Many people by now have heard about Blockchain technology. It seems to be all around the news, the internet, the media… and there is definitely a buzz surrounding the concept as a whole.
But what Exactly is Blockchain?
Created by a pseudonymous group working under the name Satoshi Nakamoto, Blockchain is an ingenious invention in the truest sense of the word. In essence, it is nothing more and nothing less than a whole new foundation for the internet. Developed initially for use with Bitcoin cryptocurrency, it allows digital information to be distributed instead of stored, thus creating a new paradigm of connectivity.
By functioning as a continuously updated and redistributed network of information with no central hub, Blockchain forms a uniquely “living”, organic, type of network, where are records and transactions are permanently kept open and transparent, with little to no risk of getting hacked by outside parties (since there really is no central location or database to hack in the first place). Obviously, the implications this kind of interconnectivity has, especially relating to transparency and accountability, are nothing short of historic.
Applications of Blockchain Technology
To most users, Blockchain is so closely associated with the increasingly popular realm of cryptocurrency, and Bitcoin in particular, that it has nearly become synonymous with it. Indeed, you might be forgiven for thinking this is all Blockchain has to offer. However, nothing could be further from the truth.
The new digital environment (or ecosystem, as some have called it) that Blockchain has brought about through its unique characteristics and functionality, are poised to revolutionize the way we interact with technology and information as a whole.
Some Examples of Innovative use Cases for Blockchain
* Securing Personal Identity and Data
Internet security has become an increasingly pivotal concern for users across the board, and it was only natural that Blockchain would eventually find its way to the sector. Due to the fact that, being a totally non-centralized dynamic shared network, there is really no way to hack or compromise personal data within a Blockchain framework. There are already platforms offering the storage of sensitive data and documents as a service, and this area seems to be one of the strong suits of this technology.
* Cloud Storage Solutions
For similar reasons as noted above, cloud storage in a traditional cloud network is vulnerable to hacking and attacks, because there is a central location where the critical login information is stored. This is no longer an issue with Blockchain, A number of companies have developed completely secure cloud storage services based on its advantages.
* Financial Transparency and Tracking of Donations
All financial transactions, including donations and fundraising operations, are completely open and transparent within Blockchain. The open nature of the framework is perfect for tracking funds anywhere in the world, and indeed has already been adopted by the UN as a tool for making sure food and cash aid delivered to agencies on the ground reach their stated destinations.
* The Music Industry
To solve issues related to royalty-collection and performance rights in music, Blockchain is starting to get attention as a way of managing the payment of royalties and fees in real time globally, eliminating the need for complex tracking, especially when it comes to digital payments for musical products and services.
As we can see, the potential applications for Blockchain as a platform and digital framework are growing in number exponentially. The above mentioned are merely a few of the fastest growing innovative use cases for Blockchain, but there are many more: supply chain management, digital assets, resource management, securing the integrity of political election processes, prevention of forgery in the art market… Truly, the sky is the limit when it comes to possible uses of this unique technology!
Author of this article is Jason Leon, famous researcher of the machine learning to predict stock prices and active blockchain enthusiast. Jason lives in New York with his family. In his spare time, Jason likes to travel around the world, to visit different trading conferences and to meet new people.