In the last post, we have gone through some Azure stuff. There will be more articles on Azure in the coming future. For now, let’s discuss one of the most important technologies in the future that is Blockchain.
Blockchain has the potential to revolutionize industries like finance, medicine, government, supply chain and many more. It will be also useful in personal identity and security. Blockchain is developing incredibly fast. You will have more opportunities in the coming future.
Let’s discuss how Blockchain is evolved and how it can be helpful in
In the 20th century, we are automating everything and automation is growing rapidly day by day in everything we do. We are putting all things into programming. We are building a digital economy. It will be a great opportunity for developers now to jump into Blockchain technology because of the huge demand and limited supply of developers.
Now, first, we see why Blockchain and then we look at what is Blockchain.
Blockchain is a completely new way to share data. It allows us to make transactions in a more secure, transparent and cheaper way. We can do all these without large companies, which collecting and managing our data on a day to day basis.
Let’s discuss some of these industries mentioned above.
Personal Identity – We all want our identity to be safe. No one should be able to access our information about where we go, what we do and what we are planning without our permission. But often, we give this information to the big corporation and then we have little or no control over how they use or manage it.
This data is centralised at one location and it is at risk of being hacked. In recent years, you would have heard of how hackers stole data from Facebook and LinkedIn.
Blockchain data is not held in a centralized database. It is shared with everyone and verified by people in the network. Information is secured using cryptography so we can prevent hackers from stealing our data. This makes data breach nearly impossible.
Supply Chain – Imagine, what it takes to create a new product. How do companies track the parts being shipped, the work is done and ownership of each new product?
Let’s take car manufacturing example.
To build a car, there are many companies involved. The shipping parts like screws, engine and doors. All of these parts need to be tracked. Even after the car is built, we need to track the car’s ownership as it goes from the manufacturer to the dealer and to the end consumer. This is actually a supply chain process.
Right now, managing a supply chain is really messy. The details and history of each part are listed across many companies involved. These companies usually don’t share information with each other and then struggle to keep up to date. Also, these companies spent a lot of resources on managing these records. This is where Blockchain can play a very crucial role.
On the Blockchain, information about this car can made publicly available. This allows us to know the exact details and history of every part of the product we buy, rent or use.
You might be thinking, “What if we don’t want this data to be shared with everyone.”? That’s fine too. The information that is public is also generally anonymous. This way, you can be sure no one knows what you are doing. There are security majors also needs to be taken that we will see into coming post.
Medicine – Having more secure and accurate patient information we can save many lives.
Finance – We can send money across the world freely and securely. It can potentially change the entire financial system.
Government – There would be a lot of use of Blockchain in the government. Example, we can make elections more transparent and secure.
What is Blockchain?
Blockchain is the shared database that contains list of transactions. These transactions may be between users who are part of this network. Transactions can be simple as sending money.
Blockchain data can be shared by all users on this network. It’s not kept in the hands of any central authority. For example Banks.
It is extremely difficult to change any data once it has been put onto a Blockchain.
Decentralization and Security, putting these two together, you end up with a shared permanent history of transactions that we can trust to be accurate and up-to-date.
Let’s take an example.
Suppose, If I have sent you 5 gold coins. So this is one transaction between two of us. The transaction is a record of information like who sent it, who were sent to and how much was sent. This transaction will be sent out to the network of users. The goal of the network is to take out transactions and group it with other transactions into a block. Once enough transactions are collected, a block is full and ready to be permanently added to the Blockchain.
Block is assigned a unique value known as a hash. Hash is a unique fingerprint of information that allows us to identify the block in the future. This hash is very important because it uniquely identifies exactly which data was in the block.
If I tried to change something in the above transaction. Suppose, instead of 5 gold coins I tried to change 10 gold coins in a block then it will change the hash of the block making it invalid.
A Block has given hash value as well as the hash of the block created before. This links two blocks together and over the time this build longer chain of blocks called Blockchain.
As time goes on, this Blockchain creates an unchangeable historical record of all transactions that ever happened on the network.
This idea allows us to create some really exciting new applications in different industries.
We hope, this gives you a basic idea about a Blockchain. In upcoming articles, we will see practical of how we can exactly implement Blockchain with some real programming examples.