The Promising Future of Blockchain
The full potential of blockchain is beginning to be realised. But, what is it and how can we all benefit?
Blockchain has been a hot topic in technology and innovation in the past year. While it’s still early times, there are predictions it could shake up the world in the same way the Internet did in the 90s.
Until recently, blockchain technology has been the backbone for the digital currency bitcoin. It has featured mainly in the banking and finance industries. Now, The Global Futures Council on Blockchain Technology is exploring its potential uses beyond that.
It’s seen as one of the most promising new technologies to emerge in the past decade, but it’s something that can be hard to fully understand – especially understanding how it can be applied in the real world.
What is it?
At its most basic, blockchain technology is a decentralised database that stores a registry of assets and transactions across a peer-to-peer network. It’s been described as a public registry of who owns what and who transacts what. The transactions are secured and linked together through cryptography.
How are businesses currently using it?
Forward-looking institutions, including the Commonwealth Bank, have started looking at how blockchain can be used effectively and profitably. The bank recently undertook a transaction that it described as “the first global trade transaction between two independent banks combining the emerging disruptive technologies of blockchain, smart contracts and Internet of Things”.
Some of the major benefits that Commonwealth Bank says could be derived from using blockchain for trade transactions include:
- Transparency between buyer and seller
- A higher level of security
- The ability to track a shipment in real time
- Reduction of errors
- Accomplishing what used to take days in only a matter of minutes.
What could it be used for?
This idea of a decentralised database for value transactions brings into question the role of intermediary institutions, like banks, as blockchain gains traction. Major financial institutions around the world are trying to figure this out.
Entrepreneurs and thought leaders are also advancing ideas on how blockchain could be used to revolutionise other industries, including entertainment, property, and pharmaceuticals. It can be used to transact anything, so some ideas raised have been to use it for welfare distribution, or for secure voting, land title transfer, music, movies, or more.
What does the future hold for Blockchain?
Technology experts predict that in a few short years, we will be living in a world where blockchain is being used but no one thinks about it – it will be easy to use, low cost and very secure.
So, while blockchain still feels like a vague technology that’s still many years away from changing how we do things, think about how quickly the internet became an essential part of our business and daily lives. We might all be living in a blockchain-powered world before we know it.
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About the Author
Geoff Stewart is a highly experienced and skilled Technology Director at Surety IT. His knowledge is based on years of industry experience having created customised, stable, well performing systems both for multi-national companies in the UK and Australia and Surety IT customers.
Surety IT can help you create the right system to enhance your business, ensuring you know how it is right for you and how to use it. We will tailor a solution to suit your needs with leading systems, local support and more, building your vision for a more flexible and capable business.