Blockchain, as evident from the name, is a series of blocks that store data in the form of records. These blocks of data are connected in a chain as a distributed database. So let’s talk about this technology and how it is used in today’s digital world.
The first digital currency created with blockchain was Bitcoin. It is a peer-to-peer payment system where every transaction needs to be validated by all members of the network before it can be recorded. When a block is validated, it will be linked to the chain. If a change occurs in the data of an existing block, its hash will be altered, and the network won’t recognize it. This makes blockchain secure and tamper-proof. Now, there are hundreds of cryptocurrencies using blockchain technology. Users can buy Litecoin or any other digital currency in the cryptocurrency market and enjoy blockchain advantages.
However, blockchain is more than a means of recording transactions. As a database technology, it can be used to store almost any kind of data. This versatile aspect of blockchain is directed to the development of numerous blockchain applications in different industries.
- Data Storage:
Blockchain is known for its distributed nature. This means that the data records are not stored in one central location but are spread out across the network. It makes blockchain a helpful technology for storing data.
As more and more data is constantly being generated, the need for storage space is increasing exponentially. Blockchain is now used to store any kind of data in a decentralized manner. This includes big data, which is a collection of large and complex datasets that are difficult to process using traditional computing methods.
Blockchain can also be used for cloud storage. This makes it a better alternative to centralized cloud storage services, which are run by corporations as these services usually store user data in one place, which makes it vulnerable to attack.
- Computing Power:
Blockchain technology is also used to share computing power and allow users access to supercomputers, which they can use to perform complex calculations. Mining is known as the process of confirming, authenticating, and adding transactions to the blockchain. Miners compete with each other to solve complex mathematical problems, and the first one who finds a solution gets rewarded in Bitcoin.
This process of mining also provides security for the blockchain as it makes it difficult to tamper with the data.
In the healthcare sector, blockchain is used to store and share patients’ data among different hospitals, diagnostic laboratories and physicians, and pharmaceutical firms in a fast, reliable and secure way. Blockchain can identify hazardous errors in the medical industry. Taipei Medical University Hospital has successfully integrated blockchain technology throughout its system.
- Supply Chain:
Blockchain can significantly improve supply chains by allowing faster and more cost-effective product delivery, increasing product traceability, boosting partner coordination, and facilitating access to funding.
It can also reduce paperwork significantly, resulting in fewer administrative costs. With the transparent nature of blockchain, a more credible relationship between stakeholders and public trust in data can be generated. Moreover, it can prove to be effective in reducing public relations risks from supply chain malpractice.
- Blockchain-Based Games:
Another application of blockchain is in the gaming industry. Blockchain can be used to create digital assets which have real-world value. The in-game assets work as NFTs and can be bought, sold, and traded on the online cryptocurrency market.
This has led to the development of blockchain-based games. In these games, players can own digital assets and use them to improve their in-game experience, use different computer tools like adblocker, time tracker and so on.
The most popular blockchain game is CryptoKitties. This blockchain-based crypto game allows players to buy, sell and trade digital cats. These cats can be bred to create new and unique types of cats.
- Business Marketing:
Blockchain technology can revolutionize consumer relationships by increasing trust, transparency, and security of data and information. It also enables new types of consumer loyalty programs, which may assist in providing value to business management and public relations.
Blockchain technology makes the risk of theft and fraud almost zero. Fraud verification will help marketers verify a transaction’s origin and accuracy in seconds. Thus, a fast and secure system can be created for both businesses and consumers.
- Food Supply System:
Blockchain is now being used to create a decentralized food supply system. This would allow farmers and producers to sell their food directly to consumers without the need for intermediaries.
The data stored on the blockchain would include information about where and how the food was produced. This information would be available to the consumer before they make a purchase.
Where can Blockchain be Applied in the Future?
The applications mentioned above of blockchain are just a few of many. Blockchain has not yet been fully adopted; still, we are gaining impactful benefits. We see many potential uses of blockchain in real estate, education, insurance, voting, welfare benefits, gambling, and artist royalties.
With the coming technological innovations, blockchain technology will be seen in every sector of life.