-defined number of rides that the drivers have to complete in order to win and earn the additional amount.

Shorter 2 Minute Cancellation Window:

Cancellation window is the time that the driver has to wait for the passenger. It is an advanced feature in the driver’s app. When the driver arrives at the location on time, the first 2 minutes are non-chargeable for the passengers.

However, if they take a lot of time, the charging starts and the passengers have to pay for that extra time as well along with the base fare of the ride.  

Heat Maps

Heat maps is the advanced feature in an ‘Uber like’ driver app. It is like a cheat sheet for the drivers. Heat maps is basically a map view of the demand. The drivers can know where the ratio of the passengers is high and can move to that location to get requests easily from the passengers.

Forward Dispatch

The forward dispatch is an advanced feature for the driver app. It allows the drivers to accept the request for another ride while they are still completing their current ride.

This helps them to cut down the ideal time and earn a few more extra bucks.

Niches to plan for an ‘Uber like’ app

  • Healthcare
  • Beauty services and on-demand salons
  • On-demand mechanic
  • On-demand gas delivery service
  • On-demand transportation
  • On-demand food delivery service

How to Strategically Build the Features in an Uber-like mobile app?

app like uber
Source: Adrian Reznicek (Dribbble)

Uber-like app development is a long-term commitment. You need to stay on your toes from the time you start conceptualizing about the idea until the beta the release of the beta version of the app. A smooth way of developing an app like Uber is to plan your development beforehand.

Allow me to help you with the planning of features for building an app similar to Uber:

Basically, there are three categories to start your development. The basic version of the Uber-like mobile app can consist of the most viable features for all the three stakeholders – the admin, the driver, and the passenger.

The advanced version of the app consists of the most advanced features for all the stakeholders. However, this version can be launched once you get a hand over the market.

The third version of the application consists of all the basic features of ‘Uber like’ app for all the stakeholders and some of the advanced features.

Now, it is upon you to decide on how you want to go about with your ‘Uber like’ mobile app.

What should you keep in mind for Building an Uber-like Mobile App

The ideal way to build an app like Uber is to build a basic version of the app and study the market carefully.

Know what could be the possible innovation for the driver’s and the passenger’s app. Once this is clear, you can proceed with the advanced set of features.

Apart from this, you should always try to attract and retain both the drivers and the customers for a smooth functioning.

While there are many in the app development market claiming to be the pioneers in the industry, not everybody has got that hands-on experience with the on-demand solution.

The key is to research well for your ‘Uber like’ app to ensure that your business is in safe hands.

Apart from this, other important elements to keep in mind while building an app like Uber are:

  • User-friendly navigation
  • Smooth UI/UX designs
  • Pleasing visuals and graphics
  • Real-time functionality

The best way to plan for developing an ‘Uber like’ app is mentioned as the following:

  • Your USP should be your first concern. Afterall, it is going to separate your voice from the noise. Ask yourself as to why do you want to build an app like Uber. What difference are you going to make with it and then proceed with its development?
  • As mentioned earlier, your features are going to be the voice of your brand. It is going to resonate with your end users. Keeping the importance of user-friendly features in mind, plan for your first app release with the most viable features and then scale up your business in the subsequent phases.
  • Demography plays an important role in the launch of a business. Know what demography are you targeting. Promote your app to those users and take feedback. Implement on the feedback provided and come up with innovation the next time.

What could be the possible Revenue Model for building an app like Uber?

app like uber
Source: Johannes Leuchovius (Dribbble)

Uber has got no fleet of cars. It only has got the drivers and the passengers to make its revenue.

The possible revenue streams for your ‘Uber like’ app can be:

  • Commission from the drivers
  • Ride fare from the customers
  • Cancellation charges from the customers

Let me walk you through the cost of building an app like Uber.

Cost of Developing a mobile app like Uber:

It is obvious for a businessman to focus on the ROI. And to figure out the expected turnover, you need to know the investment required. To cut it short, let us find out what could be the cost of building an ‘Uber like’ mobile application:

Influence of features:

Basically, there are three possibilities with which you can develop your Uber-like mobile app.

You might either go with the most viable features, advanced features, or a perfect blend of both the basic and some advanced features.

Influence of operating system:

It is a known fact that iOS app puts a bigger hole in your pocket as compared to that of the Android app. However, it is upon your target audience and their preference of device to select the operating system. The possibility is, your target audience can have an equal ratio and you might have to launch an app for both the platforms.

Influence of technology:

While coding your app in Kotlin would be costlier but trendy, it is upon you to figure out your app development needs. Similarly, you have to make a smarter choice with native and hybrid app development. If you are not technically sound, you can seek assistance from your developers.

Influence of resources:

If you don’t already have a team of hard-headed developers and you are thinking to outsource them, you need to be very careful in your selection process. Look out for the case studies and experience. Compare the cost of the app development and then make a decision.

While different app development companies have their own variables, there is quite an ambiguity in the cost of developing an ‘Uber like’ mobile app. So, an exact figure cannot be determined but to give you a rough idea about the estimate, have a look at the following:

  • If we consider the most basic version of the app with only the MVP features and clean UI/UX design, the projected price can go up to $7,500 for development. However, there is very little support and maintenance required.
  • If we consider a blend of basic features along with some advanced features, the price can increase to somewhere between $20,000 to $25,000
  • If we consider the app to be developed with complete advanced features, then the price can rise to as high as $95,000 to $100,000.

The smarter way to Outsource Developers for Building an ‘Uber like’ Mobile App

app like uber
Source: Lina Leusenko (Dribbble)

Determine the scope of work and then decide upon the number of resources for building a mobile app like Uber for your business.

There are many different types of pricing model that you could choose from – time-based, scope based, fixed price and fixed time pricing model, or dedicated resource hiring. While some of these models are based on the client’s demand, the others are determined by the app development firm itself.

Dedicated Resource-based Hiring

When opting for a dedicated resource based hiring, ensure that you know the scope of work and that you are not paying for an extra resource.

To develop a basic version of your Uber-like mobile app, your set of resources will be-

  • UI and UX designer
  • 2 – 4 developers
  • Quality Assurance Engineer
  • A Backend Developer
  • A Project Manager

To develop an advanced version of ‘Uber like’ mobile app, you will need a team of –

  • Team Manager/Project Manager
  • UI/UX designer
  • 3 – 4 developers for each platform
  • Quality Assurance Engineer
  • 2–3 backend developers
  • Admin panel

Brace yourself to build a disruptive business with Uber-like mobile app

In case you have concerns and queries about the cost of building an Uber Like mobile app, help us with know your exact requirements here and we will let you know the estimate.

EngineerBabu, being an experienced app development company, Uber-like apps are now a practice to perfect episode for us.

Do you want to hire our teams of expert developers for developing your Uber-like mobile app?

Talk to us now!

Our clients are highly innovative and we respect them for coming up with innovative challenges for us. Spare some time to know about our creative solutions to various technological challenges with our case studies here.

Did you hear what our clients have to say about us? Get to know us better by reading the work experience of our clients with us.

Here is our complete library of innovative mobile apps which we have developed for our clients across the world. Feel free to ask for a demo and we will help you with it.

We would love to be your app development partners. Please drop a detailed inquiry about your requirements and our team will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss further on the development.

On a scale of yay to nay, how helpful did you find this guide? Please share your views in the comment section below and we would appreciate your efforts.

Did we miss out on an aspect or two? We’d love to expand our knowledge.

For this well-researched guide custom-made to aid you to develop an app like Uber, help us reach out to more readers by clapping here.


Also check out:

Top Rated App Development Company in USA

Top Rated App Development Companies in Singapore

Top Rated App Development Companies in Australia

How Much Does Website Development Cost?

0
website design cost

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Website?

The first and probably the most troublesome question that comes to your mind when you are considering establishing a web presence is – How much will it cost?

Well, the answer is rather complicated. The cost of developing a website is very subjective and there is no clear-cut cost blueprint for website development.

We have developed nearly a thousand websites and to this day, we cannot give a generic answer to that question.

Here are some reasons why a one-off website quote is practically impossible:

  • The Lack of Standards: The web development service is rather new and lacks uniformity. There are multiple languages PHP, WordPress, Angular, platforms and systems that can be put to use to program a website.  The multiplicity of ways to reach a single desired outcome makes it even more complex. The way one person or company develops a project may be completely different from others.
  • Complexity in Planning: Implementing a single feature in the website could take up anywhere from an hour to a hundred depending on the complexity and inputs needed. If you want users of the website to be able to publish their own content, there could be a hundred details that may be needed. Does content need approval to be published? Do you want to establish checks for plagiarism? Do you wish to include images? If images can be uploaded, what is the maximum size per image? And all features will need details. It is advised to, therefore, find an experienced and trusted team that takes these decisions for you in your company’s best interest. The prices vary accordingly.
  • Continuous Time & Work: Websites are largely viewed as products but they should be categorized as service because the process of developing a website is continuous and requires time and effort of the developing team.how much does it cost to build a website - engineerbabuImage Source
  • Varied Quotes: The number of web developers has increased significantly from freelancers, small companies to big corporate giants.The quotes given for the same web project can vary as much as $3,000 to $50,000 depending on the expertise of the company, the preferred platforms, the team size and even their location.

    Web development in the US can cost 4 times more than that in India with the same level of quality of work.
  • Fixed vs. Hourly Price: While some companies still give a fixed quote, most companies are shifting to an hour-based pricing model as it allows them to cover the grey areas. The fixed price model did not account that some websites that seemed simple may take up months. The hourly model accounts for the far too valuable manpower and their time.

Now that we have established ground on why a one-off price for a website is less likely to be justifiable let’s focus on the key components of the cost of the website:

The Type of Website:

how much does it cost to build a website - engineerbabu
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The owner/founder of the company is the best judge of what they want to achieve by enhancing their web presence.

With over 19 million websites, it is clear that the world has moved past offline.

Does your website just provide information on your product/service or do you wish to set up an online marketplace for it?

The cost of the two may differ more than you imagine.

For instance, a one-page website will cost much lesser than an enterprise website with hundreds of pages. An e-commerce website may cost even more.

Domain Name and Hosting:

The URL of your website or the domain name is the unique internet fingerprint that can be used only by you.

Other companies can take similar names but your .com (or .in, .org, etc) belongs to your company.

To ensure rights to this domain name, the name has to be registered annually and factors as a cost. This cost is generally accounted for in the maintenance cost.

The cost of domain name varies from $5 to anywhere.

A keyword containing domain name may cost even a $1000.

Hosting allows your website a space on the server of the “host” making your website accessible to internet users from around the globe.

Depending on the traffic and the features enabled, hosting can range from being free to a few hundred dollars.

Though, free hosting is not advised due to lack of quality of tech support, if it is provided at all.

The quality of the website, the loading time, site crash support, expansion plans in the future depends on the quality of the host.

Website Design:

how much does it cost to build a website - engineerbabu
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Again for design too, the cost can range anywhere from $250 to $20,000 depending on how you want your website to look.

A skin or a theme can be used and will cost less than a designed custom-made for your websites’ need.

However, they might not look impressive and provide the same customer retention and engagement as a custom-made design.

Your made-from-scratch website design although expensive is an expression of you and your business and is the most effective way to capture customers.

Content Management System:

Coding is a tedious work consuming huge amounts of time and effort. If we were to do all edits on the websites, even the small ones through codes it would cost a lot of time.

Content Management Systems (CMS) ease the process of editing information on the website as and when required. A CMS such as Magento or WordPress can be accessed for free; others might need monthly or yearly subscriptions.

Magento is a good platform although it may not efficiently suffice the specific business needs of your business.

Content & SEO:

The amount of content that needs to be generated for the website is equivalent to the number of pages the website has.

An effective website needs to place the right words into the users head compelling them to buy the product or service.

You may choose to write your own content or hire a copywriter Copywriters can charge from $50 to $500 for the website content. Content is king and good content pays off.

Content ties to Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Good content needs to contain keywords that are relevant to the business to attract more visitors.

SEO is an ongoing service and at EB, SEO includes content creation and optimization, keyword research, targeted reach and more.

An effective SEO increases the ranking and visibility of the website and can cost $200 to $1500 per month.

E-commerce Integration:

Ecommerce
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Including E-commerce on the website is a major factor that can include the overall cost of the web development project.

Integrating payment gateways on the website and shipping/tracking systems is a visible cost addition directly through e-commerce functionality.

The major cost contributor is the time it takes to build individual product pages and ensuring that these perform seamlessly and display the correct information.

There is also extensive testing of shopping carts, location-based technology and payment gateways that needs to be done.

Database:

Most websites handle a hell load of data and need an effective mechanism to deal with it.

The database management systems can be really costly but they can facilitate some really cool additions to the website.

The actual cost of database integration depends on the time and extent of the integration.

A rising concern with regards to databases is privacy and with so many data leaks, security is also a huge concern.

The average cost of database integration is $15,000, although prices vary as per need.

Maintenance:

Websites need to be maintained and regularly update to enable them to perform efficiently.

Website maintenance will form an essential part of your cost especially since it is recurring.

The maintenance cost falls between $300 and $1000 unless there are major updates that will result in redesign and redevelopment.

Regular support and maintenance ensure that the software and hardware on the website are in place and that the website is updated with new business developments.

This results in a better SEO ranking and higher visibility.

This may have given you the idea that asking how much will a website cost is like asking how much will a car cost?

There are a lot of details that will be required to give a fair estimate as is in the case of the cost of a car.

The model, the year, the design, the mileage, the maintenance of the car requires all and other factors contribute to the cost of the car.

The cost of the website too will vary as per feature additions. Here are few factors that you need to know before you start:

  1. The Budget:

How much are you willing to shell out for the website development now and annually?

Websites, especially complex ones come expensive and it’s best to know the budget before making decisions.

If the budget is low, you may want to stick to a freelancer or a 4-5 people company as they will charge at least 25% less than what bigger companies charge.

However if quality surpasses cost as a concern, it is advised to hire a team with an impressive portfolio and experienced personnel, that is more likely to stick by you in the future when compared to freelancers.

Websites also need continuous upgrading and maintenance, thus whether to hire a dedicated person or outsource the maintenance will be based on the budget allocated.

A predetermined maximum budget also allows the web developer to make informed choices that fit within it.

  1. Understanding Your Role:

It is rather important for clients to understand that for a website to come forth as expected, web developers will need inputs from you and regularly.

