All About Blockchain Technology
The years of 2017 and 2018 could always be remembered as the years that Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the rest of the cryptocurrency industry entrenched themselves firmly as part of the mainstream consciousness. These are the years that the mainstream’s attention was capture by this disruptive industry as a result of its huge speed of growth and the seemingly unlimited potential it offers for our day to day lives.
The blockchain is a technology with a growth that has never before witnessed in the history of business and investment circles. And despite what negative people keep saying about it, it keeps climbing in leaps and bounds.
Cryptocurrencies are however, only a small fraction of the true potential for this emerging technology. As there is there no sector of business or aspect of life that will not come under its influence in some way or another. From health care to insurance, finance, to self-driving vehicles, everything we do and know today will benefit from the solutions that this industry promises everyone.
Behind the sensationalism and surge of cryptocurrencies is the platform that makes all of this possible. Be it cryptocurrencies, or anything else. Everything is powered by what could be mankind’s greatest achievements to date: the blockchain.
The blockchain is the foundation for a new rise of industries and ways of doing business. The blockchain is what helps to power giants such as Bitcoin and Ethereum and usurp monopolies in every sector and give control back to the users.
The blockchains potential is unlimited, and in this article we will go over what the blockchain is and what features it has, as well as the industries that can benefit from its implementation on a wider scale, as well as what the future could hold for this marvel of technology.
What is Blockchain Technology?
The blockchain can be explained as a decentralized ledger of adding, verifying, and then recording other transactions between peers in a transparent and irreversible way. The blockchain is the first manmade creation that is impossible to break or sabotage, or change by any single human entity once it is implemented.
The blockchain first came in to existence by a person or group of people who goes by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto. This was to be the first system on which anything of value, be it currencies or even tokenized assets of non-liquid assets can be recorded between people in a fast and efficient manner.
The blockchain does not adhere to borders or a bureaucratic red tape as it can be used to send anything of value between individuals without the use of intermediaries, with no regard for borders or statuary regulations.
The blockchain has no single pint of failure, nor a beginning or an end, as the nodes in the blockchain or computers that comprise it as spread all over the world and has so far stopped every attempt of sabotage from online criminals and world governments.
Features that Make Up the Blockchain Technology
The blockchain has a number of different features that makes it a unique invention and a near limitless scope for growth and scalability.
Some of the most important features of the blockchain include the following.
Decentralization is perhaps the most important feature of blockchain technology, as this is the core idea that bought about its inception. The blockchain in all of its forms was created with the end goal of taking the power from service providers who turned whole industries into backyards and give this power back to the people.
The blockchain is an open ledger that works to accept, verify and then add transactions with no central control or building where its computers resides. It is this technology that gives each user with a computer access to participate and become a stakeholder in any service or industry.
This decentralized design is created in such a way that for any change to be made, each member of the network must arrive at an agreement about the change that is being proposed.
The genius of this new service provision is that it is inherently democratic and protects the interest of the majority at all times.
Another important feature of blockchain technology is that it is entirely immutable as part of its design. This means that once a transaction has been accepted, verified, then stored on the blockchain, this cannot be undone by any entity, as not even the creator of the blockchain can change the values of a transaction.
The fact that the blockchain is immutable is one of the important reasons for why it remains as one of the most reputable new technologies. Even though it is not issued or dispensed by any government or central authority, its users can relax knowing that they cannot be tampered with by any party once it is completed.
The permanency of transactions on the blockchain is its key attraction that has led to its widespread adoption, as for the first time in history, people have created something that cannot be altered once it is put into force.
Another key aspect of the blockchain, and something that keeps driving its popularity through the roof is that it cannot be replicated in centralized systems. Service providers and retail giants to cloud computing firms often suffer from painful attacks and witness their data being stolen from hackers. This is due to the fact that centralized systems give an opening for these online criminals through a single point of failure.
While with blockchain technology, it is multi-faceted and has no single point of failure, which translates into the inability of hackers to break into systems, no matter how skillful they are.
Super Computational Power
The blockchain technology comprises a great amount of the world’s total computational power, deployed in the 21st century. Blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum contain great amounts of power, so much so that even governments and large corporations cannot compete.
The result is that blockchain technology is immune from any attempt by a regulatory entity in the world to shut the networks down. The nature of millions of computers dispersed throughout the world, all pool their power together into a single network gives it an edge over anything unlike it.
Applications of Blockchain Technology
It could be said that no bit of technology is worth anything until people start using it with a practical use case for others.
Some of the most obvious applications of the blockchain technology include the following:
Finance was the very first application in which blockchain tech made its introduction to the market. This is where it was introduced a stateless, borderless, and self-sustaining virtual currency in the form of Bitcoin.
The typical financial industries in the world at the beginning considered Bitcoin nothing more than an idea for geeks that would only make so much progress, and that it was an experiment that does doomed to fail.
Around 9 years later all of those assumptions have been proven to be untrue, as the industry has grown from obscurity to be worth 500 billion dollars at today’s current evaluation. The financial sector is now at full force as cryptocurrencies or the alternative financial industry is now quickly gaining traction.
This is because it allows people a fair participation in creating additional value for themselves. It provides people a secure, scalable, and economic model of transferring value between parties without the need for middlemen or adhering to the usual standards of business.
Key plays in the field of cryptocurrencies include Bitcoin, Litecoin, Monero and a host of others.
Another important sector of modern life that the blockchain seeks to usurp is e-commerce. The present state of e-commerce corporations are plagued with a number of problems that includes a limited service to certain areas or regions of the planet, to serious security risks they are exposed to that sees personal and payment information of its users being taken by criminals.
The blockchain helps to create a decentralized e-commerce platforms that deals with the problems of monopolies that these companies keep facing with.
Through the use of blockchain technology, the middleman is taken out of the picture with transactions being entirely peer to peer, which also makes transactions cheaper.
This also gives users the option for making their payments without ever using their credit or debit card, which affords an additional layer of protection.
The way that we consume and use energy either at home or in the business world has come under intense review over the last few years, which is the result of an increased awareness for the danger posed by climate change on our precious planet.
The monitoring of carbon footprints have come with many scandals and accusations of doctoring data between countries. On the home front we also contend with the reality of manually tweaking our electricity consumption to suit the status quo of the environment.
With the use of blockchain and IoT devices, all these nightmares and problems that modern energy consumption and footprint mechanisms can be solved.
Countries now have a neutral and real-time monitoring of carbon emissions, while energy users at home have Smart Energy tools that can make energy bills less expensive and consumption for sustainable for the environment.
One example of a startup in this space is named GRID, which promotes smart-energy grids in the modern home.
The Future of the Blockchain
The blockchain is a technological revelation that will shape the way our lives are lived on planet Earth.
In less than 10 years it has risen from the ranks of obscurity to worldwide acclaim and influence that has not been seen since the advent of the internet.
The blockchains impetus is bringing awareness to people about what is possible, and is unmatched by any technology that has come before it. It offers everyone a glimpse into its potential, which has for far been an exclusive feature of giants such as Google, Facebook and Amazon.
The benefits for this new technology are very obvious, and it has already begun shaping the way that we live and interact tin the world. This is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
There are so many problems that almost every sector of business faces for so long that many are content to quietly accept, and the blockchain with its decentralized and democratic nature could be a solution to those problems.
Despite what the naysays says, the blockchain technology is here to stay with its immensely powerful and useful structure, meaning that whether governments and regulatory bodies like it or not, the blockchain is here to stay, as there is no way of rolling its progress back, or shutting it down.