Blockchain applications: See how blockchain technology is more than just cryptocurrency
What do you get in your mind when you see or hear the word “Blockchain”? Cryptocurrency? Digital money? Decentralized system? Yes, all of it is right. But blockchain is more than just that. Blockchain was making difference a lot earlier than cryptocurrency. It’s just the cryptocurrency’s trend and craze that brought blockchain to the limelight. That being said, Blockchain is being seen by many people as the technology of future, just like the internet. Blockchain applications will be ruling the internet. Depending on whom you ask, the technology of future would change. Some would say, its blockchain and some would say IOT.
But, since it's us whom you’ve asked, we’d say its Blockchain that is going to be the technology of the future. The transparency and decentralized system that Blockchain provides is the reason why we feel Applications of Blockchain is going to rule the whole internet.
In this post, we will talk about the top two Blockchain applications and how will they change the world we are living in.
In this article, you will learn the following
- What is Blockchain and how does it work? (Brief)
- Application of Blockchain technology (Two applications)
This is detailed and a long guide that will keep you busy for a while. Get some coffee and enjoy the read.
What is Blockchain technology?
Blockchain is a chain of blocks that contain information about the previous and the next block without any central intrusion or supervision. It applies cryptography on two of the most important elements of the blockchain, pointers and linked lists.
We have a dedicated guide that will help you clearly understand the whole concept of blockchain.
Blockchain is a public ledger containing these blocks of information from the application, the best example in this context is the cryptocurrency. The public ledger will contain blocks which will further contain the information of transactions. A blockchain is accessible by anyone who has access to the internet.
Imagine the blockchain as a database that has records of the transactions of the past. The purpose of having the blockchain publically accessible is to keep the network in motion, secure and powerful.
Well, unlike traditional financial bodies, there are no middlemen and other central systems that carry out the processes of transferring funds from one account to other. In case of blockchain application, cryptocurrency, it is a group of volunteers aka miners who do a two-in-one job. Miners spend their time and money to verify the transactions in the block. They use high-performance computers to do this job.
Each cryptocurrency has their own algorithm that verifies a transaction to be valid one or not. The algorithm doesn’t approve a transaction unless all the nodes on the network meet consensus. Once the transaction is approved, the transaction gets a hash. Post which, miner publish those approved transactions to the blockchain. Furthermore, while doing this, miners also generate new units of the cryptocurrency that are sent out to the market to the users who can use it for trading, exchanging or purchasing goods/services.
This is just a brief about blockchain, it is more than this which we have enclosed in our guide. We recommend you to go through it for better understanding.
Now that you have a basic knowledge about the technology of the future, let us share the best blockchain applications and everything about it.
Blockchain applications: Fields where blockchain is making a difference
Blockchain application #1: Food industry
Bigshots like Walmart have been closely discussing the implementation of Blockchain on their food management system. Most of us are fond of eating in restaurants and specialized food chains, but do you ever ask yourself “where is my food coming from?”
Food industry is a sensitive one and is not cup of tea for everyone. In 2006, there was an outbreak of E-coli. E-coli are bacteria that lives in intestine of humans and animals (mostly mammals). Mostly, this cute sounding bacteria is harmless, but when triggered by bad food, it may lead to causing diarrhea and/or sever kidney damage.
In 2006, Spinach was the culprit triggering these bacteria to do some serious damage and the victim to this were 199 people. Out of these, 22 were children under 5 years of age, 31 were affected by a kidney failure called “hemolytic-uremic syndrome”. Furthermore, 3 people died, one of them was a 2-year-old kid. This was not taken lightly by the people and the deciding authorities. Spinach was immediately taken out from the market and it took a fortnight for FDA to figure out the source of contamination.
Once the reports were out, it was one suplier’s one lot that kep the whole industry closed for 2 weeks. Farmers who were dependent on Spinach for their livelihood were left helpless and did not have money to even survive these harsh days.
Now, you must be wondering why are we telling all this. Well, the point to bring out here is a way that we could have avoided this from happening. No farmers would have to face huge loss and no one would have to see their loved one die. If there was a way to trace this contamination faster and more efficiently.
Since food industry completely depends on agriculture, tracing food items is a top most priority. This could make it easier for deciding authorities to stop contaminated food items to enter the market. Transperancy is a synonym to blockchain technology, and transperancy is what we need to trace contaminated food products to make or break a healthy food chain.
