Bitcoin represents a major revolution in computer science, the ramifications of which promise to change the way we use technology in a number of ways. Bitcoin was created to be a decentralized currency that can validate transactions without the need for third parties to oversee them. This is achieved due to a field of technology known as Blockchain.
What is Blockchain?
Blockchain uses cryptography – the practice and study of secure communication, such secret codes – to create a linear, growing list of records. These records are called blocks, and each one contains data about itself and the block preceding it; a timestamp is also created as a means to verify each block. The transaction data is hashed, meaning it is converted into a string of data, which connects all the blocks together – this is why it is called Blockchain. What this all means is that one cannot alter a block without changing the entire chain that follows the block; combine that with the fact that data, once hashed, is very difficult to un-hash, you are left with an incredibly secure chain of data that is nearly impossible to re-write.
What all this means is that if you were to read a Blockchain, you would be confident that all the information stored in it is correct, and has not been tampered with. This idea is why makes the technology so useful in the realm of digital currency, because a Blockchain can be used as a ledger to verify the currency. However, Blockchain has a lot of other uses outside of digital currency. The technology is being explored for use in a range of sectors.
Blockchain represents the culmination of some highly advanced cryptography techniques, which allow a blockchain ledger to be almost complete immutable. The traditional method of encrypting data for security still leaves methods of decryption that can be taken advantage of by hackers. Whereas the cryptography principles involved in blockchain – such as hashing and time stamping – make it very difficult for hackers to crack or alter the data stored within it.
The field of decentralized apps built using blockchain is still relatively young, but there is a real future in it, and it is very likely that in the immediate future we will see huge advancements in the use of blockchain in software security.
Internet of Things
Internet of Things (also known as IoT) refers to a network of smart devices that are capable of communicating with each other via the Cloud, as well as store and compute data themselves. The applications of this technology are varied – for example, self-driving cars are reliant on IoT technology. The challenge with Internet of Things is that any IoT network requires a central location, or Cloud, that manages communications between all the devices. This is where the help from IT Support Companies can come in handy – they understand what needs to be done and managed.
One of the key principles of blockchain is that it is the exact opposite of this. There is no need for a centralized location that processes or verifies data in a blockchain. What this means, when applied to IoT is that it may be possible to create a decentralized network of IoT devices. Rather than each IoT device first communicating with the Cloud, they will be able to communicate directly with one another.
The concept of decentralized networks of transactions may also work very well within the Retail sector. The internet has resulted in millions of shops and retailers selling all kinds of products. The trouble is that among them, there are many scams and disreputable vendors that are merely looking to take your money.
The technology of blockchain, and its robust data security, may be one way of combating such con artists. A range of smart contract systems that utilize blockchain technology have already been developed, which may enable buyers and sellers to connect with one another directly. Due to the security of transactions in a blockchain, buyers can put their trust in sellers, and vice versa.