The web has come a long way since its early days. As the world transitions towards what some experts call web 4.0, networks will demand more secure systems. The need for privacy and truthfulness is becoming mandatory as we enter an age of saturated IT systems and information overload.
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Many current technologies are unprepared for the web’s upcoming challenges. However, there seems to be a solution: Blockchain. The world has great expectations of what it can deliver to help solve many upcoming problems, not only in terms of systems and technologies but also in fields as diverse as public governance and business innovation.
In this post, we discuss what the future of Blockchain looks like by considering its most important uses. We also discuss some of the most important elements that need to be considered and addressed in order for Blockchain to establish itself as a new technological standard.
Some of these discussions have an important impact on HiTech apps, so it is definitely worth keeping an eye on Blockchain. If these issues are solved, you can be sure to expect a whole new world in the short term.
Don’t worry if you can’t grasp entirely what a Blockchain is. Just keep in mind that it works as a peer-to-peer network where members maintain safe protocols in the form of an unalterable “block” of information. These protocols are dispersed throughout various users, making them very secure. This means that you can’t alter the chain unless you have all the pieces of information scattered throughout users’ computers.
Performing a Blockchain operation requires complex computational operations. Its main use is to serve as a safe and decentralized method of information transactions.
The best way to grasp the concept of a Blockchain is to understand the properties that make it a unique technology. These are its most important ones:
- It rests on an open ledger where all transactions are recorded. These transactions can be consulted by everyone involved in the Blockchain.
- It is possible to audit the chain of transactions recorded in the Blockchain.
- Each of the participants of a Blockchain has a copy of the data. This prevents the information from being centralized in a single system or user.
- Each new transaction is added and recorded throughout the chain of blocks.
These properties make Blockchain a secure and transparent technology. Additionally, they make it a great technology that can be implemented for various uses. It is expected that many Blockchain implementations will shape our near future.
Future Blockchain Uses
The scope of Blockchain’s applications goes across a considerable number of fields. Sometimes it seems that there is way too much expectation regarding this technology. What is undeniable is the fact that there are many practical uses where it is possible to revolutionize how things are currently being done.
These are some of the main Blockchain uses we foresee for the near future.
Blockchain technology can be implemented to keep track of contracts. This allows a contract to become unmodifiable, making it very secure, transparent, and conflict-free.
Smart Contracts can be activated when a given event occurs, making their implementation automatic. This helps carry out clauses, but it can also backfire if an external event activates an undesired clause; Blockchain events cannot be reversed, so it is important to configure Smart Contracts correctly. The structure of a Smart Contract is essential in order to guarantee its adequate functioning.
This is probably Blockchain’s most popular use. Cryptocurrencies are regarded by many as the financial currency of the future thanks to their decentralization and cost-free transactions. They are without a doubt one of the leading products within the FinTech industry. It is yet to be seen how this technology will evolve and how it will be regulated.
Thanks to its transaction records, Blockchain can help trace where the money goes. This is very useful not only for banks but also for governments that want to fight illicit activities or money laundering. By keeping a historical record of transactions through a distributed network, criminals are unable to fool financial systems.
Many state-led activities are prone to inefficiencies and fraud. Blockchain has the potential to change this by keeping a decentralized track of state records. Some experts even say that this has the potential to improve democracy by keeping a clear track of votes. Although many expert voices seem to acknowledge that there is a bit too much optimism, they can all agree that changes in the current governance models are inevitable.
Blockchain as a Service
As Blockchain technology becomes friendlier, more companies will be eager to implement it. There is a great opportunity for B2B companies who wish to put their blockchain platforms at the service of third parties. This service will surely open up many new operational possibilities to smaller players who can’t afford to have their own blockchain infrastructure. Having a qualified app development partner will be a key success factor when considering Blockchain as a Service.
Blockchain Driven IoT
As IoT devices increase in numbers, so will security and privacy concerns. Companies and users alike want to have secure networks where their information is protected from threats across devices. Blockchain is expected to help sort these problems as it has the potential to secure connections while distributing information across the users of a network. In the future, it will be hard for us to think of IoT without relating it to Blockchain.
