BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY IS REGARDED AS THE TECHNOLOGY OF THE FUTURE
It pans its way into humans’ day-to-day activities by making life easier and improving their wellbeing. The potentials and objectives it has hasn’t been fully achieved and developed. The blockchain technology has shown a great compromise in its growth stage and will hopefully make its way into human life globally in the near future.
Blockchain technology’s overall potential and values can not be appreciated without knowing how blockchain technology works and knowing the characteristics possessed. This technology has various applications that span way beyond the financial and economic sectors, including supply chain management, trade, health, and government services.
Broadly, Blockchain can be defined as a decentralized system that combines features of certain technologies to create an exchange atmosphere or environment for its users (community) and enhances the provenance of the digital assets being exchanged.
Blockchain technology is a decentralized and secure database of transactions based on decentralized nodes, miners. Blockchain technology is promising and reliable by its inherent design, that data stored on the blockchain network cannot be modified or altered. This makes it a legitimate development for industries like payments, cyber security and healthcare.
FEATURES OF BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY
The technology is based on decentralization, anonymity, auditability, persistence, and immutability. Below are some of the features of Blockchain explained to their simplest meanings.
- Decentralization means that transactions will be validated through algorithms and not by a centralized trusted body, e.g., central bank. The decentralization of blockchain technology maintains data consistency throughout the distributed network. It maintains the following features: less failure, no third party, zero scams, transparency, and less prone to breakdown.
- Anonymity means that users can interact on the blockchain network in a generated address without revealing the user’s real identity.
- Auditability means that any transaction refers to a previous unspent transaction which makes the transactions easily verified and trackable.
- Persistence means that it is impossible to delete or rollback transactions already made on blockchain technology. Invalid transactions are easily discovered on the networks.
- Immutability is also one of the key features of the Blockchain; this makes the network permanent and immune to alteration.
- Public and distributed ledgers provide transaction information, including information about the participants in the transactions. These ledgers are out in the open and have nowhere to hide. All other users of the system maintain it. The distributed power across all computers ensures a better computational outcome. The ledgers contribute to the advanced security on the network, which includes enforcing ownership verification, management, no malicious changes, and extra favors.
Blockchain technology is the first native digital medium of value, and already has big implications in the financial service industries. Although, the fundamental implications of Blockchain in financial industries- dropping the cost and complexity of transactions, making the world unbanned as a new market with great potentials, and improving transparency and security- have greatly impacted the sector. But numerous interviews of blockchain experts show and provide strong evidence that the Blockchain could transform the political, business, and societal sector in even more profound ways.
“Blockchain technology has been associated with crypto currencies for a long time, but there is so much more the blockchain technology can offer, particularly in how data is secured, shared and used by private and public organisations.” Said by Steve Davies.
Though Blockchain is still a growing network, which has not yet attained all of its potentials, this article will discover the other patterns of development of various sectors fueled by blockchain technology and illustrate how these developments will positively impact these sectors and systems.
IMPACT ON SOCIETY
The revolutionary change and great impact to be made by blockchain technologies on society is underrated and underestimated as blockchain technologies can potentially change organizations and individuals over the coming decades.
Globally, fear and suspicion are caused by uncertainties, confusion prevailing between individuals, communities, governments, and even social institutions that uphold great social values. These problems across communities can only be solved when the cause is analyzed to suggest potential solutions.
Blockchain technology will prove to be the best approach to mystify Values and Systems upheld in trust, confidence, and transparency and improve the degree of accountability, efficiency, and security across the community. Record-keeping systems of blockchain technology will ignite and rebuild traits between government agencies, nonprofits organizations, businesses, and the value system in general.
However, the growth of Blockchain is still in its infancy, which makes blockchain experts predict its potential that will uphold the societal system and values across its development and dynamic deployment.
Blockchain experts have analyzed that blockchain technology could help stabilize the world economy, prevent economic downfall, and eradicate povert (it is to see if this will happen in the framework of Degrowth and redistribution for which the Blockchain can be a key player).
An investment move to virtual currencies, blockchain assets from traditional institutions, and financial tools will help create savings and stored value which primarily leads to prosperity.
In developing countries where traditional financial institutions such as banks can be difficult to access, Blockchain and virtual currencies can be easily stored and used to transfer values through their technology.
Blockchain technology is easy to use and access in any part of the world, as long as the location is internet accessible. The technology makes it easy for locals to develop values from their physical transactions through the conversion to digital currency. Although, these physical currencies can be stored or spent.
*Digital Assets ownership representation
This type of blockchain-assisted asset ownership makes every land transaction transparent and visible and limits and resolves land disputes. The introduction of blockchain technology to the ownership of certain assets helps individuals easily prove these assets’ ownership. Blockchain technology impacts society through asset ownership by eliminating intermediaries during transactions that involve asset acquisition.
The transparency and efficiency involved in asset transactions help individuals in accessing services they couldn’t before. Also, it entices banks and other financial institutions to perform transactions with other individuals through loans since there will be clear and correct information on who the participant is and what their financial status is.
For example, if land ownership in a country were recorded on the Blockchain, all transactions made during the acquisition and real estate holding will be recorded transparently and visibly. This way, lending institutions can easily access this information and perform transactions with the individual based on the information the assessor has seen. Additionally, individual ownership of the lake would not be in dispute as all transactions involved in the transfer and acquisition of land are recorded.