From the logo of the company to images to fill the gallery, there are lots that client themselves provide.

If you do not take up content packages, you will have to provide content too for every page. The involvement of the client is not only beneficial but also crucial for best results.

  1. Features Needed Now and Later:  

While starting a business people tend to have preconceived ideas and want their website to be an ideal setup with all the cool features but soon realize the complexity of such a situation.

It is indeed an advantage to have a website loaded with cool features, however, it will not make up for a flawed business model and redevelopment will cost a bomb.

Therefore good developers advice business owners to initially stick with a lean and functional website that gets the work done and upgrade as they earn.

We guarantee that even the most advanced websites require re-designing, maybe minor changes or complete re-vamp.

It is best, therefore, to introduce features and changes after analyzing what your customers want.

It is one of the biggest mistakes of founders to spend months getting the “right” website, eventually finding out that the business doesn’t work as planned.

  1. Ownership of Site, Domain Name, Security Tech and Hosting:

A website generally involves a lot of administrative work too like buying or renewing domain names, integrating SSL certificates for security, configuring hosting services from time to time and managing updates on WordPress sites ensuring they are not conflicting with templates and plug-ins installed.

All this does require technical acumen besides time and effort. Thus, decisions of ownership of such licenses and technical aspects have to be made beforehand.

Implementing these is not going to be burn on the pocket as they usually cost about $100. Hostgator, GoDaddy and Bluehost are few good providers.

Hiring the Right Developer/Team:

If you have hired an employee before, then you are probably aware that their resume may not always reflect if they fit the profile.

Hiring the wrong team is a real problem and a problem that everybody encounters at least at some point.

A part of hiring the right people is asking the right questions. Here are some questions you should ask while hiring a web developer:

  1. What services do you offer?

Besides web development, there are a lot of other services involved like content development, digital marketing, hosting etc. and it is in the best interest of your company to hire a team that provides all these services.

At EngineerBabu, we provide all tech and branding solutions under one roof including Logo Design, Web Development, App Development, UI/UX and Marketing.

  1. Do you work on templates or custom designed websites?

Most developers will be working on both models depending on the needs of the client.

Using a customizable template is cost-effective and saves time but will not provide the same uniqueness and functionalities as a website designed from scratch.

Asking a developer about this and then comparing the cost of both the options will make your decision easier.

  1. How will the web project be managed?

EngineerBabu team ensures an unmatchable experience while working with us. We ensure all projects are handled efficiently by assigning project leads to walk the customer through the process of development of the website.

The web project will typically be executed in five stages that include research, designing, development, launch, and evaluation.

The project lead being customer’s point of contact conveys to him/her, critical info on timelines and progress.

  1. What is the typical turnaround time for the project?

Deadlines are important and need to be set prior to initiate the project. A team that typically delivers a project on time is a safe option.

For this, consider reading reviews of the firm and asking for references. EB has maintained a reputation of completing 95% of our projects well within time with best results.

  1. What are some sample sites developed by the company?

Going through the portfolio of the company will give you a fair idea of the design sense and diversity of the company.

Performance of these websites will clear doubts and help you set the right expectations for the firm.

  1. Have your companies seen a return on the investment made on their websites?

Web developers have a role in the overall performance of the business, as a website is the first impression your customers get.

It ought to be good. Asking for case studies is essential.

At EB, for instance, 30+ of the startups we built products that got funded by VCs and a few were selected at Y-combinator in 2016 and 2017.

  1. How qualified is the team?

Developing a website requires a minimum of three team members including a graphic designer, a web designer, and a developer.

Knowing the experience and qualifications of the team that is working on the project is a reassurance that your money is in safe hands.

  1. When can you start?

A company or freelancer with an impressive portfolio will generally be loaded with projects.

Get clarity on the schedule and when the work can be initiated. The wait time will also give you the chance to do your own homework.

The answer to all these questions will help you arrive at a reasonable conclusion whether or not the team qualifies for the work, keeping in mind the cost of which they come.

Drag Drop Websites vs. WordPress vs. Custom Sites

A fully automated website building service like Wix or Weebly will come very cheap and they require almost no technical skills.

The drag and drop websites builders, however, will only allow basic features and design templates.

While the choice is limited, it may suit for someone setting up a basic functional website to check the business viability.

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The cost of a drag and drop website will not exceed $60 if the entire design, dragging and content is done in-house.

If copywriting is outsourced it will cost nearly $500 or a basic website in US, lesser in India.

26% of all websites developed across the world are powered by WordPress, their main advantage being that WP is highly flexible.

It allows you to create basically any kind of website you need. Developing on WordPress requires technical skills as it involves using FTP, settinweeks to master, hiring a WordPress developer is the other option. The following are the cost factors for a WordPress website:

  • Website Hosting Cost: A hosting is from where your site can be accessed by users. The cost will range between $5 to thousands per month depending on the number of visitors. There are three types of hosting shared, VPS and dedicated and each costs differently.
  • FTP: It stands for File Transfer Protocol and enables managing your website files. It will cost near to $50.
  • Design:  A template may cost around $500 – $1,500 depending on the features however a custom design will cost roughly $5,000 but may cross $10,000 depending on project requirements.
    Logo design and branding will also come at a cost addition of $100 to $1500 depending on the need.
  • Content and Copywriting: Chances are you will need someone to write quality content for the site. A decent content writer will charge a minimum of $40 an hour and good copywriters can charge up to at least $500 for the entire project.
  • Developer cost: Designing a website will take time and developers in US charge at least $100 for every hour they clock in, this cost may vary in India coming down to $60 average.
    A designer will charge $30 to $80 dollar per hour.
  • WP Plug-ins: Depending on the need Plug-ins are either bought at upfront payment or monthly subscription.
  • Maintenance: The estimated annual cost of maintaining your mid-size website will be near to $300 – $1200.

Overall, the cost of a WordPress will range from $500 and can go up to $3000 or more

Custom websites allow you to design everything from scratch and compared to WordPress customizable sites offer more options for moving things to suit your need.

A custom website will look unique and allows you to tick off every entry in your must-have list.

They also allow more creative freedom, thus making these websites look different and perform exceptionally.

They are best suited for websites that involve complexity. Custom websites cost a minimum of $1500 in India and $3,000 in the US.

The cost increases with every additional functionality and feature.

Wrapping up, the cost of a website depends largely on the features, additional services, quality requirements, and lastly the company that is working on it.

The cost of developing a basic website has dropped over the past few years, the need for more uniqueness and engagement has kept the price of a competitive website on the higher side.

In India, you should expect to pay between $500 and $5,000 for a fully functional small business website.

This price could be lower if your site has less functionality or go higher if the design involves complexity.

The price of a website may fluctuate in the future with new technological advancements. It may be wise, hence to invest in a maintenance plan.

Hope this information addresses few queries. If you are considering building a new website or upgrading your existing one, EB recommends getting quotes from few companies after reviewing their portfolios.

Get your first quote here.

Top 10 Reputable Blockchain Development Companies

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blockchain development companies

Blockchain technology has emerged as one of the most promising services in the recent years. It holds tremendous potential to transform the workings of the financial sector. Living in a highly digitalized world, a range of large and medium-sized enterprises are exploring blockchain technology services in order to make a place in this competitive market.

Companies can really excel by providing blockchain solutions in this sector. A mix and match of strategies is all you need to see your business growing by leaps and bounds. Understanding nuances of blockchain technology can play an instrumental role in charting the future path of any company.

What can make any company stand out in the crowd would involve a mix and match of short and long-term strategies. One thing which you need to keep in mind is that not every company will be able to work according to your requirements.

Therefore, choosing the right company is what you need to consider. Here is a curated list of Top 10 Reputable Blockchain Development Companies with an extensive and in-depth analysis of each of the companies.

These companies not only offer expert consulting services but are also proficient in creating best blockchain technology applications.

Why is blockchain technology important for your business?

Most of the reputed business companies complain of network downtime, security breaches and large capital investment which they need to host a range of business services and applications. Blockchain technology is one stop destination for all those problems. It provides ultimate solutions for handling the growing demands of your modern business applications. It comes with a bunch of benefits as a decentralized network can help in securing data and managing it efficiently through smart contracts.

How can you select the right blockchain company?

blockchain development companies

Initially, Blockchain Company was considered to be immensely useful for carrying out cryptocurrency transactions but now it has entered the mainstream market. This has indeed widened its scope of working. In turn, this has resulted in growing demand for blockchain technology. Experienced and reliable blockchain development companies thus come into play for diversifying one’s business prospects.

Various industries like healthcare, banking, food production are now counting upon this new industry for carrying out the processes of their company in a hassle-free manner.

Some of these processes are needed to maintain immutable, risk-free open ledgers which can help a company achieve indefeasible heights. Thus, there is a dire need for choosing the right blockchain company which can handle your requirements in the most efficient manner.

Choosing the right blockchain company can indeed be a tedious task. Therefore, this checklist will help you make the choice in the right direction. Some of the detrimental factors will include the ability to access the services provided, contractual models offered and core areas of expertise to evaluate the right blockchain company for your projects. You cannot compromise on these intricate aspects in order to make a prudent decision.

1. You need to have a thorough knowledge of the technologies your blockchain company is using.

The company you decide to choose should be proficient in Java, Javascript, Python, Perl. These technologies are extremely essential to create blockchain products which include EVM, cryptography, distributed ledgers, IoT, web technologies, data securities, P2P networks and more. The company should hold enough expertise in creating commercially viable blockchains, smart contracts, and related products. 

2. You need to check out the type of blockchain developers in the company.

The company you choose should be well equipped to deal with a range of blockchain technologies. They should be able to bridge up the gap between obsolete and new technology needed to make your business expand.

They also need to hold great expertise in developing the kind of commercial blockchain product you need.  You can evaluate them on various parameters to find out if they are a right fit for your company. There are different approaches which you need to understand to scrutinize whether your chosen blockchain company can build your DLT software or not.

Each of these techniques is different and therefore you need to make a choice according to the requirements of your company. The crux of the matter is that you will have to pick out a blockchain development firm which can develop the DLT software according to your needs

3. You need to identify the type of outsource model you will need for your company.

There are four major types of models which are commonly used which include captive unit model, accelerated BOT, dedicated team and a fixed price model. Choose the model which best matches your budget and needs. This will prevent wastage of your precious time, money and resources. Also, it will prevent inconsequential negative consequences to your business.

Fixed Price Model: It is recommended that you choose a Fixed Price model if you have budgetary constraints. This model won’t allow you to be innovative and make changes according to your accord. The budget is fixed at the initial stage and that leaves no room for changes.

Captive Unit Model: The developer plays a crucial role in training and hiring the R & D team. It is also responsible for looking after the financial, administrative, legal and personal aspects of your team. It allows you to regulate the salaries and direct the team in this model. This is chosen by those companies who are looking out to build their corporate presence.

Dedicated Team:  You should consider working under this model when you have a series of projects in hand and you want developers to work on them in a unique manner. The team will possess the appropriate skill set and knowledge to handle your projects efficiently.

BOT: When you plan to establish your business in a remote location, then creating an R&D team is advisable. For adding blockchain to different verticals, you will need to identify R & D infrastructure according to your preferences and requirements. BOT model (Accelerated Build Operate Transfer) is indeed the best choice in these cases.

Thus, blockchain technology is making a mark in a range of industries from retail to ‘Fintech’ and health care services need it for carrying out processes, storing data and more. Hence, blockchain development services are becoming indispensable for businesses. All you need to do is choose a team of dedicated experts who can help you in your given budget.

Top Reputable Blockchain Development Companies For Your Business:

#1 EngineerBabu

blockchain development companies

EngineerBabu is responsible for implementing, supporting and designing a distributed blockchain based network. Their enthusiastic and hard-working team of developers is responsible for analyzing the requirements of the client and designing blockchain technology around a certain business model and building and launching a blockchain network.

What makes them stand a class apart from the thousand others in the competitive market is their dedication to deliver the best according to the business needs and requirements. They have worked rigorously with companies like Universalcoin wherein the UNV token was redeveloped by them. They also worked on intricate projects with Auscoin.

Some of their areas of excellence are developing smart contracts proficiently, integrating ERC20 tokens into the marketplaces, extensive knowledge of writing complex codes like Javascript, React and web3, working with distributed ledgers, NoSQL and SQL data, building APIs, finding unique solutions to different business problems and satisfying the needs of the clients in the best possible manner. You can have a look at their portfolio here. 

#2 LeewayHertz

blockchain development companies

LeewayHertz has worked with a range of medium and large-sized enterprises like Identity Solution, Utility Bill Generation, and Global Supply Chain. This company was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in San Francisco, USA. What makes them stand out in the crowd among hundreds of other blockchain technology provider services is their dedication to deliver the best for every project.

They have about ten years of experience wherein they have played an instrumental role in building more than 100 enterprise-grade digital platforms. Some of the languages in which they specialize include node.js, go and solidity. Also, they specialize in developing blockchain applications namely Corda, Ethereum, Hyperledger, and Hashgraph.

They are known for providing efficient services in a hassle-free manner. With a deep understanding of IoT, AI and cloud services, they can build apps to bring transparency, establish trust and reliability in a business process. If you want to grow your business exponentially then you can trust LeewayHertz.

They can transform the workings of your business by bringing domain expertise, speed and flexibility in your day to day processes. All you need to do is book an appointment with their experts in order to get an in-depth idea for your project deployment and development.

A mix and match of blockchain strategies can help you reach ultimate business goals. The blockchain technologies used are completely safe and secure. Some of these are :

  • Ethereum: A decentralized public platform that is known to run apps.
  • Hyperledger: A provisioned private network meant to share data and process for various medium and large sized enterprises.
  • R3Corda: A one-stop solution for managing financial agreements.
  • Hashgraph: Fast, Fair and most secured acrylic graph DLT.

They follow a simple process in order to keep pace with your requirements and changing trends of the industry.

  • Brainstorm idea and business requirements.
  • Identify any existing system migration to Distributed Ledger.
  • Prioritize use cases in “ MVP” “Fail fast” and “v2.0”.
  • Define off chain & on chain business entities.
  • Define technical components.
  • Roadmap of the product.

Some of these areas of expertise include managing demands of logistics and pharmaceutical supply chain effectively. Freight tracking allows logistics companies, brokers, carriers and shippers to easily track the shipments in real time.

The platform can easily handle transactions to ensure fast shipments without any frauds and delays. Similarly, it allows tracking the movement of drugs to the end customer from the manufacturer at a global level.  

