The C-level guide to enterprise blockchain: Use Cases, Challenges, Solutions

Helen Boreanaz
June 28, 2024
5 min read
Table of Contents

It’s been a while since the first ledger started to operate. No one doubts now that the blockchain is a future-shaping technology. Think about the last time you scanned a QR code to verify the authenticity of a product. Or perhaps you used a secure online wallet to manage your digital assets. 

These seemingly mundane activities are just a glimpse into the tectonic stresses caused by blockchain networks—starting from the new coffee shop on your street’s corner, ending with enterprise blockchain giants. From streamlining complex supply chains to fostering trust in data-driven decision making, enterprise blockchain remains the most popular concept in theory and the most demanding to implement. If you’re here, then you’re thinking about enterprise blockchain companies, and we share your admiration.

In this article, we'll delve into how enterprise blockchain technology helps companies change their business model, generate more income than other technologies, and makes them viable in 5,10, or even 50 years. And for the dessert, our engineers give a few hints on painless enterprise blockchain adoption and implementation. 

Why enterprise blockchain matters

What is an enterprise blockchain? To put it simply, an enterprise blockchain is a secure, shared record-keeping system designed for businesses. Using advanced cryptography that’s only available in blockchain technology, it's nearly impossible to alter information once added, making it highly secure and transparent for collaboration. Trust is the main asset generously coined in the enterprise blockchain. Thus, one of the main qualities of blockchain—trustless—suggests that there's no requirement to place trust in any third party or intermediary. 

The thing is that it’s technically hard to achieve this level of enterprise blockchain development and implementation. Extremely hard. But we’ll talk about that part later.

How can “trustlessness” improve your business

We won’t give you a lecture here, instead here are some case studies for you to discover.

Walmart (Retail)

They improved food safety and traceability by tracking products from farm to shelf on a blockchain. Walmart succeeded in implementing the enterprise-grade blockchain to improve the traceability of food-borne diseases by allowing companies to act faster and discarding produce only from affected farms. 

Source: Walmart Case Study

Maersk (Shipping) 

Maersk has streamlined complex international shipping processes with increased transparency and reduced paperwork. The problem of transparent shipping is common for importers because when anything happens—you won’t know why, where, and who’s generally responsible for it in the first place. Thus, the enterprise blockchain solutions they implement helped them to solve this problem and become distinctively better compared to their competitors. 

Source: Maersk Case Study

HSBC (Banking)

They have facilitated faster and more secure cross-border payments through a blockchain network. HSBC is a participator of multiple projects and a consumer of enterprise blockchain services en masse. The latest news tells us that they are concentrating on the tokenization of gold and have successfully traded the gold tokens stored in HSBC’s London vault. 

HSBC’s London vault online tour. No gold. Seemingly sold out 🙂

De Beers (Diamonds)

This company has enhanced diamond traceability, reducing fraud, and increasing consumer confidence. De Beers utilizes an enterprise blockchain platform called Tracr. It contains blockchain, AI, the IoT, and advanced security and privacy solutions. 

Read the case study about the tool that underpins trust in diamond provenance.

Siemens (Manufacturing)

It’s already been years since Siemens started implementing blockchain for enterprise. Also, they actively participate in scientific research, technology reviews, and emerging trends reports. Their interest is concentrated on streamlined supply chain management, ensuring parts authenticity, and optimizing logistics.

Source: Industrial Metaverse review

The Siemens Xcelerator stands as a platform for this future-proof company that will shape the landscape of industry and businesses, using blockchain technology at its core.

Addressing traditional system pain points

These inspiring examples may not give you a full picture of which Web2 failed challenges are successfully solved by Web3 enterprise blockchain applications. We’ll give you a few hints:

Traditional Web2 Feature

Pain Point

Enterprise Blockchain Solution

Data silos

Information fragmented across different systems

A shared ledger provides a single source of truth.

Lack of transparency

Difficulty tracking changes and verifying data

Transparent history of transactions visible to all authorized participants.

Security vulnerabilities

Centralized systems susceptible to cyberattacks

The decentralized nature makes it more secure and tamper-proof.

Inefficient workflows

Manual processes leading to delays and errors

Automates tasks and streamlines workflows through smart contracts.

