The blockchain cannot be described just as a revolution. It is a tsunami-like phenomenon, slowly advancing and gradually enveloping everything along its way by the force of its progression.
- --- William Mougayar
What was one of the buzzwords of 2018 ?
“Blockchain” - Dominating the news headlines where former digital payment tests fizzled.
The first misconception many people have is - Is Bitcoin the same as blockchain? The answer is No, Bitcoin is just an application from many technologies of blockchain.
Then, let us understand the Blockchain (originally Block Chain) in simple words :
- “Block” means a different block of records for every transaction in a secure way, and
- “Chain” is the immutable link of all the blocks to one another
Every minute detail of the transaction in a “Block” is recorded with a unique code called “hash” which is created by different algorithms and helping an individual to differentiate between each block. If an individual changes the data in a single block, it does not modify the original, rather, creates a new one.
It is not owned by a central point of authority; however, it is managed by a network of computers (nodes) functioning as a decentral peer-to-peer network.
So, what is so unique about the blockchain and why do we claim that it has the potential to disrupt future industries?
Here are the key elements which make the Blockchain distinct :
1. Immutable Records – The main threat in the field of technology is hacking, and if we say that the transactions in the blockchain are static and indestructible, how significant does it sound?
Indeed, each block proceeds with Hash value or with cryptographic principle with alphanumeric strength for each block including the hash of the previous block’s output and new information in the new block. It ensures that each block is analytically paired together and makes them unbreakable. Every user gets a private & public key pair protecting data against manipulation.
o Public Key – Easily recognized and acknowledged to the public. For example, Individuals Account number
o Private key – The digital signature of the Information provider for each blockchain. For example, Individuals Secret Pin
(Under the same, the key is the unique sequence of the long number which is distinctive for each individual)
In this manner, at whatever point a piece of information is recorded in the blockchain, nobody can alter it including the system administrator, and empowers the information supplier to check their original information. Under this, if an individual attempt to manipulate the blockchain, it will break, and the cause can be easily recognized.
2. Consensus: How decentralized peer-to-peer system with no governing authority makes a decision? – With the use of the Consensus mechanism. The same can be defined as a way to reach an agreement about the state of the ledger. All the nodes in the blockchain agree to every new block added which gives equal rights to every node.
3. Distributed Ledger: The distributed ledger is a digital database that is independently managed and modified for each member implying that there is no controlling authority or an individual in charge of the system and preceding with ledger’s identical copy.
For the Future transactions and verification processes, the distributed ledger extends its access to the users by making it transparent, secure, and decentralized. All the activities are created in the public ledger; hence, it serves as a backbone to the upcoming transactions.
Impact of Blockchain to the future world.
Although it has been only 11 years since the blockchain came into the technology world, the blockchain has attracted major global attention. It is transforming the business across the world.
The main aim of blockchain is to build a decentralized network through which individuals can securely transfer information and assets without requiring the third-party.
Today, many industries have already adopted the use of blockchain with their current processes by :
- Helping the organization streamline operations,
- Minimizing transaction costs,
- Overcoming the risk of being corrupted
Throughout the long run, several new businesses will enter the blockchain industry which already provides a move forward in the technical world.
Industries which adapted Blockchain
Blockchain has proved to be the ethical side of cryptocurrencies and has the skill set to cater to a huge variety of industries if given the chance. A certain number of firms are already using this growing ledger technology in their everyday business functioning. There is a lot of hesitation in going forward with the technology due to its mis-guessed synonymity with cryptocurrency. The tech remains a mystery for most companies, however, here are some fields Blockchain has been adapted
1. Pharmaceuticals – Pharmaceuticals is a lifesaving industry. Equipment or medications come with unique ids or serials numbers. These are to be scanned and verified at their point of origin. Logistics giant DHL is trying to incorporate Blockchain technology which will take the trace and track of serial numbers to a more efficient model. It will eliminate any breach in trust and security while consuming less time and being less error-prone. DHL has already started working on this idea with Accenture in six areas over the world.
2. Food Safety – IBM has partnered with food suppliers like Dole and Nestle to have a standard rule set for food safety. The program will help all levels of food supply chain management to access relevant information about food and the state of it during the transactions.
3. Protection of wildlife – The World Wildlife Fund uses Blockchain to track any consumption of endangered animals or seafood. Large hotel chains have been asking for fully traceable ingredients so that they do not engage in the illegal procurement of meat and seafood. Blockchain provides full transparency and traceability for any product that consumers want.
What Blockchain holds for the future
Everything has its pros and cons. The same goes for Blockchain technology. Blockchain had a very famous role in birthing cryptocurrencies which led to the rise in PC consumer parts and the related sectors as well for the use of mining purposes. The sudden ban led to the normalizing of prices but recently the ban was lifted but no such inflation in prices is currently to be seen nor have been forecasted. The idea of decentralization is what drives Blockchain. If used in the correct ways, it could cut costs and increase data privacy. But since time immemorial, man has been swayed towards the negative aspects too and this could give rise to illegal cryptocurrency transfers and rise in black markets. Since there is no authority to govern and backtrack it, it could cause mayhem.
What was first proposed as a research project in the ’90s is now taking shape and settling down, grasping many sectors as it evolves. It has seen its fair share of criticism over the last 20 years, with the businesses around the world guessing what the tech is capable of and where it could be headed towards. It certainly has a lot of practical applications but at some point, the cons keep tipping the scales over the pros. With many industries adopting the technology, it is no longer a question of “if” but “when”.