The Blockchain Spur

By Balit Saxena Dated:Jun 06, 2020

The Blockchain Spur

With evolutionary roots in the 90s and its aggressive second-hand marketing propagated by Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology has risen to the forefront of security, record-keeping and related fields.

Within this latest spur around blockchain and related deep tech, it can difficult to understand what blockchain is, and how its future serves to bring various modern industries like healthcare, fintech, public voting, gaming, media, and many others under a unified security blanket.

What is Blockchain?

A blockchain is a ‘block’ of transactional records held together in a ‘chain’ by interconnected links of cryptographic keys. What makes blockchains distinctively secure is the uniqueness of the cryptographic keys of each block. This blockchain is distributed to multiple computers for a decentralized system of record-keeping.

What Makes It So Secure?

The keys (called ‘hash’) of each block are cryptographically generated based on the data the block and its previous one possesses. Any tampering with the data of a block changes the hash of the block (and hence the subsequent block), leading to inconsistencies between different versions of hashes within the same blockchain.

The keys (called ‘hash’) of each block are cryptographically generated based on the data the block and its previous one possesses. Any tampering with the data of a block changes the hash of the block (and hence the subsequent block), leading to inconsistencies between different versions of hashes within the same blockchain.

Applications of Blockchain

Many practical applications of blockchain are already being implemented in modern enterprises; a recent international survey revealed over 70% companies already employ or aim to integrate blockchain technology in their business operations within the next year.

Healthcare: Patient records and other medical information can be securely consulted or transferred across healthcare institutions without risk of tampering with the records. This brings added security to patients needing international healthcare.

Fintech: Many banks and financial institutions now employ blockchain technology to reduce intermediaries in bank operations and improve transparency and accountability in public transactions. This decentralized record-keeping also helps avoid targeted attacks on central servers.

Public Voting: Blockchain technology promises to make public voting systems immutable and free of tampering. Modern EVMs or ballot systems are still vulnerable to remote hacking however decentralized data management by blockchains makes it near impossible for a targeted attack on the voter count.

Cryptocurrency: Many cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are modelled around the transparent and decentralized transactional systems of blockchains. This helps make payments in cryptocurrency secure and accountable while still retaining user privacy.

Supply Chain Logistics: Modern blockchain platforms help businesses safely monitor the progress of their shipped goods, delivery dates, tracking information on drivers, materials’ supply, and manage payments: all through a secure system of accountability that helps backtrack logistic operations.

Internet of Things: Empowering connectivity in the modern world with IoT presents more opportunities for hackers to tap into your data through IoT devices. Enabling blockchain security within IoT devices adds a new level of security to your personal data.

Future in Blockchain

With a rapidly growing user base, future in blockchain promises an exponential growth both in terms of existing and new applications.

In fact, the last decade has seen over a 500% rise in the demand for software engineers specializing in blockchain technology. This demand is only set to rise higher as a higher number of businesses worldwide seek to integrate blockchain in their daily operations.

Growing connectivity in the modern world has brought up questions regarding proper data handling, public data security or accountability in transactions and whether a centralized system is ideal for data security in the future. Rapid growth in blockchain aims to answer these questions amid worldwide privacy concerns and demands for more accountable data sharing.