To picture what blockchain is, and how life-changing it can be, let’s think first about how you buy stuff today.
Let’s say you want to buy a burger. You pay paper money to the snack stand, which gives you a burger in return. Simple deal? Not quite. Under that simple purchase, there are a lot of middlemen.
The central bank that printed your money tries to keep track of every cent you spend. The snack stand owner hires auditors and accountants to check every single deal, to be sure that nothing is faked or stolen. There are receipts to be printed, cash registers and card scanners to be bought, and taxes to be paid. All of these processes, just to confirm that you indeed bought a burger.
With blockchain, you can buy your burger and the whole world will know that it’s true… in seconds.
How does blockchain work?
This time, let’s buy a burger using blockchain. There’s no need for paper money here because everything’s online. And that gets rid of the fake money problem. Instead, your money will be in digital form, perhaps like Bitcoin, which has its own value. You use that cyber-money to pay the seller for the burger. Your deal gets logged into a network of computers connected from around the world. Once they check that your deal is the real thing, it gets logged on each computer forever. You lose the Bitcoin you paid, you get your burger, and deal is recorded as true.
This record of your deal is called a block. It is protected by a series of codes generated for only you and the one who sold you the burger. This block, which also has its own protective code, is chained endlessly to all the blocks before it. (Hence, the term blockchain.) This chain makes sure that no one else can claim that they did the deal you made. Also, you don’t have to worry about your deal being logged on all the computers. Because while every deal in the blockchain is open to the world, only you will know what they’re all about.
Sure, at first glance, blockchain seems like it’s just a new way to strike deals online. But this technology of listing, tracking, and checking purchases and actions can open up a whole new world. Think of how fast things would go when we’re sure that every deal we make or deed we do on the Internet is checked at once as true. Businesses won’t have to spend a lot on checking every deal. Votes and medical records can be confirmed immediately. New opportunities can be discovered. Perhaps now that we don’t need too many complicated checks and balances, loyalty points and other privileges can be used more freely in every merchant. Imagine that.
At Appsolutely, we’re excited about the endless possibilities that blockchain gives to our plans for an omnichannel loyalty ecosystem. And we can’t wait to share with you what we plan to do to it.