Blockchain technology was introduced to the world through Bitcoin. It was the first blockchain. Most people are familiar with its cryptocurrency by the same name. But the Bitcoin blockchain is so much more than a cryptocurrency. It is a much-needed solution for data management, security, and new development ideas on the Internet.
Disparity among Blockchain Projects
Bankrate defines a blockchain as a “digital, public ledger that records online transactions”. It is important to distinguish between public and private ledger technology. True (pure) blockchains are fully distributed (anyone can own a copy) ledgers that decentralize authority. They are also transparent and permanent. These are the attributes that make blockchain-based cryptocurrencies the ideal vehicle for transferring value and ownership.
Cryptocurrencies represent value. Blockchains represent data. Private blockchains emerged after these concepts. In fact, this past year, several well-known companies have touted their centralized (private) blockchains. Among these companies are IBM, Amazon, Alibaba, and JPMorgan. They are using aspects of blockchain to make their enterprises more efficient and nimble.
Since private blockchains do not transfer ownership between parties, nor is there any exchange in value, cryptocurrencies are not needed. The variable uses of blockchain are making its development increasingly dynamic.
Growing Demand for Economic Development
A fundamental change is occurring in technological development. Bankrate reported a growing interest among companies to have their own blockchain applications. Competing at a high-level in the modern economy drives this demand.
For a couple of years now, the media reported on blockchain’s role in technology development. It has already impacted major industries like medicine, logistics, fintech, real estate, transportation, aviation, and of course, the Internet and decentralized applications.
Blockchain is even impacting the entertainment industry, demonstrating revolutionary potential. Forbes reported on this citing core functions needed in the entertainment industry where blockchain can be an asset.
Technological Development and the Future of Data
As a digital ledger, blockchain is a core influencer for organizations. It is demonstrating to be as valuable and deterministic as data itself. Essentially, anytime large amounts of data are involved, blockchain can provide the best solution.
The Need for Both Decentralized and Centralized Solutions
Imagine a world without the computer where businesses kept records on paper. From the transition of personal computers to the Internet and the cloud, technological innovation coincides with thorough transitions. Companies that needed to compete at the front of the pack are quick adopters. Soon these technologies (i.e. cloud computing) become commonly available.
Demand drives the price of new technological development. More development opportunities feed competition which in turn fuels innovation. Soon, average consumers gain access to elegant solutions. This is what is happening with blockchain technological development.
Blockchain developers naturally seek decentralized solutions. Large, established companies are grasping for solutions that were once out of their element. What occurred in recent years was corporations increasing the demand for blockchain while developing their own centralized solutions.
Regulatory and Philosophical Influences upon Developing Technologies
There are contrasting philosophies in blockchain development. Wise developers and investors realize different blockchain solutions offer varying advantages. The potential for technological development is so profound that blockchain programs are now available at many of the world’s higher education institutions.
Governments across the world now recognized blockchain as an impact technology. Discussions about regulating its use have already made it to high-level discourse- most recently at the G20 summit. It is evident that at least some future technologies will have blockchain at their core development. For logistical, accounting, payment settlement, ownership rights, data management, and coordinating Internet applications, blockchain is proving an integral aspect of best development solutions.
Technological development is inextricably tied to the Internet of Things (IoT). So is data. Blockchain is more than an IoT trend. It is a new way of thinking that renewed the potential of securing, transferring, and representing data. Even the most experienced with blockchain development hesitate to adhere to a static definition. The Internet’s history spans decades and still embraces abstract development concepts like IoT. Similarly, the current methods of blockchain’s convergence upon technological development is transitory. At least for now.