Blockchain Is Possibly the Simplest But Most Anticipated Innovation in Years
What Is Blockchain?
While blockchain and cryptocurrencies are on everyone’s lips in the technology sector, the consensus among outsiders looking at what blockchain can do for their business is that the innovation is unfinished. Even the developers of the ledger system themselves acknowledge that there is still much to be done, describing all new stages as experiments or tests, which is a terrible shame as they would be the first to admit that the set-up is actually very simple and straightforward.
The blockchain is a growing list of digital records, with each block linked together by cryptography. The idea behind blockchain is that it becomes ‘an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way’.
What Is the Status of Blockchain?
You can get away with much more if you say you are testing the limits of something, but the developers behind blockchain must start to find the right technologies to back this up if they truly want the world to get excited about the ledger. Otherwise, they could see the hype that has already been built dwindle before their eyes.
That said, right now people are hooked by blockchain and the concept of digital money. And the reason that people are so intrigued and (currently) willing to wait it out? The fact that legal transactions could be authenticated and recorded instantly and at almost no expense. Many in the industry are anticipating the dismissal of unreliable and untrustworthy paper transactions and complicated compliance rules.
With the right system in place to support this blockchain technology, digital documents can be shared securely, such as birth and marriage certificates and land deeds, along with financial transactions exchanged safely between individuals and business. It is thought that the technology might also be adopted by the government in future to manage votes in elections. In short, the way we record value exchange will be revolutionised.
Why Are We Still so Excited by Something That Might Never Happen?
It is not a question of if blockchain will happen: it is simply a case of when. At present, while the vision behind the ledger is exciting, there is a strong feeling of caution because the service is as yet untrustworthy. With trusted parties and records needed to cooperate, another big challenge for the developers is actually creating a shared database. As such, the issue of how to make use of this technology is above all the more complicated aspect of implementing it.
Yet while it could be five to ten years down the line before a finalised distributed blockchain ledger is delivered, it is likely to take even longer for companies see the true benefits and for the technology to transform our industries. In the meantime, we should stay focused on how much bigger and better the advantages will be after all of this further testing – and not casting blockchain to one side just yet.
This article was written by Ben Palmer, Managing Director, IJB Global.