It also helps eliminate paperwork by easily capturing records from every location to the chain. This helps to maintain trust between all the associated parties. It can also prevent any counterfeit and smooth process.

#3 Treehouse Technology Group

blockchain development companies

Treehouse Technology Group possesses a team of skilled and knowledgeable experts who aim at revolutionizing the workings of blockchain industry. It was founded in 2014 in Boston. They support thousands of users from Fortune 100 companies to startups by developing reliable and secure contracts using Ethereum, Solidity, and Proof of Stake Algorithm.

They offer a wide range of token services to companies at any stage of development. They offer intricate knowledge of various technological projects in alignment with the company’s services. They are proficient in security, auditing, and consultation services in compliance with ERC-20 token standards. They also specialize in running automated and manual tests, document results and creating test cases.

They also make use of smart contracts which are a set of terms programmed on top of Blockchain which is self-executable when all the predetermined conditions are met. Basically, they are used to automate different processes, operations and procedures across multiple industries from accounting and IT to finance and healthcare. Smart contracts eliminate the need for any third-party agent. This prevents time and money and thus maximizing security and accuracy.

#4 openGeekslab

Founded in the year 2015 in Ukraine, openGeekslab is a reliable blockchain development company. They hold expertise in delivering ICO development services for various sectors. What makes them stand out in the crowd is their dedication to successfully launch ICO campaigns from token design and smart contract to ICO platform hosting and landing page design. Some of their areas of expertise include crypto wallets, Hyperledger Fabric, smart contracts, solidity, blockchain development and more.

The creators are well equipped to build secure products for your company according to your business goals, preferences, needs and budget. You don’t need to burn a big hole in your pocket in order to make your projects a success with them. They also provide technical solutions for various fields like eCommerce, entertainment, healthcare, enterprise management.

#5 Altoros

blockchain development companies

Founded in 2001 in Sunnyvale, Altoros is best known for satisfying the requirements of the clients in the best possible way. This global IT consultancy company lies in the heart of silicon valley and has its offices in Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, and the UK. With over 300 employees, Altoros works for enterprises by deploying cloud and software solutions of Cloud Foundry ecosystem. Their areas of proficiency include big data, AI, blockchain technology and cloud consulting.

They follow a streamlined process wherein they help enterprises to start off their blockchain journey by evaluating various aspects of blockchain which can help the company in a particular case. It also helps in removing technology and business related constraints on the way. Operating in a decentralized, distributed and secure framework, Altoros can help you in speeding up processes, lowering costs and building a new level of trust while carrying out business transactions by ensuring security and auditing along the way.

Apart from that, Altoros helps organizations to enhance existing workflows, achieve transparency, enhanced customer experience and more. Some of the fields in which they have already penetrated include finance, manufacturing, insurance, telecommunication, supply chain management, and energy. Collaborating with Altoros will help you in an easy implementation of ideas and thus improving your revenue and sales by manifold.

They make use of tried and tested blockchain approaches and mature blockchain frameworks to offer personalized solutions for your services. Their team of experts will guide you regarding the feasibility of the project, the chances of its success and create a delivery strategy with minimum time to market. At Altoros, developers are respectful in helping you meet deadlines within a stipulated time and budget while ensuring product’s excellence. Their dedicated team can assist you in developing innovative solutions as per the demands of end users.

#6 Appinventiv

blockchain development companies

Founded in 2014 in New York, Appinventiv made a mark in the competitive market within a few years of its establishment. Their young and agile team is committed to providing a great range of blockchain services to its customers. Some of their areas of excellence include initial coin offering, smart contract, cryptocurrencies, bitcoin, ethereum, tech audit and IoT in the blockchain.

Their sole aim is to help businesses achieve indefeasible feats with blockchain app development. Blockchain technology has been revolutionizing the way businesses are changing their work model. Nowadays integrating blockchain in business processes is extremely essential for the growth of a company.

They hold expertise in cryptocurrencies,  development of a smart contract and auditing the processes before they go live on an unaltered system. They also provide valuable advice to startups who are thinking to raise an ICO.  Our team of blockchain marketers, designers and developers know how to employ the tools to help you work in a decentralized ecosystem.

Here are some of the USPs of their blockchain based apps :

  • TransparencyAll nodes in a blockchain have real-time access into all transactions in the chain. No hassle of hunting for reports in different formats at different times from different sources.
  • TrustIt is a well-known fact that all participants in a blockchain have to authorize the transactions occurring in the chain, as these applications build greater trust with customers leading to increased sales and enhanced client satisfaction.
  • ResilienceLonger the blockchain, more resilient its transactions and more robust is its architecture. Hugely repeated database on multiple computers doesn’t allow malpractices such as interception and hacking.
  • EfficiencyThe logic of smart contracts results in speed acceleration and error reduction of transactions fewer intermediaries and distributed ledger system enables lower processing fees and quick transactions.

Some of their blockchain development services include :

  • Smart Contracts Development and AuditOne of the most important parts of our Blockchain App Development Offerings is the creation of blockchain contracts to safeguard your transactions in the platform. We also ensure that your smart contract code is perfect before they get updated in the blockchain and become irrevocable.
  • HyperledgerUsing Hyperledger, we enable organizations to create robust, industry specified dApps, platforms, and the hardware systems that support their individual business transaction.
  • Wallet DevelopmentWe Create Crypto Wallet dApps that can hold hundreds of digital currencies, which are packaged in marked sections that entail the information related to your Wallet Balance and the Details of Previous Purchases.
  • Crypto exchange developmentBringing Buying and Selling of Cryptocurrencies to Android and iOS.
  • ICORedefining Your Fundraising Strategy to Greater Profits Through Our ICO Services.
  • Ethereum ApplicationsEnhancing businesses by bringing them on a platform that is cryptographically secure, tamper-proof, and decentralized. We run smart contracts that have no downtime, are free of censorship, third party interference, and fraud.
  • Supply blockchain developmentCrystallise supply chain economics using blockchain technology. We integrate efficient inventory management and transparent transaction rosters that benefit all participants.
  • Blockchain in IoTCombining the Two Transformative Technologies – IoT and Blockchain – we make the Whole Ecosystem in Which Our Users Operate Connected and Securely Decentralized.

Their team of Blockchain App Developers knows how to create different types of Cryptocurrency Wallets which are used for Recording, Storing and Transacting in demand transformative currency. The Wallet types they have the development expertise of:

  • Paper
  • Mobile
  • Web
  • Desktop
  • Hardware
  • Bank
  • Physical Bitcoin
  • Some of the major highlights of this company include :
  • Team Of Skilled Blockchain Experts
  • In-Depth Understanding of the Industry’s Technology Stack
  • Multi-Layer Security Features
  • 20+ Blockchain dApps Developed and Deployed

#7 ABES Lab

blockchain development companies

ABES was founded in the year 2017 in Philadelphia and is a dedicated lab of R & D experts for blockchain technologies for a software development company Aplana Software Inc. It offers a full range of services which include architecture design, blockchain consulting, support and maintenance, services and applications development and smart contracts.

The company is focusing on implementation and research of innovative solutions related to blockchain technology for customers all over the world. Blockchain technology is extremely useful for digital supply chain management, sourcing and tendering, contracts management and execution, payments inside the ecosystem of suppliers and partners.

ABES experts can handle the intricacies of the blockchain projects very well and offer them a solution according to their requirements. In short, they can play an instrumental role in driving your business to achieve great heights by making your business processes even more effective.

They also aim at transforming contract management process to a fully automated process of easy approval, execution, creation, and tracking. It no longer involves time-consuming manual work and eases out the entire process of business workings.

Some of their other areas of expertise include creating DApps, Hyperledger, Solidity, Ethereum when it comes to the blockchain. Apart from that, they also provide solutions which can help you digitally plan your business processes in a systematic manner.

#8 ArcTouch

blockchain development companies

Founded in 2008 in San Fransisco, ArcTouch is a renowned blockchain development company which has achieved indefeasible feats in the competitive market. It has helped companies transform the way their business processes function. They believe in following a three-step approach when it comes to transforming your business through blockchain. These steps include:

  • Strategy: From carrying out the ideation sessions to looking out for a range of blockchain business strategies, this company is one stop solution for your requirements.  They also conduct intensive technology workshops to help you with your business. 
  • ArchitectureTheir expert blockchain team helps you to design secure and scalable blockchain solutions to improvise the workings of your processes. In addition to that, they also hold immense experience in delivering the best according to client requirements.
  • ImplementationLast but not the least, they also ensure that you achieve operationally and implementation success from scalable commercial deployments to ICOs.

ArcTouch’s technical experience includes working with:

  • Blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platforms from AWS, Microsoft, and IBM
  • Leading blockchain platforms like Stellar, Ethereum, Hyperledger and BigChain
  • Wallet, MetaMask, Geth node, Remix, Truffle, and TestRPC, to build and test  highly responsive blockchain apps
  • Smart contract languages such as TestRPC and Solidity, Truffle framework

ArcTouch provides a range of blockchain services which include :

  • Easily implementing blockchain based prototypes
  • Developing DApps on top blockchain platforms
  • Evaluating private blockchain networks for experimentation and development
  • Implementing and creating smart contracts

#9 Chain

blockchain development companies

Founded in 2014 in San Francisco, this blockchain company has excelled in numerous fields of blockchain technology. It enables organizations to build a solid ground for financial services. They can securely manage your financial assets in a token format on private ledgers and transfer them across public networks.

They hold a tremendous potential of working with a range of financial sector companies. Their loyal partner list includes Citigroup, Nasdaq, Visa, Capital One, Fiserv, Orange and such numerous startups.

The ledger-as-a-service is used for secure token transactions and works for both public and private networks. Some of their other areas of specialization are ledger technology, payment systems, cryptography, blockchain development and distributed systems.

#10 ChromaWay

Founded in 2014 in Stockholm, ChromaWay experts are working with a range of renowned real estate companies, financial institutions, and government agencies to provide them with smart contract solutions. Their ultimate focus is on blockchain as a database. Therefore, they introduced ‘Postchain’ also known as a consortium database, as a distributed database management tool. They basically work closely with real estate and finance companies.

Apart from that, they have recently created SofiWay which has improved the payment gateway between individuals with its extensible and flexible architecture. It is basically designed to support the development of an e-currency project namely E-krona.

They started when their founder Alex Mizrahi developed colored coins which revolutionized the use of blockchain technology for asset transfers. They have been pioneering the blockchain industry since then. They believe that blockchain can do wonders by fulfilling the longevity and scalability requirements of an enterprise.

With multitude options at your disposal, choosing your best blockchain development service company shouldn’t be a problem. Now that you have a fair idea about some of the services which can help your business grow exponentially, it should be easy for you to make up your mind.

The things you should be focusing on should be the areas of expertise and pricing of the company you choose to associate with. Not every company in the market can meet up to your expectations; therefore you need to be careful while making a decision. After all, it should be worth every penny you plan to spend.

Trust me, if you know exactly what you want, then choosing the right blockchain development company wouldn’t be a problem.

What are Decentralized Applications, DApps?

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Decentralized Applications

A modern model for creating highly scalable and profit-making applications is making its way to our regular lives these days. Bitcoin has gained popularity with features like peer-to-peer technology and distributed storage ledger. These features provide the building blocks for creating new type of applications which are called as decentralized applications, or DApps.

Being a new concept in the industry, DApps are getting a lot of media coverage. However, with their increasing implementation and emerging use cases, they are likely to be adopted and accepted by the people. DApps are known for being distributed, flexible, transparent along with having a better structure of incentivization than the current software models.

Decentralized Applications Introduction

DApps (decentralized applications) is one of the most intriguing terms used in the blockchain space currently. The term DApp is coined by combining two words- decentralized applications. In simple terms, DApps can be considered as applications, tools or programs that work on the decentralized Ethereum Blockchain.

According to the definition given by Wikipedia, “A decentralized application (Dapp, dApp or DApp) is an application that is run by many users on a decentralized network with trustless protocols. They are designed to avoid any single point of failure. They typically have tokens to reward users for providing computing power.”

In order to understand the meaning of this definition better, let’s first try to understand how traditional web applications function and how are DApps any different? In traditional web apps, two important elements that make the system usable are the front end and the back end. These elements communicate with each other in the form of coding messages through the HTTP protocol.

There are multiple issues involved with such applications when compared with DApps. First of all, such application servers are hosted on a hosting service that uses a centralized architecture which leads to a single point of failure in case of a malicious attack. Moreover, taking down an application through a centralized server only requires the hacker to interrupt with the hosting service. When we rely on centralized servers, the data is more susceptible to attacks.

Decentralized Applications

When it comes to DApps, there are again two main elements involved. While the front end remains the same as traditional applications, the backend is formed in the form of an Ethereum blockchain. The communication between the frontend and backend happens in the same form as in the traditional app and the end user won’t be able to distinguish between both. In the case of using a DApp, it is very difficult to bring any application down as it requires to take down all the distributed hosting nodes which are practically not possible.  

Taking an example for the same standard popular web applications like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram currently function on a centralized server model. The data of these applications is controlled by singular authorities and can be manipulated or changed according to need. Meaning that though there are millions of front-end users of these applications, the backend is still controlled by the individual organization.

Contrary to this, a DApp is distributed in nature and involves the participation of all the elements of the network in order to modify or take control of any information. DApps can run on both, peer-to-peer as well as blockchain network. When an application like Twitter takes a DApp based approach, no one has the authority to delete anyone’s tweet once it is posted on the network after running through the consensus mechanism.

The nature of DApps can be summed up as distributed, flexible and transparent as they have the potential to transform the technological landscape.

In the current times, we put our trust, data and vital information in hands of centralized applications that function through typical servers, databanks or standalone computers. This approach allows one single authority to have control over everything we do on these applications thus, putting our privacy at risk. On the other hand, the Ethereum network runs on a community-based model which operates in a distributed model.

Decentralized applications are very useful as they can be used to connect different people in marketplaces, sharing resources and storing them, maintaining cryptos as well as executing smart contracts without giving ownership to one central authority. Currently running DApps include tools for storage, security, and servers etc. Other than these, some apps are created in the form of digital wallets that allow people to manage their cryptocurrencies.

