This guide is an overview of the blockchain technology’s current state, a comparison of proof of stake vs. proof of work, what blockchain can do now, why blockchain is the future wave, and the benefits of smart contracts. Blockchain technologies can be used as public means of transactions as well as private ledgers for inter-company transactions and record keeping. Worldwide spending on blockchain solutions is expected to grow from 1.5 billion in 2018 to an estimated 15.9 billion by 2023. Companies are rushing to buy into blockchain tech and seeking to adopt their own private versions of blockchain and cryptocurrency. The financial sector was 60% of the market value of blockchain worldwide in 2018, but the technology has spread to a variety of industries like healthcare and agriculture. Companies like IBM, Kroger, and more are adapting blockchain technology to change both their respective industries and positively impact the world.
“They use powerful processors in order to validate each block on the chain with elaborate cryptographic functions, ensuring that invalid transactions, such as double-spends, are removed. Using the distributed consensus, all the other miners and nodes on the network then “agree” that these transactions are valid. This process is known as proof-of-work, or PoW.”
Currency and Transaction Support:
Blockchain technology allows for individuals to send cryptocurrencies between one another as a transfer of value without relying on third parties.
Supply chains and Item history:
Blockchain technology can help trace the history of any good or item back to its source in such a way that secretly tampering with it would be impossible. With the help of Blockchain technology, one could easily find out where a product was made, by whom, and if the quality and condition of said product or item is of an acceptable quality.
For voting, there would be no question as to the results’ authenticity and legitimacy of a vote, due to all entries in a decentralized ledger are immutable and irreversible.
Blockchain technology’s use in terms of political operations would allow us to make sure that no transactions or odd deals were taking place “off the books.” The increased transparency provided by a decentralized ledger would also help increase overall integrity.
Storj utilizes decentralization to improve cloud storage security and encrypt your personal files using cryptography. This means that you are in full control of your data and that you are the only one who can access it.
Blockchain technology can help improve transaction speeds related to the acquisition and sale of real estate, as well as make record keeping more efficient and reliable by absolving the need to keep paper-based records that are at risk of being altered or lost.
With blockchain technology evolving by the day, virtual products involving blockchain may be used in the identification progress. That’s not all though, here are some of the predictions on blockchain technology and the future impact it may have.
Blockchain Expo came out with predictions of what blockchain technology could impact in the upcoming years after 2018. They first predicted that by 2030, a cross-border, blockchain-based, self-sovereign identity standard will emerge for individuals, as well as physical and virtual assets. Identity systems are highly dysfunctional, as they operate in silos and are insecure. Blockchain-based identity systems will solve these problems. These systems will provide a single source of verification for individuals’ identities and assets. Blockchain-based identity decentralizes data collection, cross-verifies collected data via a consensus mechanism, and stores this information on a decentralized immutable ledger. It enables reduced risk of security breaches, significantly increases efficiencies, has a higher reliability, and most importantly, enables self-sovereignty.
According to various data sources, 1.5 billion people in the developing world lack proof of identity, including more than 65 million refugees. Blockchain-based self-sovereign identity platforms will provide this disenfranchised population with tools to obtain and maintain legal documentation. The new identity platform will be more secure and reliable since it will be stored on a distributed ledger rather than being in the possession of a central authority. Blockchain-based identity platforms will also enable self-sovereignty, which ultimately means individual privacy. The decision to disclose identity information will be within each individual’s control. With recent Facebook data-breach scandals dominating the news, blockchain-based identity creates a viable and important solution to many data privacy issues.
Blockchain-based identity platforms include:
– Government records (e.g., date of birth, etc.)
– Reputation & trust scores (e.g., credit history)
– Certificates & attestations (e.g., university diploma)
– Healthcare & medical records
– Tax identification records
– Employment records
While it is unlikely that, by 2030, a clear end-to-end solution will emerge as a clear winner, a high degree of interoperability among identity platforms will enable ease of use and global cross-verification.
Furthermore, a blockchain-based asset identity platform will collect, store, and share data for both physical and virtual assets. They collect, store, and transport unique sets of data. Blockchain will provide a secure, reliable, and efficient mechanism for these devices to make transactions amongst one another. Blockchain will keep an immutable record of all interactions and will enable instantaneous payment settlements.
