Blockchain, Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin- I stumbled upon these terms a few years back (though they originated way back in 2008). But I casually brushed them off considering them far too technical for my layman’s mind. Besides, they made little or no difference to my scope of work and daily activities.
Probably the only information I had about these terms was through stories of individuals who became billionaires just by keeping cryptocurrencies and other investor speculations on their reliability. After all, how could something that did not have a physical form hold any value?
Today, here I am just a few years later researching frantically on these terms trying to understand them better. In fact, they have already become a way of life. Yes, today blockchain technology has been applied across various industries such as finance, judiciary, trade, and even logistics. Meanwhile, clinics and restaurants have begun accepting cryptocurrency as a mode of payment. It also adopted the blockchain technology to simplify and secure their work.
Yes, as most of us know these terms are interlinked. Blockchain is a technology initiated for and gave rise to cryptocurrencies. Bitcoins are probably the best-known cryptocurrency, the one for which blockchain technology was invented.
Blockchain today is like the advent of the internet in the 90’s. It was quite a mystery in itself for the longest time. It may have started off the underpinning technology for cryptocurrencies. But today, it goes way beyond the realms of the finance industry. Not only that, it has the potential to disrupt the way we do a lot of things. In fact, it actually has the capability to improve any interaction that involves contracts, transactions safety, and security.
As of today, people considered blockchain as one of the safest technologies. This is mainly because there is no one person or body who controls it. This data duplicated and distributed across many systems in its entirety. Since it is a decentralized way of storing and accessing data, there is no single point of entry for attackers.
They say, nothing keeps records like the way blockchain technology does. After all, it is a digital ledger to record anything of value to humankind that we can express in code. Therefore, health care institutes, governmental and financial organizations used this technology to store valuable data. Eventually, various business sectors and industries will use and adopt blockchain technology.
Yes, while the internet is the biggest boon in various ways, it has also given rise to security issues. Stolen or hacked User IDs and hacking, in general, is probably one of the biggest causes of thefts and large data breaches, with users creating new accounts and conducting fraudulent transactions online. This has led to password security becoming increasingly complex with multi-layer protections. However, despite following this procedure for improved security, it leads to businesses losing out as it becomes a hassle for most users who then prefer to avoid using such e-commerce sites.
Undoubtedly, blockchain technology helps create unalterable records with end-to-end encryption. It shuts out any fraud and unauthorized activity. Moreover, blockchain-backed identity authentication solutions enable users to secure IDs without sharing them with third-party entities. On the other hand, blockchain-protected access enables enterprises to safely share and store data without the risk of data breaches and fraud.
The efficiency of the blockchain in processing transactions helps organisations cut costs. It reduces manual tasks such as aggregating and amending data. Blockchain also streamlines reporting and auditing processes. In the long run, the effective use of blockchain will help businesses reduce costs by eliminating the use of middlemen, vendors, and third-party providers. In fact, the world’s largest tourism company, TUI Group is pioneering the use of blockchains as a way to eventually replace travel aggregators through which customers can directly engage with hotels.
Besides saving paper because it is detrimental to the environment, most organisations spend a lot of money in setting up as well as ensuring smooth paperwork. Blockchain technology is a time and money saver for any industry that is drowning in paperwork, especially if it requires confidentiality. Imagine not having to scroll through piles of papers stored years back when it can be available at the click of a finger.
How many times have you been billed for services that you have not used? And then, even waited for weeks or months to sort the issue out? Healthcare frauds are very common these days. The blockchain system ensures that your medical records and history are easily available on a cloud any time you need them.
It’s human nature to resist change. And especially, when the change will actually disrupt the way we have been doing things for years. Undoubtedly, the blockchain technology has its own set of problems to overcome. As a matter of fact, it does have a potential for abuse. However, its pros surpass the cons. And there is no doubt that it will be extensively adopted across various industries. Ultimately, it has enormous potential for improving our lives in the near and distant future.