SMEs Company news South Africa

Blockchain as a tool for entrepreneurs

The debate around blockchain technology and the future is almost as old as blockchain itself. Ever since this innovative technology first emerged, it became abundantly clear that its potential goes far beyond merely supporting cryptocurrencies. It has the power to revolutionise the way people conduct financial transactions, and as we celebrate Entrepreneurship Month, we must recognise the pivotal role that entrepreneurs can play in harnessing blockchain as a financial tool.
Blockchain as a tool for entrepreneurs

While some argue that there is no direct comparison between blockchain and traditional fiat-based financial systems, it is essential to acknowledge that both coexist within the world of financial services. This coexistence creates a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to understand the significant benefits of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

Trust and safety

Blockchain stands out as a groundbreaking tool for entrepreneurs due to its ability to facilitate trust without the need for third-party intermediaries. Trust is the bedrock of financial systems, and blockchain technology offers a level of confidence in transactions that is hard to match. Entrepreneurs can conduct financial dealings with unwavering trust, free from the constraints of traditional intermediaries.

Adding to the compelling case for blockchain to eventually become the foundation on which most financial services transactions are built is the immutable nature of the technology. Fraud and cybercrime have plagued the ‘traditional’ banking landscape, eroding the confidence of legitimate participants. The scene is certainly set for a shift in thinking that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to tamper with a financial transaction, or their historical records. And blockchain is already ushering in that change.

Entrepreneurs can leverage blockchain’s secure, transparent and tamper-proof record-keeping capabilities to solve the challenges and inefficiencies of the traditional Know Your Customer (KYC) process. By leveraging blockchain, entrepreneurs can create a decentralised identity verification system that can securely store and share customer data in a tamper-proof manner.

Banking the underbanked

Emerging financial technologies such as Decentralised Finance (Defi), built on distributed ledger technologies, are empowering entrepreneurs to provide services such as lending, investing, or asset exchange without relying on traditional centralised intermediaries. DeFi is a lifeline for the unbanked, offering them opportunities and products previously out of reach in the traditional financial system.

The underbanked can also expect faster cross-border settlements thanks to blockchain. With near-instantaneous cross-border payments, intermediaries such as banks or payment processors become obsolete, and funds can flow directly between sender and recipient, reducing barriers to entry into financial services.

Payment method

Entrepreneurs can gain a competitive edge by adopting blockchain technology and accepting cryptocurrencies as a payment method. This approach not only diversifies payment options for customers but also aligns their small businesses with cutting-edge trends. As seen with giant retail stores, partnering with cryptocurrency companies like Binance, solves the virtual challenge, enabling customers to pay for purchases using their crypto wallets.

Financial literacy

Blockchain technology is reshaping macroeconomics and providing innovative solutions to longstanding challenges in investments and funding resources. Entrepreneurs who are financially literate in this realm can make informed decisions, reducing the risk of financial mistakes that could jeopardise their businesses. Entrepreneurs should prioritise educating themselves on blockchain technology as a financial tool as it represents the undeniable transformative force in the current business landscape.

Furthermore, blockchain's transparency intensifies trust and security while reducing friction in transactions. The technology also supports the creation and use of digital identities, further bolstering trust and security in financial dealings.

Incorporating blockchain and cryptocurrencies into their businesses allows entrepreneurs to elevate the speed and security of their operations. It's a transformative force that positions entrepreneurs at the forefront of financial innovation, giving them the tools they need to shape the future of entrepreneurship.

In conclusion, the undeniable potential of blockchain and cryptocurrencies as tools for entrepreneurs is paving the way for a new era in financial innovation. As we celebrate Entrepreneurship Month, let us not only recognise the vital role of entrepreneurs but also empower them to seize the opportunities that blockchain presents, transforming their businesses and the broader economic landscape for the better.

About Hannes Wessels

Hannes Wessels is country manager for Southern and Francophone Africa.
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