Blockchain is not just the new kid on the block (pun intended) anymore; it has well and truly captured the global market with a reach that is unparalleled. Up until a few years ago, most of us would think of blockchain as some gym equipment used for triceps. Little did we know that it will forge the backbone of a new internet type.
The brainchild of a group of individuals or a single person under the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto, Blockchain has allowed for digital data to be distributed rather than copied. Originally made for Bitcoin, a digital currency, Blockchain has grown to find tons of other applications across the globe.
Just so you know, the total value of this currency as of today is 112 Billion US dollars. Also, unlike the Internet, you don’t need to know what a blockchain is in order to make good use of it. However, here’s some clarity:
Imagine an excel spreadsheet which has million duplications across a wide network of computers across the world. Now this spreadsheet is constantly updated wherein the data exists as a shared entity and not a private one. Ergo, there is no centralized location where records are kept, whilst the information is totally public and verifiable. This has rendered fraudulent behavior a thing of the past. Also, since there is no centralized location, there is no single failure point.
The Internet-Blockchain Analogy
Blockchain is just like the Internet in ways more than one. The same concept, the same structure, the same underlying technology, decentralized nature, transparency and what not. And hasn’t the Internet proven to be robust and durable over a span of three decades almost? This is what puts this Blockchain technology in good stead as well.
Transparency in Abundance
The Blockchain network is such that it checks itself every 10 minutes or so, sort of like a self-auditing good boy. Every transaction is reconciled, labeled as a ‘block’. This ensures 100% transparency and makes the network incorruptible.
How Can You Use Blockchain?
As stated earlier, you don’t necessarily need to know Blockchain as a whole for it to bring some good in your life. As of now, the finance industry is the one most benefitting from this revelation. As per an estimate by The World Bank, over $430 Billion US was transferred in the year 2015 alone.
Smart contracts: Distributed ledgers will allow coding of simple contracts, which will execute only when a set of pre-decided conditions are fulfilled.
Shared Economy: Following in the footsteps of AirBnB and Uber, we already know how sharing economy is a proven success. Using Blockchain, users will be able to directly transact with the respective vendors eliminating the middlemen.
Governance: Absolute transparency and total public access – these traits are enough for distributed database technology to change the way we see politics and elections.
File Storage: Decentralizing file storage on the internet brings forth a repertoire of benefits. This will prevent files from getting lost or hacked, along with boosting file transfer and streaming time periods.
Protection of Intellectual Property: Digital info can be reproduced infinitesimally, which has given users a plethora of free content options, much to the peril of copyright holders. However, smart contracts can remedy this by automating the sale of creative content and making sure there is no loss of intellectual property.
Not just this, but this ever-growing Blockchain technology finds applications in domains like IoT, KYC, Data management, Stock Trading, to name a few.