*Elimination of Remittance
Remittances are money transferred from a migrant working in a developed economy to an underdeveloped or developing country. This money transfer has always been a problem as it is centralized and poorly handled. The centralized remittance system leads to late and costly delivery due to high charges and dues involved, the receiver’s money, and a lot of effort wasted by the sender.
Blockchain allows individuals to transfer currency instantaneously and eliminates the use of intermediaries. This feature helps to improve the economy’s wealth through money sending and receiving.
Of course, this is a palliative measure that does not act on the structural problem at the root of forced migration: the perverse capitalist dynamics of North-South exploitation. But the benefits derived from the possibility of a new governance offered by the blockchain will be the driving force for rethinking new vital scenarios
Another growing impact of the Blockchain is in the storage and control of information. Blockchain technology changes the aspect of information sharing and storage for the better.
Our personal information (search history, education progress, health records) is stored, controlled, and monetized by third- parties (Google).
Google uses this information to track and screen advertisements based on our interests or wishes. Google is monetizing data about you by showing advertisements based on our personal information. Mainly, our attention is being sold by Google by showing advertisements of products. It makes the product manufacturer promote its sales and attract more customers through the advertisement.
In any case, in which personal information or behavior is being monetized, the manufacturer of the products benefits mostly.
However, if this information is stored on blockchain technologies and linked with the correct digital identity, access to this information will surely be monitored and safeguard from monetizing by third parties.
The blockchain digitalization of information will allow participants to sell their information and also get value in return. Therefore, the control of this information will be by the individual. However, these participants may choose to provide their information and get value from it or safeguard and choose not to provide it to maintain the privacy of the information.
The greater advantage to be realized by storing information on Blockchain will help reduce information theft, enhance information value, and maintain personal information privacy.
*Elections and Democracy Recordkeeping
The possibilities involved in reforming elections and democracy using Blockchain are highly recommended.
A vote is a unique type of non-financial transaction that is recorded to implement democracy. For democracy to be implemented, then free and fair elections must be ensured by society. Proper and correct recording of votes in local and national elections will surely ensure the hold of free and fair elections.
Citizens have the right to elect their candidates through voting and make some changes in government through voting. For a democratically elected government to function, it must be with the citizens’ influence and consent, their votes.
Therefore, voting is a core non-financial transaction that can be made in society and recorded on the Blockchain. Blockchain technology will ensure the current identity of the voter, abhor casting a vote twice, and provide instant vote statistics and counting. It also reduces the cost of organizing elections as though these elections could happen on the phone or other technologies; thereby, physical locations and ballots won’t be needed.
A society with access to digital infrastructure and technology can implement elections through the use of blockchain technology and ensures democracy based on Blockchain.
Blockchain technology offers the possibility of generating new governance frameworks through which we can even establish meta-governance criteria that regulate our democratic processes based on consensus, abandoning representativeness for direct participation and empowering people by decentralising decision-making processes while protecting these processes against discretionality. Organisational forms such as DAOs are experimenting with these community-oriented processes and building spaces of reflection for action based on shared values and the pro-common
*Digitalization of Assets and Analog Data and Information
Blockchain technology will assure the integration of digital data sources and eradicate the challenges involved in using Analog data. Digitalization of these records will require high-bandwidth connections in all regions of the world, which will eliminate the global inequality and digital divide in the world. Though, converting physical data to digital data might be expensive and time-consuming, both in terms of maintaining data accuracy (which is important as it will be difficult and nearly impossible to alter data on the chain) and in activities involved in input processes.
*Effective Identity Accountability
Blockchain technology requires an integrated identity management platform to maintain its user accountability. The lack of an effective blockchain identity creates gaps of anonymity which are used to threaten the integrity and security of the traditional societal system.
However, developing a secure proof-of-identity on Blockchain will help facilitate the effective linkage of both online and offline activities. Many government services, businesses, and nonprofit organizations’ services can be easily tracked and managed to aid distribution and transparent financial services and transactions by providing veritable identity.
*Reduction in Administrative Costs
Blockchain technology can help reduce administrative costs and expenses through the use of its smart contracting. A smart contract is a blockchain application intended to digitally facilitate negotiations and executions of contracts that might be legal or financial.
The benefits of blockchain technology are predicted to be vast and global by many Blockchain Experts and Analysts. By facilitating transparency and accountability, blockchain technology can create opportunities for coordination and collaboration. These opportunities were previously rendered impossible by digital and physical boundaries and mistrust by reducing redundancy and ineffective spending.
Transparency and efficiency in governance will increase system and institutional trust and accountability. These characteristics will also give rise to empowering individuals in making decisions independently about their data.
The blockchain offers a space of dissent to experiment with new forms of economics and governance, fuelled by the need to attack the major social, environmental and economic challenges facing our societies that call into question the ability of our lifestyles to deliver a viable future for all.
The blockchain has the opportunity to be the agent of change that puts people at the centre, empowering them to project a future based on the common good.
Much of the technology on the blockchain network discussed above is still under development, and Blockchain is still at a nascent stage, looking to expand and apply its practicality and usefulness in the modern world and its existing technologies. One thing is for sure that Blockchain has arrived and will continue to forge its presence to make the world an easier place to live in, hopefully.