8 Things That Won’t Happen in Blockchain Technology
July 15, 2021
8 min read
With the digital revolution taking over the world by force, it is fairly safe to say that technology still has a long way to go from the present. But the catch is that we have more or less visualized what our future should look like 20 years from now. Twenty years, not because it is something that is not yet created or conceptualized, but because it takes a long to creep into a system that runs deep without giving out obvious leeway.
This pretty much explains why a flop debut won’t damper the glitter off Blockchain from setting its foot down as the most revolutionized concept on the virtual market today.
What is blockchain?
A universal leger accessible and managed by all in the community is the simplest idea of what a blockchain is. The idea is credited to have been around the internet world since the 1990s. However, the hype that it received following the introduction of the crypto-currency bitcoin can be attributed as the trigger that plummeted it into the limelight again.
Breaking it down into simpler words, blockchain is a digitized data entry for transactions. Every entry made forms a block that is secured under various levels of hashes that prevent it from getting into the hands of an unverified third party. Each entry formed adds to the blockchain, and the data is distributed among all the participants.
Thus, decentralizing data entries by giving access to multiple participants at a single time, and giving rise to more transparent proceedings, is the imminent result of blockchain technology.
The technology makes it possible to have thousands of entries shared among multiple users. The complex mannerism of the technology makes it nearly impossible for anyone to manipulate the entries for their profit singly. Since no single individual or body governs the technology, the data stored are neither owned by someone nor can they be changed without notifying.
This makes the technology particularly useful in the way the transactions (not only money) are carried out digitally at present. Taking out the intermediates coming in between from the source to receiver, thus making the proceedings clearer without any possible threat of corruption.
When you create data, they are stored in the form of blocks. Each block is secured by a randomly generated hash that serves as its fingerprint. So, for every entry you make, your data is stored as blocks next in line to the chain you are working on. To make the chain system more intricate, each new block created has a reference hash for the previous block. This continues for a series, making it extremely difficult for people with access to manipulate the entries since the altered entry changes the hash for the block, making the subsequent entries invalid. And since these are chains, you can always trace back data you want to find by following the blocks.
The development of blockchains apps depends on the type of network you need and the complexity of the community. Hiring individuals or companies for the same makes the development process more secure with the flexibility to explore your needs.
Freelancers are generally avoided in this regard owing to the security risk for the project. However, it is worth noting that even the freelancers who are relatively the cheapest option are not cheap enough. Most of them charge anywhere from $50,000 onwards. Hence, before investing in a system, make sure your enterprise needs it.
Developing a blockchain from scratch requires a lot of inputs and investments. Identifying the purpose of the blockchain from transaction dealings to data storage each requires their level of brainstorming. Adding to it, ideation and proof-of-concept drive the development process forward.
Some of the blockchain developing tools in the market are Solium, Embark, Mist, and Truffle. However, it is important to note that since blockchain as a concept has grown in prominence only in recent years, a lot of trial and testing goes on for the developing procedure.
Eight things that won’t happen in blockchain!
- Your data cannot be corrupted.
Yes, even though all participants can access the entries, they cannot bring changes to the same without bringing them to the notice of others. Since each new block created requires validation from everyone on the block, every change someone adds is only accepted as a part of the block after consensus. This makes the entries corruption-free. And even if corrupted, they are recorded in the ledger itself, making it possible to trace back to the default.
- Data once entered won’t be deleted.
Once entered into the giant network, the data remains in the space forever and can be accessed by anyone with the right set of keywords. You might have heard the term ‘once on the internet, forever remain on the internet.’ Well, the bitcoin concept abides by it. Once an entry is detailed and entered into the ledger, there is no way you can retract the same. Thus, it might be considered both as a boon and bane. Boon, for the entire dealings, can be essentially called transparent. And bane, because, once entered, it will never be forgotten.
- The data is secure.
Since each data is added by the confirmations of the participants, once recorded, the data is secured in the networks forever. Hence, with each block added to the chain, you get a validation for the transaction dealt between the parties. This makes the entries in the ledger authentic and in accordance with the actual proceedings.
- Not all blockchains are accessible to anyone and everyone.
The idea was to have a secure transaction dealing in a public network. The public network blockchain data is open to all and hence can be accessed by the general public. But you can also create your closed network, authorizing only selected people participants of the block. These closed or private blockchains have a similar concept as the other, with access limitations.
- The chain won’t disappear with members.
As mentioned before, blockchain is not by any one individual. It is a network run by the consensus of the participants. The idea is foolproof when the blockchain is public. Hence, even if one or two participants don’t cater to the blocks anymore, the system won’t fall to dust. Therefore, your dealing is secure till the end till everyone on the circuit agrees to do so.
- A fork would not dampen the spirit.
It is unavoidable when network dealings revolve around multiple users. Some might agree, and others won’t. This results in creating a fork or a split in the blockchain that makes. In this case, both the communities can move along the chain until one of them dominates over the other, forcing the latter to give in. The dominated one grows faster by adding more blocks to the chain, i.e., are mined by miners.
