Blockchain – revolutionary technology for securing transactions and data. But what is this whole blockchain? So much is said about it, but it turns out that for ordinary John it’s incomprehensible – mostly associated with cryptocurrencies and most often with the first in history cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. An imaginary virtual creation that is used to draw naïve people – or another speculative bubble.
Technically speaking, blockchain is a chain of interlinked, cryptographic-based data blocks. Thus, guaranteeing the undeniability of the concluded transaction or data. Nowadays, this technology is already widespread among many state and commercial institutions – used by banks to confirm transactions, create land and mortgage registers, blockchain sports betting settle taxes or register cars.
When data once enters into the blockchain it’s invariable, which is guaranteed by a cryptographic system based on an explicit key – a one-way (irreversible) mathematical function – and on the dispersion of data in the network, without the possibility of central management. It is assumed that each node in the distributed network has a copy of all the blocks created so far – which can also be considered as an additional protection. An attempt to modify any block is automatically caught in the verification process through network nodes – and the block is rejected. Therefore, in this case, the legality of the transaction cannot be called into question.
But when it comes to blockchain technology alone… we certainly see many possibilities, many applications. These include, for example, the accounting book in banking, the authentication system for documents, or a hot topic recently, namely the voting system and, finally, energy and trade. As I said, everything related to energy is in areas that are of great interest to us.
THE MOST IMPORTANT FEATURES OF THE BLOCKCHAIN
Adding information to the blockchain is possible only after verifying the correctness of information contained in the blockchain. Verification of correctness of blocks is performed by the so-called network nodes. The blocks created in such a way are connected with each other cryptographically, in one chronological sequence. The distributed blockchain network eliminates to a minimum the possibility of data loss caused e.g. by the failure of data carriers, power supply or computer hardware failure. And something for lovers of ecology – blockchain is digital information, so it eliminates the need for paper documentation. It also eliminates the need for third parties or so-called public trust institutions to confirm the legality of a transaction.
- One of the first countries to implement the blockchain system in the state administration was Georgia – creating a secure register to manage property and real estate files.
- Estonia has simplified all operations between citizens and public administration through the introduction of an electronic identity card based on a public key infrastructure. For this purpose, a blockchain-based X-road system has been created to connect the various databases existing in the administration, e.g. the system of coherence and integrity of medical patient data.
- Switzerland – in a country associated with banking since the dawn of time, in July 2017 two banks opened out to cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin and Ethereum.
- Singapore – The Central Bank is testing a new digital dollar, based on the Ethereum platform, a new national token currency. Countries such as Russia and Ukraine are also considering introducing their own national virtual currency.
- IBM has developed the Fabric protocol, which has been used in the USA, Kenya, and Singapore. This solution allowed the registration and tracking of events related to insurance policies.
- Brave web browser – introduced the participation of advertising content on the pages viewed. Based on blockchain Ethereum, an exchange unit was created between advertisers and users, significantly accelerating the opening of websites and automatically blocking unwanted advertisements.
- Share & Charge – the first network of private electric car chargers that implemented cryptocurrencies
- Examples of blockchain technology implementation in the energy sector are, among others, the European project PONTON and the Australian platform POWER LEDGER,
- The Distribution of World Food Programme funds by the United Nations.
As you can see from the above examples – and mind you this is just the tip of the iceberg – the interest in blockchain technology is already common practice. Practically in all countries of the world, work on the development and implementation of this technology is in progress.
As a curiosity, I will quote that even North Korea – according to rumors – “extracts” Monero and other cryptocurrencies. A computer virus, probably created at Kim Ir Sen University, was released and was to be sent to the private account of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un’s, to steal mined coins. But that’s just a gossip. Although, who knows if it’s true?