Blockchain Opportunities In Various Fields 2019

Blockchain Opportunities In Various Fields 2019 from CodingcompilerImagine a world where everything is changing rapidly, where everything is transparent and anonymous, and most importantly – 100% protected. Imagine – and welcome to the world of the blockchain. Many people associate the word “blockchain” with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, but the blockchain is much more than just a financial tool.

What is a Blockchain?

As Wikipedia says, for the first time the term “blockchain” appeared as “the name of a fully replicated distributed database implemented in a bitcoin system”. Accordingly, the year 2008 can be considered the date of birth of not only Bitcoin, but also the blockchain, since it was the first time the technology was used in the Bitcoin system.

In simple terms, a blockchain is such a distributed database that consists of separate blocks in the form of a continuous chain. It stores all transactions that have ever occurred, and all data ever existed wallets.

In other words, it is like an eternally existing digital journal that can be programmed to record almost anything that has any value. And that is why in the blockchain you can deal not only with cryptocurrency. Each block in the blockchain contains a time stamp and a link to the previous block. Therefore, it may actually be infinite, but in the real world is limited by the capabilities of the technology.

How does Blockchain Works?

Imagine a simplified scheme of the blockchain as a list of numbered items. For example, just take the digital currency – because it is precisely today that blockchain technology is used the most.

  1. Suppose user number 1 wants to transfer bitcoin or another digital currency to user number number 2.
  2. The information requested by both participants is transmitted to a P2P network (peer-to-peer, a decentralized network consisting of nodes scattered around the world) with nodes. The node in this case is actually a computer with an Internet connected to it.
  3. The network of nodes checks the transaction (is in the process of validation) and the status of an unknown (anonymous) user, using known algorithms. A confirmed transaction, by the way, may include not only a cryptocurrency, but also contracts, records about a particular event or thing, and other non-financial information.
  4. All transactions are transferred to the network and are collected in blocks, each of which has its own hash number (checksum) of the previous block. The hash function (from the word hash – “confusion”, “jumble”) allows you to bring any data array to a number of a given length. Simple hash functions are used to check the integrity of packet transmission, for example, via TCP / IP (roughly speaking, the Internet). 

    Complex hash functions, as in our case, are used in cryptography, and the main conditions for them are the impossibility of calculating the initial result by the final result, as well as the resistance to collisions, that is, the impossibility of obtaining two identical hash functions from two different data arrays with processing. In the blockchain of the same Bitcoin, for example, 64-digit keys are used in hexadecimal notation with the SHA256 algorithm.

    Thus, you yourself see the complexity of hashing, and, accordingly, the robustness of this cryptographic function to the commonplace cracking: so far no one has managed to do this and until the advent of a quantum computer is unlikely. I paid so much attention to the hash function, since it is the basis of the blockchain.

  5. Now back to the blocks. After assembly, they are sent automatically to all network participants for verification, and if there are no problems or errors, a new block is added to the existing block chain in such a way as to remain constant and unchanged. Thus, there is a chain of blocks – a blockchain – containing information about all previous transactions. All this information is open and public, and each person can view it without problems: for this there are parsers or online services. Of course, all this happens with complete anonymity. Yes, you can watch transactions, but you will not know to whom they belong.

One of the indirect “driving elements” in the use of the blockchain in the financial field is hackers: for example, a year ago, hackers managed to crack the largest traditional international interbank platform for exchanging information and payments SWIFT, which made many people think “instead of switching to the blockchain?” .

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Blockchain Opportunities in Various Fields

Today, the blockchain is used in many areas in addition to sending and receiving digital money. At the same time, I would like to stress that the majority of such projects so far exist in the format of an idea: on paper or in the initial development process. However, some already work and show good results.

Blockchain Opportunities in the IT-Sphere

Being a product of IT, the blockchain here has many uses, so I’ll mention some of them.

Management and data security. Due to its centralization, even the cloud architecture on which most modern security technologies are based is vulnerable. Individual servers must constantly send and receive credentials, and each of them may be a weak link that will put the entire system at risk.

The blockchain works fully automatically, so that the control of interconnected devices is not carried out by people and supercomputers, but by systems and programs. 

Thus, complete data security is achieved: after all, because of the complex encryption and decentralized structure (remember at least the Bitcoin algorithm — SHA256 — and 64-digit keys), as well as the technical inability to break, the blockchain looks like a panacea in the modern world full of digital threats.

A threat is always easier and cheaper to prevent than to deal with its consequences. For example, half a year ago, the well-known “Kaspersky Lab” introduced the blockchain-based electronic voting system developed by her, where the latter is the basis of the transparency and security of the process. Today, electronic voting in elections is applied only in Estonia, but it is very likely that this will change radically in the near future.

IBM and Samsung are working on the Adept project, which will enable the use of block-like technologies to create a decentralized network of a huge number of different devices of the Internet of Things (IoT) family that can interact with each other.

Blockchain Opportunities in Retail

Here technology has a great future. Recently, at the World Economic Forum, the blockchain was recognized as one of six global trends that could have a huge impact on society in the coming decade.

For example, the well-known American network Walmart recently announced the introduction of blockchain in the procurement of imported goods: a new logistics tool based on block networks was developed by the Hyperledger consortium and allows you to control the entire product path from the supplier to the supermarket, containing data on shelf life and carriage, etc.

