Blockchain is Going to Affect Many Aspects of Our Lives
By Michael Kordvani of Fueled.com
So everyone’s talking about blockchain and Bitcoin. You’ve heard half a story, you don’t really know what it is, but you don’t think it’s anything to do with you. You’re just an ordinary person, you’re not the least bit interested in the latest technologies, you’re no businessman or entrepreneur looking to cash in on the latest online developments. So why would you care about blockchain?
Well you should, because I can promise you, blockchain technologies are going to enhance our lives. It’s going to make a difference in so many ways, probably in ways we haven’t yet even imagined. Right now, blockchain app developers are beavering away to come up with new and innovative ways to use these new technologies.
What are the benefits of blockchain for everyday people?
What a lot of people don’t realise, is that advances in blockchain technologies are going to trickle down to everyone who uses the Internet. These days, just about everyone is online, it’s pretty hard to get by without being connected in some way. It’s getting harder and harder to pay a bill, buy something or keep in touch with anyone without being online. So we’re all going to be impacted by the advances of blockchain technologies. But don’t worry, it’s going to be a good thing!
Much higher levels of security
One of the biggest assets of blockchain is the high level of security. The whole point of blockchain is that all data is encrypted and decentralised. This is a huge step forward with regards to security. The more we move our lives online, the more need there is to be kept safe. Whenever something new comes out, be it an online banking app or a new connected household appliance, you can be sure that there are criminals out there looking to exploit it. By using blockchain technology, security levels rise dramatically.
Speedier financial transactions
This high level of security obviously is good for all sorts of purposes, but it’s going to be especially important for highly confidential material such as medical records and financial transactions. If you ever make payments globally, you will certainly benefit, not just from an increased level of security, but also from an increase in speed. Blockchain transactions are fast because they are direct. This could be amazing news for businesses large and small.
Protection of your identity
Identity theft is big business. Fall foul of it, and you can end up in a huge mess. Blockchain can help to protect your identity with encryption. With the encryption of personal ID and personal records such as marriage certificates, the whole system of proving the legitimacy of an individual becomes easier and more reliable.
It’s early days but the future looks interesting
Blockchain technology is the new kid on the block at the moment, but for anyone who looks a little deeper into it, you’ll soon start to realise that this is one of the biggest online developments ever and it’s set to transform the world. It’s well worth keeping an eye on blockchain app development over the coming months and years – there’s set to be a revolution!
The Bank of Canada (BOC) recently announced that, after a year long experiment, it would not deploy blockchain to settle inter bank transfers. BOC and a number of financial and “fintech” partners had launched Project Jasper in 2013. BOC found that the benefits of blockchain could not outweigh the advantages of the existing centralized approach. BOC clears about $130 Billion US$ a day through Canada’s inter bank transfer system. BOC and it’s Jasper collaborators found that, although they could address issues related to transaction privacy, they could only do so at the expense of system throughput and scalability and not without leaving the entire system open to a single point of failure (which, ironically, is exactly one of the reasons you might deploy blockchain in the first place). BOC notes, however, that a) in 3-5 years blockchain will have evolved to the point that the “Jasper issues” are addressed and b) that there are other applications for blockchain that BOC will work on in the immediate future.
But the general, and evolving, issue is this: when do you face a situation where a blockchain approach may be advantageous? IBM suggests you consider these questions:
- Do you have a community of business organizations external to your own – with a shared interest in process and data?
- Is there a need for that community to come to consensus on individual business transactions?
- Do you need a way to trace data (or an asset tied to the data) back to its creation? (so-called “data provenance”).
- Do historical transaction records need to be unchangeable? (aka “immutable”).
- Is “finality” important? (is there a need to have a “single source of truth” about the state of the data on the blockchain?
The Bank of Canada “inter bank project” (Jasper), met all of the five requirements above. This is why Blocktonite would add a SIXTH criterion to the above:
Can blockchain technology as it exists today (or in the intermediate future) deliver the performance and security you will require for your application?
Today’s interesting Blockchain article is a blog post at MIT – announcing a prototype to build a blockchain based approach to an individual’s identity – under the control of the individual. The interesting thought in the blog post is the fact that up until recently – you proved your identity by SHOWING UP somewhere. But with the explosion in online transactions the ‘physical you’ is removed from the ‘you’ attesting to your identity online.
The second interesting Blockchain article today is this 30 minute video on “Blockchain and us“. I’ll try to give it a view and summarize later this week.
Yours truly, Captain Blocktonite
Blocktonite started keeping track of companies that were meaningfully engaged with blockchain in the summer of 2016. By 4/3/17 we were up to 391 companies. As of 1/15/2018, that number is 770.
Some of these are huge multinationals (IBM, Microsoft, SAP, large banks like BNP Paribas), some are consulting companies, some are law firms – but most are start-ups.
Here at Hapco (International) we are busy at work developing a knowledge system to help navigate the world of Blockchain.
Welcome to Blocktonite – resources and discussion on the powerful and disruptive technology known as “the blockchain”.