It is quickly becoming apparent that blockchain technology can be used for much more than cryptocurrency transfers. From smart contracts for temporary employment to verifying fine art, it’s clear that blockchain’s transparency and security make it highly appealing for a wide range of applications.
Nowhere is the ever-emerging impact of blockchain poised to have a greater impact than with another relatively recent tech advancement — big data. Companies big and small are increasingly relying on their ability to analyze large swaths of data in order to better understand their customers, logistics needs, website performance, and more.
The problem is that many are unable to take full advantage of big data’s potential, particularly due to the challenges of validating and securing much of this information. With blockchain technology, however, many of these concerns are no longer a problem — and businesses and everyday users can also take advantage of new data collection opportunities.
Solving Big Data Concerns
Do you trust your data? This is a vital question to consider, especially when you are making important business decisions based on the information you’ve collected. Making a decision based on incorrect data could be disastrous for your company, but with data collected through blockchain systems, there is little reason for these fears.
This is because blockchain platforms are completely decentralized, with transactional data and smart contracts turned into a publicly accessible record. As VentureBeat explains, “The blockchain alternative … replaces secrets with transparency, distributing evidence across many blockchain nodes and making it practically impossible to manipulate data without being caught.”
When you collect data from the blockchain, you can have confidence that it is completely accurate. Information stored on the blockchain won’t be tampered with by hackers, and as such, will further legitimize the data you use to make your decisions.
Because blockchain transactions are recorded in a public ledger, information is readily available to those who seek it (even though personal identifying information is kept private). Many groups are already using this readily available data to take a closer look at cryptocurrency transaction trends so they can gain greater insights about their target market.
As more transactions begin to take place using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, those who depend on big data to gain customer insights will need to analyze blockchain transactions and smart contracts if they wish to stay ahead of the market. MoData notes, “The blockchain ledger data could be worth up to 20% of the Big Data market by 2030 and could produce up to $100 billion in annual revenue for those seeking to mine bitcoin or operate a full node…The revenue potential surpasses that which Visa, MasterCard and PayPal generate combined.”
These public ledgers offer real-time insights into financial trends without the artificial filters sometimes imposed by surveys and other research methods. As Rick Burgess noted several years ago, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency platforms are ideally suited for social data prediction because of their value being tied directly to market demand and the high percentage of traders who are active on social media. When linked with social media trends, blockchain information can yield even more actionable insights.
Blockchain also creates new opportunities for users to monetize their data. Blockchain startup Path is already striving to accomplish this by creating a system where users are able to earn tokens while providing their data to companies. In this setup, a user would install a “Path Mining Node” on their system, which would use available bandwidth to send behavioral insights to Path and its clients.
Path allows companies to collect data without any active input from the customers, who can continue to use their web browser as they normally would. This greatly improves the accuracy of the data. Better yet, because users are compensated for providing this information, it turns into a win-win for all parties involved. With extra motivation to provide data to companies, it is quite likely that more customers will be willing to actively share their data, which in turn will create many new marketing opportunities.
Information Is Power
Big data has long been an essential resource for companies looking to grow their business. With the rise of blockchain technology, it is clear that more data will soon be available than ever before — only this time, those collecting the information can have greater confidence in the insights they are receiving.
Of course, you’re not the only one who will be striving to take advantage of these improved data points. Your competitors will also be actively engaged in this arena. As such, investing in superior analytics personnel and technology will be essential for staying ahead of the competition.
By combining the technological resources made available through both big data and the blockchain, companies will soon find themselves in possession of more information than ever before. With more data in hand — and the tools to analyze it — you can make improvements to all parts of your business. The sooner you embrace these amazing technologies, the faster you’ll be able to grow.
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