Blockbuster or Blockchain?

Obsolescence vs. Innovation

In 2004 Blockbuster Video had 9,000 retail stores in suburban shopping malls everywhere.It is almost hard to believe, but if you wanted to watch a movie outside of the movie theater you drove to Blockbuster to rent a DVD or VHS tape. Since then Blockbuster had a fall from grace, at the hands of Redbox, Netflix and others. In 2018 there is exactly one Blockbuster store left standing in Bend, OR. While Blockbuster’s demise is bittersweet to some of us, this blog post is not about obsolescence, but rather innovation!

What Kind of Innovation?

The blockchain kind of innovation. For any of you that follow the financial markets the terms bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and blockchain are always hot topics. If you do not follow the financial markets, cryptocurrency is a digital currency, bitcoin is a type of cryptocurrency, and blockchain is a technology that facilitates cryptocurrency. To be more specific, Harvard Business Professor Karim LaKhani, defines Blockchain as an “immutable, shared digital ledger for recording the history of transactions. In this permanent record of transactions each "block" is linked to the one before it, and secured with cryptography, making it resistant to tampering.” The takeaway is the blockchain technology can be applied to many use cases outside of cryptocurrency. While financial pundits will argue over the legitimacy of cryptocurrency there is a good agreement that the underlying blockchain technology is going to streamline and remove risk in a number of industries. It will do this by ensuring the legitimacy of transactions and providing end to end transparency for a transaction while removing costly middlemen who have traditionally been paid to help ensure legitimacy of a transaction.

To understand the usage of blockchain in the real world, below are a few example use cases across industries:

  • Retail – Cut down on fraud and counterfeiting, by validating proof of ownership. “The ability to undoubtedly prove who made, owned or had contact with certain objects or designer goods will increase their value and ensure the buyers know exactly what they are purchasing beyond what they can see”.
  • Consumer Products - Improve food safety across the supply chain by providing food traceability back to the source, from the farm to the consumer.
  • Healthcare – Increase transparency and trust with electronic medical records. Provide Patients direct access to their electronic medical records, while providers can confidently share patient information when necessary, which is quite useful when a patient is moved to a new facility.
  • Real Estate – Remove costly middlemen, and streamline real estate transactions. “In the near future, it may be possible for a homebuyer to buy a home by clicking on a shopping cart on a website.”
  • Insurance – Cut down on insurance fraud.“By moving insurance claims onto an immutable ledger, blockchain can help eliminate common sources of fraud in the insurance industry.”

While Blockbuster became obsolete, blockchain is helping a myriad of different industries like retail, consumer products, healthcare, insurance, and many more become more efficient, trustworthy, and relevant in today’s economy. The only task left is to make the benefits of blockchain technology available to the masses, and the best way to do that is through a lens that lets the customer, patient, agent, or scientist have complete visibility to all data attached to a transaction, and to provide trust in the data they see on their screen. The Qlik platform is the right lens to provide the necessary visibility, governance, and agility to add fuel to your blockchain project.Rather than explain a blockchain transaction to your business users, and what a ledger is, just give them Qlik for faster answers, more insights, and better outcomes.

Image source: The Blockbuster store in Bend, Ore. (Sandi Harding)

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