The development of the internet marked the most recent significant change in our world. Can you picture a world without Google, Facebook, YouTube, and all the other social media platforms? It seems inconceivable. Well, blockchain development may lead the world to shift once more at this point. It might be an understatement to call Blockchain the next big thing in technology, but it has gained popularity over the past ten years. Blockchain has many uses in any industry, including identity management, government, finance, and healthcare. And it doesn’t even include its most well-known application, Bitcoin.
Blockchain, however, encompasses far more than just Bitcoin. Because its decentralized design makes it incredibly secure and vulnerable to assaults, it is becoming increasingly popular in applications worldwide. So let’s examine the fundamental characteristics of Blockchain and the various ways it is used globally.
What is Blockchain?
Blockchain is made up of a chain of blocks, each of which contains some digital data. Each block in the Blockchain is associated with a 256-bit hash number and a nonce, a singular 32-bit whole number. These blocks are connected using a chain of cryptographic hash functions that connect each block to its predecessor. Together, these three elements guarantee Blockchain security.
Blockchain is distributed; therefore, in the event of a public Blockchain, everyone gets a copy. As a result, changing the data in the Blockchain is very difficult because doing so would require changing every copy in every location, which is practically impossible. This makes the Blockchain distributed and immutable while preserving transparency because the information in the block is not concealed in any way. Since Blockchain has all of these characteristics, it guarantees the highest levels of security, which is why it is so well-liked in many applications that place a high value on security and transparency.
Here are a few real-world Blockchain applications:
Asset management is no different from the financial industry in that Blockchain plays a significant role. Asset management generally entails handling and trading many assets that a person may own, including fixed income, real estate, stock, mutual funds, commodities, and other alternative investments. Normal asset management trading can be expensive, particularly involving numerous nations and cross-border payments. As it eliminates the need for middlemen like the broker, custodians, brokers, settlement administrators, etc., Blockchain can be a huge aid in these circumstances. Instead, the Blockchain ledge offers a straightforward and transparent procedure that eliminates room for error.
Have you ever attempted to send money across international borders in a different currency? Due to this lengthy and complicated process, the money may not arrive at its destination for several days. Blockchain’s ability to provide end-to-end remittance services without any middlemen has simplified these cross-border transfers. Many remittance providers provide Blockchain services, which can be used to send money internationally within 24 hours.
Using smart contracts, Blockchain can significantly influence the healthcare industry. These clever contracts enable two parties to contract directly with one another. The terms of the contract are known to all parties, and it is automatically implemented when its requirements are satisfied. Personal health records can be encrypted using Blockchain technology, so they are only available to primary healthcare practitioners with a key. This can be very helpful in the healthcare industry. Additionally, they support the HIPAA Privacy Rule, which guarantees privacy and restricted access to patient information.
Cryptocurrency is arguably one of the most well-known uses of Blockchain technology. Who hasn’t heard of bitcoin and its astronomical rise to fame? One of the numerous benefits of adopting Blockchain for cryptocurrencies is that it has no territorial restrictions. As a result, cryptocurrency can be used for transactions everywhere. The only essential considerations are exchange rates and the possibility that some people may lose money during this process. This alternative is superior to regional payment applications, like Paytm in India, which are only used within a specific nation or geographical area and cannot be used to send money to individuals abroad.
Certificates of Birth and Death
Many people worldwide lack a valid birth certificate, particularly in poorer nations. According to UNICEF, one-third of all children under five lack a birth certificate. Additionally, the issue with death certificates is similar. Blockchain can assist in resolving this issue, though, by establishing a secure store of validated birth and death certificates that is accessible only to those with the proper permissions.
Identity Verification Online
Without online identity and authentication, no financial transaction may be completed online. And this is true for any potential service providers that any user in the banking and financial sector might have. Blockchain can, however, centralize the online identity verification process, allowing individuals to share their identity with whatever service provider they want after just having to authenticate it using the Blockchain. Additionally, users can choose identity verification techniques, including user authentication, facial recognition, etc.
Internet of Things (IoT)
An IoT is a network of interconnected devices that can communicate and gather information that may be utilized to make informed decisions. Once connected, any collection of “things” becomes an IoT system. The Smart Home, where all home equipment like lights, thermostats, air conditioners, smoke alarms, etc., may be networked together on a single platform, may be the most well-known example of IoT.
Where does Blockchain fit into this, though? Well, this widely distributed system needs security, which Blockchain can provide. The security of an IoT system is only as strong as the weakest link, or device, in the chain. In this case, Blockchain can ensure that the data collected by IoT devices are secure and accessible to only the right people.
Royalties and copyright
In the creative industries, such as music, cinema, etc., copyright and royalties are major problems. These are artistic forms of expression, and it doesn’t appear they relate to Blockchain. Nevertheless, this technology is crucial for ensuring security and openness in the creative sectors. There are numerous cases of plagiarism in music, movies, art, etc. when the original creators are not given the proper credit. Blockchain, which maintains a complete ledger of artist rights, can be used to correct this. Additionally, Blockchain can offer a safe record of artist royalties and agreements with major production corporations. Digital currencies like Bitcoin can also be used to administer royalty payments.
Blockchain is a relatively new technology still not used extensively across many sectors of the economy, although it is gradually gaining ground. Blockchain may become a potent tool for the democratization of data as it becomes more widely used, promoting transparency and corporate moral practices. And as a result of faster transactions, greater transparency increased security, and lower prices, Blockchain technology is finding more and more uses around the globe. Who knows? Blockchain could one day alter everything!