Thanks to the success of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, many companies and entire industries are now exploring blockchain solutions to enhance the ways they conduct business.
For some context, blockchain is the underlying distributed ledger technology (DLT) behind cryptocurrencies. And although the technology became popular with the advent of Bitcoin, the concept was first proposed by Cryptographer David Chaum in his 1982 dissertation "Computer Systems Established, Maintained, and Trusted by Mutually Suspicious Groups."
A blockchain is essentially an immutable time-stamped record of transactions or data that is duplicated and stored across a cluster of computers on the network. Every block on the chain is linked to a previous block and must be confirmed by peer-to-peer networks.
As already mentioned, blockchain tech became popular with Bitcoin and the proliferation of cryptocurrencies. However, its potential use cases have grown beyond servicing only the financial industry. Today, there are emerging uses of blockchain across finance, business, government and many other industries. In 2018, a Forbes report disclosed that fifty of the world’s largest public companies were already exploring blockchain projects. Meanwhile, CB Insights highlighted 55 major industries blockchain could transform in the next few years.
In the oil and gas sector, for instance, Shell has been working with its finance and technology partners on a solution for the trade and settlement of crude oil on a blockchain. Similarly, Walmart used blockchain to create a food traceability system, and insurance behemoth AXA now allows blockchain-enabled flight insurance. The list is quite endless.
Blockchain in Banking & Finance
One of the earliest use cases of blockchain tech was in the banking and finance industry. An excerpt from the Bitcoin whitepaper describes the flagship cryptocurrency as "a purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution."
While legacy projects Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have laid the foundation for p2p transfers, they suffer in the areas of ease of use, scalability and legal framework. However, compared to over a decade ago when Bitcoin first launched, the crypto industry has grown in maturity, and several solutions are springing up to tackle some of these bottlenecks.
One of the latest market entrants in this regard is QCHAIN, a fifth generation of blockchain that was created to accommodate a wide range of users, including government, commercial and private scenarios. The platform does not only allow for low-fee transactions, it boasts of a network throughput of 100,000 transactions per second (tps) based on testnet results.
The estimated value of transactions per second has been pegged at 1 million tps. This is a major upgrade considering the fact that legacy blockchains rarely handle more than 20 to 30 transactions per second. QCHAIN is able to achieve this high throughput by employing a unique protocol based on TCP/IP, in addition to a virtual communication channel with every node within the ecosystem.
Like many other blockchain projects, QCHAIN has its own native token known as the QCHAIN Dynamic Token (QDT). This is in addition to a stablecoin (QST). QDT, which has already passed three stages of sales, can be used for trading, receiving dividends and paying for goods and services within the ecosystem. According to the project’s whitepaper:
"QDT (QCHAIN Dynamic Token) expresses the intellectual property (IP) of the QCHAIN software code. The issue of QDT is 2,718,281,828 coins. The QDT token will be intended to attract additional liquidity to the QCHAIN ecosystem with the possibility of receiving dividends and additional benefits on partners' platforms."
Away from the cryptocurrency scene, blockchain is being used by traditional financial institutions to facilitate money transfers, international payments, trade finance, capital markets and regulatory compliance and audit.
For instance, in April 2018, Banco Santander launched the world’s first blockchain-based money transfer system called the "Santander One Pay FX." Since then, other large commercial banks such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have jumped on the blockchain train.
The bottom line is that blockchain has found a number of use cases in a wide range of business applications, including supply chain management, healthcare, real estate, media, and energy, amongst others.