Blockchain: Past, Present and Future
27th September, 2018
Blockchain is the first technology that offers a way to fully manage digital assets in a trusted, traceable, automated and predictable way. What distinguishes blockchain is that each ‘block’ is linked and secured using cryptography. Trust is distributed along the chain, eliminating the need for a trusted third party to facilitate digital relationships.
Bitcoin was an early and famous application for managing digital assets. The second application of blockchain is ‘smart contracts’ whereby contracts can be maintained and managed entirely digitally between participants. Electronic currencies, until the existence of Bitcoin, had an intermediary or government oversight. Blockchain changed a currencies’ need for third party verification. In essence, the Blockchain created a peer-to-peer network without the need for a central bank or administrator.
To understand the potential for Blockchain, you must first have a rudimentary idea of how it works and why it is so powerful. Blockchain is a shared, unchangeable, digital ledger that facilitates the process of recording transactions and tracking assets. The assets can be tangible or intangible and virtually anything of value can be tracked. At its core, Blockchains are permanent and unalterable records of every transaction.
Blockchain allows you to transact freely, without the use of a middleman. It offers the opportunity to transfer value across the internet, with no need for third party interference. This will have a tremendous impact on banking and payments. The most important aspect of blockchain is that it’s a real-time transaction with reduced costs. Because of the nature of blockchain, these kind of transactions also carry with them less risk.
Blockchain is used by bitcoin to monitor transactions and activity. The traceability of each transaction is what makes blockchain so important. It can record each communication chronologically and publicly. Even with these monumental developments, blockchain is still a long way from becoming the norm. The business model needs to be refined, outlining how this technology is going to help people save money and whether or not it can be proven. The financial services industry was disrupted by bitcoin even in its infancy. However, it’s not only the banking and financial sector blockchain has shaken up; industries such as healthcare, music and energy all stand to benefit from it.
Blockchain has received a lot of good press, with many choosing to make significant investments in the platform. The blockchain revolution is set to gradually infiltrate the relevant industries. One of the major concerns when it comes to blockchain is its scalability. With more tokens, users, investors and exchanges taking place there is more room for error. With every single blockchain purchase, a block is added to blockchains ladder of transactions. Each block will increase the data as it carries the history of previous blocks with it.