Virtual assets will also have a unique identity on a blockchain. One example of virtual assets would be crypto kitties, fictional cats existing in a virtual game and living on the Ethereum blockchain. With the power of blockchain, these virtual objects are turned into tokenized assets which, similarly to physical assets, will have their own unique identity. Ultimately, blockchain will enable an automated operating system that seamlessly connects individuals with assets in the physical as well as virtual worlds.
By 2030, significant improvements in the world’s standard of living will be attributable to the development of blockchain technology.
More than 10% of the world is living on less than $2 a day. More than 2 billion do not have bank accounts and access to financial services. The standard of living quality still increases, and the world Gross Domestic Product continues to rise. Rich get richer and the poor do not get help.
Blockchain technology can help shrink that poverty and wage gap. This technology can help “increase financial inclusiveness, reducing corruption, and enabling decentralized access to value-creating assets.”
Financial inclusiveness means that cryptocurrencies allow unbaked people to get banked and get paid. People do not have to rely on centralized institutions, banks, or the government for access to an account. People can buy and sell cryptocurrency on the open market with just a smartphone or tablet. It is predicted by 2030, cryptocurrencies will be as standard as the US dollar is today.
Blockchain technology reduces corruption, creating transparency of official records. From corner to corner of the world, people will no longer be driven out of land by a corrupt official tampering with the land registry of all assets, as land will be recorded on a transparent, tamper-free distributed ledger open for the public’s eyes. By creating a transparent, tamper-proof property and asset tracking system, blockchain technology has the potential to increase global wealth.
What benefits smart contracts have given?
Smart contracts-Self-executing, self-enforcing contracts. A set of virtual agreements that facilitate exchange of money, content, shares, property, or anything of value. Governed with explicit terms and conditions laid out within them. These contracts provide future use of virtual data transactions to become a main platform of use for transfer.
Industries that have taken use of smart contracts: banking, insurance, healthcare, and real estate have adapted it into their industry. Each of these industries are already foundationally built on clear rules, algorithms, and terms of agreement.
Example how smart contracts work:
This example is from Sunny Dhami. He stated a scenario where a customer orders a personalized item form an online firm. They see there has been a mistake and contact the company to sort the error before the item is made and shipped. If the customer gets the item, before the original mistake was made, they will file a complaint, which then becomes a problem for the company to handle. Without blockchain there is no accurate record of the customer’s interaction with the company.
If the service agent does not remember the customer’s point on their mistake, it is the customer’s word against the company. They could now lose a customer and loss of money. Having a blockchain of interactions will help the company team avoid these situations. This allows for an exact history of customer to employee interactions and mistakes pointed out. No reputation or loss of money happens.
How to stay updated on news about blockchain technology?
Those wanting to get into blockchain technical roles should look on popular job sites like LinkedIn, AngelList, etc. Information and readings about blockchain on sites like CoinTelegraph and CoinDesk will help you learn about worldwide up-to-date information and news on the technology.
BlockchainDriven Academy has a weekly newsletter overviewing specific stories in the blockchain space. There are general and specific career interests for more qualifications, BlockchainDriven Academy has several other guides with careers and job insights for positions that might help readers get into the blockchain space. BlockchainDriven has hosted webinars throughout the summer months and continues forward with very detailed seminars filled with more insightful information on the different subjects. Furthermore, BlockchainDriven newsletters contain a career section to lead readers to job postings. Finding a community through social media or websites allows for instant connections to the professional world and helps you connect with other companies.
How to transition into a blockchain technical career
To make a transition into a blockchain career, one should look at job postings; whether it be working hands-on with development or engineering a blockchain product. It could also be financial. BlockDriven Academy has in-depth specifics on careers and what those spaces are looking like. The Web Development and Front-End Developer career guides are the go-to for technical fields. For a business role, look at Marketing and Business Development to see the economic side of blockchain. To understand the basics of the blockchain field there are other introduction guides coming out soon such as: What is Blockchain? Quick Explainer and Blockchain Explained Simply to help learn the basics of blockchain.
Blockchain technology is scratching the surface of future progression. They are trialing and testing ways blockchain can influence the world. As of now it is doing very basic transactions with major companies like IBM, Chase, etc. looking to further that environment. The future of blockchain technology will start to become a huge impact in daily living having an impact somewhere. It is only a matter of time before the world accepts it and technology is taken over with blockchain. To keep up with information of the future look at updating news especially BlockchainDriven and BlockDriven Academy to keep up information with projects and careers into the blockchain field.