2017-04-05 00:00:00InnovationEnglishhttps://quickbooks.intuit.com/blog/us_blog/uploads/2017/04/Blockchain.jpghttps://quickbooks.intuit.com/blog/innovation/blockchain-whats-in-it-for-small-business/Blockchain: What’s in it for Small Business

Blockchain: What’s in it for Small Business

2 min read

In late March in New York City, Intuit® brought together the innovators, products and technology experiments that are changing the lives of the company’s 42 million customers at its Innovation Gallery Walk. Dubbed “The Intelligent Economy,” the event offered 26 demos showcasing the power of Intuit’s ecosystem. We’ve already featured articles on SmartMirror and Virtual Reality, and Emotion Detection, Voice and Chatbots. Let’s take a closer look at one of the technologies poised to help our customers prosper.

Who Are You?

Have you ever been in a situation where you want to sign up for something, but the application form asks for personal information you are not comfortable sharing? On a website, at an airport or in front of a bank counter, everyone wants us to prove that we are who we say we are. Intuit is applying blockchain to secure and verify one’s digital identity in a way that makes consumers feel confident and in control.

In our current world, there are millions, if not billions, of data that are fragmented or unverified. Blockchain technologies – with Bitcoin being the most popular and well-known example – promise to transform how data is securely stored and exchanged. A blockchain works as an online ledger that is able to be viewed by everyone. As a block is updated or verified, the ledger is updated. It’s similar to a Google Docs with restricted settings, allowing only the verified authors to make edits, but enabling everyone to see them and see who made them.

Blockchain can be used to aggregate data from verified sources to create unique configurations. The application of two of blockchain’s features, smart contracts and distributed ledgers, in the mortgage industry, for example, would fix some of this industry’s inherent inefficiencies by updating ledgers immediately, automatically, transparently and with traceability.

Small Business Applications

When selling a service or product, small businesses often buy supplies from different vendors to then assemble and market the final product. The problem with this system is that if one of these components fails, the business takes the brunt of the backlash. Using blockchain technology would provide digitally permanent, auditable records that show the state of the product at each step.

Another common service small businesses use is cloud storage. Currently, these services are centralized, so users must place trust in a single storage provider. With blockchain, cloud storage can become decentralized for security improvement and to decrease dependency. This would also allow businesses to rent out their excess storage capacity, Airbnb-style, creating new marketplaces. 

More to Come

Stay tuned for more content from Intuit’s Innovation Gallery Walk. We’re looking forward to sharing with you more examples of how we’re exploring emerging technologies to better serve our customers!

Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.
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