- Nothing is anonymous on the web.
When digital currency is in question, one of the most frequently arising dilemmas is on their validity. Since it is much easier to undertake fraudulent activities when dealing with things that are not physical. But, blockchains make things simple by noting down accounts for each transaction. Until and unless they are entered, they remain invalid on the web. Since the blocks in the chain are all connected to each other, traceability is not impossible.
- Third-party intermediates
To make transactions simple and more secure, the blockchain concept keeps away the third-party intermediaries who are responsible for validation and often leads to errors within the transactions. With no middlemen, the transaction goes directly from sender to receiver, and the action is recorded in the community’s ledger. Thus, giving a detailed account for the proceedings without any losses.
With the world slowly being taken over by the power of digital technology, it would only be right to say to fuel this opportunity by capitalizing on it. Drive out better returns from the system by integrating your business with the same.
The blockchains have several networks in themselves. The publicly owned ones are accessible for all and allow free trading of data within the system and another system with the same protocols. However, systems that don’t work under the same protocol as the base need to be integrated to make dealings between the enterprise smoother.
As specified earlier, the technology is not led by a single identity. Owned by all at the same time by none, blockchain technology is decentralizing the concept of trust. Complex cryptography makes it possible to record every detail of the transactions done, making the information accessible to all at the same time. For each transaction to become valid, it must be validated by the participants of the network. Some of the services that are picking up pace in the digital world are:
- Digital currency: Bitcoin is unarguably the biggest success story it has created, so wide is the impact that people often misunderstand both of them to be the same. However, the currency is only a tiny part of the service that runs on blockchain as its backbone.
- Healthcare: The sensitive information of patients is securely stored in the blocks. The data can be given access to specific parties only, removing the chances of leaking sensitive information.
- Cyber solutions: The fraudulent services undertaken by the digital market can be kept to a minimum by decreasing the number of intermediaries in the party. With no more providers, transferring units, …etc., the chances of scamming people are very narrow. Furthermore, with data clearly verified, it is difficult to corrupt without being traced.
- Logistics: The ledgers compiled keeping track of the shipments and consignments can make things transparent and less prone to error.
- Government use: Securing data of billions of nationals doesn’t find a better spot than the blockchain, where these highly personal and sensitive pieces of information are locked up under high security.
Why hasn’t the concept been taken up by the world?
No matter how revolutionized a concept is formalized, it takes time to completely replace a more convenient system. Thus, even though the technology aims to remove the middlemen and hence the corruption that comes with it, the system itself is not destructive enough to make people forget about the hassles of the current transaction mode.
One prominent figure that comes to the spotlight here is its instability. There has been a constant shift in its value. Sometimes topping the chart with €10000, whereas dropping to as low as €3000 at other times. This large disparity makes the traders hesitant about the losses that one can bring to their fortune.
Other factors like the time taken to complete the transaction make it all the more difficult to adopt it in real-time situations. Yet, this does not mean blockchain technology has no other takers than bitcoin. The governments are trying to integrate the system for the efficient execution of their policies. But when and how they will come into reality is a thing to observe 20 years from now.
Is it safe from hackers?
Theoretically speaking, the technology is created as such that any hacker may have to spend days searching for a hash code that may have more than a billion possibilities. Adding to the cryptographic fingerprint, there is another thing that makes the universal ledger foolproof, i.e., the consensus. The hacker would have to bring out changes to the hash of the particular block and all the subsequent blocks before the chain managed by the consensus gets longer.
No matter how safe and complicated it sounds on paper, there is no round way to the fact that miscreants have made their way into the system. The obvious indication is that almost 15% of the digital currency is lost without any trace. This is only possible when you have humans working against the powers with technology itself. It is not easy to generate a random hash that matches the block. But at the same time, it is not impossible to do so with the help of computers that can generate them in seconds.
Adding to it, the threat of invalid or fake blocks may arise. Still, for this to become a reality, the person in question must have high processing power, i.e., more than fifty percent, to make their incorrect blocks correct and make their valid ones invalid. This is quite tough since this requires that the hacker’s power should be more than all the participants of the blockchain.
The environmental side of it!
The generation of cryptocurrency results in a large environmental footprint. This is due to the large magnitude of power employed in the generation of these complex mathematical crypts that secures them. With more and more people taking in the idea of blockchain, energy employed for the same is far exceeding the normal values.
If you ask if the blockchain is the future, there is no clear answer. But one thing is for sure; technology has the power to change how transactions are being done today. With a universal ledger accounting for every detail of the proceedings undertaken, there is no way to go back on the claims and make transactions illegitimate. Authorized with the confirmations of the participants, every entry remains in the chain and can be accessed by anyone without being able to corrupt it. If brought to utilization, the novel idea can end a lot of problems in multiple sectors ranging from healthcare to politics.
However, the only question that remains to be asked is whether blockchain can invariably rise against the odds of hacking in its complex system? That is only for the future to tell.
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