Blockchain technology is the ‘engine’ that powers Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It is a decentralized, distributed and openly accessible public ledger of all transaction in the system. All parties involved in a transaction have the power to see the details of the transaction, and the system is designed to ensure the safety and security of all transactions.
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Blockchain is a technology that can change the way we handle money. Having been developed by a bunch of programmers who wanted to create an alternative to the current system, we are now seeing some of the benefits delivered, and the potential for blockchain to change the way we handle money is staggering.
Ripple, a San Francisco-based blockchain payments company, has released a new report examining the importance of blockchain technology and how it can prove beneficial to SMEs and improve efficiency in the sector.
Big opportunities in payments for small businesses
The report published by Ripple is titled Big Opportunities in Small Business Payments and discusses the various ways in which SMEs (small and medium enterprises) can improve their cross-border payment infrastructure using blockchain technology. Ripple research shows that despite a $15 trillion market, the infrastructure of the emerging SMB market is not good enough for B2B payments. The report points out that international payments are subject to very high charges and that, on the other hand, cross-border payment services are not sufficiently represented in some regions. Moreover, the report states: However, SMEs are increasingly dependent on cross-border payments to grow, both to access new customers and to attract suppliers and outsourced staff. Moreover, traditional global payment systems involve many intermediaries, which not only slows down payments, but also increases the likelihood of errors. Any delay between payments to suppliers and employees affects the ability of SMEs to maintain, develop and expand their business. In addition, SMEs consider that current payment methods are not good enough to be used for cross-border payments. Ripple’s report states that this is the part where blockchain technology can be deployed and used to improve the structure of cross-border payments for SMEs. According to the company, payments via blockchain technology can both reduce costs and gain speed, speeding up the process.