DApp Features

Decentralized Applications

Though DApps are recently introduced with these many use cases, they have become popular and are in demand too. Some common features that make decentralized applications noticeable are:

Open Source

In closed-source applications, the end users need to trust the developers of the applications in terms of decentralization as they can’t directly access their data via any central source. Thus, closed-source applications are always subjected to risks for users when it comes to adopting them. DApps, on the other hand, is decentralized and open source applications. A DApp creates a new structure for business practices as it allows all the network participants to keep track of the happenings rather than one person. They are governed through autonomy and any changes in the DApp are decided through the consensus (the majority of users) The code base of a DApp should be available for scrutiny.

Decentralized Consensus

Before the introduction of Bitcoin, the validity of any transaction would always need some kind of centralization. In order to make a payment, the transaction was pushed ahead through a clearinghouse that monitored it. Decentralized applications work on a peer to peer (P2P) model, meaning that the nodes are able to connect with each other directly. In a DApp, a transaction is processed through a consensus mechanism. When the majority of the nodes approve the transaction, it goes ahead and gets processed. Also, the validators of the network are incentivized by rewarding them in the form of cryptographic tokens.

No Central Point of Failure

Since DApps are distributed and they don’t rely on one single server, there is no central point of failure. DApps allow the data stored in them to be decentralized across all its nodes. These nodes are independent of each other. In case of failure of one node, the other nodes won’t get affected and will run on the network accordingly. Different decentralized database systems like IPFS (Interplanetary File System), BitTorrent, and independent DHTs can be used to create DApps with this feature.

DApps Classification

DApps can be classified into three different types according to the Ethereum white paper. Let us understand them one-by-one here:

Financial Blockchain Applications– As the name suggests, this category will have Dapps that will provide users with methods of managing their finances and money. One example of this category is the Bitcoin which provides users with a distributed and decentralized system of monetization.

Since there is no centralization to the control of the network, no single authority is responsible for controlling all your money. The power and regulation of money lying in the hands of people of the network and the consensus protocol. Users are the owner of their money in these applications. Other than Bitcoin, various Altcoins have been created so far. These altcoins fall into this category.

Semi-financial Blockchain Applications– This category is a mix of money and information that resides outside the blockchain. An example in this category is the insurance applications that allows money returns for flights in case of delay in arrival. Another example of this category is the ICO (Initial Coin Offerings). An ICO is nothing but a fundraising mechanism similar to the IPO with the only difference being the involvement of cryptocurrencies in place of fiat money.

ICO DApps are easy to structure as they apply technologies like the ERC20 Token Standard. Most of the ICOs function by having investors send funds to a smart contract in the form of bitcoin or ether. This smart contract stores the funds and shares an equivalent value in the form of a new token at a later point in time.

Fully Functioning Decentralized Applications– This third category of DApps utilizes all the features of the decentralized and distributed systems. These kind of applications are the most popular kind of DApps and they do not need to be financial at any level. For example- Applications for online voting or decentralized governance. Countries like Dubai have already set their pace towards utilizing blockchain and building the first blockchain-run government.

Decentralized Applications

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The Essentials Of DApps

In order to consider an application a DApp, the following criterion needs to be met:

  • The application should be open-source and should function in an autonomous manner. No centralized single authority should have access to the majority of the application tokens. The DApp must adhere to the rules applied in the consensus mechanism used by it with respect to the proposed future upgrades as well as the market feedbacks. All the changes to be introduced in the app must be decided through consensus of the system users.
  • The data and records of the application’s functioning should be kept on a public and decentralized blockchain. Also, all the information stored on the blockchain must be cryptographically encrypted.
  • The application must use a crypto token such as Bitcoin or any native token of its own. This token should be used for rewarding miners and farmers according to their contribution in the system
  • The DApp must use a standard cryptographic algorithm in order to generate token and have a fixed consensus mechanism similar to Bitcoin which uses Proof of Work algorithm for rewarding purposes.

Consensus Establishing Mechanisms

DApps use two common mechanisms in order to establish consensus namely, proof-of-work (PoW) and proof-of-Stake (POS). As the name suggests, the proof-of-work mechanism is used as a consensus mechanism in blockchain and the reward distribution in this is done through based on the amount of work that each stakeholder contributes to the network or the DApp. The PoW mechanism is used in the Bitcoin blockchain and the consensus through which people are rewarded is termed as mining.

While on the other hand, the proof-of-stake mechanism allows any decision on the DApp to be made on the basis of the percentage ownership of the application by the stakeholders. For example, if a stakeholder of a decentralized application holds 25% tokens issued by the app, he/she carries 25% weight. The Omni Protocol utilizes the proof-of-stake mechanism.

It is not necessary to use one single algorithm among these two i.e. any application can use both of these mechanisms in parallel. An example of such case it the Peercoin. This kind of combination allows the DApp to consume less energy which is one of the major drawbacks of using proof-of-work alone and it also allows the application to become more resistant to 51% attacks.

Token Distribution Mechanisms

In order to distribute their own tokens in the markets, DApps follow three common mechanisms namely mining, fundraising, and development. The mining mechanism, as we discussed earlier, works on the PoW principle and it allows the maximum number of tokens to be distributed to the people who contribute the most of their work to the operation of the application. For example, Bitcoin allows token distribution in the form of rewards when miners solve a mathematical problem by using their computing power to verify a transaction and maintain the Bitcoin blockchain.

The fundraising mechanism is nothing but a method to raise money for the initial development of the application. This is carried out with the help of ICO, Initial Coin Offering process. People are presented with the app idea through a white paper, website, and proof of concepts and if they seem convinced with it, they can contribute to the application by raising funds for it.

In the fundraising mechanism, the tokens are distributed to the people who contribute to the initial development of the application. Consider the example of the Master Protocol for understanding this. The app tokens, Mastercoins were initially distributed to the people who participated in their ICO and sent their Bitcoins to a given address in exchange for Mastercoins. These Bitcoins were then used to fund the application development.

Third, comes to the development mechanism in which tokens are generated by utilizing a predefined mechanism. These tokens are available only for the development of the DApp. Taking the example of Master Protocol again, the application used a collaboration mechanism along with the fundraising mechanism to fund the future development. Around 10% of the mastercoins that were raised via fundraising were kept aside for development of the protocol. The availability of these tokens was based on a predetermined schedule and they were distributed through a community-driven bounty system.

Decentralized ApplicationsImage Source

How Does A DApp Function?

In order for a DApp to function, the four essentials covered in the previous section need to to be implemented. This makes the DApp an open-source application which is implemented on decentralized blockchains. These apps are fueled with the tokens that are generated using a protocol.

The open-source nature of a DApp makes it fully decentralized and allows anyone to view and make contributions to the code. This also ensures the quality and quantity factors as it fastens the scalability process of product development.

Once these steps are taken care of, using blockchain to decentralize the application is the next in line. Blockchain technology allows you to create a permanent ledger for storing any kind of records. The next step is to add transactions and records to blockchain ledger with the help of tokens that are mined using different protocols or algorithms i.e PoW, PoS or both in some cases.

Popular Ethereum-based DApps

Golem

Golem is a DApp project that aims to create a global market for utilizing idle computing power. The concept of the project is to utilize the power of PCs and data centers to create a rentable supercomputer that can be used by anyone across the world.

Rather than relying on any central server farm, the project distributes the computational load to the “Providers” who are willing to rent their machines for computational work. These providers can share their resources in exchange for GNT tokens.  The project holds a lot of potential and scope as it allows to decentralize the rendering process and is much faster and cheaper than the centralized options.

Augur

Decentralized ApplicationsImage Source

Augur is an interesting Dapp project which is based on the concept of combining prediction markets with the power of a decentralized network. It can be thought of as a decentralized market platform or a forecasting tool that allows you to make predictions for potential trading gains. It utilizes the “Wisdom of the Crowd” to make real world event prediction and uses and ERC20 token.

The Augur application has predicted many results that have been proven more accurate than the prediction of many experts in the real world. Augur is considered to be a prediction market prediction platform which will incentivize users when they make correct predictions for world events. Moreover, the market creators the holders of the platform tokens that report on events will also be paid or incentivized.

Status

Decentralized Applications

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Defining itself as The Mobile Ethereum Client, Status allows mobile devices to act as a light client node. Based on the Ethereum network, it allows you to chat, browse and make your payments safely on the decentralized web. The DApp also enables you to access the entire Ethereum ecosystem from anywhere.

Users can send smart contracts and exchange payments with each other within the DApps messenger system. Since the app is operated on a peer-to-peer protocol, server downtime is not an issue.

Gnosis

Decentralized Applications

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Similar to Augur, Gnosis is also a prediction market platform built on the Ethereum blockchain. The project aims to allow people to make accurate predictions about real-world events like elections, market prices, etc. Users of the platform are rewarded for making accurate predictions by Gnosis in the form of GNO token or other cryptocurrencies as per the project’s preset rules.

Gnosis allows developers to create their own custom prediction market on Gnosis through the available developer tools on the platform.

Prism

Prism is an Ethereum-hosted project by ShapeShift. It provides a trustless and decentralized asset portfolio market. It utilizes EDCCs, executable distributed code contracts, in order to generate custom management tools for market portfolios. With the aid of Prism, anyone can invest ether in different cryptos and specify the holding percentage they want.

Prism eliminates the need for third-parties and the complex process of saving and storing wallets and multiple private keys.  Since the project is based on Ethereum Smart Contracts, the requirement of managing passwords and keys of different exchanges is eliminated. Moreover, it shows a person’s investment portfolio with an interactive UI and tracks everything automatically in real time.

Aragon

Decentralized ApplicationsImage Source

Another ambitious project in the DApp series is Aragon. The Ethereum based platform allows people to create and manage a decentralized organization. Aragon is an open source project and is managed by the Aragon Foundation. The concept of the project is to eliminate the need for human trade and allows people to manage entire businesses and organizations using the blockchain.

The platform is created to build and manage DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations). Aragon also includes ANT, the platform’s token, which provides voting rights for making decisions about the future development of the product. The DAO concept of Aragon can be used for any organization or a company or even any non-profit or foundation. It is expected to provide transparency and an extra level of effective governance for such entities.

Aragon also assists in curbing unnecessary third parties by replacing them with ethereum-based smart contracts. By eliminating geographical boundaries and paperwork, the platform aims to act as an extremely convenient digital jurisdiction for everyone.

Conclusion

Dapps have evolved with exceptional features which gives them the potential of becoming self-sustaining resources as they provide their stakeholders with the ability to invest in Dapp development. Observing their popularity, it can be established that in the coming days, DApps for multiple purposes such as payments, storage, cloud computing etc. will soon surpass the currently available traditional applications.

The unavoidable advancement of blockchain adoption will make numerous current practices obsolete. It might seem like a far-fetched outcome as of now, but services like banking can definitely adopt blockchain in the coming days and operate with trust-less,  self-sustaining, and decentralized networks. Large corporations working in this direction to secure their place in the blockchain ecosystem is proof of that. 


You might be interested in reading:

Top 10 Reputable Blockchain Development Companies

Blockchain Technology Explained: Introduction, Meaning, and Applications

Blockchain in Healthcare: Opportunities, Challenges, and Applications

Everything You Need to Know About Smart Contracts – A Beginner’s Guide


 

Asking for Blockchain to your Daily Banking Solutions

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blockchain banking solutions

Restoring your beliefs against this technological adoption

Blockchain has become a common term in the current tech industry, not because of all the revolutions and markets it has created in a short duration of 8 years of its existence but all the advances it has yet to give. It has three different versions basically —

Blockchain 1.0 which has implementations in the form of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether,
Blockchain 2.0 which comprises applications in Fintech industry and,
Blockchain 3.0 which will have more general applications such as tracking land ownership and settling property disputes on blockchain based consensus.

Version 1.0 developed the base for the usage of blockchain protocol. The very first use case is Bitcoin. As the usage of Bitcoin keeps on increasing, the underlying protocol also keeps on improving with time. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency which works on Blockchain protocol.

It is taken as the proof of concept for the blockchain protocol. Bitcoin uses proof of work as verifying your stake in the blockchain network and on the other hand Ethereum, another popular implementation of blockchain protocol, uses another way of verifying your stake in the blockchain network based on the concept of Proof of Stake. These are the leaders in the Blockchain ecosystem right now and are more than five years old.

This generation of development has played an integral part in the development of the blockchain ecosystem and have paved the way for much bigger implementations of the blockchain. Applications of Blockchain are already past the version 1.0 with hundreds of cryptocurrencies and related ICOs (Initial Coin Offering) in existence. Now its time to revolutionize the Fintech industry using Blockchain 2.0 based applications.

Is Conventional Banking at stake?

There have been some early adopters of this technology already like Santander Bank, who has found more than 25 use cases of blockchain in their banking platform. Banking industry works on the trust and loyalty of general public in them and therefore they have to use technologies which are thoroughly tested and have zero failure rate because if the transactions or other banking processes run over erroneous systems then banks can’t be trusted by anyone.

This is the main reason that banks have been unchanged for so long and are resistant to change their technology stack when it comes to the adaption of new technology.

blockchain banking solutionsImage Source

But this time it is not a question of whether they should move to blockchain or not but when they should shift to the blockchain. This is because, when you look at the promises and applications of blockchain in the banking sector, it is certain they don’t have a choice. They have to shift to blockchain if they want to survive this century. Let me tell you why this is the case, But first, understand what banks currently use to serve their customers.

Blockchain to Banking Solutions

Banks today are generally run over digital platform based on Java or any other such languages. They have an interface for their employees and an access control system throughout the organization which defines what an employee can or cannot do. So, for example, a cashier can deduct the amount from the system or increase the amount on the basis of a request of the respective account holder. But there is a major loophole in this system which is the cashier itself.

Think about this situation where the bank cashier went rogue due to some reasons and decided to deduct a certain amount from any customer’s account. Of course, there is a human-based check on the cashier whether he or she has done some illegal transaction or not but this is only done after the cashier has done some illegal transaction. The system, the technology itself is not able to do anything to stop or put a check over such actions.

Here come the features of Blockchain to rescue. If such transaction had been done on a platform based on the blockchain, then this would have been stopped on the basis of consensus of the nodes involved and the cashier would have been identified without even conducting an inquiry. This is possible because of a decentralized and trustless system.

blockchain banking solutionsDecentralized means no individual owns or runs it. Nobody has complete ownership over everyone else, instead, everyone plays a role in making a decision for the complete system. Each individual has equal voting rights whether to take an action or not and any individual, part of the blockchain, can suggest a process and all the people can vote whether to accept it or not.

