A blockchain allows recording and distributing information while creating unique digital copies. Information treated this way has many powerful qualities. For instance, blockchain solves the “double spending” problem and makes cryptocurrencies possible.
A blockchain has many uses beyond cryptocurrencies. It is an encrypted, distributed ledger that keeps track of “immutable” transactions. Each transaction added to the ledger creates a unique history in the ledger. This automated process makes blockchain technology useful in many ways.
Anyone who creates digital content can transact directly with buyers. The creator can avoid processing fees and middlemen to distribute their content. Creators of music, videos, and ebooks can all benefit from a blockchain. Also, by using in-game, blockchain currencies, gamers that acquire assets could later exchange them for assets outside the game or even for “fiat” money.
Secure Record Keeping
A blockchain is a secure record-keeping technology. It is well-suited for things like electronic health records and meets common security standards. The blockchain allows patients the control over their own health records. Imagine the convenience and accuracy of not having to fill out forms for each new doctor visit. The records follow the patient and as the patient’s healthcare needs change, the blockchain records doctor updates. Furthermore, combining artificial intelligence with the blockchain may provide early recognition of harmful drug interactions and even unnecessary surgical procedures.
Some believe the blockchain is the end of financial institutions. Stock exchanges, banks, and lending companies all rely on transaction fees. How will they adjust when everyone can do business directly? Most of these institutions will be forced into more of a financial advisor role and have to earn their fees based on performance.
The Future of Blockchain
In the future, all transactions may be part of a blockchain. As confidence gains in the secure, unalterable nature of the blockchain, acceptance will turn to increased demand. No longer will people need to rely on third-parties for secure transactions.