Technologies come and go, but some technologies stick around and change the world. The communication protocol that made the internet possible is one such transformational technology, but there is another one on the horizon.
By now, you have probably heard about cryptocurrency — the rapid rise in the price of Bitcoin produced millions of new investors and many more millions of avid watchers. On the other hand, even many Bitcoin fans are not truly familiar with the blockchain, the transformative technology that makes the cryptocurrency possible.
No matter what happens to Bitcoin, Ethereum and the like, blockchain technology is already changing the world. Here are just a few of the ways blockchain technology will be changing the world for the better.
A Better and More Stable Internet
The commercial internet has grown far beyond the scope of its creators. What started as a way for government and military officials to communicate securely across vast differences has now transformed the world in countless ways, but the revolution has not been free of problems.
In the future, blockchain technology could transform the commercial internet for a second time, taking it to a whole new level and providing greater speed and stability for users around the world. By using decentralization and harnessing the power of the blockchain, future internet engineers could more efficiently distribute the various functions of the World Wide Web. That should provide not only increased speed and efficiency but a greater resiliency and more robust resistance to hackers and other bad actors.
More Efficient Markets
Blockchain technology powers the cryptocurrency market -everyone with a Bitcoin account or an Ethereum wallet already knows that. But what many people do not know is that this emerging technology also holds the power to revolutionize the broader market.
From exchange-traded funds and mutual funds to individual stocks and bonds, traders are already looking at using blockchain to power their markets and make them more efficient. In the future, the traditional trading model, one that uses a centralized clearinghouse, could give way to the decentralized blockchain model, resulting in faster, safer and more efficient trading for professionals and individual traders alike.
Legal contracts are notoriously complicated and difficult to understand. It can take an army of lawyers many hours to read and review even the simplest of business agreements, and all that work costs money.
In the future, contracts could be much simpler and far easier to enforce. The open and transparent world of the blockchain gives it the ability to create and enforce smart contracts. These smart contracts are already in use in some quarters, and their use is only expected to grow as these agreements prove their worth.
More Secure Cloud Storage
Cloud storage accounts are everywhere these days, but they still have their limitations. There have already been some high-profile hacks of cloud storage accounts, with everything from embarrassing celebrity photographs to intimate personal details released.
That lack of security has left many users wary of storing their sensitive files in the cloud, but blockchain technology could make those storage sites far more secure and protect them from even the most sophisticated hacking attempts. Instead of relying on a centralized storage site, which is vulnerable to hackers, the blockchain model of cloud storage is decentralized in nature, providing enhanced security for everyone involved.
Messaging apps are all the rage these days, but having those messages fall into the wrong hands could be devastating. From celebrities to CEOs, many men and women have been brought down by the public airing of their private opinions, but blockchain technology promises to make communication more secure.
A handful of peer-to-peer messaging apps are already taking advantage of blockchain technology and allowing individuals to share messages securely. Without a central depository to be hacked or compromised, these decentralized messaging applications should be far more secure, giving users extra confidence and making their communications far more private.
The cryptocurrency market has been hot in recent years, and the stories of Bitcoin millionaires are everywhere. Given the level of press cryptocurrency has been receiving, it is easy to think that these virtual coins are the whole story, but that is far from true. In the end, blockchain technology is the real story, and the blockchain is here to stay — regardless of what happens to Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and other virtual forms of payment.
About the Author:
Co-Founder of The Crypto Collectors and DAPS Project — Host of #BlockchainChat — PR Specialist and Advisor, Adel de Meyer works with blockchain businesses with a focus in gaming, decentralized marketplaces, privacy and collectibles.