How Blockchain, the Technology Behind Bitcoin, Could Change Our Life
Digital evangelists strongly believe that the blockchain can transform absolutely everything from legal contracts to the way people use the internet. The problem is that not many people know what a blockchain really is.
Aside from being connected with the hyped bitcoin, blockchain is quite the hot commodity. It is a digital ledger that records the bitcoin transactions both publicly and chronologically.
Low-Tech Technology Profiting of Blockchain
One beverage-making company Long Island Iced Tea Corp. changed its name to the Long Blockchain Corp. Even though the company planned to keep producing ice teas, with the new moniker their stocks skyrocketed, earning it a feature in the Vanity Fair.
However, this company is not the only one that gained a huge profit from blockchain branding.
A different company SkyPeople Fruit Juice that used to produce packaged foods increased their shares by a shocking 215% when they renamed the company to Future FinTech Group.
Moreover, a company that manufactures sports bras changed its name to The Crypto Company. As a result, their share prices drastically increased before U.S. regulators suspended the trading of the stock.
While cases like these are making founders become millionaires overnight, they are also stealing the attention from all the other promising cases of new technology. In other words, this blockchain can go far beyond being a simple new form of cash.
What Is Blockchain?
According to Sally Davies, the blockchain is a huge electronic system on which people can build applications. Cash or currency is only one of the many things it can offer.
More accurately, blockchain is like a database in which transactions and information are recorded and stored.
But instead of keeping or storing the ledger in a private server, as banks and Facebook do, you can have it distributed across a huge publicly shared network. What does the blockchain have to do with bitcoin?
Well, bitcoin mining refers to the process of adding and verifying bitcoin transactions by recording them in the public database also known as the blockchain.
How Does It Work?
According to the writer of Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain, David Gerard, the blockchain is a simple structure. It works as an accounting ledger or database where you can keep adding information without crossing anything out.
Moreover, this system is tamper-proof, said, Gerard. It contains cryptographic hashes, which are long unique numbers that can verify that the shared data is always consistent. This tamper-proof system for recording data and transactions is unmatched.
In other words, people believe that the buzz over Bitcoin may turn out to be a distraction from the real importance of the blockchain.
Therefore, it could become a revolutionary never-before-seen framework for applications such as contacts, land registries, and personal information.
But, since this system is considered extremely complicated for many, it would be more efficient and widely used if more people understood it. After all, it could simplify many things in our lives.
Like Google Spreadsheet
A common analogy is that this system is like a Google spreadsheet. It can be shared with thousands of different networks. Plus, it is constantly reconciled and updated. In fact, one main version reflects all the edits that were made on all the individual copies.
So, instead of different parties changing the duplicate versions of a certain file, collaborators edit the file in real-time. Also, there are records of who and when made these changes to the document.
Therefore, the true value of this technology is to give individuals absolute ownership of their digital identities.
What Is Blockchain Good For?
Aside from being connected to bitcoin, blockchain can make executing legal contracts more efficient with less human error and can get rid of redundancies with faxing and mailing copies of files back and forth.
The National Land Registry at Sweden plans to test this blockchain system. Since it is said to make land deals faster and more secure, it could be a more efficient method than the current one which is recorded on paper.
Besides, the current method requires a lot of official documents to be sent via physical mail. Furthermore, by using blockchain, you can have complete control of your personal data.
In other words, you won’t have to store your data on private serves as tech giants do.
Instead, all your transactions and data will be safely and securely stored in an independent and shared giant monopoly. This system opens the door to a future in which you can be in complete control over your personal data.
In fact, you are the one who will edit and profit from it, rather than a giant corporation taking all the credit. That is why blockchain technology is far more exciting than the current buzzed value of bitcoin.