Considering the same incident mentioned above, that took 2 weeks to trace the suplier with contaminated spinach. It would have a lot easier and faster if we had a blockchain application recording all the supplier details. Furthermore, recording each and every step involved in this process to enhance the transperancy and better traceability. Blockchain being publically accessible with no central authority needing you to request data at every level of hierarchy.
This can redude tracing time time to minutes than weeks. Unlike cryptocurrency, you don’t have to wait for hours to get the transaction confirmed. You just do a simple search and trace the contaminated product and its supplier.
Walmart & IBM have come up with Hyperledger Fabric. Originally built by IBM, but now under Linux foundation’s Hyperledger group of these tests. Blockchain has just started integrating with Food industry and it has already started solving major problems. We have to wait and see how does it turn out.
Blockchain application #2: Cyber Security
This one’s gonna be easy and hard at the same time. Easy to understand and hard to believe. There have been so many instances when tech giants were under ceyber attack publically. Be it Yahoo!, facebook, truecaller, twitter and the list goes on. One of the biggest attacks has to be on Faceboook. It has personal data of over 2 billion people. Data that is enough to cause huge chaos in people’s lives.
September 7th, 2017 Equifax reported a massive data breach. Their servers were being accessed unauthorized from mid-may to July 2017. The company came to know about the unathourized access on July 29th 2017, which was made public in September. This breach was so massive that 145.5 million people had their personal data (Name, Social security number, DOB, Addresses, Driver’s lisence number) at stake. Another example was Yahoo! data breach in 2016, where 1 billion accounts were compromised with personal information like (Name, password, phone numbers, security questions & answers). Furthermore, this wasn’t the first time Yahoo! was under attack. There have been a couple of attacks so far.
Verizon conducted a survey cum research which revealed mind blowing results. Almost 65% of the cyber attacks happen because of lost, stolen or weak passwords. In most cases, people are the main reason why these attacks happen. Hackers hack personal accounts and then the whole system through it. The survey also revealed that 23% of the people engage with phishing emails and even open the attachments that is meant to capture their personal details. Such cyber crimes are costing $400 billion annually and are a huge reason of concern for the internet users.
Blockchain’s three features can help people safe guard their information even if they are careless amd we can even save as huge amount as $400 billion.
Feature #1: Trustless system
The main concept of blockchain is to work without human trust. The system running on blockchain doesn’t need human intervension to function and make decisions. It needs humans only to streamline the process and maintain the system.
Feature #2: Immutability
Blockchain stores data and keep it safe by cryptographically encrypting it by using properties like digital signatures and hashing. The most important feature that can doubly enhance the security of cyber applications is that once the data or information enters the blockchain it cannot be tampered. That is, once the user creates the account, the account information will never be accessible, not even by that user. This gives immune to the data of a very high degree.
Feature #3: Decentralization
This feature is the heart of blockchain technology. Decentralized systems are solely because of blockchain technology. In this case, Cyber application can utilize this technology and spread the whole system across the blockchain network. This will make sure that there is not single point of attack and increase the level of security.
In case of cryptocurrency, the decentralized nature of blockchain doesn’t allow anyone to dig in and find details of transactions. But since the exchange platforms are centralized, there have been so many attacks on the system. Both, funds and personal data have been compromised in past. However, the exchange platforms are working on decentralized trading/exchange platform that will not only help their users keep their funds safe but also give an amazing trading/exchange experience.
Final thoughts on Blockchain applications
As we can see that blockchain applications are making its way to our daily lives, slowly but surely. For those who say that cryptocurrency is a short time bubble, we agree and disagree with them. Cryptocurrency as an investment might be a short time bubble, but cryptocurrency as a mode of payment is not a short time bubble. The decentralized mode of payment has already solved major problems like fraud, huge fees, weeks of waiting for transactions getting approved. One thing is for sure, cryptocurrency as mode of payment is already people’s favorite. And systems that are people’s favourite, stays.
If you want to learn how cryptocurrency works and more about it, we have a detailed guide on this for you. You can access the guide here.
That being said, we hand over the batton to you. What do you think blockchain is going to do in the future? Do you belive blockchain applications is going to be real? Let us know in the comment section below. If you find this guide informative, share this with blockchain enthusiasts. Also share it on your social media profiles.
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