Blockchain is probably one of the most popular buzz words bandied about over the past couple of years. But what exactly is Blockchain and what should you know about it?
WHAT IS BLOCKCHAIN?
Blockchain is simply a database or ledger that maintains a continuously growing list of data records (blocks) or transactions. Blockchain allows digital information to be distributed but not copied, it is the sole system of record.
A Blockchain transaction will have the following attributes:
It Can Be Shared
Servers or nodes maintain all the entries or transactions (blocks) and every node sees the transaction data stored in the blocks when created.
It is Decentralized
There is no central authority required to approve transactions or set rules.
It is Secure
The database is an immutable and irreversible record. Posts to the Ledger cannot be revised or tampered with – not even by the operators of the database.
It Runs on Trust
The distributed nature of the network requires computer servers to reach a consensus which allows for transactions to occur between unknown parties.
Automation is Key
The software is written so that conflicting or double transactions do not become written in the data set and transactions occur automatically.
WHAT ARE THE STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF BLOCKCHAIN?
Considering the popularity and potential uses of Blockchain over many sectors and industries, Gartner has developed the following SWOT Analysis
WHEN CAN I EXPECT TO SEE BLOCKCHAIN EFFECT MY BUSINESS?
According to a Gartner Hype Cycle Graph for emerging technologies, it will take at least 5 to 10 years before Blockchain Technology is widely adopted by mainstream industries.
WHERE WILL BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY MOSTLY BE USED?
Cryptocurrencies are a type of alternative and virtual currency that are decentralized and built on Blockchain technology. Bitcoin would be a very popular example of this.
These are legally binding programmable digitized contracts entered on the blockchain. Giving computers control over contracts will make business more efficient and the legal system more equitable.
Banking and Finance
All the world’s major banks are currently investing heavily in Blockchain Technology as it offers many advantages, especially in the areas of audit and regulation.
By placing all property records on the chain, prospective buyers will be able to immediately verify all requirements including ownership, title, land registry, insurance, etc..
This technology should become incredibly appealing to the healthcare profession as it could allow doctors and hospitals secure access to a patient’s entire health history there and then.
The supply of goods or services blockchain ledger can be updated and validated in realtime by each participant in the supply chain. It enables equal visibility of activities and reveals where an asset is at any point in time, who owns it and what condition it’s in.
The above is only a small selection of where blockchain technology may apply in the future.
If you would like to know more about Blockchain and how it may affect your industry in the coming years contact RML Marketing & Business Development Solutions today