Blockchain has caused up a stir concerning new innovative technology and rightly so as it’s set to have a significant impact on our future. Blockchain is set to change many industries such as the way we bank, our healthcare system and deliver secure communications. To understand the real impact of blockchain technology and how it can revolutionise the current system, we need to understand the technologies capabilities.
Blockchain is not controlled by a central organisation or person, which is what makes it quite attractive. The way it works is the information is stored across a system of personal computers which eliminates the middleman. The information across a blockchain is decentralised and also distributed for all to see, which makes it hard to corrupt. The system is generally more secure because, although anyone can use the system, the information on it is protected by using cryptography. The transactions on the blockchain are listed on blocks that sit on the chain. The block on the chain is permanently recorded on it. Once verified it sits in chronological order making it hard to tamper with. Much of the technology we have today, we use without realising it. Similarly, blockchain will work perfectly as background technology when implemented in different industries.
7 ways in which blockchain will change the world as we know it today
- Banking– There is a bright future for blockchain and distributed ledgers in the financial industry. Their potential to be an open-source that can be used as a trusted platform offers real-time data to be transmitted securely. Using blockchain can help banks not only create newer freshers services for their customers but in doing so, it can create new opportunities and revenue streams while reducing the cost of processing payments. One of the most significant issues with turning blockchain’s potential into reality, and for it to work, means a collaborative effort from banks to pull together and create a network that can support global payments. Looking at the potential of the technology, banks will need to work together and with other software organisations to create a system that transforms how banks process transactions.
- Healthcare– In most cases, information and data held in the healthcare arena are personal and sensitive. Typically this data sits on a centralised database which makes it vulnerable. For this reason, a secure platform is necessary. A database built on blockchain technology can offer hospitals and other health organisations a more secure database to store medical records. One which is more reliable and secure and can only be accessed by authorised users.
- Cybersecurity- The use of advanced cryptography means all data that is found on a blockchain is verified and encrypted, making it resistant to changes made by unauthorised personnel and hackers. In most cases, there’s no such thing as an information system that can be 100% secure. Because of this, many centralised servers can be susceptible to corruption, hacking and human error. Using blockchain technology which is a decentralised system will allow data which is stored on the cloud to be more robust and protected against attackers.
- Government– The impact of blockchain technology on government processes can indeed help the people of the country. There is no safe place to hide in the blockchain and so using this type of technology could help reduce bureaucracy and increase security overall while offering real transparency. Government departments such as unemployment and welfare could also use the technology to verify and distribute much more quickly. The technology could also count votes and verify them for legitimacy totally eradicating the current ways of working and transforming them into safer, more reliable ones.
- Communication- The capabilities of blockchain mean it can offer faster, more reliable and safer automated communication. In most cases, digital or automated communications are built on pre-built algorithms and are already present in some industries. These include connections such as emails and notifications. Although a lot of communication currently is automated, communication is generally non-critical and not occurring at the same time. Blockchain technology can be used to provide authorised communication within these channels. This will allow transitions to happen more freely in what would typically be an automated environment.
- Internet of Things– In recent years the Internet of Things has slowly worked its way into our lives and taken over. It is included in many products that we use today such as 5G, cars, refrigerators and buildings. The products are embedded with software that allows them to be connected to networks and in some cases have sensors which can react with other devices. One of the biggest downfalls is that because these devices are usually operated from central locations which handle communications, they are big targets for hackers which can gain access quickly. Blockchain, on the other hand, has the capabilities of being able to address these problematic security concerns due to its decentralised nature. This is important as the popularity of IoT increases.
- Charity– Donating money to charities and how your money is used has always been a grey area. It’s never been possible to see how your donated money is used. Blockchain technology can help ensure that the funds donated by people get to where they intend. The transparency and the unchangeable nature to the blockchain technology means people can see where their money goes and where it is being used.
Although blockchain does have great promise, it’s important to remember that it is still a relatively new technology which means for it be used how we have stated above will take much trial and error. The possibilities for innovation and adoption of the technology is endless, but for it to be implemented into already working systems will take some time. However, there is no doubt that once it does, the future of services will live on distributed platforms.