Antony Welfare, chief commercial officer at NEM Software, shares his thoughts on the benefits of the integration of hybrid blockchain-enabled solutions into e-commerce and businesses.
The benefits for business delivered by hybrid blockchain models are exponential. A hybrid chain model seamlessly incorporates two integrated chains — one public and one private — allowing businesses to utilize the immense benefits brought by integrated public and private blockchains.
Businesses are afforded enhanced security measures through hybrid chains, while also allowing for direct communication between the business and the consumers through the open ledger synonymous with effective blockchain solutions.
Above all else, hybrid blockchain solutions allow for a “best of both worlds” scenario that offers more flexibility to businesses in how they manage and share data. Data usage is at the forefront of consumers’ minds, and businesses can build trust and loyalty by offering a solution that places paramount importance on transparency.
How are hybrid blockchains different from public and private chains?
In order to fully understand the unique benefits brought by utilizing hybrid chain solutions, it is important to understand both public and private chain solutions. A public blockchain is an open network that allows any user to join and participate in the network. Conversely, a private blockchain is one which an enterprise only allows specific users access through the explicit confirmation of permission.
A hybrid blockchain is one which is built as one chain; a public blockchain network is available to access by consumers, while a private blockchain network is established for the management of information, data, and the corporate stakeholders overseeing the transactions in question.
The amalgamation of both public and private chains is rapidly becoming a focal point of blockchain-enabled enterprise, with Symbol from NEM redefining what blockchain looks like for the next generation of business.
Hybrid blockchain solutions will enable businesses to simultaneously benefit from the much-beloved transparency that public chains offer, while also permitting data restrictions and encryption measures to be put in place for more sensitive or confidential information. They also allow businesses to transact with third parties, which thoroughly enhances the customer experience. This allows for benefits such as loyalty rewards programs, that are becoming increasingly popular on hybrid platforms.
In situations where information needs to be shared with a third party, for instance, an insurance broker sharing customer information with the underwriter, hybrid chain solutions allow for the data to be automatically shared in a safe way that guarantees the security of the customer’s information.
The data also cannot be manipulated by any party due to the immutable nature of blockchain solutions. Its transferable and transparent nature allows for enhanced ownership tracking, ensuring all parties are aware of the status of the data at all times.
This results in significant savings for businesses as oversight and litigation costs are often deemed unnecessary. Hybrid blockchain solutions are also fast, resilient, and require very low maintenance, which further reduces the costs incurred on all businesses, especially for complex enterprises.
E-commerce companies to embrace hybrid blockchain-enabled solutions
The current pandemic has prompted an increasing number of businesses to move from traditional brick and mortar frameworks to embracing e-commerce platforms. Fears amongst the general public of shopping in physical shops or outlets on high street have had a profound impact on the demand for e-commerce.
Traditional outlets have been shuttered across the world, while e-commerce is expected to grow by up to 20 per cent in 2020 alone. Walmart has experienced a 97 per cent increase in online sales, whereas Amazon has seen a 40 per cent uptick in its business. This shift towards e-commerce is likely to have long standing implications for the industry, meaning that many people will embrace e-commerce as their go-to for years to come.
Traditional outlets are gearing up for what is expected to be a significant surge in demand this holiday season, although e-commerce websites need to establish trustworthiness if they are to become the new normal. Hybrid blockchain solutions bring with them significant positive benefits for e-commerce and can ensure this trust is achieved.
E-commerce businesses can utilize public chains to facilitate consumer-facing or peer-to-peer transactions, while private chains can operate in tandem by limiting access or visibility to certain parties with required permissions. This allows only certain parties the right to view or modify important data.
Time will tell how willing e-commerce companies and businesses are to embrace technologies such as hybrid blockchain-enabled solutions. Businesses across the world are already realizing the immense benefits of hybrid blockchain solutions.
The savings brought with the implementation of hybrid chain models, along with the magnitude of the enhancements to the customer experience and the speed of operation are game-changing developments in this burgeoning industry. Above all else, the potential trust instilled in all involved stakeholders due to the nature of these solutions will revolutionize the way people shop and sell all across the world.
NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the author’s and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of BeInCrypto.
Written by Antony Welfare, CCO of NEM Software. Antony has 20 years experience in retail and emerging technology. As former Innovation Strategy Director at Oracle, he developed their Go To Market strategy for blockchain apps in the EMEA region. He also served as Managing Director of DXC Technology, a global technology consultancy, where he led their blockchain practice.