What's next for blockchain in 2019? One area of significant development and potential is the internet of blockchains. We’re going to shed some more insight on what the internet of blockchains is, why it matters, and some projects paving the way in this space.
What a week it’s been in Crypto. Bitcoin is trading at $5000/coin. Elon Musk revealed his greatest achievement to date in shepherding humanity into the future as the former CEO of Dogecoin. And Coinbase just announced a staking service for its institutional clients, starting with Tezos. If you’re new to crypto your probably asking a few questions: “Bitcoin isn’t dead yet?”, “What’s Dogecoin?”, “Elon Musk is in crypto now?”, and “What is staking and how does it work?” To start: no Bitcoin is not dead yet, although it has ‘died’ over 350 times according to different analysts. As for Elon and Dogecoin, the short answer is no, but there is too much historical information surrounding the meme, crypto in 2017, and otherwise for me to unpack succinctly in this article. If you are unfamiliar and feel like learning more or want to relive the good old days of 2017 you find a brief history here or can even order a paperback book detailing it for $9 on Amazon here.
Blockchain turned ten years old in October, and even though it may be one of the hottest buzzwords for raising money, few definitive use cases have been proven so far aside from digital currencies. Yes, speculative use cases for the technology exist and people are experimenting with the technology in everything from supply chain, to healthcare, to real estate, and even tipping people for their tweets. However, there has yet to be one area or vertical that has seen a total transformation from using the technology. Many feel that this is because the technology isn’t developed enough yet or people don’t understand it fully, but others have begun to wonder whether blockchain is a solution searching for a problem that may or may not exist. It seems like a new article pops up every day for some startup raising millions of dollars for their new technology promising “Blockchain + IoT or, AI, or Drones, or all the above…”. At Consensus Networks, we’re focused on finding projects and use cases that are technically sound and have significant potential. We’re big believers in blockchain and are getting our hands dirty exploring the various protocols, looking for concrete use case examples. One such example we’re excited for is IoT.
The ability for someone to forge, copy, delete, or modify a company's data is universally threatening. Both hackers and trustworthy employees have the ability to destroy the integrity and trustworthiness of your data history, which can make it difficult to stay compliant with government standards, make business decisions, and avoid legal challenges. Worldwide spending on information security products and services is projected to exceed $124 billion in 2019 according to the latest forecast from Gartner Inc. The market previously increased 12.4% from 2017 to 2018, and this newest forecast expects an additional 8.7% growth. Organizations with sensitive data have understandably been seeking out new ways to use technology to protect and prove the accuracy of their data. Blockchain technology just might be the answer on how to reduce cost and prove data integrity.
When a transaction occurs, it is encoded into a block of digital data and all members of the blockchain network agree to store and distribute data across the network. Each block is connected to the one before and after it, creating an immutable "blockchain". The entire database of transactions is stored on all network nodes and able to be viewed by all members of the network. these blocks of data and transactions are unable to be deleted even by a system administrator. Data on the blockchain can only be changed if a majority or super-majority of network participants agree.
The high level of security inherent in blockchain technology lies in its connection to other data blocks, cryptography, and distributed nature. A blockchain is a chain of digital “blocks” that contain records of transactions for any type of asset. In order to make updates to a particular piece of data, the owner of that data must add a new block on top of the previous block, creating a specific chain of code. If anything, even as small as a letter, gets altered from how it appears in a previous block, the entire chain across the network is also changed accordingly. This means that every single alteration or change to any piece of data is tracked and all data is permanently kept because users can always look at previous versions of a block to identify what is different in the latest version. This form of record keeping makes it easy for the system to detect blocks that have false data, which prevents loss, damage, and corruption. This also makes it extremely difficult for hackers to tamper with a single block. To tamper with one record, the hacker would have to change the block containing the record and all those linked to it and so on all the way down the line.