Blockchain as an powerful emerging technology

Block Chain

The blockchain is a powerful emerging technology which allows data to be distributed but prevents it from being copied. It is, in a word, incorruptible. The data which is distributed creates a network of blockchain databases. The parties with the copies of the information can access the same document, by accessing the network, at the same time as they are using a single version of the data. Any modification to the data is reflected on all the copies without any need for human assistance.

The blockchain database is not stored at a single location. Instead it is stored in forms of identical nodes linked together using cryptography, throughout the network. Thus, any attempt to corrupt the information requires the whole network to be overpowered, which, though possible in theory, is highly improbable.

How Does a Blockchain Work?

As the name suggests, blockchain is a string of multiple blocks each containing data. Following are the events that must take place in order for a block to be added to the blockchain:

● A transaction must take place. In the form of creation of new data or modification of the existing data.

● The transaction must be verified as being created or modified by an authorized source.

● Once verified, a block is created to store the transaction data such as the time of the transaction, the author, the place where it took place, etc.

● Finally, the block is given a β€˜hash’. This hash is a unique code to identify the block. The block also gets the hash of the most recent

block which was added to the blockchain. Once it is done the block can then be added to be blockchain.

Thus, the new blocks that are added to the blockchain are verified and incorrupt.

Where is Blockchain Used?

Among various industries, blockchain is a powerful emerging technology and is provided by several companies. So much so, that the tech giants like IBM and automakers like Ford, BMW, Renault are also investing hundreds of millions in blockchain technology. So let’s take a look at various spaces

where blockchain is redefining the way data is shared:

● Cryptocurrency: Blockchain was originally invented to be used as the public transaction ledger of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. By using blockchain for cryptocurrencies, they can operate without the supervision of a central authority. Thus reducing and eliminating the transaction as well as processing fees. Blockchain also helps to stabilize the cryptocurrencies domestically as well as internationally.

● Smart Contract: Smart contract refers to computer codes which have built-in blockchain to facilitate, verify as well as negotiate the contract agreement based on the conditions in the contract. When these conditions are met, the contract would automatically be executed. For example, it can also work as an escrow for various parties.

● Financial Institutions: Blockchain is a powerful emerging technology in the finance industry by facilitating transactions to be processed in a short time of as less as 10 minutes. Thus it enables the transactions to take place anywhere at any time almost at real-time speed.

● File Storage: Blockchain allows decentralization of data, that is, storing data at various sites, which exponentially reduces the risk of the data getting lost or hacked. Several people have access to the data simultaneously and any modification to it would require proper authorization and reflect on all the copies.

● Stock Trading: Stock exchanges for countries such as Japan, Australia, Germany as well as the USA are introducing blockchain applications into the services that they offer. Blockchain has the

potential to add to the efficiency of share settlement in stock trading and reduce the time taken for trade confirmation in a manner that it can be done instantaneously. It even has the potential to remove several intermediaries in stock markets, such as the auditors, custodians, clearinghouses.

● Healthcare: Blockchain can also be used by healthcare providers to store the medical records of the patients in a secure manner by encoding it and storing it as a block on the blockchain accessible only with a private key.

● Property Records: Property titles are generally susceptible to fraud and are expensive and labor intensive to administer. Blockchain helps prevent any fraud to the titles as it is an incorruptible method of storage as well as reduces the cost and personnel required, as the records can be entered into a central database which can then be accessible to all the legal authorities as well as the owners.

● Voting: Blockchains were introduced in voting in West Virginia for November 2018 midterm elections. Where a vote constituted a block on the blockchain thus preventing it from being tampered and maintaining transparency throughout the electoral process. It enabled instant results and reduced the personnel needed to conduct the election.

In Conclusion

Blockchain has been indispensable in banking, investing and cryptocurrency over the last decade. Over the next few years, blockchain would be introduced as the forerunner for information sharing.