We live in a world which is increasingly connected and co-dependent. Information can be sent from one part of the world to another at a blistering pace. However, this real time and mobile connectivity has come at a price as online security and protections have yet to catch up with the consumer technology itself.
However, blockchain technology just could be the shift in the current status quo that sets the rest of the world ablaze with more secure and efficient data transfers between devices and IP addresses.
Blockchain company , Stampd provides notarized proof of ownership of any digital creation
In this essay, I articulate the innovations and market shifts that the blockchain will bring to banking, ecommerce and personal verification. For emerging markets in both the United States and abroad, this innovation will provide consumers there increased levels of parity with consumers in more structurally developed nations.
How the Blockchain works
What is exactly blockchain technology? A blockchain is simply a distributed database, comprised of storage devices which operate on independent computer processing units and hold time-stamped records (the “blocks”) which are secure from editing and reconfiguration.
Each block is “mined” in an expensive process in which the “miner” discovers a new block through a series of computations creating a “hash” which begins with a certain number of zeros. The probability of meeting the required computational threshold for this hash is very low. The process itself is resource and labor intensive. This use of a hash provides a proof of work which is required for the new block to be accepted by the blockchain community and into the distributed database.
Moreover, these blocks are generated from previously existing sequential blocks and stored in a way which prevent them from being replicated. Hence “the chain.”
Given the secure and structured way that these files are created, it becomes impossible to forge new and identical data, as there is a literal and inherent ledger of records and transactions.
Much of the current conversation being had about blockchain technology is rooted in the use of crypto currencies such as bitcoin. Crytocurrency allows for large scale economic activity and transactions without the involvement of governments and central banks (not needed because of the distributed database and leger).
Much of the arduous paper work and administrative logging managed by investment banks and accounting firms become useless.
Blockchain Technologies which are Shaking Up Industries
To say that blockchain solutions are problematic for various big time industry players would be a massive understatement.
Consensus Systems is building triple-entry accounting tools on the Ethereum blockchain which will change the way auditing and accounting industries have been operated for the past 80 years, lessening the need for third-party consulting firms.
In the case of ABRA, they’re making overseas money transfers more secure and less expensive with blockchain technology, cutting out companies like Western Union who make a lot of money on remittance transaction fees.
Imogen [Jennifer] Heap, a British Electronica artist, used blockchain tech to distribute content this year
However, the benefits of blockchain technology go far beyond currency and online payments. It can be used for anything that requires an immutable and non-falsifiable record.
Ujomusic this year worked with artist Imogen Heap to create a platform which allowed users to purchase a license to download, stream, remix, and sync her content. The software then divided customer payments on the blockchain and sent a proportional amount of compensation directly and individually to Imogen and her project collaborators.
The World keeps Changing...Blockchain technology makes sure of it
The world is still shifting and flattening out. This flattening provided historically marginalized communities with greater equity and quality of life.
Technological frameworks and paradigms such as the blockchain are allowing for the perennial underdogs such as former colonial economies, creative and professionals to move money, content and documentation at a pace which is both quick and economically advantageous.
Medvis Jackson is a web designer at Hindsite, curator at Kulchah and avid cricket fan. You can follow him @medvisjackson for his random thoughts. He primarily covers startups, tech and small business ecosystems and resources.