Today, trust is the foundation of many of our daily interactions and exchanges. We put money in the bank, hoping that it is safer there. We provide information to each other on the grounds that they will not share it with anyone without prior permission. We also trust papers – money, land records, transaction information, etc. But these papers can be easily stolen, forged or altered. Nowadays, as we go to computerizing information, data can still be hacked and leaked easily.
A blockchain is a series of records or data that is distributed over a network of computers, so that no central computer or database contains information, instead each computer contains data, making it a completely transparent system. Why the blockchain is so impressive is due to its inconsistency. Each exchange, transaction, or record entered into the database is marked at times and scanned by a large group of tested computers before they are entered into a block in a chain of different exchanges, transactions, or records. After entering it, the information “block” cannot be changed or deleted, because it means changing or deleting the chain on all computers at once, which is almost impossible.
The social impact that blockchain technology can have is enormous and can be implemented to address many of the challenges facing the world today in a variety of areas. In most developing countries, agriculture makes up most of its GDP; however, many farmers suffer from a lack of money, land and a lack of various resources needed to farm. Even if a farmer owns a large plot of land, it is often incorrectly registered. Property names are also prone to fraud as well as administratively expensive and time consuming. Blockchain can be implemented to digitize land, and farmers will no longer need to be afraid of someone hacking into a database and committing land ownership fraud, as all forms of accounting will become more efficient.
The technology will not only inform you who currently owns the land, but can also tell you who previously owned the land, making it extremely easy to track property. Blockchain can properly update records of what part of the land belongs to which person and how much was produced from that land, allowing farmers to get the right amount of funding.
Among many other areas, blockchain technology can contribute to the healthcare sector. Keeping government records in health care is a constant challenge in many countries as it is not available to physicians and patients. By creating a decentralized “book” of medical data, we can remove the paper footprint in healthcare and make patient medical records accessible to patients and physicians easily and efficiently. It also got rid of the fear of medical cards. Such a change is not only convenient but also necessary as the privacy of the physician and patient becomes increasingly important.
Currently, the blockchain is mainly used in finance. Blockchain can accurately record transfers among people, and because each of the transfers is minimal and free, it can hinder today’s financial institutions from making money by charging for each transaction or transfer made. This creates a so-called peer-to-peer network in which a third party does not require a transaction.
In the financial world, this means that if a person wants to buy something, usually the bank and the place / site from which you buy will take a share of what you pay. And because there is no transaction fee in the blockchain or the transaction fee is small compared to the transaction cost, most, if not all, of the money goes directly to the creator or distributor of the product.
The same logic can be applied to the music industry. In fact, it is already being implemented today. Instead of a person purchasing a song through a streaming service such as Apple Music or Spotify, they will pay directly to the artist and receive the rights to listen to and use the music. This eliminates the need for an “average person” and makes each transaction only between 2 entities.
Here are just a few examples of how the blockchain can be used to completely change what was before, significantly changing our lives, our economy and our world. Blockchain is a multifaceted technology that can somehow be applied to virtually every business sector. Exciting technology that can change society for the better; a change that is not just convenient but necessary.