This makes it a perfect system for the banks where people can actually own their money rather than giving it to a central authority which makes all the decisions and all the people who are actually running the bank have no say in it.

Secondly, blockchain provides a trustless system for managing assets and property. What this means is, you don’t have to trust anyone else to make sure that your transaction is verified or not. All you have to do is perform a transaction of your assets or property and blockchain based platform will itself make sure that it is valid and will also notify you if some invalid transaction has occurred from or to your account.

Picking up the former cashier example, these two features will render any fraud transaction invalid and will stop any harm to the account of the victim.

This will render the costs of inquiry and hiring human based checks in the system to null and will help in setting up a transparent system in the society for property management. There has never been such a revolutionary system in existence in human history and that is why people in the sector are excited and spooked over this.

Another way blockchain helps is that it is inherently open in nature. What this means is you don’t have to ask anyone or take permission from anyone to become a part of the network. If you have a machine or computing resources then you can easily become a node and contribute to running the network.

This makes the use of blockchain even more necessary because it is above the concepts of discrimination and bias. It treats all the nodes same and only on the basis of their proof of work or proof of stake, it takes the actions. No other node or centralized actor has the power to take and implement decisions over you or your assets.

Conclusion

blockchain banking solutionsIn the current scenario, if you have to open an account in a bank, you have to go through a tedious process of norms and regulations. Also, you have to put your faith in the bank that they will protect your life savings and do the right thing with them. But this system is inherently wrong from its nature. Banks don’t need to hold all this information about the account holder and in the same way, the account holder does not have to put faith in the bank. It is your money. You should own it. This is what blockchain offers. If a banking system is running on blockchain then you can just copy the metadata and get started with a bank account. It’s that simple and yet revolutionary.

Just imagine the implications of a platform comprising of above features in banking. This is what makes blockchain, not an option, but rather a necessity for banks. They can, of course, delay the switch but the switch to blockchain is inevitable and the experts of the industry agree to this. That is why all the top 10 to 20 banks of the world are investing heavily in the research over this technology.

Recommended Reading:

Blockchain in Healthcare: Opportunities, Challenges, and Applications

Top 10 Reputable Blockchain Development Companies in India

What are Decentralized Applications, DApps?

How is Blockchain Disrupting the Supply Chain Industry

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blockchain in supply chain

How is Blockchain Disrupting the Supply Chain Industry

Have you ever wondered that where did the phone that you use in your day-to-day life come from? Or the clothes that you buy or the food that you eat? Besides the shops that you go to, there’s a whole other chain of different interlinked elements that work on delivering these products to you. This connected chain is called as Supply Chain.

Consider a clothing supply chain for instance. The clothing, textiles, and apparel manufacturing industries involve a lot of labors in them as the demand for work is never-ending. The estimated employ count in the industry is of than 60 million people globally. The term supply chain in the clothing sector refers to the back end of the industry. The supply chain in the clothing industry is made by connecting:

  • Raw material sources
  • Factories that use these raw materials and create final products
  • Distribution network that delivers these clothes to consumers

On a global scale, the clothing supply chain consists of millions of people along with tonnes of water, crops, chemicals, and oil. This makes it difficult for manufacturers to find where the different parts of their products come from. The demand for increased speed, high volume, and cheaper consumption is increasing with each passing day. Due to this, when blind consumerism has valued the transparency of an ethical supply chain is compromised.

What is Supply Chain Management?

blockchain supply chain
Source: Statista Content & Design Dribbble

In more clear terms, Supply chain management includes the integrated planning as well as the execution of different processes. This involves material flow, information flow as well as financial capital flow. The management of the flow of goods, services, and information involving the storage and movement of raw materials, building products as well as full-fledged finished goods from one point to another is called as supply chain management. A supply chain within the SCM is a network of individual entities, organizations, businesses, resources as well as technologies that combine together in the manufacturing of a product or service.

Any supply chain progresses by initially delivering the raw materials from a supplier to a manufacturer and eventually ends by delivering the final product to the consumer. Proper implementation of supply chain management can result in benefits like increased sales and revenues, decreased frauds and overhead costs, quality improvisation. Moreover, this will also lead to accelerating production and distribution.

While all of this seems simple in theory, practically maintaining a supply chain is a tedious task even for small businesses. The interconnectivity of different elements in the supply chain gradually becomes more inefficient when a business grows. In order to resolve these inefficiencies and save a company’s money, different technologies like AI and Machine learning are being applied to SCM. Amongst these, blockchain is exploring new ways to change the overall game.

Supply Chain Challenges and Blockchain Solutions

Blockchain can be applied to many challenges of the Supply Chain industry such as complicated recordkeeping and tracking of products. As a less corruptible and better-automated alternative to centralized databases. Following are the ways in which blockchain can be useful in the supply chain industry.

blockchain supply chain
Source: MODUSBOX

Provenance Tracking

Big companies and organizations have a lot of elements in their supply chains. Due to this, it becomes almost impossible to keep track of each and every record even for multinational corporations. The lack of transparency leads to cost and customer relations issues which ultimately dilutes the brand name.

In a blockchain-based supply chain management, record keeping and provenance tracking become easy as the product information can be accessed through the help of embedded sensors and RFID tags. The history of a product right from its origination to where it is in the present time can be traced through blockchain. Moreover, this type of accurate provenance tracking can be used to detect frauds in any part of the supply chain.

Cost Reduction

The real-time tracking of a product in a supply chain with the help of blockchain reduces the overall cost of moving items in a supply chain. According to a survey of supply chain workers conducted by APQC and the Digital Supply Chain Institute (DSCI), more than one-third of people cited reduction of costs as the topmost benefit of application of Blockchain in supply chain management.

When blockchain is applied to speed up administrative processes in supply chains, the extra costs occurring in the system are automatically reduced while still guaranteeing the security of transactions. The elimination of the middlemen and intermediaries in the supply chain saves the risks of frauds, product duplicacy and saves money too. Payments can be processed by customers and suppliers within the supply chain by using cryptocurrencies rather than customers and suppliers rather than relying on EDI. Moreover, efficiency will be improved and the risk of losing products will be reduced with accurate recordkeeping.

Establishing Trust

Having trust in complex supply chains with many participants is necessary for smooth operations. For example, when a manufacturer shares his products with suppliers, he/she should be able to depend on them for following factory safety standards. Also, when it comes to regulatory compliances such as custom enforcers, trust plays a vital role. The immutable nature of blockchain in the supply chain is well-designed to prevent tampering and establishing trust.

Benefits of Supply Chain with Blockchain

blockchain supply chain
Source: Faizod

One of the most appealing benefits of using blockchain for data is that it allows the data to be more interoperable. Due to this, it becomes easier for companies to share information and data with manufacturers, suppliers, and vendors. Transparency in Blockchain helps reduce delays and disputes while preventing goods from getting stuck in the supply chain. As each product can be tracked in real-time, the chances of misplacements are rare.

Blockchain offers scalability through which any large database is accessible from multiple locations from around the world. It also provides higher standards of security and the ability to customize according to the data feed. Moreover, blockchains can be created in a private manner too which will allow the data to be accessed explicitly between the parties who have the permission for it.

The value of adopting blockchain technology can be taken from the fact that it has the potential to connect different ledgers and data points while maintaining the data integrity among multiple participants. The properties of transparency and immutability of blockchain technology make it useful for eliminating frauds in supply chain and maintaining the integrity of the system.

Other than these, few other benefits of adopting Blockchain technology in the supply chain industry are:

  1. Reduce or eliminate fraud and errors
  2. Improve inventory management
  3. Minimize courier costs
  4. Reduce delays from paperwork
  5. Identify issues faster
  6. Increase consumer and partner trust

Supply Chain Management with Blockchain Use Cases

blockchain supply chain
Source: IBM

With its increasing popularity, blockchain technology seems like the solution to the problems of many industries today. Supply chain being one of the most populated industry holds certain use cases where the application of blockchain technology can make a difference. A single shipment of goods can have at least 20-25 people or organizations in the process which leads to roughly 200 interactions between them thus, leading to a lengthy process.

If applied correctly, blockchain technology can assure provenance tracking and traceability across the supply chain. This, in turn, will lead to fewer counterfeiters and ensured safety in the processes. Blockchain in the supply chain will also allow manufacturers, transporters, and end-users to collect data, study trends, and apply predictive monitoring process for better product experience. Following are some of the use cases of blockchain in a supply chain.

Seafood Verification

Seafood supply chain has caught the negative headlines many a time and still continues to do so due to the lack of a transparent system. The current seafood supply chain has tedious processes like manual recordkeeping that make it more prone to errors. Moreover, other issues that result in making the seafood supply chain inefficient are the improper food storage conditions, mislabeling frauds and prevalence of unregulated practices.

Due to these issues the quality and security of the food that reaches to the end-customer is compromised which threatens the industry’s economic security. Moreover, since there are the different type of frauds involved in the chain, the trust between the customers and vendors remain lacking.

Blockchain technology can prove to be a panacea to the seafood verification problems as it can track fish and seafood right from the production to its distribution. Big names such as Hyperledger have even started implementing the technology in their projects in order to resolve the issues of the seafood supply chain industry.

The project named Hyperledger Sawtooth is revolutionizing the supply chain by bringing traceability and accountability through its modular blockchain platform. It uses the PoET (the proof of elapsed time) consensus algorithm which allows actors in the system to reach a consensus in an environment where the counterparties are unaware of each other’s information.

Sawtooth allows the seafood to be detected in the supply chain through sensors that transmit the location and time of the products to the blockchain. This allows the buyer to access a comprehensive record of the product provenance.

Coffee Supply Chain

blockchain supply chain
Source: Bext360

When you take a sip of that hot coffee in the morning from that big cup, you don’t even realize how long and complicated its supply chain must have been. The coffee supply chain in a global network that is highly complicated and is in a desperate need for reform.  Production of coffee is fragmented as it is usually grown in developing areas of the world that are at remote locations. Other factors that affect the production of coffee and should be taken into consideration are volatile prices and the effect of changing climates.

Moreover, since the people working as farmers and laborers in the coffee supply chains are from remote developing areas, there have been reported cases of abuses too. Due to the complexity of the system, the coffee supply chain makes an ideal use case for blockchain adoption and bring transparency and efficiency to the system.

A Denver based startup, Bext360 is using a blockchain enabled machine called “bextmachine” that is used to analyze the coffee beans from the farms and assign a number to them for their traceability. When looked for performance, the machine is able to process around 50 kgs of coffee in one minute. The machine is also capable of scanning the outer fruit of each bean in a three-dimensional manner. Moreover, the machine also provides quality details about the coffee at the farm level itself, thus making more room for improvisation.

Using blockchain in the coffee supply chain brings more productivity along with fair deals for producers and transparency as the system ensures direct payments to the farmers once their products are sold. On the other hand, the end customer can always look at the data and track the original source of their coffee.

Drugs and Pharmaceuticals

Drug supply chain is one facet of the pharma landscape that can be profited by blockchain. Counterfeit medicines are becoming increasingly troublesome as the global black market has been providing such drugs to people without getting under the radar. The risk of human life that rises from taking counterfeit drugs cannot be underestimated.

The WHO has reported an increased sales of global fake drugs from $75bn in 2010, a 90% increase over the next five years. The major suffering population due to drug counterfeiting is from developing countries like Asia and Africa where such drugs constitute to around 10 to 30 percent of the total medicines for sale. It is becoming increasingly important for pharmaceutical companies and distributors around the world to improve the security and traceability of the drug supply chain.

Taking the complexity of the current drug supply chain due to the growing number of people, there have to be reliable digital technologies and management systems that can secure the overall process. Blockchain technology can resolve this problem as it has become significantly popular in terms of applications relating to supply chain management.

System vulnerabilities in the drug supply chain lead to many pain points such as very little visibility for tracking and authenticating the products. The introduction of blockchain in such cases can reap several benefits here. Drugs can be tagged with barcodes and once they are scanned, their records can be kept on a blockchain in secure digital blocks. These records will be updated in real-time as the drugs are transferred from one entity to the other in the supply chain. Parties with authorized access, including patients, can check the records anytime.

The immutable nature of blockchain provides drug traceability from manufacturer to customer and allows people to check if the system is compromised somewhere. Apart from ensuring product integrity and anti-counterfeiting efforts, blockchain technology can help overcome the financial issues faced by smaller retailers and operators along the supply chain.

Food Supply Chain

blockchain supply chain
Source: LinkedIn SlideShare

The complexity of our food supply chain is increasing gradually and due to this, it is becoming difficult for the food producers, suppliers and retailers to ensure the provenance of the products through the supply chain.

Food safety issues including cross-contamination Identifying and the spread of foodborne illness are made even worse by lack of data and traceability.  the source of contamination and finding the root cause of that can take from days to months which ultimately leads to an increased number of sick people, loss of revenues, and wasted food. According to the WHO, one-out-of-ten people fall ill and around 420,000 die due to contaminated food.

Consumers are increasingly becoming aware and are demanding transparency in terms of the food they consume. Presently, about only 12 percent of consumers trust the brands that they purchase food from for the information of their food while 94 percent of consumers state that it is highly important for them to learn about all the information related to the food products that they buy.

Blockchain resolves the issues of a complex supply chain by providing neutrality in the platform. Since there are no third parties involved in the transaction authorization and everything works on the basis of a consensus, both, the users and the operators of the system have to follow set of rules to keep the system running.

Blockchain brings huge advantages for all the actors in food the supply chain. Food producers can ensure the originality and quality of their supplies by tracking the attempts of tampering as the food item moves in the supply chain. In case of identification of a fraud, the supplier will be intimidated and this notification can be sent to the retailer even before the food item reaches to its destination.

Similarly, in the case of retailers, if a damaged food product somehow makes it the stores, he/she can identify and remove only such offending items rather than checking the whole batch of supplies. With blockchain, consumers are treated with transparency and openness when they need assurance for the food products that they consume. This allows the consumers to identify and consume high quality food.

Automotive Supply Chain

Ranging from parts suppliers, manufacturers to sellers, the automotive supply chain is a highly complex and broad sector with multiple participants. Delivering real customer value requires analysis of existing  IT and business processes along with solutions that abide by the permissions of security, confidentiality, and authorization. Blockchain can turn out to be an ideal solutiMoreover, Ireland’s Moyee Coffee, on in such cases as it provides transparency across the entire supply chain along with reduced costs and complexity of dealing with multiple parties. For automotive suppliers, blockchain can be used to protect their brands from duplicate products and to create customer-centric business models.

