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Everything you always wanted to know about Blockchain

  • 18 September 2018, Administrator
If you have been following the news closely, you wouldn’t have missed Blockchain, Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency, Ethereum and other related words for sure. No, we are not talking about something straight out of Superman’s universe or Iron Man’s creation. We are talking about reality; a technology that seems to be revolutionizing how we store information, retrieve it, and even conduct transactions on a regular basis.
If we were to summarize Blockchain in a single line for you- it is a digital record keeping method, which attempts to make information visible as well as accessible to one and all. It is decentralized method, which means the technology removes the need for a middle man. Sounds complicated? Well, let us break it down for you in simpler words with an interesting analogy.

Blockchain explained

Blockchain is basically a distributed ledger technology. The information that was earlier held in a single place i.e. either on the server or in the cloud, will be distributed along different networks, broken down into smaller pieces, in order to make it more accessible. The pieces of information would be encrypted.
Why do you need a technology so specific to manage information? For one, the current methods of storing and accessing information makes your data vulnerable. The large chunks of data can be easily hacked into. For instance, if you have been in touch with hacking news, you would have heard about how Uber’s database was hacked and the personal information of about 57Mn users was stolen, last year. The same happened to Ashley Madison, an online dating site. Close to 37Mn users’ personal information was stolen.
These incidents have left users vulnerable and their privacy threatened.
With Blockchain, the system gets complex, and your database secure. The data is spread across the network in a web of interwoven chains of data stored in encrypted formats.
  • This technology not only self-checks but also self-repairs the impairs in the blocks
  • The data is immutable
  • The data is not so vulnerable, as the Blockchain ensures that any change made to the data is visible immediately and permanent
Let’s talk about a Google Doc vs. a Microsoft Word.
  • When you make changes in Microsoft Word, you will edit the document, and then send it to the person concerned. The editor, let’s say, will be able to view the changes only after you send it to them
  • In case of Google Doc, the permission to view and edit is shared among different people. So, while you are making the changes, the other person can view it.
Blockchain is the Google Docs for databases, wherein each change affects the million shared databases immediately, and can be viewed at the same moment, immediately.

Benefits of incorporating Blockchain technology

  • With Blockchain, the role of intermediary has been removed. There is enough room for trust within the transactions as a result. Unauthorized intervention or backdoor transactions are down a minimum as a result. Data tinkering is also impossible, as the model is complex and widespread. Data modification is nearly impossible. Thus, you have a more secure and trustworthy system in place
  • The system works using distributed ledger structure, which means the entire information related to transactions and the overall control is in the hands of the user. The data is complete, accurate and consistent with the users. Users can easily view the changes made in the system, and any hacks are easily visible. This makes the entire system transparent and accessible.
  • With Blockchain, the financial transactions are quicker and easier. In fact, you can make a transaction through the day as it is accessible 24/7. This kind of instantaneous settlement can help the transportation and energy industries as it improves the back office efficiency and automates the process, thus saving your efforts and money
  • The elimination of third party involvement can lead to reduced overhead costs. The transaction fees that goes because of the middleman no longer exists with Blockchain. If banks were to use this technology, they can reduce the governance and audit costs, and accelerate the transaction time from days to hours as well as time-to-market.

To sum it up

Blockchain is a boon to industries that have been working with the middleman at the frontier. Not only will it remove the existence of middlemen but also make transactions efficient and systems less vulnerable.
Currently, Blockchain is being used majorly in cryptocurrency but, with time it will affect the other aspects of finance as well as for solutions in Governance, Healthcare, Supply chain and Quality assurance etc.

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