The Extended World of BlockchainBy CIOApplications Europe
Everyone would have heard of Bitcoin by now, the cryptocurrency that’s been in the news for its rising values, and has spurred the creation of various other digital coins. However, the digital currencies are considered to be only the beginning of a flood of potential uses for the new technology. With its unique and advanced architecture, applications built on blockchain offer better security and efficiency during confidential transactions.
The technology underlying blockchain is a one-of-its-kind record-keeping system. While functioning, blockchain acts as a ledger to record transactions, which are time-stamped and stored in secured blocks. These transactions that are being performed on the blockchain can be automated, completely replacing any middlemen. Transactions can be performed faster, and costs can be significantly reduced, without any intermediately.
Suggested Read: Supporting Business with the Right Technology
By Andy Jurczyk, CIO, Seyfarth Shaw LLP
When a transaction begins in the blockchain, there is no single party or user who can control the information. Rather than saving all the records on a central repository, every data is stored separately on a distributed database. This distributed architecture of the blockchain makes it almost impossible to tamper with records, providing greater security and ensuring authenticity.
With this distributed architecture, if a hacker tries to gain access and steal information, they would have to break into the blocks in the long chain. Moreover, new blocks are being built frequently. This makes it impossible for an attacker or hacker to break into a blockchain and access the data.
Every industry will benefit from blockchain technology in various ways. Blockchain’s potential can be harnessed in an automotive industry to track a vehicle's history from pre-production to sale and potentially until disposal. The banking industry is already being disrupted by Blockchain as it makes payment processing faster, efficient and secure. The immutability of ledger data will help cybersecurity. Moreover, it largely guarantees the data validity as there is no single point of failure with blockchain’s end-to-end encryption.
It can also be used in protecting sensors within IoT network capability, providing the energy sector with micro-transactions between participants in a local peer-to-peer energy grid. With this capability, the suppliers, as well as users of solar energy within a geographic area, could assist in trading with each other as well as in selling any surplus energy back to the national grid. Whereas, in the insurance industry, the costs of claims processing and contract efficiency are low-hanging fruit for blockchain. The transparency could reduce disputes by including blockchain for the process of smart contracts to determine the validity of wills and inheritances.
You may like: Blockchain: A Way to (Safely) Bring Down the Barriers to Data
By Shahram Ebadollahi, Ph.D., MBA; VP of Innovation & Chief Science Officer for IBM Watson Health