So, what is the blockchain? Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few years, you will almost certainly have heard of it. But, as for the ins and outs of the Blockchain, it is highly possible that you’re less informed.
The Blockchain was originally devised as a system for the management of Bitcoins, ensuring all of its operations were running transparently and securely with every transaction being recorded effectively and accurately. However, this is now not the only use of the blockchain. The financial industry, in fact, is just the tip of the technology iceberg when it comes to the blockchain, and thanks to its decentralization, it offers a number of advantages:
• The blockchain offers increased security since it distributes the ledger to countless computers.
• The blockchain offers increased transparency since it records all transactions, and makes them available to all involved parties.
• The blockchain also has independent nodes, which ensure the system can continue to function even when some of the nodes go down.
This means that the concept of the blockchain works effectively in a number of spheres where there is a need for the conduction of operations without any direct intermediaries. Although most strongly associated with cryptocurrencies, in fact, the blockchain technology has already been harnessed for a number of uses, including solar energy, intellectual rights, and identity and trading goods.
What Is the Blockchain?
It is undeniable that the blockchain is especially ingenious. Having been invented by “Satoshi Nakamoto,” whose real identity remains unknown, over time it has evolved into an innovative way of allowing digital data to be effectively distributed without being able to be copied. Devised initially for the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, blockchains are capable of making other kinds of digital values, as well as altcoins.
Imagine a spreadsheet being duplicated countless times over a huge computer network. Then, imagine how the network updates the spreadsheet on a regular basis. This is a simple way of visualizing the blockchain. Basically, all information that is held on the blockchain exists in the form of a continually updated and shared database, which is not stored in a single location but allows its records to be easily verifiable and truly public.
No hacker can corrupt the information since there isn’t a centralized version, and because it is simultaneously hosted by billions of computers, the data can be accessed by anybody online. Since the blockchain functions through the storage of identical information blocks across the network, it cannot be controlled by a single entity and there is no single failure point.
The Blockchain For Solar Sharing
It has been said that eventually there will no longer be a need for any energy providers since energy is able to be stored, generated, and even distributed among individuals with no need for a middleman. While this may sound like something from a sci-fi movie, it may surprise you to learn that this is something that could be closer to reality than you might expect. SolarCoins are a feature that is already in place with people who have homes with solar energy panels installed.
The SolarCoin currency underpins this process, and if you can prove that you own the solar panels or own a commercial device that generates solar electricity, you can claim this currency. Currently, a single SolarCoin has a value of 1 megawatt per hour of energy. The entire system makes it easier to obtain solar energy. It is also more affordable for people who are unable to pay for solar energy in a more standard way. SolarCoins can even be exchanged for Bitcoins, and from there into real-world currencies, such as the U.S. dollar.
Handling the Land Registery
Many countries have had issues with their land registries. People in Ghana and Honduras have had experiences of being evicted from their homes because the government controlled the land registry. The government later proved to be corrupt. While this new technology is primarily of interest to those in developing countries, there are other nations that have also expressed an interest.
Sweden, for example, has claimed that it is experimenting with the possibility opened up by bringing the blockchain into its land registry system. The major goal is to the ensure that all real-estate transactions are both visible and secure for both sellers and buyers, as well as any other viable parties so that fraud is minimized and landowners are encouraged to register the land that is in their legal possession.
Storage of Files
The idea of no longer having to store files on Dropbox or Amazon servers instead of spreading them around billions of computers worldwide may sound like a security nightmare waiting to happen. In fact, with end-to-end encryption underpinning the system, only small amounts of data would be accessed as a whole. The Storj.io brand has been reimagining the possibilities presented by Cloud storage. It has developed an open-source platform of its own that has its basis on blockchain in order to bring the extra security and transparency that current Cloud storages are lacking.
Social Media Content
Can you imagine being able to exchange the likes you’ve received on your social media post for Bitcoins? Well, this is not actually a fantasy since the opportunity is already in place! The Steemit social-networking platform operates on top of Steem’s blockchain database and functions on the principle of returning social media post value to authors who create the most popular content.
There are differences in this system when compared with more traditional schemes, however. Steem-reward dollars are not only given to the creators of content, but to the contributors who upvote popular posts as well. Steepshot is similar social-media platform that exploits the Steemit system. Similar to Instagram, this blockchain-based site gains cryptocurrency in exchange for likes on popular user images.
Selling Music Direct To Fans
Many songwriters today suffer from licensing inconsistencies, as well as a lack of a verified global registry for their music. However, musicians are now able to sell their work directly to their fans thanks to blockchain technology. Imogen Heap is just one well-known singer who has broken new ground by introducing blockchain to the music industry.
Her song, “Tiny Human,” was distributed using the Ethereum platform. Ethereum is being successfully developed through the Mycelia blockchain project, which is intended to allow for the fair trade of music commodities.
Software development companies that have formed their solid reputation within the financial industry through the creation of blockchain-based applications now face new and exciting challenges. With their activity no longer being limited to simply maintaining the reliability and security of transactions and ensuring their records are properly and accurately kept, these development firms are now moving toward new ways of implementing blockchain solutions within niches and industries that extend beyond financial technology, including the health-care, commerce, and media sectors.
Whatever lies in the future for the blockchain, it seems clear it’s likely to be in high demand in the coming years. Its use will almost certainly change not only the way in which the world’s economy functions, but there’s also likely to be a major effect on numerous other industries.