Nowadays, it is hard to imagine a world without internet. Almost everything is online these days and the world is becoming increasingly digital. All of this is of course built on top of the basic premise of the internet: data transfer. After all, the internet is nothing more than a complex web of connections allowing us to almost instantly transfer data to anywhere in the world. With this in mind, blockchain technology represents a simple yet fundamental shift, and an obvious step forward, as the premise of blockchain technology is secure and transparent data transfer.
Imagine you are making a spreadsheet in Excel, this spreadsheet holds a record of all the emails you have sent and received, and can easily be altered and changed, as well as read, by the owner of the email service you use. There is no way to take control of your data and safeguard it from malpractices by the companies behind these email services. That’s a good approximation of the internet in its current state. It can be compared to locking your data in a box and giving a copy of the key to someone else – they can take and use your data, and if they do not take good care of the key, your data can be exposed. Most server technology relies on a rewritable database structure and requires a hosting company to maintain it.
Now imagine another Excel spreadsheet, one where you can only add to it, but can never alter an entry once you’ve made one, although you can add a new version of your entry. Everyone on the network is able to write to this database, but only you can see your entries, because they require a special key to unlock. There’s no central company governing it, and each user manages their own transactions, meaning you are the only one with access to your data. In addition, you no longer need to rely on a central entity to host your data. Data is stored by everyone, making data loss a problem of the past. This is blockchain. It is immutable, unhackable, and secure. It is a simple yet powerful idea which will transform business.
With more and more enterprises looking at ways to leverage this new technology in all of their industries, a future without blockchain seems highly unlikely.