At California Southern University, our Faculty Mentors are active participants and researchers in their respective fields of business, the behavioral sciences, and more. This November, CalSouthern School of Business and Management Faculty Mentor, Dr. Clifford Kettemborough, PhD, DBA, EdD, had the opportunity to deliver a presentation focused on The Impact of Blockchain Technology on World Economies and Societies at the High Tech Expo in Shanghai, China.
Be sure to learn more about Dr. Kettemborough and his research by reading a synopsis of his presentation below!
The Internet as we know it is great for collaboration and communication, but is deeply flawed when it comes to commerce and privacy. The new blockchain technology facilitates peer-to-peer transactions without any intermediary such as a bank or governing body. Keeping the user’s information anonymous, the blockchain validates and keeps a permanent public record of all transactions.
That means that your personal information is private and secure, while all activity is transparent and incorruptible—reconciled by mass collaboration and stored in code on a digital ledger. With its advent, we will not need to trust each other in the traditional sense, because trust is built into the system itself.
Although many opportunities for the blockchain require a digital currency, Bitcoin is only one application of this great innovation in computer science. The blockchain can hold any legal document, from deeds and marriage licenses to educational degrees and birth certificates. Call it the World Wide Ledger. It enables smart contracts, decentralized autonomous organizations, decentralized government services, and transactions among things. The Internet of Everything needs a Ledger of Everything: the blockchain is a truly open, distributed, global platform that fundamentally changes what we can do online, how we do it, and who can participate.
HOW DOES BLOCKCHAIN WORK?
Blockchain is a Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) that was invented to support the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. Bitcoin was motivated by an extreme rejection of government-guaranteed money and bank-controlled payments. The developer of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto envisioned people spending money without friction, intermediaries, regulation or the need to know or trust other parties.
Technically, the original blockchain is separable from Bitcoin, but this report will show that the blockchain design is so specific to Bitcoin that it’s not a good fit for much else.
The central problem in electronic cash is Double Spend. Because pure electronic money is just data, nothing stops a currency holder from trying to spend it twice. Blockchain solves the Double Spend problem without a digital reserve fund or similar form of umpire.
Blockchain monitors and verifies Bitcoin transactions by calling upon a decentralized network of volunteer-run nodes to, in effect, vote on the order in which transactions occur. The network’s algorithm ensures that each transaction is unique.
Several thousand nodes make up the Bitcoin network. Once a majority of nodes reaches consensus that all transactions in the recent past are unique (that is, not double spent), they are cryptographically sealed into a block. Each new block is linked to previously sealed blocks to create a chain of accepted history, thereby preserving a verified record of every spend.
The Bitcoin blockchain’s functionality and security results from the network of thousands of nodes agreeing on the order of transactions. The diffuse nature of the network ensures transactions and balances are recorded without bias and are resistant to attack by even a relatively large number of bad actors. In fact, the record of transactions and balances remains secure as long as a simple majority (51 percent) of nodes remains independent. Thus, the integrity of the blockchain requires a great many participants.
One of the Bitcoin blockchain’s most innovative aspects is how it incentivizes nodes to participate in the intensive consensus-building process by randomly rewarding one node with a fixed bounty (currently 12.5 BTC) every time a new block is settled and committed to the chain. This accumulation of Bitcoin in exchange for participation is called “mining” and is how new currency is added to the total system afloat.
POPULAR APPLICATIONS OF BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY
Though Bitcoins and cryptocurrencies are the first popular application of Blockchain technology, they are not the only ones. The nature of Blockchain technology has led businesses, industries, and entrepreneurs from all around the world to explore the technology’s potential and make revolutionary changes in different sectors.
While the basic idea of trustworthy records and giving the power in the hands of users has enormous potential, it sure has raised a lot of hype in the markets too. The magic of this technology sure has the power to transform industries given the usage is planned and executable in actual senses. Let’s separate the wheat from the chaff and find out how Blockchain can be useful in actual implementation.
Different businesses deal with each other in order to exchange services or products. All the give and take terms and conditions are signed by the involved parties in the form of agreements or contracts. However, these paper-based contracts are prone to errors and frauds which challenges the trust factor between both the parties and raises risks. Blockchain brings forward an amazing solution to this problem through Smart Contracts. For example, Blockchain smart contracts can be used in healthcare to manage drug supply.
Blockchain smart contracts provide a modern system through which these common issues can be easily eliminated. Entries in the smart contracts will allow transparency and security while maintaining the privacy of the voters thus, enabling fair elections.
The need of the hour is to have a system that manages individual identification on the web. The distributed ledger technology used in blockchains offers you advanced methods of public-private encryption using which, you can prove your identity and digitize your documents. This unique secure identity can work as a savior for you while conducting any financial transactions or any online interactions on a shared economy. Moreover, the gap between different government bodies and private organizations can be filled through a universal online identity solution that blockchain can provide.
Intellectual Property Protection
Even if there’s any copyright applied to any intellectual property, people easily lose control over their data and suffer on financial terms. With the aid of Blockchain technology, all the copyrights can be stored in the form of smart contracts which will enable automation in businesses along with the increase in online sale thus, eliminating the redistribution risk.
Blockchain for IP registry will help the authors, owners or users to get clarity of copyright. Once they register their work online, they’ll own the evidence which will be tamper-proof. As blockchain is immutable in nature, any entry once stored on the Blockchain cannot be changed or modified. The owner of the work will have the overall authority over the ownership as well as the distribution of the content.
Other than these few examples, the revolutionary technology of Blockchain holds a high potential of applications in many different industries and sectors. While some industries have already started adopting blockchain in their businesses, many are still exploring the best possible ways to start with.
Blockchain is a new name in the world of technologies but it is definitely the one to last. Even in the early stages, the technology has gained huge popularity starting with their very first application of cryptocurrencies. More areas of applications are being discovered and tested with each passing day. Once the technology is adopted and accepted on a global level, it’ll transform the way we live today