Blockchain is the Future!
Blockchain Technology, two words that have been gradually incorporated into the vocabulary of daily conversations and news headlines. Once relatively obscured, it has now entered popular discourse and turned into conversation starters. Banking behemoths and stock exchanges like JP Morgan and Swiss Stock Exchange have also chimed into the conversation alongside Telegram and Facebook. With so much buzz surrounding its hood, one can’t help but wonder just what’s so special about this technology and why the fuss about it? Here’s a simple article explaining why.
First, Let’s Get Down to the Grit. What Exactly is Blockchain Technology?
Blockchain technology, also known as distributed ledger technology, is a virtual network that maintains and updates ledgers of data in blocks separated by cryptographic links and unique timestamps. Its first debut came with the release of Bitcoin in 2009 by an anonymous being “Satoshi Nakamoto” who used blockchain technology as a ledger to store all data culminated from financial transactions involving Bitcoin. These data records are secure and immutable, and are rendered impossible to change once contained within the chain.
After Bitcoin came a surge in projects looking to explore the the usage of blockchain technology in areas beyond data storage. One famous instance would be JP Morgan bank’s introduction of the JPM Coin in a bid to resolve slow remittance and cross-border payments.
Okay, But So What?
At a single glance, it is difficult to identify the advantages of blockchain technology. Using a Google document for example, every user given access to the document is allowed to write any form of entry or add any data within the shared document and amend or edit the data freely. The same goes for data stored on blockchain. However, while both run on distributed networks like the Internet, Google documents are stored on the World Wide Web (WWW) model which is a client-server based network. This means that any user with the rightful authority accorded by the centralised organisation is able to amend information stored on the network. Also, when amendments are made by other users, the authority is presented with the master copy and can overwrite any changes made to the entry by other users and limit their access to the information given.
In short, blockchain technology allows everyone to have a clear transparent view of what is taking place on the server at any point of time. WWW, in contrast, allows certain privileges to administrators or higher-ups to have full say and control over transactions happening on their ledger.
How Will It Affect The Future?
Transparency is important in cultivating digital trust and everyone knows that. The development of the Internet has shifted to the virtual network with many countries identifying blockchain technology as the key catalyst for a decentralised economy. An unspoken competition now exists amongst countries as they rush to release blockchain-friendly policies and attract potential businesses to invest in their economy.
United States, for instance, released a bill on 28 January 2019 recognising the effectiveness of the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). Amendments were made to the “Purpose and Structure” and “Definition” portions in the Washington State Electronics Certification Act which was in compliance with Digital Signatures and License Law to encourage the development of distributed ledgers and blockchain technology in the state.
Most recently, however, Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved a portal for Initial Coin Offering (ICO) in the country. According to news source Finance Magnates, director of the fintech department at the SEC Archari Suppiroj said: “In the future, the SEC will issue a criteria that allows companies to apply tokenization to securities and other assets [which] will help bridge the digital asset royal decree and securities law.”
Not everyone believes that blockchain technology will have a bright future. Still, there remains little room for doubt that to a certain extent, blockchain technology will affect all fields and industries with its ability to create a safe and secure environment for financial transactions. By itself, blockchain technology can ensure higher efficiency rates and true-blue transparency in any data sharing process.
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