In the automotive industry, counterfeit products raise a significant issue for the automotive manufacturers. Also, the current market of counterfeit spare parts is estimated at several billion dollars. Such products can make their way to the supply chain either directly or through the OEM and aftermarket suppliers. Counterfeit spare parts are not reliable as they have degraded quality level and they often tend to fail which brings dissatisfaction to the end customers ultimately leading them to revoke their trust in the brand. Introducing blockchain technology for counterfeiting products proves to be significantly advantageous as it allows spare parts to be identified uniquely and represent them digitally. Digital identification of spare parts adds transparency to the system and it can be shared among multiple parties in the network.

Inbound Logistics and Smart Manufacturing with blockchain can allow the automotive supply chain to be efficient. Currently, the tracking of individual components of an inbound supply chain is complex and prone to errors. The coordination among multi-tier suppliers, 3rd party logistics, and transportation companies through the manufacturing plant is necessary for effective functioning of the supply chain. By using blockchain, we can ensure the availability of accurate and real-time information amongst different parties. People involved can an check the status, quantity as well as the location of individual parts.

Similarly, the outbound supply chain is also a complex network which consists of distributors, manufacturers importers, and dealers. These participants don’t have a common data sharing model as well which makes it difficult for them to exchange information. A shared blockchain based system ensures visibility and transparency which, in turn, ensures faster transactions and lowering settlement periods.

Conclusion

blockchain supply chain
Source: TechBullion

Blockchain has introduced its potential to bring out positive changes in many industries and businesses till date including the supply chain industry. In fact, the supply chain management is one of the most obvious and useful applications of Blockchain technology, therefore, we can expect it to grow at a very fast pace in the near future. The source of successful operation of a supply chain management system is to keep a robust, transparent and end-to-end communication.

Companies are exploring ways to filter the way their supply chains currently work and adopt the change that the Blockchain technology has to offer. Once businesses see the bigger picture, they’ll eventually go through the hassle of applying newer systems embedded with blockchain in order to reap bigger benefits in the future. Dumping the paperwork and centralized databases will bring effective change in terms of higher rewards and increased performance among the supply chain teams.

This can be achieved if and only if the supply chain teams in place take notice of the latest technology trends in the blockchain space and find feasible ways to adopt the technology in their existing systems. The use of blockchain in supply chain management will work as a game changer by eliminating the vulnerabilities and inefficiencies of the current system.

Blockchain in Healthcare: Opportunities, Challenges, and Applications

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blockchain in healthcare

Blockchain in Healthcare

Growing businesses demand the need to bring revolutionary changes in all the aspects of their businesses as time and technology progress. When it comes to the field of health care, the urgency of growth escalates to higher levels. Quality healthcare services backed up with the latest technology is the need for today. Moreover, the healthcare system landscape is shifting towards a more patient-centric approach which focuses on two major elements namely, affordable treatment and apt healthcare facilities at all times.

Current Healthcare System

Focusing on quality health care services means ensuring patient health management at a superior level at all times. However, federal rules and regulations are making processes even more tedious and lengthy. Due to this, keeping such processes intact and still providing effective patient care is not feasible in many cases. The major issue in providing quality healthcare services is the gap between providers and payers. The dependency of middlemen in the supply chain makes it even worse.

In the healthcare sector, critical patient data and information remains scattered across different departments and systems. Due to this, crucial data is not accessible and handily available in times of need. The existing healthcare ecosystem cannot be considered complete as multiple players in the system do not have a system in place for smooth process management. Moreover, it is also termed as inadequate for handling the exchange of information and requires certain major changes.

The misuse of available data is preventing healthcare organizations from delivering appropriate patient care and high-quality services for the sake of better health. Despite being fairly efficient in terms of economy, these organizations are not able to fulfill the needs of patients. Following are a few stats from resources that emphasize on this fact:

— Nearly half of clinical trials in the US are unreported

— Up to 40% of healthcare provider data records are filled up with errors or misleading information

— Healthcare data breaches in organizations are estimated to cost around $380 per record in the current times. This amount is expected to increase with the passing of time.

Many healthcare facilities today are still dependent on outdated systems for keeping patient records. These systems hold the functionality of keeping local records of the patient data. This can make it difficult for the doctor to diagnose which is time-consuming for the doctor and tedious for the patients too. Due to this, the cost of maintaining a patient-oriented business is increased considerably.

Issues prevailing in the current healthcare sector are not limited. They keep on growing with high-intensity with time. The need for a technically advanced system is undeniable. Consider the problem of drug counterfeiting which leads to losses of around $200 million. It could be diminished dramatically if a system with accurate tracking features is put into place in the supply chain.

Another time-consuming and tedious process that results in high costs in the healthcare industry is Health Information Exchange. Since patients don’t have any control over their data, the chances of identity thefts, financial data crimes and spamming are increasing every day.

Despite having gadgets like computers and mobile phones at every healthcare facility these days, we’re still not able to collect, analyze, secure and exchange data seamlessly. Therefore, the healthcare system today not only needs an advance system rather it also needs a system that is smooth, transparent, economically efficient and easily operable.

Blockchain Solution

blockchain in healthcare
Image Source: Accenture

According to the Gartner Hype Cycle, the Blockchain technology has gone beyond the “innovation trigger” and is at “peak of inflated expectations.” It holds the potential to disrupt different industries such as finance, banking, supply chain as well as healthcare. But before diving right into the details of how blockchain is affecting healthcare, let’s understand what is it first.

Blockchain is one of the most disruptive technologies that has taken the world by storm these days. A blockchain is nothing but a distributed ledger that keeps track of transactions and activities happening throughout the network. The most unique factor of a blockchain is that once a piece of information is added to the distributed ledger, no one can alter it. The information stored on a blockchain is absolutely secure in its entirety. In order for anyone to make a change in one block, it is mandatory to make changes to all the subsequent blocks after it.

The working of a blockchain relies on three major principles that have existed for long. Compiled working of these principles allows blockchain to provide secure and safe digital relationships.

  • Private key cryptography — In private key cryptography, a secret key is used as a variable along with an algorithm to encrypt and decrypt the code. The key is kept secret even when the algorithm is not. In a blockchain, a reference of the secure digital identity is created, however, the transactions are on the open network.
  • Distributed ledgers — A distributed ledger also known as a shared ledger is referred to as a consensus of shared records. In DLT, the ledger is updated in real time and no central authority is held responsible to maintain the ledger. Instead, network participants keep the ledger updated. Any changes made in the ledgers are reflected within seconds.
  • Authentication — Authentication is a process that proves genuineness. In a Blockchain, all the transactions are authenticated before getting added to the chain. This process takes place through algorithms that validate and verify all the transactions. Once the information is encrypted and digitally signed and stored, the authenticity is sealed.

Healthcare firms, technology innovators and the members of overall healthcare sector are looking out for ways to find out what’s possible in the current times and what blockchain could do to make healthcare better and affordable in the future.

Blockchain Panacea for Healthcare Problems

Blockchain has the power to bring out a massive breakthrough in the healthcare ecosystem as it can easily bring specific changes in the healthcare management of the patient. With the aid of this technology, the power will come back to people’s hands. Meaning that individuals will be responsible for handling their own records thus, getting the overall control of their own data.

The technology holds the ability to successfully improve patient care quality while maintaining the funds at a reasonable rate. All the challenges and hindrances that occur in multiple level authentication can be eliminated through blockchain. With the increasing adoption rate, Blockchain has made its way to the healthcare sector. Even in its beginning stage, the technology is being positively accepted by people in the healthcare ecosystem.

blockchain in healthcare

According to a study conducted by IBM, around 16% of healthcare executives are determined about their plans to implement blockchain solution in their work this year, while around 56% expected to adopt blockchain by the year 2020.

The comprehensive vision for blockchain to disrupt the healthcare sector in the coming times would be to resolve issues that afflict the current system. Imagine a healthcare system where all the information is easily accessible by doctors, patients and pharmacists at any given time. Blockchain allows the creation and sharing of a single common database of health information.

This system would be accessible by all the entities involved in the process no matter which electronic medical system they use. This offers higher security and transparency while allowing doctors find more time to spend on patient care and their treatment. Moreover, it will also enable better sharing of statistics of researches which, in turn, would facilitate clinical trials and treatment therapies for any rare disease.

In a healthcare system, smooth data sharing between healthcare solution providers can lead to accuracy in diagnosis, effective treatments, and cost-effective ecosystem. The day-to-day growth of patient data requires proper utilization of resources in order to make the most effective utilization of the insights discovered through it.

Blockchain for healthcare allows multiple entities of the healthcare ecosystem to stay in sync and share data on a commonly distributed ledger. With such a system in place, the participants can share and keep a track of their data and other activities happening in the system without having to look out for additional options for integrity and security. As per the requirements and access permissions for the network participants, two types of blockchains can be used:

Permissioned Blockchains

These type of blockchains, as the name suggests allow real-time data to be shared between the participants of the network only on a permissioned basis. A permissioned blockchain is a closed network where all the participants involved in the system have access to the network. It is built and used inside organizations and enterprises in order to exchange information and make transactions securely. Once a transaction is processed through consensus, it will be treated as a permanent record and get added as a new block to the existing blockchain.

Permissionless Blockchains

Permissionless blockchains provide access to anybody for creating an address of their own and begin interacting with the network. One of the most popular examples of a permissionless system is the internet which allows anyone to create their own website. Similarly, in a permissionless blockchain, anyone on the network can interact with other participants on the same network by creating their address on the network.

Among the two of these, private or permissioned blockchains can be effectively used in healthcare in order to make the right decisions within the healthcare ecosystem. The use of Blockchain technology in healthcare holds a lot of potentials as it is being explored further. Holding properties like immutability, trustlessness, and decentralization, the distributed technology of blockchain provides the healthcare sector with opportunities to detect fraud, reduce operational costs, smoothen processes, remove duplication of work and apply transparency in the healthcare ecosystem.

Frost & Sullivan research for Blockchain Technology in Global Healthcare, 2017–2025 states that- “Blockchain technology may not be the panacea for healthcare industry challenges, but it holds the potential to save billions of dollars by optimizing current workflows and disintermediating some high-cost gatekeepers.”

Blockchain Applications for Healthcare

Having explored the importance of blockchain technology in the healthcare sector along with the changes that it could bring, here are a few use cases that utilize the potential of the technology and could make the healthcare industry more accessible, secure and reliable.

Population Health Data

blockchain in healthcare
Image Source

Population health data refers to the medical information of a particular demographic. For example, it may be health risk information for women suffering from thyroid in the group of 25-40 years. To understand the risks across a diverse population, the data is usually provided in an anonymized form and no names are revealed in these cases.

When it comes to population health management, the largest challenges faced till date are data security, shareability, and interoperability. If the patient information is isolated and stored on multiple systems that do not allow the smooth exchange of information, the population health data sets across various patient sets would become scarce. Blockchain provides a reliable solution to this specific challenge. When applied correctly, blockchain will allow improved Security, data sharing, interoperability, data integrity and Real-time update and access.

Using blockchain technology can allow people to participate in population health studies to and monetize their data in the form of tokens. Moreover, better data and sharing of population health data can improve care delivery across diverse populations. With more data sets, the usage of new technologies like AI and ML would be possible which will result in discovering widespread risks of population health.

Secure Healthcare Setups

The current healthcare system and organizations operate through one single central database. This database is managed by one entity in the organization. With this approach, the point of failure also comes to one single point. In such cases, if a hacker or anti-social element attacks the system, he/she can access the overall database and would put the patients as well as the organization in jeopardy.

Blockchain can be utilized in order to prevent the internal infrastructure of an organization. A large organization with multiple independent actors having different levels of access on a blockchain ledger with encryption embedded within the blocks will save organizations from external threats and attacks. If a blockchain network is implemented correctly in a healthcare organization, it would prevent such ransom attacks as well as other issues like data corruption or hardware failure.

Patient Payments Through Cryptocurrencies

Another appealing benefit of Blockchain in healthcare is the use of cryptocurrencies as payments in place of cash or fiat money. Cash medical practices are in prevalence however, the health care costs are not defined as such. Even today 5-10% of cases come from fraud in terms of money and billing unperformed services. In the US alone, a fraud of $30 million was detected in the year 2016.

Through blockchain systems and applications in place, the possibility of providing the right solutions and eliminating frauds has increased. Bill processing automation will remove the third parties from the chain and decrease the overall administrative costs. Moreover, when larger institutions will adopt payment processing through cryptocurrencies, a major shift would take place. Each penny paid to the Medicare would be tracked and ensure that no frauds are made during the process.

Drug Traceability

blockchain in healthcare
Image Source

Counterfeiting of drugs along with fake drugs in the supply chain constitutes a major loss of billions of dollars per year. According to a Health Research Funding Organization (HRFO), report, almost 10 to 30 percent of drugs in developing countries are not original. While the U.S. healthcare industry alone bears a loss of approximately $200 billion annually due to these issues. As these stats showcase, drug counterfeiting causes deaths of hundreds of people who take the wrong medicine. Dissemination of counterfeit drugs is one serious problem in the pharmaceutical space.

The main feature of blockchain technology that can be utilized in drug traceability is its security. Every new transaction which is added to a block will be immutable as well as timestamped. This will make it easy to track a product and ensure that the information inside the block cannot be altered. In order to ensure the traceability and authenticity of medical drugs, pharmaceutical companies that register any specific drug on the blockchain need to be trustworthy. Therefore, the usage of private blockchains in which the control is in the hands of a central authority would make sense in such cases. When such companies are given access to the specific drug blockchain, they would have a proof that the drugs manufactured by them are authentic.

In such private drug blockchains, the pharmaceutical companies have the right to choose among actors of the supply chain who will be acting as miners be it, manufacturers, distributors or retailers. As authorized according to the position on the supply chain, every individual can have different rights or accessibility options. For example, while labs can register drugs, the wholesalers have the permission to verify transactions. Moreover, every block containing the drug information will have a hash attached to it which will be linked to another block. When the drug moves along the supply chain among different entities, it can be easily tracked.

Moreover, the feature of data transparency in a blockchain system can help to find the complete path of origin, thus, helping in eradicating the circulation of fake drugs.

