Blockchain is defined as a digital ledger underscoring the functionality of digital currencies in a transparent manner. No wonder, while bitcoin is the buzzword in global trade, blockchain is truly internet 2.0 in the future arena of emerging technologies.
The blockbusters with blockchain
The USP of this wonderful technology probably lies in its name itself—it is an almost non-corruptible, irreversible ledger of blocks of data, information or records. The distributed and shared platforms envisaged by this technology help in restructuring business transactions as well as improving the order of human affairs for good. While it is true that mass implementation of blockchain still seems to be a distant reality in our country, we cannot ignore that time-consuming and expensive tasks in our daily life can be done easily with the integration this technology.
As many of us may already know, data is the real asset in an increasingly digitized global economy. A recent survey of by a leading IT firm confirms the growing interest about the blockchain model in the corporate world; eight out of ten exploring blockchain have said to be investing money or effort in response to the notable financial shifts in their industries ushered by the technology. This makes sense as blockchain is inherently linked to a trust protocol allowing cooperatives, organizations, or individuals to become controlled by stakeholders coming together virtually to meet some common demands.
Besides money transfer and payment, blockchain can also be used to register sales and loans, certify a supply chain, claim citizen privileges, prove the ownership of a digital asset, and most importantly, to protect digital identity and copyrights. Apart from fintech, some of the important sectors reaping or projected to gain considerable benefits from the use of blockchain in near future include logistics, transport and ride sharing, governance, healthcare, real estate, fine arts and education.
Blockchain reaction: Touching human lives, one at a time
Tech experts across the world are of the opinion that control, and not ownership, of assets will provide real value to individuals; this is exactly where blockchain has got a huge role to play in near future. While a lot has been spoken already about the futuristic impact of blockchain on the financial services sector, its influence at the personal level is less known. I can say with confidence that blockchain has opened up a world of possibilities on peer-to-peer platforms on the internet, empowering not only organizations or conglomerates, but also individuals—the building blocks of the shared economy.
From birth/death certificates to deeds, copyrights, degrees, insurance claims, citizenship rights, contracts, and donations—pretty much everything an individual does in his/her daily life can now be translated into intelligent codes with blockchain. However, the best part is that this happens in an extremely secure online environment, where everyone in possession of the copies of a ledger is in agreement to the updates done. In fact, integrating blockchain can even hypothetically turn codes into law or regulation in one’s favour. It also does well to boost the rights of stakeholders associated with any digital product or service.
Enabling record of ownership and value means that blockchain can be used to deal with sensitive the issues of privacy control and copyrights of intellectual property. At the same time, it also allows anyone with access to the blockchain to participate, paving the way for a secure, balanced, and transparent opinion-making platform. Creators of music, art, etc. can record the legitimate ownership of original works and enforce digital rights to avoid plagiarism or theft. Besides, communities can run environment-based recycling programs on the blockchain, sometimes giving cryptographic tokens to participants as a reward. Unused surplus of energy reservoirs and carbon footprints can be tracked using this technology, hence making the world a better place to live.
The way forward
In the near future, powerful digital relationships are expected to blossom among blockchain proponents, creating immense value for individual customers in the traditional businesses. While little or no understanding of the fundamentals of this technology is a big issue till date, the momentum is building slowly and steadily across various industries in India Inc., hence increasing blockchain’s relevance apart from effectiveness.
At the moment, the Internet of Everything is poised to move towards the internet of value that sees opportunities for individuals and organizations alike. While large multinationals nowadays seem to be in a rush to figure out means of adaptation with the enterprising blockchain technology to simplify business, time is also ripe for individuals to turn their attention to the unprecedented ways blockchain technology can improve human lives.
The author is founder, Bitsachs