Blockchain, the Future or a Fad?

Christiaan Van Rooyen | Designer Technology

Image of connected world

As we evolve into the digital age the recording of transactions becomes more complex – be it exchanging goods, transferring money or making contracts.

Blockchain is the underlying technology behind all cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, and has the potential to change the way we work and communicate, making it more secure, efficient, and trustworthy.

The growth of global trade has created a ledger system. Often each participant has their own ledger, and therefore their own version of the truth. Having multiple ledgers can create a system venerable to fraud, errors and misinterpretations. 

That’s where blockchains come in.

A blockchain is a single shared ledger that is tamper-proof in the sense that once records have been entered they cannot be altered. All parties must achieve consensus before a new transaction is added. Blockchains eliminate dependency on paper, speed up transaction times and increase efficiency.

Each member of the network has access to the information, which makes any transaction transparent.

The following are a few examples of how blockchains could change businesses across the world.

They can eliminate the middleman

Blockchains can reduce dependency on ‘middlemen’ such as art dealers, real estate agents or music agents. Artists can go straight to the people, rather than through music labels, to protect their own music and royalties.

They provide a non-bank for the un-banked

Blockchains can help people manage and certify their own financial value without the need for working with a banking institution. The blockchain can keep track of their “money” digitally, and allow them to process payments by phone or app.

They can validate and secure almost anything

From voter authentication to government processes, health information, and proof of intellectual property, blockchains can provide a secure process to validate almost anything of value, and keep it safe.

They’re transparent

Perhaps one of the best arguments for incorporating blockchain technology into government is that it is completely public. Even better, it prevents history from being re-written by allowing information to be extended, but without allowing historical information to be changed.

Though blockchain technology is relatively new, the potential for incorporating it into almost every industry is endless—from sharing research papers to inventing a cure for cancer.

Many businesses have teams working on blockchain technology, thinking of ways it can be used for various applications. And seeing the influx of capital in this domain and the number of academics, researchers and tech geeks exploring blockchains, I am most definitely sure that it is not just a fad.