Clinical Trials & Data Security

Clinical trials are conducted in order to ensure and analyze the effectiveness of any particular medicine that is developed and proposed for curing a specific disease. Based on a hypothesis, the proposed drugs can be tested and based on the success of the trial, they can be implemented on a larger scale. Therefore, in order to conduct a clinical trial, huge amounts of data sets are required. The researchers focus on these data sets and conduct regular tests under different circumstances to generate reports, statistics, and effectiveness ratio. Based on these reports, the data is analyzed and further decisions are taken.

In many cases, however, most of the pharmaceutical companies today show interest in recording the results that can assure certain benefits for their firms. In such cases, the researchers often hide or modify their collected data and information in order to change the outcome.

In order to make the clinical trials more fair and transparent, researchers can make use of blockchain technology which could help to record secure, unbiased and transparent clinical trials.

On the other hand, for the companies who believe in conducting authentic clinical trials, everything needs to be secure and transparent. To accomplish this, the documents created and used in the process such as informed consent, research plans, regulations and study protocol need to be time stamped. This means that the documents should have a proof and details of their creation time. For pre-planned endpoints, it is especially important to keep this information timestamped to create a proof that showcases that the agreement was there even before the trial started.  

Blockchain technology would add to the credibility of clinical trials and results. These documents can be stored as smart contracts on the blockchain acting as the digital thumbprints. This catalog of documents will reduce audit costs, review of files, lost document issues and frauds. The blockchain will also keep the supply chain management of the pharma as well as the accountability of drugs tracking.

Patient Data Management

blockchain in healthcare
Image Source: Medium

HIPPA, Health Insurance Portability, and Accountability Act has strict regulations around the privacy of a patient’s data. It requires PHI (Patient health information) to be secure from breaches and modification. Despite the security regulations, patient data cannot be restricted. Healthcare being a complex system with multiple entities requires a patient to share their data and medical records across the ecosystem.

For instance, the patients have to share their health-related information with the doctor as well as the providers while going for a treatment or merely buying medicines. Additionally, the increase in the number of patients has resulted in more and more data management by the healthcare providers. This growing data leads to difficulties in managing patient information within hospitals and clinics.

Introducing blockchain to this data-centric system resolves many issues. A blockchain system in place for patient data management would create a hash for individual patient health information blocks and a collective system would constitute a patient ID on a theoretical basis. A blockchain system would even allow patients to reveal their necessary data to third parties while keeping their identity secret. The time limit and access permissions for data sharing with third parties could also be controlled by the patients.

Conclusion

Potential of blockchain for healthcare highly depends on the acceptance of the new technology within the healthcare ecosystem in order to create technical infrastructure. Though there are certain concerns and speculations regarding Blockchain’s integration with current healthcare systems and its cultural adoption, the technology is still popular in the healthcare sector.

It has taken the healthcare industry by storm over the past year and many solutions are being developed to adopt it. With so many potential use cases and possibilities, blockchain is sure to disrupt the healthcare landscape for good.


Recommended Reading

Blockchain Technology Explained: Introduction, Meaning, and Applications

Top 10 Reputable Blockchain Development Companies

How is Blockchain Revolutionizing Banking and Financial Markets


 

How is Blockchain Revolutionizing Banking and Financial Markets

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blockchain in banking

Invented back in 2008, the blockchain technology has depicted the change that it can bring in different business areas. The technology, even in its infancy, has disrupted different industries and sectors. Various features of Blockchain such as decentralization, immutability, and transparency make it appealing for business sectors and domains all across the world. One such industry that is leading the way in exploring the potential of blockchain is the banking and finance industry.

Though there are several roadblocks in the way currently, it can be surely said that Blockchain holds the potential to transform the finance and banking sectors by reducing potential costs and labor savings. According to a PwC report, 24% of financial executives from all around the world are very familiar with blockchain technology, with North Americans significantly more familiar than those from other regions. Observing the wide-reaching implications of the technology, companies are constantly researching to find out the ways of applying blockchain in multiple sectors.  

Talking specifically about the banking and finance sector, hundreds and thousands of funds are being regularly transferred from one region of the world to another within each day. This makes the global financial system one of the most popular sectors that could be benefited through the application of Blockchain. Operating on the basis of highly dependent manual networks, the banking and finance sector is prone to errors and frauds that could lead to a crippled money-management system. According to Global Fintech Report 2017, 77% of Fintech institutes expect to adopt blockchain as part of an in the production system or process by 2020.

Blockchain for Banking Industry

blockchain in banking
Source: Lina Lysenko (Dribbble)

With the basic understanding of blockchain technology and its working, the real question that pops up into our minds is Blockchain really useful for the banking sector? If yes, then how can we utilize Blockchain in the best possible way for the industry? And most importantly, is blockchain here to stay or go?

According to a claim by the Harvard Business Review, blockchain will do to banks what the internet did to media. When it comes to banks and financial organizations of this day, Blockchain has the potential to solve a lot of problems. Blockchain technology possesses all the attractive characteristics needed by a reliable technology involving money matters. It is safe, secure, decentralized, transparent as well as relatively cheaper.

Blockchain provides a very high level of safety and security when it comes to exchanging data, information, and money. It also allows users to take advantage of the transparent network infrastructure along with low operational costs with the aid of decentralization. These characteristics make blockchain reliable, promising and in-demand solution for the banking and finance industry.

Financial institutes perform the necessary function of keeping money safe and secure for people and therefore, the processes in place require a lot of mediators. The involvement of these mediators is what makes the industry more expensive. Moreover, with the involvement of too many people and manual processes, the chances of errors and frauds always increase. Blockchain technology aims to do the heavy weightlifting by securing transactions and making the overall customer experience more satisfactory and less money consuming.

Examples of Some Banks Using Blockchain

blockchain in banks
Source: Adarsh Goldar

Though the word blockchain was treated skeptically by banks and financial institutions in the early days of its adoption, the story has changed now. With the success of Blockchain in various industries, the banking sector is actively seeking new areas and applications of the Blockchain technology.

Big names like JP Morgan Chase have dedicatedly placed their faith in the future of Blockchain technology. The American multinational investment bank headquartered in New York City has started a new division called the Quorum division specifically for research and implementation of Blockchain technology. Quorum is a distributed ledger and smart contract platform for enterprises that supports speedy transactions and throughput addressing challenges for the finance industry, banks and beyond. According to resources, they have already issued a yearly deposit certificate based on a distributed registry with a variable rate.

Other than these, a major US bank, Bank of America has filed a patent document which was published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The document talks about the implementation of a permissioned blockchain for securing records as well as authenticating business and personal data.

The system would allow only authorised participants to access the data and keep a log of all the logging entries. Moreover, the proposed system will utilize blockchain technology to combine multiple existing data storage platforms into one. This secure single network will increase the overall efficiency and reduce the number of storage locations of the user’s data.

Another name in the line is Goldman Sachs, who is actively involved in research and support of the distributed registry technology. They have invested in a cryptocurrency project called Circle. The project is considered as one of the most well funded startups in the blockchain space. It aims to solve the key problem of volatility in the digital currency space thus, making the finance sector more reliable with crypto options.

Backing such a popular project, Goldman Sachs group intends to become the leader in cryptocurrency adoption among their Wall Street competitors. They are also setting up their own cryptocurrency trading desk that will exclusively handle their digital trading.

Applications of Blockchain in Finance

blockchain in banks
Source: Diana Maltseva (Quora)

With emerging use cases with each passing day, the blockchain technology has the potential to disrupt the banking and finance sector of current times. A few ways in which blockchain can change the current face of the banking industry are as follows:

Fraud Reduction

The involvement of money in any situation leads to increased chances of fraudulent activities. And for an overall sector operating on the very base model of money, security is of utmost importance. More than 40% of financial bodies and intermediaries including money transfer service providers as well as stock exchanges are susceptible to heavy losses relating to economic crimes annually.

Reason being the usage of centralized database systems for operations and money management. A centralized database system is vulnerable and highly prone to cyber attacks as the single point of failure, such systems can be exploited by hackers. Once a hacker gets access to such a system, it is a child’s play for him/her to take the money. This leads to the need for more secure systems that are strong enough to avoid such attacks.

Enter Blockchain, a secure, non-corruptible technology operating on a distributed database system. Since blockchain is distributed, there is no chance of a single point of failure. Each transaction is stored in the form of a block with a cryptographic mechanism which is extremely difficult to corrupt.

Moreover, all the blocks are linked to each other and due to this linking mechanism, if one block is breached all the other blocks on the blockchain immediately showcase the change. This, in turn, helps to track the breach and provides the hacker with no time to make changes in the overall system. With a secure Blockchain system in place, we can eliminate the cyber crimes and attacks of banking and financial sectors taking place in the current times.

Know Your Customer (KYC)

Banks and financial institutions are strictly concerned about the increasing costs that they have to bear in order to comply with AML and KYC i.e. Anti-money Laundering and Know Your Customer norms. All these processes consume a lot of time and have to be performed individually by all the banks and money based institutions.

According to a Thomson Reuters Survey, the overall estimated expenditure of these processes ranges from $60 million to $500 million yearly. These customers due diligence regulations are performed in order to reduce the money laundering as well as terrorist activities. Currently, banks need to upload the KYC data of a customer into a central registry which can be used for checking the information of an existing or new customer.

With the adoption of a blockchain system, the independent verification of each client by one bank or financial organization would be accessible for other banks to use so that the KYC process doesn’t have to be restarted again.

Meaning that the duplication of efforts would be eliminated by the aid of blockchain technology. Moreover, all the updates of clients’ will be to all financial institutions in near real-time. This would result in the reduction of administrative efforts as well as costs for compliance departments.

Smart Assets

Trade finance can become essentially challenging when transactions in the form of assets have to be recorded with a clear date and time stamp. Supply chains all around the world involve a lot many entities and components being bought and sold continuously. All paperwork involved in documenting the details of demand and supply is even more complicated. Blockchain can hold these records of smart assets in digitized form and get them updated in real-time. A smart asset system would not be limited to the entries of just objects moving from here to there but it can also have the track of where a particular item is delivered and where has it come from.

A smart asset tracking system for the banks and financial institutes competing in the current times holds a lot of scope in the competition. A bank with a rich data set can turn this data into valuable information for its clients with the aid of blockchain.

Smart Contracts

The application of smart contracts can prove particularly important in the banking and finance sector. A smart contract is a self-executable piece of code that runs when certain conditions written on it are completed.

Smart contracts, when used for financial transactions, would be helpful in increasing the speed and simplifying complex processes. This will also ensure the transfer of accurate information as the transaction will be approved only if all the written conditions of the code are met. Moreover, as these terms are visible to all the parties involved in the transactions, the chances of error at the time of execution are dropped drastically.

Trade Finance

Trade finance is considered one of the most useful applications of blockchain technology in the banking sector. All the involved parties such as a complex transaction can be on-boarded on a blockchain network and the information can be shared by exporters, importers, and banks on one common distributed ledger. Once certain specified conditions of the deal are met, the smart contracts will automatically execute themselves and the respective parties can view all the actions performed.

According to sources, an Israel-based start-up along with Barclays have successfully executed a trade transaction that would normally take 7 to 10 days in just 4 hours using Blockchain technology. When compared to the existing infrastructure, the use of blockchain can reduce costs dramatically relating to licensing, ticketing as well as other overhead charges.

Why Blockchain for Banking?

blockchain in banking

  1. The current day banking systems are highly reliable on paper and outworn process. The Need of the hour is to have an upgraded system embedded with reliable and trustable technology that could withstand frauds, scalability and security issues. The blockchain technology and its decentralized nature can give the banking systems the much-needed edge they’re on the lookout for. 
  2. Banks cannot be termed as independently operating self-sufficient entities as any transactions made through them still involve intermediaries. Moreover, the rate through which money is transferred on an international scale can still take up to 5 days along with entailing risks. With a blockchain system in place, banks would be able to make transfers real quick without even having to take the burden of risks as the system would be self-sufficient to resolve it all on its own.
  3. The world is going digital and with this progress, even small transactions and payments are happening digitally. The economic activity rate is increasing and there’s no doubt in assuming that the rate will keep picking up in the coming days. The blockchain technology will make small transfers feasible and fast along with the aid of lower fee and scalability of transactions.
  4. Financial services other than banks are constantly evolving their systems with the aid of the latest technology in order to secure the markets by providing economically available services at cheaper rates. Banking and other financial institutions should look forward to the adoption of new blockchain technology too in order to secure their place in the ecosystem.

Challenges in Adoption

Blockchain sure has its advantages in terms of adoption given its proposed features but there are some hurdles along the road as well which need to be addressed for banks and financial institutions to grow ahead with blockchain.

blockchain in banking

Interoperability: The blockchain technology is not bounded by any international rules and regulations that place a standard to it. With the increasing need for interoperability among large industries like banks, the technology needs to be compatible with different systems and should hold the potential to get adopted by the masses. The integration of existing systems with a blockchain based model is a big challenge today as the current systems and processes cannot be entirely eliminated. If the actual adoption of blockchain allows multiple systems to work together smoothly, operational feasibility can be achieved.

Privacy: Banks and financial institutions are the entities that are trusted by people for storing their funds. In order for blockchain to take their place, it is important to ensure that the data stored on the blockchain technology is kept securely and would not hamper the identity of any individual. As the transactions made on a public blockchain are publicly available, the need of exploring the potential of private blockchains for data-critical sectors is needed along with the resolution of issues like interoperability.

Encryption: Private keys are the essential elements of a blockchain as they play a significant role in securing the data of an individual on the blockchain. However, a private key generated once has to be kept very securely as once it is misplaced or lost, there’s no way to get it back. Moreover, the encryption used to store data can be compromised by finding loopholes in the network which in turn, makes the blockchain susceptible to hacker attacks.

Security: The blockchain network is secure and powerful as it is embedded with cryptography techniques. Cryptographic networks are complex to hack and thus, any kind of security breach in such networks would require a high amount of computational power in order to secure any hack. When a blockchain network is applied to any banking institution, it has to be secured with multiple security protocols. The network should be capable enough to restrict participating authorities to take control of the network only according to the access permission given to them. Depending upon the requirement, the blockchain involved in such systems or organizations could be permissioned or permissionless. People in an organization need to be handled with different levels of access permissions in order to save the overall network from malicious insiders and cyber hackers.

