Blockchain

Blockchain




Blockchain first and foremost is an incredible revolutionary invention that is beginning to dominate these next few years, with its enriched powers, and it couldn’t have arrived sooner. It is the brainchild of Satoshi Nakamoto, who is either a person or a pseudonym for a group of people but the inventor/s haven’t yet come forward to announce themselves. Nakamoto had a clear vision of a way of creating a new way to handle information and data on a global scale. Blockchain has certainly introduced this notion, by pushing for information to be distributed, rather than just copied it has developed into a new type of Internet as such. When we hear about blockchain technology, we more than likely associate it with cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin or ethereum but it has since branched out from that area and into many other sectors.

Any information that exists on a blockchain is continually shared and reconciled in a database, and since blockchain is decentralised the data isn’t stored in one central location, meaning the records it keeps are well and truly public and easily verifiable. As part of a decentralised network, there are nodes (computers) that play an important role, and these nodes each have a copy of the data, and since the data on this network is spread across every single node, there is no centralised version of the information that exists for any cyber criminal or hacker to corrupt. Furthermore, the data is hosted by the millions of computer that exist on the network all at once.

If we take a step back and analyse the traditional ways in which we currently handle information and sensitive data, you will notice how outdated and redundant it is. We have access to this incredible futuristic technology, yet we are content with living in the past and utilising methods that we know can be at fault. The typical way of sharing information or data, would be to send a document to someone using an email service, and ask them to make some changes to this document, and once they have made the changes they would then send it back. However, the issue we continually face here is that you have to wait until you receive the amended version of the document before you can view it or make changes yourself. This is typical of how traditional databases work these days, pretty much giving only one person access or view information one at a time. This is a lot like how banks maintain account balances and transfers, they momentarily restrict access whilst the bank initiates a transfer, then they update the other side and reinstate the access. The downside to this method is that having a centralised database full of sensitive information in a central location, is that it is only a one way street and it opens up the risk of being hacked.

Whereas on blockchain networks, they contain nodes, as mentioned earlier on and these nodes are simply computer that are connected to each other, and have copies of the information on the blockchain network upon joining. Together these nodes work together to create a powerful second-level network, where all of these nodes act as administrators of the blockchain and is able to join voluntarily. The unique thing about these nodes on a blockchain network is that if one node fails on the network, the information is still available because every single node has a copy of the data which is shared. In terms of cryptocurrencies, blockchain is used to record and store transactions on things called blocks, and miners who insert these blocks are able to verify the transaction by making sure each node has the exact same information pertaining to the transaction.

Blockchain is the future when it comes to trust as it solves the problem of manipulation that many centralised systems face today. As mentioned before, the blockchain network is in a constant state of self audit, and automatically assesses itself every 10 minutes, and in this self-auditing ecosystem transparency servers as a strong line of defence. By having data embedded within this transparent, self-auditing system it cannot be corrupted or hacked and is therefore safe, secure and public.

There are well-known companies right now who are experimenting with blockchain technology to help improve the way the company runs on a day to day schedule. As we know, if something has the potential to go wrong then chances are, it will and blockchain can attempt to put an end to unnecessary problems.

Walmart

Walmart has been experimenting with blockchain technology that allow employees to track some products back to their roots. A Walmart employee can scan a piece of fruit, and they can see exactly which farm the fruit came from and where it has been stored, and this transparency can help customers understand where their food is coming from.

Maersk

Maersk is the world’s largest shipping company and completed the first test of blockchain technology back in March 2017, by analysing how it could help manage the cargo on ships. During the test, Maersk, Dutch customs and Homeland Security were able to remotely access data pertaining to the cargo. Such technology could streamline and help secure international shipping.

UPS

Another shipping company has joined the blockchain alliance in a bid to increase the level of transparency amongst all groups that are involved in the supply chain. Customers could simply log into their account to see exactly where their parcel is and where it has been on its journey.

British Airways

The British airline tested blockchain technology in order to see how it can manage data about flights between London, Geneva and Miami. The airline hopes that blockchain technology can help reduce conflicting flight information coming from various gate monitors, as a way to enhance and improve people’s flying experience

The fact of the matter is, blockchain technology is the future and we need to slowly move away from the traditional methods of handling information and data in order to become more effective. The current methods are extremely outdated and are prone to mistakes, errors and endless misfortunes that cost companies huge amounts of money to settle. We need blockchain, simple as!

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