Third-party dependence

Reliant on trusted intermediaries for verification

Eliminates the need for intermediaries, reducing costs and speeding up processes.

The price for such solutions is high: it takes time, patience, huge technical expertise, and human resources. The implementation of enterprise blockchain isn't just a one-time switch; it's a transformative journey. 

But as companies change their nature to decentralized and start developing their blockchain platforms, the result sets new rules and completely another level of quality. New business models emerge, challenging traditional players.

How to spot the best time for enterprise blockchain adoption

Here are some signs that the timing might be good for your company to leverage enterprise blockchain:

  • Your business model relies on trust and collaboration across multiple parties.
  • The team is facing challenges with data security or verification of information.
  • You see opportunities for streamlining workflows and automating processes.
  • The whole industry is actively exploring blockchain applications and showing signs of successful implementation.
  • You have a clear understanding of the potential benefits and are prepared to invest in the technology.

The business and industry maturity will bring you to these signs sooner or later. You’re lucky that the time of early adopters is in the past, so you’re about to use solutions that grew on the wins and losses in your industry. 

The point to start depends on what problem of your consumer retaining and acquisition you want to address with your blockchain adoption.

Traditional Web2 Company

Web3 Integration Example

Netflix: Streaming giant

Exploring the use of NFTs to provide exclusive content or access to fans.

Meta: Social media platform

Developing a metaverse platform (Horizon Worlds) with the potential for integrating blockchain-based digital assets and experiences.

Ubisoft: Video game publisher

Implementing blockchain technology in some of their games to allow players ownership of in-game items (e.g., Ubisoft Quartz).

Nike: Sports apparel brand

Launching sneaker lines with NFTs that provide exclusive benefits or virtual experiences.

So, would you start with improved private transactions or implement smart contracts for sales authorization purposes—it all depends on your general modernization plan. 

Overcoming challenges and building a strong team

Implementing the most fitting types of decentralized networks (like consortium blockchain, for example) comes with its set of challenges:

  • The painful selection of setup and compatibility bingo: Deciding on governance rules, voting mechanisms, and access control for the network participant can be complex. Reaching consensus among different stakeholders can be time-consuming. Besides, different blockchain platforms can have varying protocols and standards.

    Making the right decision at this stage contains 80% of success.
  • Scalability and performance limitations: Current blockchain networks can struggle with transaction throughput. Processing a large volume of transactions can lead to slow processing times and high fees. Mitigation strategies include using layer-2 solutions or hybrid models combining on-chain and off-chain processing.

    Being balanced, well-predictable, and stable in the face of high-load days is preferable for you here.
  • Regulatory uncertainties: The evolving regulatory landscape requires staying informed and compliant with local and international laws. Engaging legal experts can help navigate these complexities.

    Even if you’re not a DeFi startup, you should consult capable lawyers for adherence with a regulatory base. At least once.  
  • Talent acquisition hurdles: Hiring or training qualified personnel and finding skilled blockchain professionals can be challenging. Strategies include partnering with educational institutions, choosing your Web3 partner, and offering competitive incentives.
Join our Web3 chat in Telegram to get in contact with other managers implementing blockchain daily

Summing up the list of potential problems, we have some mitigation pills for them. 

  • Choose the best-fit network: Carefully assess your business needs and choose a decentralized network that aligns with your requirements (e.g., consortium, public, or hybrid).
  • Unify everything possible: Look for industry-wide standards and interoperability solutions that allow for easier data exchange between different blockchain platforms.
  • Keep your eyes on regulations: It’s extremely dangerous and expensive to lose some kind of legislative detail that will crush your technical excellence into pieces.
  • Get a comfortable and smart team: Invest in training your existing team or consider partnering with blockchain technology providers who can offer expertise.
  • Think of scalability beforehand: Research and implement solutions like layer-2 scaling solutions to improve transaction processing speed and reduce network congestion.

Your place in a decentralized future

Whenever you’re already participating in an adoption race or just looking for the start line, there’s still time to get your business powered up with blockchain. The success of the implementation depends on two main factors:

  • The technical expertise you have—from now on, it’s your main fuel for innovation;
  • The challenge you’re aiming to solve with a decentralized treat.

If one of these points can’t be explained in detail and doesn’t match the reality, the adoption won’t bring the expected results.

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