The world has undergone a technological boom over the last two decades, and many useful technologies have come about as a result of the innovation and dedication of the tech sector. One technology which is displaying a huge amount of potential for the future (and present) is blockchain, a revolutionary digital creation which is forecast to have a market worth $2.3bn by 2021. Here is an explanation of blockchain useful features, as well as some of the ways it may be applied in modern society.
What is Blockchain?
Most people have heard of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, the digital cryptocurrency which swept across the headlines as it underwent significant leaps in value. Blockchain is the technology underpinning bitcoin, and both were created at the same time (2008) by the same person (or group of people).
The blockchain consists of a series of digital ‘blocks’ of information, which have a timestamp and can be distributed, but not copied. Together, the blocks form a distributed database in which each block is stored in multiple locations, making it completely transparent and virtually impossible to hack/alter. As such, there can only be one undisputed owner of each block, and this has a number of different uses.
The accountancy firm RSM recently stated that blockchain is ‘too powerful for businesses to ignore’, suggesting that it could become a centrepiece of many modern business models. As such, it is clear that blockchain has the potential to revolutionise a number of business processes.
One way it could do this is through greatly improving supply chain communication, as it would facilitate the creation of unalterable records at each stage of the supply chain, allowing managers and business owners to easily track every movement.
As previously mentioned, the blockchain network is one of the most secure and reliable in the world. This means that it has a number of security applications which could also help businesses and individuals alike. Transactions could be made much simpler and more secure, often removing the need for an intermediary between businesses and customers.
It also allows for a great deal of transparency in terms of transactions and the transfer of data in general, increasing overall trust between those using the network.
Blockchain is undoubtedly a technology which has a great deal of potential, and it is likely that current uses are only scratching the surface. As such, it will be fascinating to see how this technology develops in the coming years.