Scalability: Growth of existing databases is undeniable. The number of entries will keep on increasing as the number of people will continue to grow too. This poses a big challenge to the application of blockchain technology network. The network created through a blockchain should be able to handle the growing traffic while maintaining the speed of accessibility for the network participants. If the blockchain technology is applied to the current banking systems and institutions, it has to ensure the capacity of handling large volumes of data too.

Energy Consumption: Most of the current successfully running blockchain networks run on the concept of proof-of-work mechanism in which the network participants are rewarded based on how quickly they solve the equation to add a new block to the network. While this keeps the network working smoothly, it also increases the consumption of energy in enormous amounts in the form of computational work. This kind of computing power leaves massive carbon footprints which affect the environment. Before adopting Blockchain in an industry like banking, this issue needs to be resolved through alternate rewarding mechanisms.

Legal Regulations: If blockchain is applied in the banking sector, the need for international and national regulations around it will become mandatory. Currently, cryptocurrencies, the most popular application of blockchain, do not have any regulations around them which makes them susceptible to both profits and losses. However, if and when blockchain finds its place in the banking or finance sector, the regulations need to be in place so as to avoid chaos among people in case of any losses.

Conclusion

Despite the strict jurisdictions around the banking sector, the financial institutions have started to realize the potential of blockchain technology seeing the popularity of cryptocurrencies in the current markets. The big giants in the banking sector have started conducting the tests for finding out the possible use cases of this decentralized technology for their business processes.

Moreover, some of the organizations are also investing heavily in such researches and tests conducted by startups to develop blockchain based solutions. With Blockchain entering the current scenario, a lot of problems could be solved while making the system more transparent, easy to access and reliable.

Blockchain Technology Explained: Introduction, Meaning, and Applications

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what is blockchain

The 21st century is all about technology. With the increasing need for modernization in our day-to-day lives, people are open to accepting new technologies. From using a remote for controlling devices to using voice notes for giving commands; modern technology has made space in our regular lives. Technologies like augmented reality and IoT that have gained pace in the past decade and now there’s a new addition to the pack i.e. Blockchain Technology.

Blockchain – The revolutionary technology impacting different industries miraculously was introduced in the markets with its very first modern application Bitcoin. Bitcoin is nothing but a form of digital currency (cryptocurrency) which can be used in the place of fiat money for trading. And the underlying technology behind the success of cryptocurrencies is termed as Blockchain.

There’s a common misconception among people that Bitcoin and Blockchain are one and the same, however, that is not the case. Creating cryptocurrencies is one of the applications of Blockchain technology and other than Bitcoin, there are numerous applications that are being developed on the basis of the blockchain technology.

What is a Blockchain?

what is blockchain

In the simplest terms, Blockchain can be described as a data structure that holds transactional records and while ensuring security, transparency, and decentralization. You can also think of it as a chain or records stored in the forms of blocks which are controlled by no single authority. A blockchain is a distributed ledger that is completely open to any and everyone on the network. Once an information is stored on a blockchain, it is extremely difficult to change or alter it.

Each transaction on a blockchain is secured with a digital signature that proves its authenticity. Due to the use of encryption and digital signatures, the data stored on the blockchain is tamper-proof and cannot be changed.

Blockchain technology allows all the network participants to reach an agreement, commonly known as consensus. All the data stored on a blockchain is recorded digitally and has a common history which is available for all the network participants. This way, the chances of any fraudulent activity or duplication of transactions is eliminated without the need of a third-party.

In order to understand blockchain better, consider an example where you are looking for an option to send some money to your friend who lives in a different location. A general option that you can normally use can be a bank or via a payment transfer application like PayPal or Paytm. This option involves third parties in order to process the transaction due to which an extra amount of your money is deducted as transferring fee. Moreover, in cases like these, you cannot ensure the security of your money as it is highly possible that a hacker might disrupt the network and steal your money. In both the cases, it is the customer who suffers. This is where Blockchain comes in.

Instead of using a bank for transferring money, if we use a blockchain in such cases, the process becomes much easier and secure. There is no extra fee involved as the funds are directly processed by you thus, eliminating the need for a third party. Moreover, the blockchain database is decentralized and is not limited to any single location meaning that all the information and records kept on the blockchain are public and decentralized. Since the information is not stored in a single place, there’s no chance of corruption of the information by any hacker.

How Does a Blockchain Work?

What is bloackchain
Source: Fuat Şanlı (Dribbble)

A blockchain is a chain of blocks that contain data or information. Despite being discovered earlier, the first successful and popular application of the Blockchain technology came into being in the year 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto. He created the first digital cryptocurrency called Bitcoin through the use of Blockchain technology. Let’s understand how a blockchain actually works.

Each block in a blockchain network stores some information along with the hash of its previous block. A hash is a unique mathematical code which belongs to a specific block. If the information inside the block is modified, the hash of the block will be subject to modification too. The connection of blocks through unique hash keys is what makes blockchain secure.

While transactions take place on a blockchain, there are nodes on the network that validate these transactions. In Bitcoin blockchain, these nodes are called as miners and they use the concept of proof-of-work in order to process and validate transactions on the network. In order for a transaction to be valid, each block must refer to the hash of its preceding block. The transaction will take place only and only if the hash is correct. If a hacker tries to attack the network and change information of any specific block, the hash attached to the block will also get modified.

The breach will be detected as the modified hash will not match with the original one. This ensures that the blockchain is unalterable as if any change which is made to the chain of blocks will be reflected throughout the entire network and will be detected easily.

In a nutshell, here’s how blockchain allows transactions to take place:

  1. A blockchain network makes use of public and private keys in order to form a digital signature ensuring security and consent.
  2. Once the authentication is ensured through these keys, the need for authorization arises.
  3. Blockchain allows participants of the network to perform mathematical verifications and reach a consensus to agree on any particular value.
  4. While making a transfer, the sender uses their private key and announces the transaction information over the network. A block is created containing information such as digital signature, timestamp, and the receiver’s public key.
  5. This block of information is broadcasted through the network and the validation process starts.
  6. Miners all over the network start solving the mathematical puzzle related to the transaction in order to process it. Solving this puzzle requires the miners to invest their computing power.
  7. Upon solving the puzzle first, the miner receives rewards in the form of bitcoins. Such kind of problems is referred to as proof-of-work mathematical problems.
  8. Once the majority of nodes in the network come to a consensus and agree to a common solution, the block is time stamped and added to the existing blockchain. This block can contain anything from money to data to messages.
  9. After the new block is added to the chain, the existing copies of blockchain are updated for all the nodes on the network.

Blockchain Features

what is blockchain

The following features make the revolutionary technology of blockchain stand out:

Decentralised

Blockchains are decentralized in nature meaning that no single person or group holds the authority of the overall network. While everybody in the network has the copy of the distributed ledger with them, no one can modify it on his or her own. This unique feature of blockchain allows transparency and security while giving power to the users.

Peer-to-Peer Network

With the use of Blockchain, the interaction between two parties through a peer-to-peer model is easily accomplished without the requirement of any third party. Blockchain uses P2P protocol which allows all the network participants to hold an identical copy of transactions, enabling approval through a machine consensus. For example, if you wish to make any transaction from one part of the world to another, you can do that with blockchain all by yourself within a few seconds. Moreover, any interruptions or extra charges will not be deducted in the transfer.

Immutable

The immutability property of a blockchain refers to the fact that any data once written on the blockchain cannot be changed. To understand immutability, consider sending email as an example. Once you send an email to a bunch of people, you cannot take it back. In order to find a way around, you’ll have to ask all the recipients to delete your email which is pretty tedious. This is how immutability works.

Once the data has been processed, it cannot be altered or changed. In case of the blockchain, if you try to change the data of one block, you’ll have to change the entire blockchain following it as each block stores the hash of its preceding block. Change in one hash will lead to change in all the following hashes. It is extremely complicated for someone to change all the hashes as it requires a lot of computational power to do so. Hence, the data stored in a blockchain is non-susceptible to alterations or hacker attacks due to immutability.

Tamper-Proof

With the property of immutability embedded in blockchains, it becomes easier to detect tampering of any data. Blockchains are considered tamper-proof as any change in even one single block can be detected and addressed smoothly. There are two key ways of detecting tampering namely, hashes and blocks.

As described earlier, each hash function associated with a block is unique. You can consider it like a fingerprint of a block. Any change in the data will lead to a change in the hash function. Since the hash function of one block is linked to next block, in order for a hacker to make any changes, he/she will have to change hashes of all the blocks after that block which is quite difficult to do.

Types of Blockchains

what is blockchain

Though Blockchain has evolved to many levels since inception, there are two broad categories in which blockchains can be classified majorly i.e. Public and Private blockchains.

Before heading towards the difference between these two, let’s keep a check on the similarities that both public and private blockchain have:

  • Both Public and Private blockchain have peer-to-peer decentralized networks.
  • All the participants of the network maintain the copy of the shared ledger with them.
  • The network maintains copies of the ledger and synchronizes the latest update with the help of consensus.
  • The rules for immutability and safety of the ledger are decided and applied on the network so as to avoid malicious attacks.

Now that we know the similar elements of both these blockchains, let’s learn about each of them in detail and the differences between them.

Public Blockchain – As the name suggests, a public blockchain is a permissionless ledger and can be accessed by any and everyone. Anyone with the access to the internet is eligible to download and access it. Moreover, one can also check the overall history of the blockchain along with making any transactions through it. Public blockchains usually reward their network participants for performing the mining process and maintaining the immutability of the ledger. An example of the public blockchain is the Bitcoin Blockchain.

Public blockchains allow the communities worldwide to exchange information openly and securely. However, an obvious disadvantage of this type of blockchain is that it can be compromised if the rules around it are not executed strictly. Moreover, the rules decided and applied initially have very little scope of modification in the later stages.

Private Blockchain – Contrary to the public blockchain, private blockchains are the ones which are shared only among the trusted participants. The overall control of the network is in the hands of the owners. Moreover, the rules of a private blockchain can be changed according to different levels of permissions, exposure, number of members, authorization etc.

Private blockchains can run independently or can be integrated with other blockchains too. These are usually used by enterprises and organizations. Therefore, the level of trust required amongst the participants is higher in private blockchains.

Popular Applications of Blockchain Technology

what is blockchain
Source: Sumeet – Evontech

Though Bitcoins and cryptocurrencies are the first popular application of Blockchain technology, they are not the only ones. The nature of Blockchain technology has led businesses, industries, and entrepreneurs from all around the world to explore the technology’s potential and make revolutionary changes in different sectors.

While the basic idea of trustworthy records and giving the power in the hands of users has enormous potential, it sure has raised a lot of hype in the markets too. The magic of this technology sure has the power to transform industries given the usage is planned and executable in actual senses. Let’s separate the wheat from the chaff and find out how Blockchain can be useful in actual implementation.

Smart contracts

Different businesses deal with each other in order to exchange services or products. All the give and take terms and conditions are signed by the involved parties in the form of agreements or contracts. However, these paper-based contracts are prone to errors and frauds which challenges the trust factor between both the parties and raises risks. Blockchain brings forward an amazing solution to this problem through Smart Contracts.

Smart contracts perform similar functions as paper-based agreements. The differentiating factor about smart contracts is that these are digital as well as self-executable in nature. Self-executable meaning that when certain conditions in the code of these contracts are met, they are automatically deployed. Ethereum, an open source blockchain platform has introduced smart contracts in the Blockchain ecosystem. Smart contracts can be used for different situations or industries such as financial agreements, health insurances, real estate property documents, crowdfunding etc.

For example, Blockchain smart contracts can be used in healthcare to manage drug supply.

Once the name and quantity of a drug is shipped from a manufacturing company to be delivered ahead to the pharmacist, a smart contract with all the valid data like the information of the drug, the quantity of supply etc. can be created. This smart contract will be responsible for managing the entries throughout the entire supply chain between different intermediaries. Since the smart contract works on certain defined conditions, no one can alter them or make any changes in the contract thus, ensuring trust and authenticity of the drugs.

Government Elections

No matter how secure government elections are made, the chances of frauds through anti-social elements always persists. The current voting system relies on manual processing and trust. Even if security breaches and frauds are eliminated, the chances of manual errors cannot be ignored. In such cases, the best solution is to automate the overall process with the help of smart contracts.

Blockchain smart contracts provide a modern system through which these common issues can be easily eliminated. Entries in the smart contracts will allow transparency and security while maintaining the privacy of the voters thus, enabling fair elections.

Identity management

The world is getting more digitized with every passing day. Consider financial transactions happening online for instance, you can easily login with your credentials and security pin in order to access your funds. However, in this case, no one can ensure the identity of the person taking out the money. If your username and password are hacked by someone, there’s no way to secure your money.

The need of the hour is to have a system that manages individual identification on the web. The distributed ledger technology used in blockchains offers you advanced methods of public-private encryption using which, you can prove your identity and digitize your documents. This unique secure identity can work as a saviour for you while conducting any financial transactions or any online interactions on a shared economy. Moreover, the gap between different government bodies and private organizations can be filled through a universal online identity solution that blockchain can provide.

Intellectual Property Protection

Digital content or information can easily be reproduced and distributed with the aid of the internet. Due to this, people from all around the world hold the power to copy, replicate and use it without giving credits to the actual producer of the content. There are copyright laws to protect such issues but in the current scenario, these laws aren’t appropriately defined according to common global standards. Meaning that any law which is valid in the US might not stand true in Australia.

Even if there’s any copyright applied to any intellectual property, people easily lose control over their data and suffer on financial terms. With the aid of Blockchain technology, all the copyrights can be stored in the form of smart contracts which will enable automation in businesses along with the increase in online sale thus, eliminating the redistribution risk.

Blockchain for IP registry will help the authors, owners or users to get clarity of copyright. Once they register their work online, they’ll own the evidence which will be tamper-proof. As blockchain is immutable in nature, any entry once stored on the Blockchain cannot be changed or modified. The owner of the work will have the overall authority over the ownership as well as the distribution of the content.

Conclusion

Other than these few examples, the revolutionary technology of Blockchain holds a high potential of applications in many different industries and sectors. While some industries have already started adopting blockchain in their businesses, many are still exploring the best possible ways to start with.

Blockchain is a new name in the world of technologies but it is definitely the one to last. Even in the early stages, the technology has gained huge popularity starting with their very first application of cryptocurrencies. More areas of applications are being discovered and tested with each passing day. Once the technology is adopted and accepted on a global level, it’ll transform the way we live today.