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You’ve probably heard about blockchain in relation to Bitcoin, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency. But it’s far more than just a platform for money. Blockchain is poised to disrupt many areas of our daily lives – from advertising to voting.
In particular, tech companies and start-ups are looking for new ways to leverage blockchain to deliver and access information securely from anywhere in the world. And that can bring exciting new possibilities for your network.
The blockchain is a decentralized database stored on multiple computers as identical copies. It’s a global public ledger that can automatically record and verify huge volumes of digital transactions, regardless of location.
Blockchain’s ledger is public, but data is sent and verified with advanced cryptographic techniques. This ensures data comes from the correct sources and nothing is intercepted in the interim.
How Blockchain Works
Because it’s decentralized, no one can change or delete an entry in the blockchain. If someone tried, they’d have to make the same change on every single node in the blockchain. Considering the millions of nodes making up the blockchain, trying to change every single one is basically impossible. That’s why this technology is so secure and fraud-resistant.
The applications of blockchain are limitless. It has the potential to change:
Let’s look at a few ways blockchain is transforming the IT industry.
Internet identity and DNS: These days, it’s time consuming having to prove your identity on the web. Even using Facebook to log in to various places only gets you so far. What if you could easily carry your identity with you all around the internet? Companies like Blockstack and uPort are developing ways to make user data more portable.
Cloud Storage: Data stored in the cloud often lives in a centralized server, which can be vulnerable to cyberattacks. However, blockchain cloud storage solutions keep data in a decentralized network, making it less prone to attacks that can cause widespread data loss.
Critical infrastructure security: Crucial networks controlling things like power plants and transportation are prime targets for hackers. Much of this critical infrastructure is connected via the Internet of Things (IoT). Blockchain’s tamperproof ledgers can share vital security data across these industrial networks. It can also provide data authentication on a massive scale, verifying transactions.
Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) and mesh networking: Companies like IBM and Samsung are developing decentralized networks of IoT devices using blockchain technology. These networks would replace the central hubs that IoT devices currently depend on to connect with one another. Decentralized IoT networks would enable devices to communicate autonomously to manage software updates, bugs, or energy management.
Excited by the possibilities but still feeling unsure about blockchain technology? We’ll help you translate the latest developments and give you a hand determining what blockchain technology is right for your business.