Just like other revolutionary technologies, Blockchain requires some important changes to occur before it can be fully deployed. Some similarities show up when one compares its situation to that of the Internet in its early days. Before the Internet was accessible to large parts of the world’s population, a series of processes occurred that made it widely accessible. The rest is history. Something similar is occurring for Blockchain.
In terms of feasibility, there seem to be quite a few aspects that need to be addressed for Blockchain to go massive. Although most of them are technology-related, some involve societal changes.
Surprisingly, there is a lot of magical thinking when it comes to technology. There is a falsely held belief that just because something new hits the market, everyone will accept it because of its benefits.
The reality is often quite different. For innovations to be adopted, a set of conditions need to occur. In general, one of the most important requirements is that people trust what is being offered to them. Being useful is not enough. Companies and individuals need to believe that the solution being offered is reliable, otherwise, there seems to be no good reason to adopt it. This applies to Blockchain.
As it is still something relatively new in the eyes of many users, it needs to gain their trust. Failing to do so might delay its adoption, and even worse, vanish it to oblivion. There are still many questions that arise regarding Blockchain, like how it will be used, how it will work, what security and privacy issues it will bring, and so forth. In other words, there is still a lot to do in order to dismiss doubts and improve its perception as something viable.
This video shows a recent debate where some of the world’s most important experts on Blockchain debate about its uses, risks, and potential. As you might guess from the title, there is a lot of both skepticism and optimism surrounding it.
In recent years, the world has seen the rise of powerful technologies like never before in the history of computers. The problem with these technologies is that they are very demanding in terms of computer resource consumption. They require vast amounts of computer processing power, making it difficult to become easily accessible for everyone.
Technologies like Blockchain and Machine Learning require a considerable amount of computing power, meaning that a great number of super-powerful computers will become necessary. This sounds confusing given that we keep making better and more powerful computers. Nonetheless, the reality is that these new technologies surpass anything we currently have.
Before a full deployment of technologies like Blockchain becomes possible, this constraint needs to be addressed. Otherwise, Blockchain risks being a niche solution only for companies and individuals who can afford it.
A similar situation occurs in terms of energy consumption. Since Blockchain lies on a distributed ledger of information across a network of various computers and requires complex mathematical computations to maintain the chain, it is an energy-intensive technology. Just Bitcoin, one of its most popular applications, is estimated to consume about the same amount of energy as certain countries. This is very problematic in terms of costs, but it can also be seen as a way to transition towards greener energy generation solutions.
As the world looks for sustainable energy solutions, technologies that are energy-intensive run the risk of being left aside. The best alternative for Blockchain is to solve this issue by going green. Another alternative is to make it more efficient and thus reduce its energy consumption.
In the future, this might lead to the outsourcing of Blockchain services. It is not crazy to expect to see these services provided by third parties with the appropriate computing and clean energy resources.
What came first, entrepreneurs or the conditions that gave birth to them? This is the chicken or the egg dilemma of our time. In order for innovations to be adopted, both the system and the entrepreneurs need to be aligned. Only when that occurs will the right conditions for innovation adoption be optimal.
Blockchain is no exception to this. In order to be adopted, countries need to make specific Blockchain policies that guarantee important elements like the right IT and energy infrastructure as well as the necessary human capital to manage it properly. Failing to create the right conditions will result in a poor Blockchain ecosystem.
Now, more than ever, it is necessary that companies and governments alike turn to experts on the subject and aim to find practical solutions. This is a topic that will start gaining momentum in the coming years.
Just as it is important for Blockchain to have the right ecosystem in place, it is also necessary to have the right regulatory framework. Many experts say that Blockchain should not be regulated because it goes against its principles of decentralized governance. Additionally, there’s a fear that any regulation might slow down future innovations. However true this is, it is also impossible to think that activities related to it can exist outside the law.
Regardless of whether one believes it should be regulated or not, past experiences of other technologies seem to point in the direction that it will eventually be regulated. As a result, we can expect to see governments regulating it, but the question remains as to how they will do it. It is important that private and public agents find a way to incentivize innovation and implementation without compromising its potential.