Blockchain Technology

How does a Blockchain work
Source:101blockchains.com

-By Eniola Elizabeth Fase

What is Blockchain Technology?

Blockchain technology is the trustless, transparent, publicly susceptible ledger that enables us to safely transfer the ownership of components of value utilizing public-key encryption and proof of work techniques.

The blockchain is a brilliant method of passing information from one party to another in a fully automated and safe manner. One party to a transaction begins the process by establishing a block. Millions of computers distributed around the internet verify this block. After verification, the block is added to a chain and stored across the internet, establishing a unique record with a unique history.

Fabricating a single record would mean fabricating the entire chain in millions of examples, which is almost impossible. Bitcoin utilizes this model for monetary transactions, however, it can be utilized in various other ways. The first successful performance of blockchain technology is the Bitcoin Network. However, the potential for blockchain technology is not limited to bitcoin. It has received a lot of attention in different industries such as charities and nonprofits, the arts, financial services, and e-commerce.

How Does a Blockchain Work?

How Blockchain works
Source: IBM Think Academy

Information held on a blockchain stands as a shared database. This is a method of utilizing the network that has obvious advantages. The blockchain database is not kept in a single location. This means that the records it keeps are public and easy to verify. Its data is available to anyone on the internet because it is hosted by millions of computers at the same time.

Every computer on the network strives on unscrambling the answers to these questions;

  • Is there monetary availability?
  • Are senders and receivers truthful?
  • Is the request legitimate?

After striving to give answers to these questions, the winning computer includes this ‘block’ to the ‘blockchain’ in the order that the ‘block’ arrived. The winning computer releases his proof to other networks, which reviews that proof and verifies it before queuing the ‘block’ to finalize the transaction. Parties involved in this are ensured that the transactions have been screened and okayed participants.

Five Use Cases of Blockchain Technology

The influence of blockchain technology is absolutely far-reaching and has more usefulness than being a facilitator for transactions. Numerous industries have found out the advantages of blockchain integration. While Ethereum and Bitcoin are instances of public blockchains, most of these industries need specific features out of their distributed ledger architecture. This is the reason they utilize a special kind of blockchain known as permission blockchain.

Smart contracts

Blockchain-based smart contracts are recommended contracts that can be fully or partially enforced or executed with no human interaction. One of the major goals of a smart contract is automated escrow. A major characteristic of smart contracts is that they do not require a  trustee to act as an intermediary between contracting entities. The blockchain network implements the contract on its own. This may decrease discord between entities when transferring value. This also paves the way to a higher level of transaction automation.

 Cryptocurrencies

Many of the cryptocurrencies out there utilize blockchain technology to record transactions. For instance, the Ethereum network and Bitcoin network are both based on blockchain. In 2018, it was confirmed on Facebook that it would create a new blockchain group, which would be headed by the same person in charge of Messenger, David Marcus. on June 18, 2019, Facebook’s planned cryptocurrency platform, Libra, was officially announced.

Domain Names

Another use of blockchain technology is blockchain domain names. Unlike regular domain names. Blockchain domain names are completely the property of the domain owner and can only be regulated by the owner via a private key.

Blockchain domains opened door to sites that are far more resistant to censorship and therefore allow freedom of speech as there are no individuals or authorities that can intrude on regulating a domain except the private key holder. Also, they are a reasonable option to replace the conventional cryptocurrency wallet addresses as the domain can easily be memorized and used to receive payments.

Health Care

Vendors and hospitals also use blockchain for required medical tools. The Wall Street Journal announced that Ernst & Young was operating on a blockchain to assist governments, employers, airlines, and others keep track of individuals who could be immune to the coronavirus. Additionally, blockchain technology was also utilized in China to increase how long it takes for health insurance payments to be paid to patients and health-care providers.

 Internet of Things Security

Hackers frequently gain access to networks by capitalizing on weaknesses in edge devices. These comprise switches and routers. Now, other devices such as doorbells, smart thermostats,  and security cameras are also accessible and vulnerable. This is because the rigorousness is most times not applied when assuring whether these Internet of Things devices are safe.

Blockchain technology can be utilized to protect devices and systems from attacks. It can also be used to protect all the data exchanges going on between Internet of Things devices. It can be used to obtain real-time secure data communications and guarantee quick communication between devices located thousands of miles apart.

Six Industrial Applications of Blockchain

While there are a lot of use cases of Blockchain technology, technology is utilized in various industries for various purposes. Explained below are a few out of the many industries utilizing blockchain technology for one purpose or the other.

  •  BURSTIQ

Industry: Healthcare

Location: Denver, Colorado

BurstIQ’s big data blockchain contracts assist doctors and patients in securely transferring sensitive medical data and information. The smart contracts create the parameters of what information can be shared. It also displays components of personalized health plans for every patient.

  • OPSKINS

Industry: Gaming

Location: Santa Monica, California

At the OPSkins online marketplace, gamers watching to buy accessories, rare skins, and even emotes can utilize Bitcoin as a means of payment. Sellers obtain the bitcoin in their actual wallet and they either choose to exchange the cryptocurrency for cash or keep it. OPSkins have over two million virtual transactions within a week. 

  • CIRCLE

Industry: Fintech, Cryptocurrency

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Circle attends to over $2 billion a month in cryptocurrency exchanges and investments between individuals. Circle’s money transfer and investment platform presently feature seven various cryptocurrencies, which include Monero, Bitcoin, and Zcash. 

  • CHAINALYSIS

Industry: Cybersecurity

Location: New York, New York

Chainalysis creates equipment to help governments and financial institutions monitor the exchange of cryptocurrencies. Chainalysis’s due diligence software surveys and detects any form of fraudulent trading, compliance violations, and laundering and creates trust in the blockchain.

  • XAGE SECURITY

Industry: Internet of Things, Cybersecurity

Location: Palo Alto, California

The well-known world’s first blockchain-enabled cybersecurity forum for the Internet of Things companies is Xage. The technology organizes billions of tools at once and they can also self-diagnose and heal possible breaches. Xage is mainly utilized by the Internet of Things companies in the energy, transportation, and manufacturing industries.

  • PROPY

Industry: Real Estate

Location: Palo Alto, California

Propy is an accepted online real estate marketplace with a decentralized title registry network. The online marketplace utilizes blockchain to make title issuance quick and they also offer properties that can be bought using cryptocurrency. The online marketplace also uses blockchain to cut intermediaries out of the real estate transaction procedure, and through that process decreasing costs.

Reference:

TechThoroughFare

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