The Blockchain technology is booming beyond belief. But apart from the definition or relating it to BITCOINS what else do we know about The Blockchain?
Reading articles regarding this, all I could summarize about Blockchain is that it is a-
- Distributed and immutable (write once and read only) Database/System.
- A public ledger of all distributed transactions.
- Key features include Security, Integrity, Accessibility.
- A well-known implementation of which is BITCOINS.
Benefits of Blockchain Technology :
- Increased time effectiveness due to real time transactions
- Direct Transactions eliminate the overheads and intermediary costs
- Reduced risk related to cyber crimes, frauds, and tampering
- More transparent processes with a proper creation and tracking
- Highly secure due to cryptographic and decentralized Blockchain protocols
After coming across to the above terms, and diving deep into them, I was curious to know what can a blockchain do(apart from well known digital currency “bitcoins”) And Realizing the Potential of Blockchain, following can be the most promising blockchain-based use cases –
The blockchain technology has the potential for “responsive-open data” that means, blockchain-based solutions will give any person the ability to automatically do a transaction with the government, yet still have complete trust that the government certified that transaction.
The Following can be benefited by it :
a) Developers and entrepreneurs – as they will be able to build interfaces that make it so much easier for users to be able to interact with the government.
b) Citizens – the creation of this additional layer of transparency will further increase people’s trust in government and the services it provides.
Right now, IoT is mainly concerned with the collection of data, remote monitoring, and device automation. Going forward the transition is likely to be like
“Let your household appliances pay for things”.
And all of that will be achieved by a network of autonomous devices that interact with each other and the surrounding; and make input-based smart decisions, without any human involvement.
Suppose, a smart washing machine that automatically orders and pays for detergent with virtual currency on depletion.
Blockchain will permit the monetization of data, whereby IoT device owners can sell data generated from IoT sensors for the digital currency. The potential here is to facilitate investments into renewable energy sources, whereby energy produced by IoT equipment generates income in the form of cryptocurrency that is registered on the blockchain.
As the blockchain is a distributed ledger that can validate and register transactions without the need for a central authority.
Creators can upload their music and the associated metadata on the ledger. Companies and consumers can search and play the music of their choice of the ledger, and smart contracts will ensure that the owner(s) of the content will be paid automatically for its usage.
So the blockchain could transform publishing, monetization and the relationship of artists with their communities of fans.
The blockchain technology can be used to create a self-managed ridesharing platform. We can connect drivers with empty seats and would-be passengers in real-time, without any intermediary, as the service will not be owned by the app founders, but the community of users.
Law Rent and selling cars
The goal is to simplify the process of leasing or buying the car by automating all the steps in a seamless, completely secure electronic environment, which includes verifying the driver’s financial status, driving eligibility, available vehicle inventory and available car features etc., which can be achieved using smart contracts and secure payments.
Voting can become transparent using this technology, as every node with access can see the exact same results, and every vote can be irrefutably traced to its source without sacrificing a voter’s vote anonymity. End to end verifiable voting systems will give the voter the ability to verify if their vote is correctly recorded and correctly counted.
With blockchain, we have the ability to “audit” every single vote in real time, which is something very difficult to do in today’s process.
By making the results fully transparent and publicly accessible, distributed database technology could bring full transparency to elections or any other kind of poll taking.
Transaction of digital currencies
Finally coming to a discussion on “The Digital Currency: Bitcoins”. Transaction of this currency is unlike the physical currency which includes bills or coins.
So how come it is Trustable ??
Blockchain technology maintains an anonymous, permission-less, peer-to-peer distributed transaction ledger without any traditional intermediaries like banks or financial clearing houses.
The blockchain is secure because it’s utterly transparent and fully distributed. Copies of blockchain records are fully accessible by anyone and distributed across servers and domains throughout the world. Knowledge of your blockchain transaction is shared across so many distribution points, that it’s easy to prove the transaction occurred. Unlike having to go through a rigorous process with your bank to prove that a payment actually has been sent or received, your blockchain payment is known by everyone.
Services and stock trading
Instead of putting all stock transactions through a centralized hub, the blockchain can be used to directly transfer share ownership between investors.
Banking and contracting
The paper-intensive international trade finance process can be converted to an electronic decentralized ledger, that gives all the participating entities, including banks, the ability to access a single source of information.
It will also enable to track documentation and authenticate ownership of assets digitally, as an unalterable ledger in real time.
The medical records can be shared throughout the world while ensuring the integrity and protecting patient privacy.
Blockchain-based systems can provide realistic solutions for minimizing the medical billing-related frauds(which are caused due to the intermediaries involved).
And many more areas exist where blockchain technologies can be applied to either improve existing processes or unlock new technologies.