Blockchain and the futureMay 24, 2019 - 4 min read 🍵🍵🍵
Blockchain, we hear it all over the news. It is the technology that Bitcoin uses, a decentralized digital currency. Once transactions are verified from millions of computers through cryptography, it turns into a block of data and then added to the a public distributed ledger called blockchain.
A blockchain is a list of growing records that are linked via cryptography. To think of this, a podcast described it as an insect stuck in amber. You can view it, but you can never change how the insect looks. Then it becomes connected together meaning you can go back in any point in time to view the insect (data) that is immutable.
In this day and age, big data becomes extremely valuable. How we store and access it can be extremely challenging. With all this information, we can start to think about how they could start “talking” to each other making our lives easier.
People who live in third world countries do not have the best record for keeping information and data. Imagine trying to verify who you really are without the proper documentation like a drivers licenses, passport and proof of land ownership, most of which are paper based and could be lost and take forever to reproduce from the government.
Storing all this information via blockchain through cryptography would reduce processing times. In an ideal world where we can just give them our fingerprint and they could just produce those documents after it becomes verified from the blockchain.
Can’t the blockchain be hacked? It is possible, but very unlikely because blockchains are decentralized and are not contained in a single location. It becomes distributed across several millions of computers that keep the block in sync. That means a hacker must have enough computing power to change millions computers all at the same time to change and alter a block (or 51% of all computers syncing the blockchain). Data is secured through a process called cryptography using a public key and private key which could be explained for another day.
With all this talk about blockchain, the world is changing right under our nose! I’ve read the uses for it and the implementations are endless, ranging from supply chain to insurance uses. Below are some of the cool things happening:
HurricaneGuard aims to solve current insurance policies with hurricane coverage. They automatically fill out claims that pay if wind speeds are recorded within 30 miles of your home or business. In an event like a hurricane disaster, having insurance automatically pay out based on the data real-time which becomes verified into a blockchain will give immediate relief for cash for food, water and repairs.
As uncomfortable as it may sound, having death certificates issued on a blockchain can potentially trigger insurance companies to help verify the data and send out the appropriate documentation to other companies and banks making one less thing to deal with after death. However, there are a lot of laws in place to prevent any changes, hopefully this will change in the future.
“There hasn’t been a lot of change in the past 100 years of the funeral service” - Rob Goff, executive director of the Washington State Funeral Directors.
Companies like Recompose and Coeio are changing the way we convert human remains into the soil giving life to other species on Earth and reducing carbon emissions from cremation. I can’t see why we can’t incorporate other conveniences offered by technology to help handle documentation.
A company specializing in automation and intelligence. They provide real time tracking such as temperature and humidity for medical products during shipment to ensure the safety and quality of medical products.
As you can see there are many use cases of blockchain, with the Internet of Things we can have interoperability with big data making our lives more convenient than it already is.