There has not been an internet buzzword as strong as blockchain.
Hardly could we read any news item in the past few years without coming across an article mentioning the blockchain technology.
It wasn’t hard to guess the impact it had, and continues to have, on the world we live in.
But be that as it may, this term "blockchain" is used by many but understood by only some.
Although the term "blockchain" is usually mistaken for "bitcoin", these two are rather different.
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency obtained through mining and is generated and held on your PC. On the other hand, blockchain doesn’t only transfer currencies, but anything that can be transacted between two parties.
What exactly is blockchain?
In 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto developed the main concept of bitcoin in his document "Bitcoin: A Peer-To-Peer Electronic Cash System". By doing this, he laid the foundations for building a P2P network that could mark the transactions with a time stamp and form an autonomous database accessible to all its participants.
This database is decentralized since it is not stored on a single server. All transactions are public and are there for everyone to see.
It is because of this transparency that blockchain can’t be manipulated to anyone’s favor. Someone trying to do that would end up unsynchronized with other participants.
What exactly did blockchain prove?
The double-spending problem was successfully solved by demonstrating there is no need for a third party i.e. intermediary that both parties would trust.
The thing is that these e-goods work the same way tangible, physical goods do. In other words, they can’t be in two places at the same time.
The whole history of all transactions ever performed within the network is saved and has to match the information on all the devices it was saved on. On top of that, a certain number of network users (the nodes) always have to validate the transaction regardless of where and when it takes place.
From that moment on, the transaction is cryptographically locked and can’t be altered.
Articles published on The Blockchain Review can help you gain insight into many innovations blockchain has caused and some of them include:
A noble cause
The data obtained in any government and non-government sector is easily collected through blockchain technology.
A noble way we can use this technology is to apply it to track the number of newborns in the Third World countries. In reality, the majority of newborn babies (one fifth, to be precise) officially doesn’t exist because they are not noted in the registry of births.
This creates room for human trafficking.
However, through blockchain, traffickers will find it more difficult to fake identifications because all data is safely stored through blockchain-enabled identities.
Automotive industry and road-safety
Teamed up with Oaken Innovation Inc., Toyota’s management has started implementing blockchain technology in hopes of changing the way we perceive the next generation of cars and car insurance.
To put it bluntly, car sensor would collect the data during the drive and the acquired information would then be stored in a blockchain. Estimating the damage would save a lot of time and effort for the insurance companies while simultaneously advancing the autonomous driving technology.
Prevention of online frauds
Data breaching has been one of the biggest problems online platforms had to face.
Cyber-attacks are becoming more frequent and are a significant threat to data-safety. Still, through blockchain technology and its decentralized properties, committing a fraud would involve hacking millions of networks which is downright impossible.
Improvements to supply chain
Creating and distributing goods is an extremely complex process.
There are many stages to complete and because of the time it requires and the number of people involved, the transparency of the process tends to be lost.
For this reason, the scalability and efficiency of the blockchain allow for the simplicity and security of everything from warehousing to the final payment.
Benefits to ordinary citizens
What regular people will mostly benefit from is the way public services are handled through blockchain-based solutions.
Not only does it bring human error to a minimum, but it also improves time-efficiency by reducing waiting in queues to get the simple paperwork done.
On top of that, blockchain system can offer a better ecosystem for the elderly citizens and ensure correctness of property ownership registration.
All being said, blockchain technology is here to stay and it is changing our daily lives at a fast pace. It has the power to truly revolutionize the simple things in life which can sometimes complicate it to a large extent. The only thing we need to do is wait and see what the future holds.
Emma Miller is a Sydney based writer with a degree in marketing. Interested in digital marketing, social media, start-ups and latest trends. She’s a contributor at BizzMark Blog.