Blockchain is slowly invading all aspects of businesses following the rise in popularity of cryptocurrencies despite its volatility.
A common misconception is that Blockchain is only useful for big, major companies or governments and that it only involves payments using cryptocurrencies. On the contrary, various studies have shown SMEs and entrepreneurs can likewise benefit from it in many other
But we all can agree that to compete in a rapidly evolving technological environment, SMEs and entrepreneurs should learn more about the so-called Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs) and Blockchain as they will likely play an increasing role in the future.
Various governments are already exploring ways on how these technologies can be incorporated in industries to yield higher productivity, protection and competitiveness.
While Blockchain is seen to be an essential component on how payments can be made in the future using cryptos, SMEs like retail stores, restaurants, service providers, distributors and suppliers of various products, salons, hypermarkets, coffee shops, etc., can equally benefit from this new technology.
How? As a cheaper cloud storage, for executing smart contracts, monitoring transactions and even raising capital.
As Blockchain is a secure decentralised database technology, SMEs can tap it as a cheaper alternative to store important data and documents as well as monitor transactions. With Blockchain storage applications, users can keep data in a safe way without compromising security breach or overspending.
They can also tap Blockchain for “smart contracts” as the technology is encrypted and protected from hacking. Only the parties involved, the company and clients for instance, know their encrypted codes, thus, protect their agreement against fraud or anomalies. It also removes intermediaries like lawyers and is fast and more efficient.
Additional capital is always an issue for many small and medium businesses, with Blockchain they can explore raising more funds or trade finance for services, to g their business. Through the so-called Initial Token Offerings (ITOs), companies can raise more funds without the use of traditional banks, lenders, private equity firms or even cd-funding platforms.
So how does ITO work? Experts said investors can buy into the offering and will, in return, receive new Blockchain-based tokens from the company which can represent a stake or share, or it could also be used for product or service.
e& enterprise, from e&, is leading in digital transformation and accelerating digital adoption for corporates, governments and large organisations, in collaboration with seven leading UAE banks and Avanza Innovations, launched last year UAE Trade Connect (UTC), a new nationwide Blockchain platform to help businesses make seamless transactions without fraud and duplication. Last year, UTC reported handling invoices worth AED10 billion ($2.72 billion). This unique platform is based on Blockchain and other disruptive technologies enabling data to be shared in a secure manner. Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) read invoices to identify duplicates, frauds and dubious transactions within the banking trade finance offering.
UTC’s initial phase will focus on addressing the risks of double-financing and invoice fraud before turning to other key areas of trade finance, such as digitising bills of lading and e-invoices. UTC is aimed at driving digital transformation of trade in the UAE by enabling banks, enterprises and government authorities to collectively benefit from future technologies. This month, e& (formerly known as Etisalat Group), in alliance with Abu Dhabi mega-corporations ADQ, Alpha Dhabi Holding and First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), announced the launch of a new digital banking platform—Wio.
Headquartered in Abu Dhabi, the new digital bank will have a total invested capital of Dh3.3 billion plus in-kind contribution.
As technologies evolve, so do people and businesses. Using Blockchain to make business transactions may be intimidating at first, but it will be a breeze once you get used to it.
The 4th Industrial Revolution will continue to impact our lives. Its scale, scope and complexity are astonishing and the transformation could only be described as a “technological revolution” we haven’t seen in our lifetime.
It continues to build up since the pandemic struck in 2020. The fusion of human ingenuity and technologies will certainly blur the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres, according to experts, and we must adopt or be left behind. The future is now.