Digital Transformation and Blockchain

With the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic last year, the limitations of our modern healthcare systems and business models have been exposed, leaving us wondering how we should go about improving them. Travel bans and lockdown measures have forced consumers to stay home and move towards online channels to work, study, and shop, which has supported and accelerated the digital transformation of many businesses and areas nowadays.

As explained in a survey conducted by McKinsey & Company, “In just a few months’ time, the COVID-19 crisis has brought about years of change in the way companies in all sectors and regions do business. According to a new McKinsey Global Survey of executives, their companies have accelerated the digitization of their customer and supply-chain interactions and of their internal operations by three to four years.”

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Blockchain Technology successfully used 

Technology has become a necessary tool for everyone to make this new way of living more bearable – and many businesses and entrepreneurs turned to innovative technologies, such as blockchain, to innovate during those times to save time and money, as well as to provide the best product possible. 

The blockchain has been especially useful in activity sectors that need to follow more secure procedures and rely on a more transparent supply chain or data collection process. Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are impacting more and more traditional business models that need to innovate to thrive and succeed, especially during these challenging times. 

Cryptocurrency enthusiasts who are investing in Cryptocurrencies, must pay attention before investing in any asset. The reference is clearly not only and exclusively to Bitcoin, but It also applies to Dogecoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, as well as all other major digital currencies. The digital coins, therefore, are without a doubt the most fascinating and interesting opportunities that have a potential to be part of our daily lives over the next few years.

Today, companies such as Dell, Target, Burger-King, Expedia, Bloomberg, PayPal, and Tesla Motors allow accepting payments in Bitcoin, mostly with the use of Bitcoin debit cards, which shows that the Bitcoin system is likely to behave like a standard market.

Everyone engaged in cryptocurrency trading knows that prices can fluctuate on trading platforms, which makes some people think that they might not be around over the long run. But the blockchain technology and all the developments in this area are here to stay, as they go beyond cryptocurrencies. Today, they are used in many different activity sectors due to their portability, high liquidity, and relevancy to enhance and improve business models and procedures.

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So, what is blockchain exactly? Simply put, the blockchain works as a distributed ledger or database system, running on millions of devices which can be used by anyone, that records transactions, establishes identities, validates contracts, and safely stores technology. 

The core concept behind the blockchain is to provide a decentralized technology that does not require the intervention of the third party to allow a transaction to happen. No one truly owns the blockchain and no one has control over the technology, as it does not belong to anyone.

While Blockchain technology was used initially to provide a decentralized peer-to-peer digital payment system with Bitcoin launched in 2009, (currently exhibits a market capitalization of more than 100 billion USD), the blockchain is now used for many other things, such as secure transactions to be made without any involvement of intermediaries. It allows a quick and private transferring of information that is quicker and cheaper than before. It is also used for running smart contracts, providing a decentralized and immutable database, enhancing transparency in processes, allowing digital identity, etc.

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The Environmental Impact of Bitcoin

According to the statistics and data that have been released lately, mining of cryptocurrency consumes an enormous amount of energy, involving heavy computer calculations which increasing the price of electricity and hence its CO2 production.  The average consumption of Bitcoin is around 700 kilowatt hours (around 10 Terawatt Hours per year) for each transaction. Different speech for Ethereum, in which the average consumption drops to 62.56 KWh per transaction, even if the PoW system is the same as Bitcoin, but the transition to version 2.0 Proof of Stake could solve this problem. 

The mining of Bitcoin does consume lots of energy which has an environmental impact on the environment. In 2018 a research showed that in the areas and buildings where Bitcoin miners are operating, there was a risk of fire generated by overloading the electricity network. Today, the Bitcoin miners are doing their best to choose electricity from renewable sources of power. 

This discussion has started to grow while the question asked about the mining of Bitcoin is – whether it worth its negative impact?  Well, just like anything else that adds value to our life, it does consume resources and these issues should be solved by the bitcoin miner’s society that needs to do whatever it takes to reduce that negative impact.

Before Covid-19, businesses across industries only started to see the potential and capabilities offered by technology to better engage with people and improve the way they do business, but as in-person meetings were not allowed due to the pandemic, businesses realized just how powerful and necessary technology like blockchain, and other innovations were to grow.

Blockchain technology has encouraged technological innovation adoption and accelerated digital transformation. Cryptocurrencies have already started to have an impact over our society and the economic vicinity. The ability of Bitcoin to survive in the long run, might become in the near future an alternative to the traditional money that is well-known to us. Despite the negative impact on the environment including CO2 emissions, Bitcoin regulations are already getting legitimate in some countries.  Even though many financial opinion leaders and influencers are still against it, seems like Bitcoin is here to stay.

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