There is nothing more exciting than a new technology that is dead set on re-imagining the way we live and the ways we do business.
Blockchain technology, which gave birth to cryptocurrencies (e.g. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin), has been nothing short of revolutionary in the world. It has seen amazing reception from tech enthusiasts initially, but now the world as a whole has gotten transfixed by this amazing creation.
Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, however, continue to be viewed with a lot of misconceptions as most people are put-off by all the cryptographic technical jargon that most resort to when explaining it.
In this piece we intend to dissect the industry and technology behind it in a way that focuses on what it can actually do for us in the real world, so we can get a better appreciation of this awesome technology which is certainly here to stay.
What is blockchain technology?
This is a decentralized distributed open ledger system where transactions of money or any other thing of value can be recorded and tracked.
The great thing that makes blockchain technology a unique innovation is that for the first time we are able to create a digital content can be seen by millions and can be interacted with, but it cannot be hacked, counterfeited or compromised in any way.
Blockchain technology is the new breathtaking technology that seeks to turn whole industries upside down, from banking, to insurance and online gambling.
Its amazing ability to guarantee integrity is what has taken the imagination of problem solvers all over the world who seek to adapt it to various uses in different spheres of life.
What are the features of blockchains?
Blockchains have several unique features that make it stand-apart from anything that has preceded it.
Blockchain technology, though not under any central entity, has been able to garner the trust of millions of users worldwide who have invested tens of billions in order to put it to one application or the other.
Some of the distinct features that make blockchain technology a colossal invention include:
- Decentralization: The first great feature of blockchain technology is that it is completely decentralized and as such has no single entity, company or government that controls it. It is the fully democratic system where its users are not forced to trust a central figure to be fair with them as with the case of the present financial and tech industries. Trust here is earned not given, as any transaction has to be verified by every participating member (computer) on a blockchain before it is added.
- No Downtime: The other great feature of blockchain technology is that it is one that doesn’t suffer the occasional downtimes centralized systems are prone to. The ledger that makes up a certain blockchain is typically copied multiple times and distributed all other network. This means that should any part of the ledger go down even if temporarily, there are dozens of backups that kick-in seamlessly without experiencing the least discomfort that might arise from a downtime on the system. This is another great reason why blockchain technology is universally trusted.
- Immutability: A key feature that makes blockchain technology a completely unprecedented technology, is that for the first time in Human existence, a product has been created that no one single entity, or government has any ultimate power over, and as such it cannot be compromised by being counterfeited or by getting hacked. The sheer amount of computational power that is required to disrupt or compromise the blockchain is not possessed by any single entity in the world. And any perceived incursions can be easily rebuffed as all the computers that make up the blockchain need to reach a consensus about the validity of transaction before it is added to the blockchain.
Applications of blockchain technology
Apart from cryptocurrency, blockchain technology has so many other potentials and it is presently being tapped by many companies to solve particular real world problems. Some of the other present and potential uses of blockchain technology include:
- Cryptocurrency: Cryptocurrency can be loosely defined as a fully decentralized and private means of sending payment via a virtual entity that is created on blockchain technology. Cryptocurrencies are the new breed of virtual money whose main feature rests upon their high levels of anonymity they give anyone that uses them for transactions, as well as the inability to counterfeit them.
- Elections: One of the key sectors that can benefit from the emergence of blockchain technology is governance itself. Due to the transparency it guarantees and its immutability, blockchain technology is touted to be used as the final frontier that will guarantee all future elections are 100 percent free and fair as they cannot be rigged as a result of any human factor or bias.
- Self-Driving Vehicles: With the continuous striving for the fully automated vehicle by some big tech companies, blockchain technology presents the chance of producing a fully automated vehicle and traffic system that is completely hack-proof and can be completely trusted to avoid all mishaps and accidents.
- Property Ownership: A great potential use of blockchain technology is that it will liberalize property ownership and can make the industry more fluid granting the property owners instant liquidity on their properties whenever they need it. It is hoped that border barriers will be completely dismantled when it comes to property ownership, as an owner of a property title can easily digitize it and sell to any interested buyer at the other end of the world without much hassle.
- Identity Security: One of the biggest problems that the Internet made even worse which is identity theft could soon become a thing of the past. As with blockchain technology, people can have their verified identities and biometrics uploaded to a decentralized system that can be easily accessed wherever they go around the world. This identity once uploaded cannot be tampered with or duplicated by anyone and as such gives the user complete control over their identities for the first time in history.
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