miércoles, 13 de abril de 2016

Blockchain: A base for unlimited trust?

Blockchain began to be known as the distributed public ledger technology behind bitcoin. Without the participation of any central authority, blockchain allows to have a record of all the transactions done with bitcoin currencies in the world. Every transaction is broadcasted to all the bitcoin nodes, creating a distributed database where the chain of value of any bitcoin can be independently verified.

Although the power of blockchain was initially hidden behind the bitcoin rumble and the ups and downs of its valuation, blockchain has emerged as ductile and multipurpose technology to record a chain of transactions of any digital asset. Multiple uses for blockchain are appearing in different industries.

As bitcoin was seen as a menace for the financial system, we should not be shocked that the bank industry is among the main sources of new blockchain based applications. There have been different tests for the usage of blockchain for the virtualization of common operations between commercial banks. For instance, it has been used for exchanging debt instruments. But what it is really interesting is that the more important financial companies of the world has set up their own technology consortium for the research of other usages.

The creative arts is another field where blockchain is being used. The transaction of digital artwork could be registered in blockchain ledgers, establishing a chain of undisputed ownership of it. Music, as one of the main creative businesses, is especially active looking for possible uses of blockchain for the distribution and licensing of songs. It is a paradox that blockchain, a P2P technology, could be the final weapon in the war against the digital music piracy that had the invention of P2P file transfers its cornerstone.

Among the multiple users of blockchain could be in the future also the public sector. The distributed nature of the blockchain ledger paves the way for decentralised and more resilient public databases in governments, which would be also tampering resistant to malicious or unintentional attacks. Taxes, passports or the NHS are among the possible users of blockchain according with a UK government report.

The technology is ready for its usage. Blockchain contains the promise of distributed control of any transaction without a central authority. A world where technology would be the base for unlimited trust.

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