The latest thing in the world of technology that we have heard these days is Blockchain. What is Blockchain, what are its scopes in the future? If you go by definition, Blockchain is “a system in which a record of transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency is maintained across several computers that are linked in a peer-to-peer network”. Sounds a bit complex, doesn’t? In reality, it is not that complex. It is a type of distributed register for maintaining a permanent and corrupt-proof record of transactional data, be it financial transaction or otherwise. In short, it is about storing digital information, i.e., blocks, in public databases, i.e., the chain.
In this, instead of using your actual name, your information is recorded without any identifying data using an exclusive “digital signature,” akin to your digital fingerprint. And each block has its own unique identification marker called ‘Hash’ that allows its identification. Once hashed, the block is added to a pre-existing blockchain and immediately becomes openly available. Anyone can view the contents of the Blockchain, but users can also choose to connect their computers to the blockchain network. Doing so, each user gets their copy of the Blockchain, spreading the data over to all the users in that said network, making it nearly impossible to manipulate.
Though Blockchain was introduced to the world in 1991, people were not able to find its full potential in this newly born technology. But now, the future of blockchain technology is bright as the giants of the internet are working to develop their version of the Blockchain. There are countless possible applications for Blockchain. Some of them include a secure internet of the future, a transparent environment for Digital advertising, and a golden opportunity for those who possess practical blockchain implementation data.
It has been speculated that the economy and finance will lead the blockchain application along with the appearance of crypto-currencies. Russian President Vladimir Putin was the first who proposed to issue “Crypto Rouble,” a national cryptocurrency but was beat by Venezuela, which has already launched its national cryptocurrency Petro that is backed by the country’s oil and mineral reserves. The banking and finance industries don’t need to introduce radical transformation to their processes for adopting blockchain technology. After it was successfully applied for cryptocurrency, financial institutions begin seriously considering blockchain adoption.
The International Data Corporation (IDC) has reported that many IoT companies are considering the implementation of blockchain technology in their solutions.
The Blockchain in the future will revolutionize business processes in many industries, but its adoption requires time and effort. Nevertheless, shortly, we can expect that governments will finally accept blockchain benefits and begin to use it to improve financial and public services.
While all this sounds amazing, there are many limitations involved in the fuller utilization of Blockchain. Jeff Stollman, a technology futurist who has been designing blockchain solutions for clients for over three years and has four patents pending in the blockchain area, shared his thoughts on the current limitations of the much-hyped tech. Here is what he said:
“Blockchain’s potential in the enterprise is immense, but major blockchain applications for the enterprise are still years off. There are two reasons for this. First, blockchain technology itself is insufficiently mature to support transaction volumes necessary to support most enterprise-scale applications. Second, enterprise applications that will be used across an industry sector require the establishment of governance rules that will take years to negotiate.”
Most blockchain start-ups will fail due to a lack of proper understanding among the general public because, like any new technology, Blockchain is still immature in its implementation, so it can unmeet the expectations of investors. False starts in blockchain deployment will lead organizations to failed innovations, rash decisions, and even complete refusal of this innovative technology like in China, where Bitcoin has been banned. According to Gartner, Inc. a global research and advisory firm, only 10 percent of traditional companies will achieve any radical transformation with blockchain technologies by 2023.
As most enterprise applications will operate on dedicated, private blockchains, these will not be single-owner applications such as Everledger. A group of competitors will share ownership. Banks are working together to devise new payment systems. And logistics companies and banks are working together to develop a trade-finance solution. These enterprises will eschew the public blockchains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, to achieve their needed throughput and to better control confidentiality. Because these blockchains are private, the members will need to agree on the governance rules under which they will operate. This is a process like the negotiation of international standards, which typically takes years. This is because different players seek to advance their particular spin on the standard blockchain governance.
Maybe in the distant future, after crossing all the bureaucratic red tape and the governmental hurdles, we will see a surge in the Blockchain.