Blockchain Technology: Changing the Status Quo
Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology (DLT), a digital record of transactions and/or contracts that are stored in blocks, which are linked together and stored via computers on the network - the block cannot be altered without the alteration of all subsequent blocks. Blockchain growth is in its early stages, the technology is evolving rapidly and will disrupt the current status quo; thus, the space presents exceptional opportunities.
Public vs. Private Blockchain
A Public Blockchain is permissionless, everyone has access and can participate in a public blockchain. Public blockchains are decentralized, no one has control over the network - they are secure in that the data can’t be changed once validated on the blockchain.
A Private Blockchain is permissioned, with restrictions on who is allowed to participate in the network and how they can participate. Private blockchains include central governments, social media platforms, large corporations, etc. - they control the network and can censor, ban and/or restrict its use; they also have access to all the private data of the users.
Blockchain Use Cases
Blockchain is a rapidly emerging technology, with endless capabilities to affect every part of our lives, briefly -
- Decentralized Finance (DeFi) expands financial services around the globe, unleashing trillions in economic activity.
- Real Estate assets can be tokenized, divided, and distributed with minimal operational concerns, management cost, and security issues - forging new, innovative business models.
- Money can be transferred fast anywhere, anytime - without central control (banks/governments), and at minimal expense.
- Trade & Commerce advances are abundant, e.g. supply-line tracing can be done in seconds versus days, intellectual property can be quickly verified, direct-access to suppliers eliminates the additional time & expense currently incurred using a "middleman," etc., etc.
- Healthcare is enhanced by fast, secure access to patient information, while maintaining data privacy.
- Government solutions can reduce redundancy, streamline processes, increase security, and provide voter data integrity.
- Identity management, a distributed ledger provides everyone with the same source of truth about a credentials validity and who attested to the validity, without revealing the actual data.
- Education, enables students to securely share verified copies of their qualifications with 3rd parties, maintains immutable records, attaches the credential to a persons digital identity, etc.
First generation is Bitcoin (BTC), a peer-to-peer network created by Satoshi Nakamoto, the platform has limited utility (storage & transfer of value) and is considered "dirty" because of the enormous amount of energy required to run the Proof of Work (PoW) protocol - it gobbles up the energy equivalent to a country of 200+ million people.
Second generation is Ethereum (ETC), a more advanced PoW protocol with far more utility than Bitcoin; the project is painstakingly attempting to covert to Proof of Stake (PoS) - the platform is currently bogged down with dreadfully slow transaction speeds and exorbitant fees.
Third generation is Cardano (ADA), this PoS platform is the first project to be developed via scientific research and peer-review, combined with formal methods & 3rd-party security audits; this advanced protocol is efficient and inexpensive to use with unlimited use-cases - the network uses mission-critical Haskell programming (think NASA, Boeing), the project is rapidly emerging, with intentions of becoming the next global financial operating system.