Blockchain: What we’ve learnt so far

As a group, we researched blockchain and identified multiple uses and functions of this groundbreaking technology. Central banks, corporations and financial institutions alike are understanding the importance of integrating this encrypted ledger. In doing so, they hope to ensure longevity by avoiding disruption.

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2 thoughts on “Blockchain: What we’ve learnt so far

  1. Hakeem Marshall

    The block chain is another one of those wonderful technologies that is also wonderfully disruptive. It makes our lives so much easier but it also presents new challenges for the world ahead. It will make our society safer, our economy stronger, and our banking more efficient but it will also put a decent amount of people out of work. Because of this, we must respond accordingly to make sure that the losers of disruptive technology become winners and everybody’s happier. I will spend the rest of this response, tackling the technology itself and what it purports itself to do.

    Blockchain, despite its allure behind it, is very simple at its core. Blockchain is a type of data structure that allows for transaction between people and or parties being tracked and the information between the transactions being shared over a digital distribution network. Because the information between transactions is tracked, transfers between blockchain networks are transparent and open. This is potentially a big deal for finance and business even though the technology was created to serve as the means between exchanges of bitcoin currency. When it comes to business affairs, we create our own records. If I sign a check and give it my friend, I balance my checkbook and the friend does the same. This runs into issues at times as we as humans are not perfect and our accounting skill or discipline might not be up to snuff. Potential legal issues arise in bounced check and other issues come from people taking their finances in to do manually. The blockchain eliminates this “human element” of financial exchange. In the blockchain, when two people or parties exchange, the information gathered in the exchange as well as the history of financial exchange of all parties involved is revealed in a private (that is to say, encrypted) ledger. Neither party controls this “ledger” and it is protected through cryptography. If both parties after reading the ledger find it agreeable, the block of their exchange is added to a chain. Imagine this kind of transparent and fair exchange over a large and complex network. That idea is why people in finance see it as the future. In many ways, it takes the middleman out of “human error” out of the equation. It simplifies things and makes them more efficient. This is a good thing but like all good things in economics, there is a downside.

    The blockchain automates a large supply chain of financial networks. It also has wide reaching effects outside of the financial sphere as well. Contracts that often rely on a degree of human trust will no longer do so with things like the smart contract coming into prominence. As a whole, the blockchain takes human error out of the equation in a real way. In a world where blockchain becomes the dominating force, you can certainly say goodbye to any lack of transparency ever again. Workers who are involved in the blockchain can have an ID and have it scanned to ensure that their rights are being respected. This is on the whole a good thing. It keeps peoples exchanges on the up and up. It has the unfortunate side effect of not only job loss but the lack of human judgement. A robot handling exchange means that mistakes will not be tolerated. The human touch that comes with these things will be gone as technology determines all exchange. . Accountants who dealt with this kind of finance will soon be gone. Lawyers who dealt with financial exchange in this regard will likely become useless as well. The most prominent automation will likely come from the banking sector. The banking sector will become a lot more efficient but will lose a lot in the way of jobs. This job loss is not a bad thing in and of itself but if we do not deal with it the consequences will be meaningful.

    As I have said previously, this on the whole is good , but there are losers from this and we have to make sure that those losers are well compensated to make sure we all end up better off on the other side.

  2. Gregory Medina

    Made famous through Bitcoin, blockchain technology has now opened doors to better forms of security in terms what it is securing. As stated, it now works for financial transactions and the use of contracts. Moreover, as more people are connected to the information the encryption grows ever larger. Thus, in order for someone to steal the financial transactions present in one’s computer, one would need to hack into every computer connected to the encryption chain. Thus, if a computer is connected to thousands, then the ability to hack such easily would decrease tremendously. Moreover, more people could enter the chain making hacking virtually impossible; unless there is a new form of hacking involving the internet of things. Regardless, such a form of security should be used in the manner of convenience towards consumers, such as in social media.

    Blockchain works successfully by increasing the chain of encryption by those connected to it. Imagine it’s implications in terms of securing social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Facebook is home to billions of users around the world; moreover, their lives are literally pasted all over the site. Currently, such information is protected by a password, and for some, the use of two step verification. Such can be secure if one were to change the passwords constantly; moreover through the use of a password safe. However such means are not fully secure, hence the use of blockchain technology. For example, by making friends and giving them permission to view the user’s page, then the chain of encryption will increase securing the profile and all those attached. Moreover, if the user grants permission to their devices, then the chain of encryption would also increase. Today, Facebook and it’s services use a form of blockchain technology in their password and profile security for their users through the form of two step verification as previously stated. Users have the capability of securing their profiles by connecting it to a mobile device that sends an encrypted verification method. If one were to attempt to use the profile without the mobile device, then the profile will be locked. However, hackers do have the ability of taking phone numbers through the use of social hacking, or an invasive form of hacking through social interaction. Thus, holes are still present in the encryption, though it is the best form for social media at the moment. If blockchain technology were integrated into social media, then the connected lives of people would be secure.

    Though an advantage in terms of security, blockchain technology would still need to improve to keep the connected lives of others secure from each other. This comes from the fact that blockchain technology uses the authority of all of those connected to the chain in order for a change to be made. Hackers can still use social hacking to gain the information to access the profile as well as coerce an individual to authorize the change. Still the chain requires the authority of everyone involved with the change. Thus, if the individual is connected to hundreds of people, then the profile can be secured. Nonetheless, blockchain technology is revolutionary to a world that is ever more connected. Such, it can be the growth of secure information as an industry. Finally, imagine of such technology were to be diversified by the market, such is a thought to ponder on.


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