Blockchain – Just Another Technical Jargon Or Digital Revolution?
Blockchain has been the buzzword in the world of tech this year. Some of the prominent stories that caught attention were Bitcoin Blockchain, MasterCard’s decision to integrate Blockchain in its financial services and how it‘s the answer to cyber security. Most of us had not even heard of this technology. It was only when the world got over the hype of Bitcoins that they paid attention to its spinal cord, the almighty Blockchain!
Unfortunately for most of us, plummeting in these news articles only deepens confusion about this new technology. There has been a lot of hype around the word Blockchain and for now it is safe to say that it is much deserved. With all the cyber security issues we face now and which will undoubtedly increase in the near future, Blockchain is expected to be our answer. The aim of this article is to understand what’s all the gush about it.
What Is Blockchain?
Simply put, Blockchain is nothing but a data structure. That is, it allows to store data systematically. Thus, Blockchain technology allows to store data in an organized way. So, where’s the difference? To start with data stored on Blockchain cannot be modified. This allows a transparent transaction between parties. The data stored in the blocks is permanent. An alteration in any of the blocks cannot happen unless changes in the linked blocks are collaboratively allowed.
To further understand, you can compare it with a ledger that keeps record of all interlinked financial transactions. The only difference here is that all the data is digital and not stored at one place. Thus, decentralization makes it tough for the cyber criminals to get their hands on the required information. Blockchain works on a peer to peer networking model. It is not handled by a single entity but by multiple across the network. No central source of authority, makes it more robust and secure against cybercrimes.
How Does It Support Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and is the world’s first decentralized digital currency. This means that financial transactions in this system are not handled by third parties. Therefore, making financial transactions, faster, economical, easier and more secure. Each block, contains information about the bitcoin transactions and the miner incentive reward. Each block is connected with a hash pointer which is the link between blocks. The block also has information about the technical details and relevant reference about the information of the previous block. To trace back, each block refers to the preceding hash pointer.
Does It Have a History?
Well yes! Blockchains go way back into 1990’s. The foundation of the concept was first laid by Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta in the year 1991. While the world was still getting used to computers and internet was only known to a handful of the world population, they introduced cryptographically secured chains of blocks. However, at that time their need of the hour was to collate large data at one place.
It was in 2009 that an unknown individual/group named Satoshi Nakamoto, used this concept to give to the world the much famous, Bitcoin. Satoshi Nakamoto utilized the Blockchain technology to maintain an autonomous database of all the transactions of Bitcoin.
Why Is It The Need Of The Hour?
According to International Data Corporation (IDC), the digital data of the world is expected to reach 180 zettabytes by 2025. This is just a precursor to how data would grow exponentially and how interlinked would our lives be in the web of a data driven world! Most of us are already struggling to maintain the fine line between our private and public lives. Imagine what would it be like a decade from now. Needless to say, the cybercrime will be a prime concern for one and all. The transition from paper currency to digital currency is in its nascent stage, however, it’s only a matter of time that we shall have only digital transactions. As per the Gartner reports the coming year will see 50% of the business ethic violations will be data related! The digital world has made us vulnerable to cyber-attacks security. With the pace at which technology is evolving we need a robust infrastructure for the financial world. Which is why Blockchain is looked upon as the next disruptive technology.
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Impact On Financial Sector And Its Future
Blockchain is expected to reform the world Global Banking system. While the industry is yet to embrace Blockchain with open arms, there has been a growing acceptance amongst big names will be the answer to the cyber issues in the future. In a recent news, MasterCard has announced that they will use the Blockchain technology for payment services under the name Master Card API. They are expected to connect Blockchain wallet with their credit card services. Small trades will use this to create robust, safe and trusted platforms.
Next Read: Is This The Beginning Of End For BitCoin?
Blockchain is also expected to be the answer to many persistent issues like plagiarism, piracy, data stealing etc. In other news, it is expected to help disrupt fake news, eliminate plagiarism, piracy and catch hold of criminals.