17 Mar 2021: #NewsBytesExplainer: How the Blockchain technology is shaping the future
The term "blockchain" is thrown around with cryptocurrency and Bitcoin quite often. Blockchain is a type of database, which is essentially an organized collection of information that can be accessed and manipulated simultaneously by multiple users.
Blockchain is decentralized, meaning data is stored in multiple copies on multiple computers. Anyone on the network can see everyone else's entries in real-time.
Redundancies: How torrents and blockchain leverage decentralization for tamper-proofing
Just like torrents are distributed using a peer-to-peer network, blockchain databases are spread across multiple nodes for foolproof redundancy.
This ensures that bad actors cannot modify a blockchain entry without being swiftly detected and corrected by the network.
There is no central authority that can be compromised or otherwise coerced by any bad actors including the government.
Chronological chain: Blockchains are created by grouping and linking data chronologically
Blockchains contain data grouped into discrete storage blocks of finite sizes. Once filled, a block is linked to the last full block, thereby creating a chain in chronological order. The chain represents an unmodifiable chronological timeline of data.
In the context of cryptocurrency, a blockchain database is used to maintain a Distributed Ledger (DLT). Each block contains multiple transaction records.
What’s a hash?: Cryptocurrency transaction records are uniquely identifiable and immutable
When a new transaction occurs, a new entry is added to every participant's ledger. Transactions have a uniquely identifiable, immutable cryptographic signature called a hash.
If someone with malicious intent modifies one block of the chain, they would have to modify every subsequent block to avoid detection across the DLT network. This makes larger blockchain databases significantly more secure.
Transparency: DLT enhances transparency and transaction verification on public blockchain networks
Blockchain is transparent as every participant can view the ledgers at any time. The transparency enhances security and eases data verification.
Although Bitcoin is a public blockchain network, blockchains can be private, permissioned, and consortium-based as well.
Read on to discover five unique examples of how blockchain technology is being put to use around the world today.
NFT trading: Here's how Jack Dorsey sold first-ever tweet for $2.5 million
Recently, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sold the first-ever tweet for a whopping $2.5 million. Dorsey associated his tweet with a non-fungible token (NFT) giving it a unique digital identity.
When NFTs change hands, the underlying blockchain of ownership is irreversibly updated.
Cast your voat: Voatz is making election polling tamper-free and convenient
On a related note, Utah County used Voatz in the 2020 US presidential election, a platform allowing commoners to cast their vote using a mobile app.
The votes were recorded in a blockchain, which allowed government administrators to audit polling practices.
While the system was a boon during the COVID-19 pandemic, blockchain's immutable records helped address concerns regarding transparency and tampering.
Details: Telos' blockchain-based insurance against Big Tech censorship
Then, there is Telos which has announced a collaboration with Discussions.app. It will allow people to record their Twitter accounts on blockchain.
The idea is to give people a decentralized identity system so they don't lose all their connections when social networks ban them.
While Telos' blockchain already hosts wallets such as SQRL, signing up for Discussions.app isn't as simple as, say, Facebook.
How?: Open Music Initiative's blockchain ensures music owners are easily identifiable
In another news, Berklee College of Music has developed a protocol for identification of music rights holders and creators.
The Open Music Initiative (OMI) relies on blockchain to identify and compensate musicians, allowing them to build business models without risking intellectual property theft.
OMI's open-source protocol is reliant on the immutability of blockchain, so the right person is paid for music.
Specifics: Brave browser's token system pays viewers and creators of advertisements
Speaking of getting paid, your attention is what all of the internet is after and Brave browser intends to pay you for just that. It displays ads only from verified creators using a blockchain-based platform, rewarding the viewer using Basic Attention Tokens (BAT).
Brave loads webpages thrice as fast as Google Chrome, without skimping on compatibility with Chrome extensions.
All-pervading: Blockchain could be the future of databases behind everyday services
Although blockchain has limited support for integration with traditional databases, it is being viewed as the future.
Blockchain has also been adopted by banking, logistics, healthcare, and information security enterprises.
IBM's ex-CEO Ginni Rometty said that blockchain can vastly improve the efficiency of anything that can manifest as a supply chain. It doesn't matter if it's people, data, or money.