One of the fundamentals of the blockchain technology is the ledger, centralized or decentralized. Simply put, the ledger is a shorthand for a storage of transactions. The transactions could include a movement of money, possessions or some kind of secure data.
Think about financial currencies, purchases at a store, contracts or even school exam results. The process is identical in any case since the ledger first collects data, processes the data into blocks and then chains the blocks together. The latter is done through cryptography in order to assure advanced security protocols.
This topic is mostly related to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, however, the concept of the blockchain is also applied in many other industries.
In this article, I’ll explain how the blockchain technology is used by other industries and businesses and we’ll take a glimpse at the future of the blockchain.
Blockchain Technology in Cross-Border Payments
The traditional way of transferring money across borders is often perceived to be very slow and expensive. There are various reasons that cause this issue such as currency exchange and the involvement of multiple banks or financial institutions in the process.
The blockchain technology has all the tools required to build a system that is much faster and cheaper in comparison to the traditional method. Surely, transaction fees apply to the blockchain as well, but they are still much lower than the transaction fees banks charge you. Furthermore, transactions are often validated and processed within a few minutes instead of a few days.
That being said, international regulations are required to fully support this method in the future. It’s probably not a question of if it’s going to happen, but rather when it’s going to happen.
How Blockchain Can Improve Government Security
The blockchain technology can help governments to secure data of important or influential people but also other citizens. Blockchain cryptography security protocols can be used to protect important data against international threats.
That being said, the blockchain technology is already in effect in some areas where governments protect data of citizens on databases and servers.
For example, Estonia implemented a protocol called X-Road which not only offers security to government databases but also saves 800 years of working time every year. On Estonia’s government website, it shows that population register, e-Land register, online voting, online banking, online education, healthcare records and much more is facilitated by this system.
You might wonder: how?
Simply put, all the data is stored on databases chained to one another that are fully automated, easily accessible by authorities that are authorized to access the data. Through hashing, the data is protected by cryptography, similar to the Bitcoin blockchain. The system is also used to identify cyber attacks at an early stage.
It’s expected to expand in the future and other countries will probably also implement a similar system since it’s proven to be very efficient and effective.
Smart contracts are in fact computer programs that are able to manage and inspect all aspects of a contractual agreement, from start to end. The sheer efficiency proved to be a success since smart contracts are fully automated if all conditions are met.
Many experts predict smart contracts to be even more secure, faster and more reliable in the future as the technology develops.
These types of digital contracts could replace all the contractual paperwork of any kind of business in the future and paper contract might be replaced completely. Needless to say, this is a very interesting development to closely follow going forward.
Blockchain and Healthcare
There are obvious complications when it comes to implementing blockchain technology into healthcare systems. For example, Bitcoin blocks store data such as how much was sent and to what address. Of course, the block only has an address but if you knew who owned the address you know who it belongs to. If that would happen with medical records and someone figured out how to identify people, it would be an absolute disaster.
Identity fraud and online identity theft is a huge problem in today’s world. For example, the percentage of U.S. households that have experienced some kind of identity theft is closing in on 10%.
Blockchain definitely has huge potential in this area, especially considering the security technology of the blockchain. The validation process that is currently implemented in cryptocurrency blockchains could solve many identity theft problems we experience now.
Bill here from PixelPrivacy.com.
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