Unlocking Blockchain Technology Revolution
Technology changes so rapidly that it can be overwhelming. Knowledge and understanding of these changes are a significant factor in maintaining a key position in today’s hi tech world.
One of these hi tech changes is known as “Blockchain.” For neophytes to blockchain, the first step is knowing what blockchain is, what it can be used for most advantageously and how it affects data output.
It is essential to also understand one of the key components of blockchain technology: cryptology. Originating from the Greek word, “kryptos” meaning secret, hidden and to write, cryptology in computer science refers to techniques that secure information and communication derived from mathematical concepts as well as a set of rule-based calculations.
If you use a browser for online searches, you already recognize these rule based calculations as algorithms. Algorithms have a mathematical purpose that helps solve problems. In computer science, algorithms transform and manipulate data to make it easier for browsers to define a user’s search terms.
In cryptology, the relationship between algorithms and cryptographic function is referred to “cryptographic hash.”
In laymen’s terms, cryptographic hash is a function of mapping data of arbitrary sizes to a bit string of a fixed size as a one-way function. It is also a function that is infeasible to invert.
How Does Cryptology Affect Blockchain Technology?
The definition of Blockchain technology may be better understood by using children’s alphabetical blocks as an example.
Imagine each block from “A” to “Z” with data storage capability. This is the basic image of Blockchain Technology. Now imagine each of those children’s blocks are networked one to the other.
As its name implies, in Blockchain Technology data is stored in files which are then stored in “blocks” intended to grow with each transition of data to other “blocks.”
Like children’s blocks, Blockchain technology “builds” or “grows” depending on the volume of initial data input and data added. Note that Blockchain Technology also includes data from previous blocks, transaction data and a timestamp.
Other Features of Blockchain Technology
When it comes to Blockchain Technology in actual use, it is important to know that data transferred from one “block” to another, reduces human input and ability to make changes to stored data once it has been entered into a block.
More accurately, Blockchain Technology functions as a major exchange of data with the end purpose of producing output results or to precipitate transaction results.
The blocks in Blockchain Technology are peer-to-peer (P2P) computer technology. This is similar to a team with individuals members, each of whom are given designated tasks relating to a specific project or function.
Depending on the type of data and files shared between these P2P blocks, some believe this type of sharing makes personal data within these blocks less secure.
There are several risks to P2P file sharing within Blockchain Technology. The risks include the illegal downloading and distributing of copyrighted content and sharing networks can help spread computer viruses, spyware, and malware.
The Benefits of Blockchain Technology
Many individuals believe there are several benefits of Blockchain Technology. These include:
How Blockchain Technology is Used in the Real World
Although Blockchain Technology was originally intended for use with Bitcoin cryptocurrency where there is no central bank or single financial administrator on a P2P network, there are many other uses for the real world.
Unlike transferring funds through a formal bank that takes several business days to complete, Blockchain Technology can do this in a few seconds. In warehousing and distribution centers, Blockchain Technology facilitates more precise monitoring of supply chains.
Perhaps one Blockchain Technology feature that is most beneficial is the creation of digital identification that cannot be altered and can be transferred as needed by the individual.
With the fear of voting fraud, Blockchain Technology also allows for digital voting with the ability for election regulators to view any changes attempted to the voting network.
The medical world is waking up to the paperless expediency and immutability of Blockchain Technology that strengthens HIPAA laws and increases protection of patient privacy.