Another example is the Japanese distributor Rakuten, which acquired Bitnet to create a blockchain lab.

Finally, I will mention once again the well-known IBM hi-tech giant, who announced the project six months ago, with the goal of exploring the possibilities of using blockchain technology to control food supplies and improve food safety. Many retailers and food companies have already joined this project.

Blockchain Opportunities in the field of Education

Blockchain can be integrated into the storage and control of documents: of course, the most important advantage here is the inability to manipulate the data recorded in the system; information can be added, but not overwritten. At the same time, the authenticity of the document is easily traced, since everyone sees by whom it was recorded and when.

Practically, this system is still used by few, and one of the pioneers is the University of Nicosia in Cyprus: there it is used to store diplomas and certificates. Even more interesting is the fact that this university has become the first to accept cryptocurrency as a tuition fee, and the diploma of this university is recognized worldwide. The initiative has already been taken by the Open University in the UK, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MTI) and others.

Blockchain Opportunities in Legal Service

We remember that when data is saved in a block chain, it cannot be changed. This allows the blockchain to be used as documentary evidence to confirm the transfer of digital assets and to store information about the owner of the actual property.

This allows, for example, the National Land Service of Sweden to develop in the near future an experimental system based on the blockchain to digitize the processes of buying and selling real estate, as well as to meet the regulatory requirements – the recording of all actions and results in the blockchain can successfully act as an audit trail for regulatory bodies. The latter can also access the internal blockchain to view information of a financial institution. All of this may allow the latter to provide more effective regulatory reporting.

Blockchain Opportunities in the Field of Medicine

In the field of medicine, the blockchain is literally a “saving wand”, at least because in the field of data processing the medical industry has long been cracking at the seams. However, not a panacea – there is no problem: the blockchain is good for small amounts of information, but, as everyone knows, medical data is extremely extensive.

Nevertheless, this did not become an obstacle to the creation of the Healthureum system : complete information about each user of the system occupies the entire free space of the ecosystem, because the transmission capacity and capacity are incredibly large. In general, instead of being the carrier of complete patient information, the latest technology in healthcare, based on blockchain technology, will act as a mechanism for monitoring and recording data due to changes in medical records.

In other words, the way out was that the data will be stored outside the blocks, and the links that will lead to huge files are located in the blockchain.

As for data encryption, there are many different projects proposed to solve this problem: for example, delimiting the type of access to patient information, or introducing a private data set on the blockchain with access only by the controlling authority or other regulatory organization.

And these are not the only problems with the use of the blockchain in the medical field: unfortunately, the blockchain is incompatible with the Law on the Protection and Responsibility for Information Received from Health Insurance (HIIPAA). Thus, additional legislative measures are necessary to the remaining problems.

Unlike other areas, the blockchain in medicine is still far from the initial stage of widespread use. And this is not to mention the absence of a legislative framework for most countries in principle.

Blockchain Opportunities in the Field of Entertainment

Finally, I will talk about the prospects of the blockchain in the field of entertainment. Here the first thing that comes to mind is a brilliant opportunity to circumvent the ban on gambling in many countries due to the non-recognition of cryptocurrency currency or property. Cryptocurrency casinos in general and Bitcoins in particular are currently multiplying at the speed of light, which indicates a high demand for them.

But it’s not only about gambling: for example, even such a huge industry as music (production of audiovisual products; in other words, artists and groups) has already become interested in the blockchain.

In the blockchain, you can store data on all transactions, encrypted data on tenure, financing, and even better – to execute smart contracts (for example, at the code level to exchange values ​​without the participation of intermediaries). For example, the company Stem is a platform for payments and distribution of audiovisual products based on the blockchain: you can publish content, manage contracts and make payments in one place.

This service and similar ones can be called an excellent platform for use by little-known novice musicians. Low-fee micropayments, more secure sales and consumption data create an interesting business model.

Blockchain Opportunities in Everyday Life

To date, so far no one has decided to introduce the blockchain into the daily routine, but such opportunities exist, for example, in the field of SP (Smart Property, smart property).

For example, if you insert a public key into an ordinary car, and transfer the corresponding private key to the owner, you can use a car sales system in which the public key of the car is transferred to the new owner, and the amount of cryptocurrency is transferred in the opposite direction: in this case, the blockchain confirms ownership and amount paid.

What is good in this scheme is that the sale and purchase operation will not require any intermediaries with a power of attorney and a large amount of paperwork. It is technically extremely difficult to cheat or fake a blockchain (read – impossible), and the whole process of sale and purchase can be automated. All that the seller and buyer will need is to meet with smartphones at the car.

So far, due to the intricacies and complexity of laws associated with car ownership (as well as the illegality of cryptocurrency in most countries as money), a similar scheme is fictional, but such science fiction can be realized in a few years: ICO-project, and in this case, most likely, it will be approved at the state level, as it will require the removal of part of the responsibility from government bodies.

Conclusion

I did not consider in the article even half of the opportunities that the blockchain offers to the world: in fact, there are many more. But even from this “scanty” data one can imagine how rich and flexible the world of possibilities is, which are available for use in almost all spheres of life. Blockchain is indeed a very promising technology, and we will see this in the coming years.

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