We will start this article with a straight yet a bit uncomfortable question: “Is information technology a boon or a bane?”
Well, there cannot be a simple answer to this. We can say that IT is a double sided sword that can be both a boon and a bane depending upon who is using it. When used by the hackers to steal the sensitive information or hack a website it is a bane but if used by the healthcare sector to increase, accuracy efficiency and speed it could be a boon. The challenge here is – how to make sure that the IT should not be used negatively in the hands of unscrupulous people?
There could be many answers to this but one most competent answer would be to make it technically impossible for hackers and other malicious elements to misuse the technology. The blockchain technology can help a great way here.
What is a Block Chain technology? Can I understand the technology behind it?
In simple terms, Blockchain is a system that is based on decentralizing the system to eliminate the middleman. As we see that most corruption incidents happen due to some central point of access. As the information is secured using cryptography the BlockChain can be (and is) distributed across a wide network so that no single person has the master keys of the central location.
For example, the permanent record of transactions using the sophisticated technology of BlockChain is easy to be verified and facilitate chronological arrangement. Delving into the depths of the technical structure behind Block Chain technology can only complicate the matters as the real technology behind it is quite complex. So the simple definition is that blockchain means decentralization!
The best thing is that you can use the blockchain technology in your system even if you don’t know the A, B, C. of how it works. Now decentralization brings transparency and exposes the transactions that make it difficult to corrupt the system. Besides, the sophisticated use of decrypted blocks (and that’s the main technology behind it) makes it technologically impossible to change or hide the transactions.
However, to know in a better way how the blockchain technology can change the world we can go through some of the real-life examples where the BlockChain is being used. Blockchain technology is still in its early stage of development and evolving at a good rate. We can expect that by 2020 the technology would be so sophisticated that when it is used wisely it can reduce the corruption, help the businesses and society and increase both efficiency and productivity.
2020 and beyond: How will Blockchain technology affect the world?
Let us explore some of the examples of sectors and industries where blockchain technology will disrupt:
Due to its secured yet fully transparent technology, the BlockChain can facilitate the exchange of money and makes the process faster. In fact, if we deeply study the present model of money exchange we would notice that it requires one to pass through multiple security gates but the instances of scams in the financial industry are on the rise.
- The use of bitcoin can offer a higher level of efficiency while protecting the users’ interests in a better way.
- The initial success of this model can be gauged from the fact that many reputed banks have already started their efforts towards integrating blockchain technology in their banking system.
- The challenge would be how to blend the privacy and secrecy required by the banks and transparency offered by block chain.
- With the technology developing at such a fast pace, it could be assumed that by 2020 some solid solution for the same could be found! It will add speed to transactions and make them more secure.
If we drill deeper into the instances of cyber crimes we would find that one of the most basic activities after breaking into the digital property that helps in harming the digital properties is done by changing the information/details/credentials! Monitoring these properties 24X7 is an uphill task even if we use the automated system.
- With the use of Blockchain model, the cryptographic structure of the entire process can be modified where unauthorized changes would be technically impossible.
- By decentralizing the servers using Blockchain technology the possibility of corruption, intended and unintended human errors, hacking, injecting malware into the script and other such “clever activities” of hackers could be stopped.
- It is the centralized servers used in the present times that make all these activities possible. The distributed model of Blockchain would offer failsafe protection the data residing in the Cloud.
The concept of IoT is to make the world a huge network of the internet with different products acting as a network carrier. It allows you to turn a refrigerator, car and even a coffee machine into an active modem that offers internet connectivity. Here too the central location of operating these things allows the hackers to gain the access to the master key and carry out their damaging activities.
- The block chain technology can help in decentralizing the data that resides in such instruments and also the information is spread across multiple points rather than allowing it to reside in a single point.
- Looking at the increasing use of IoT the BlockChain can help a long way in eliminating many presents as well as potential risks posed by the increasing use of IoT in public places.
Complexity is the companion of corruption! In fact, if we study the basic structure of corruption in the bureaucracy we will find that it is because of the complexity and tedious processes that makes people agrees to “pay something under the table” so that their work can be done more quickly. Besides, the corrupt officials know how to add more knots to the already complicated system in order to augment the bribe. With the help of blockchain technology, transparency would be increased and it can also enhance the efficiency in the workplace.
- Most importantly the reasonably open to all system would help the people to know about the exact status of their request/processes without any curtain.
- If designed properly the corrupt official can also be exposed using this system.
- Easy verification, accurate counting, and quick way to check compliance are some other ways in which the blockchain’s capabilities will significantly reduce corruption.
Right from the local charities to the highly evolved United Nations programmes, there are a number of avenues where your financial contributions can be utilized to elevate the lives of the people. While it offers a great feeling helping fellow beings, you should also make sure that your money is utilized for the advertised purpose and is not going into the Black Hole of the corrupt charity organizations, it is quite tricky as tracking the complete lifecycle of your specific contributions is not possible. However, the things are not completely disappointing.
- The Smart contracts of Bitcoin charities help you to know the people your hard-earned money is been channeled to help.
- The Blockchain based smart contracts help in the transparent ledger. It can be checked anytime without any difficulty. Besides, this system also discourages the corrupt charities or official to take advantages of the kind-hearted people.
While the IT technology has largely revolutionized the way the healthcare sector works, there are a number of challenges that are still unanswered. One of the most disturbing concerns is how to protect the sensitive information of the patients.
- In the recent ransomware attacks, some of the significantly popular healthcare providers’ data were “hijacked” and in several cases, the providers had to pay a significant sum of amount in order to get their data released.
- With the help of BlockChain, the hospitals can be able to build a more efficient database that is highly secured and resides in the cloud or offsite secured location.
- It could only be accessed by the doctors and the patents and no other elements can have access to the same. It can revolutionize the way the healthcare sector works and reinforce the trust of the people.
Block chain technology is an emerging technology that cannot be considered fully ripe for its potentials, but we are certain of great impact it would have by 2020 and beyond. There are many ways block chain technology could be useful to humanity aside from the ones explained above. And like I’ve said earlier on, we are just getting started to know how blockchain technology works. It is just a matter of time for 2020 to be here!