Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, though often used in conjunction, are not interchangeable entities. In fact, cryptocurrency could not exist without blockchain technology. Blockchain is, in simple terms, a public record of transactions. Though the exact individuals that comprise the transactions are encrypted, the public availability of the transaction makes it impossible to fake or alter the outcome, unlike, let’s say if you were trading stocks or futures trading. This secure, public ledger allows cryptocurrency to thrive because, though “online money” is not physically held, it cannot be faked or altered due to this system of checks.
As we become more familiar with the idea of blockchain, its numerous applications outside crypto start making their way into the mainstream perspective. For example, with Facebook in and out of the news for security breaches, deceptively selling information, and other ethics violations, could a mandatory, full-disclose record better our chances of online safety and privacy?
How would the protection of private information change?
Whether you have your personal information stored behind a username and password for social media or an online store, it is still susceptible to security breaches and theft. But it’s necessary for online stores to have my information so that I can make purchases, right? Well, with the implementation of blockchain, your information won’t be exposed for public consumption because it’s not publically stored online. Methods of verification would be encrypted, such as the individuals involved in the purchase of crypto through the use of blockchain.
Not only will you be able to verify personal information for when you make purchases or need to confirm your age, but none of that information will be stored online for someone else to retrieve later. Because the record of that transaction is decentralized and publically available, online sources will not need to keep your information on file. This technology will act as the middleman that oversees deals today, giving you full autonomy of your purchases and peace of mind that they’re just.
Third party vendors pay top dollar for the big data companies collect about their customers. They are looking for patterns people display, such as what they’re buying, when they’re buying it, and how much they’re buying. They also can learn where you’re buying it from, how often you’re going there, and for how long you’ve been at that location. In terms of your consumer and online habits, this is only the beginning of what companies know about you, store, and sell to others for gain.
Blockchain will give you ownership of your data, and provide you the opportunity to sell it to these third parties if you choose. Instead of other companies profiting off information you haven’t consented to them giving out, you can profit off revealing the habits you’re comfortable sharing. The process in which companies store and share this information, including the extent to which they’re doing it, is a very poorly publicised metric. Blockchain would make the process transparent by giving you control of your information. Also, without social media having these statistics on you, the days of targeted ads could be behind us.
A step in the right direction
Blockchain integration into social media is not only a step in the right direction for security, but an exciting time for rewarding contribution and involvement with these social medias. Seemit, Sapien and Indorse are only a few of the blockchain social technologies that are benefitting from their decentralized nature, protecting information of their users, while providing them with purpose when interacting with the platform. These technologies pride themselves on rewarding truthful information, reward users for participating in valuing the truth, and are working to change the scope of sensitive online information.