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Blockchain Technology

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Introduction

Blockchain is a shared and immutable ledger that allows us to record transactions and track the assets in a business network. In the inherent design of Blockchain, the data cannot be modified, which makes it very secure for cybersecurity, payments, and other similar industries where data security is more important.

Blockchain is a rapidly growing technology, and it helped us build trust, transparency, security, and the trackability of the data shared among a group of individuals or business networks. It reduces security and data breaches by creating blocks and chaining them together.

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What is Blockchain Technology?

There are three valuable concepts under Blockchain: blocks, nodes, and miners.

Blocks: A Block is like a general block, but multiple blocks are used in the chain. Sometimes, it is referred to as Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), which makes modifying any data or digital asset unalterable. Take a look at this DTL Properties.

Let’s take a simple example to understand Blockchain easily. Suppose you are using Google Docs, and whenever you create a document, share it with others. The actual document isn’t copied or transferred. Instead, it is distributed among the people you share. It is similar to the decentralized distribution chain where everyone can access the document, and the modifications are recorded in real-time.

Therefore, Blockchain is just like a database where the encrypted data blocks are stored and chained together to create a single reliable source for that data. The digital assets in blockchain technology are distributed instead of copying or transferring the document. The shared digital asset is accessible to everyone in real-time, and transparency is made public. Blockchain technology has become more reliable and promising as it helps reduce the risk of fraud and data alteration.

 

How does Blockchain work?

Blockchain collects the data from a group of individuals known as blocks and stores that information in its databases. The blocks containing the data have a specific capacity to store that information, and when the data is filled in, closed, and linked with other blocks, it creates a chain of data known as a Blockchain.

Let us see how Blockchain works step-by-step below:

Blockchain has three components that contribute to the functioning of this technology, and these three components are Blocks, Hash, and Nodes.

blockchain-components

 

Step-1: Blocks

In this step, the data is stored in blocks where each block contains different data types based on the type of Blockchain. Suppose the data is about a cryptocurrency like Ethereum, then the blocks have the information about the transactions, amount, sender, and receiver. This way, the information it stores is about the type of Blockchain.

 

Step-2: Hash

Hash works very similarly to the methods used for authentication, such as fingerprints. This hash is also included in the block. A hash is continuously computed on the creation of a block. And if anything is changed within the block, the hash will also change. So, it keeps track of all the changes that are made. However, changing any block requires the computation of a complex mathematical problem, which is extremely difficult.

When a block is successfully mined (“Mined” in blockchain refers to validating and adding transactions to the blockchain ledger through solving complex puzzles, securing the network, and often rewarding miners with cryptocurrency coins.), then the change is accepted by the blockchain network. And in return for this, the miner is rewarded financially, just like it works with Bitcoin or other crypto miners.

 

Step-3: Nodes

Decentralization is a fundamental concept when we talk about Blockchain technology. A computer or an organization cannot own any chain. But it is distributed among the computers and organizations. This way, the Blockchain is neither copied nor transferred to the organization or a system. It is distributed via nodes. The network algorithm updates, trusts, and verifies the newly mined block.

 

Types of Blockchain

Blockchains are of four types that are as follows:

types-of-blockchain

 

Public: A public blockchain is a decentralized, distributed ledger that allows anyone to view and add records. Because public blockchains are open, transparent, and immutable, they can revolutionize how we interact with the digital world. For example, public blockchains could create a decentralized internet, where users control their data, and Bitcoin and Ethereum are examples of public blockchains.

 

Private: A private blockchain is a ledger only accessible to specific users. Businesses often use this type of Blockchain to keep track of internal transactions. A private blockchain is where one organization keeps read and write permissions centralized. A private blockchain is permissioned, meaning specific nodes can join the network and validate transactions. For a private blockchain, a centralized authority usually dictates who is allowed to join the network.

 

Consortium: A consortium blockchain is a public and private blockchain hybrid. It is a decentralized ledger that is accessible to a group of users. Unlike a public blockchain, a consortium blockchain has a restricted group of users who can access the network and participate in the consensus process. Banks and other financial institutions often use this type of Blockchain.

 

Hybrid: A hybrid blockchain is a type of Blockchain that combines features of both public and private blockchains. A hybrid blockchain is a public blockchain with some features of a private blockchain.

 

How Is Blockchain Used?

Blockchain technology is used in various industries such as supply chains, retail, financial services, healthcare, etc.

Here are some simple use cases of Blockchain technology:

 

  • Cryptocurrencies: Blockchain became famous when IT was applied to cryptocurrencies. Crypto allows you to transfer values faster across the network and doesn’t interfere with any centralized banks.

 

  • Decentralized Banking: Blockchain helps the banking system grow more rapidly than traditional methods. Many banks, including Canadian Imperial Bank, UBS, and Barclays, are interested in applying Blockchain in their banking systems.

 

  • Optimizing healthcare operations: Blockchain increases the speed of health insurance payments to patients, strengthening the healthcare sector. In addition, it also stores medical data and records in its databases more securely.

 

  • NFT marketplaces: NFT stands for Non-Fungible Tokens, digital tokens of clothing and paintings. Blockchain allows you to buy these tokens from NFT marketplaces.

 

  • Automating advertising campaigns: Nowadays, marketing or advertising campaigns are getting brighter than traditional campaigns. E.g., the targeted advertisements are shown to the customers based on their interests and recent activities. Automating advertising campaigns is also done by blockchain technology.

 

Advantages of Blockchain

Various advantages of Blockchain include the following:

 

  • Decentralized: Unlike traditional currency run by central banks, Blockchain is a decentralized technology, which means centralized banks or any other authority doesn’t run it. We can also say that no single entity maintains the network.

 

  • Immutable: Blockchain is immutable, which means it cannot be changed or altered. The system should be capable of solving a complex mathematical problem, verified after the problem is solved.

 

  • Transparency: Public blockchains are available to all, and anyone can access this Blockchain. It is also possible to view the transactions and their source code. However, only the transactions done in public blockchains can be viewed. It also allows you to build new applications or any improvements that should be incorporated into the Blockchain.

 

  • Trustworthy: The Blockchain automates the transactions only when certain conditions are met, including the authentication between both parties. Trustworthiness makes the transaction more reliable between two parties who do not know each other.

 

  • Universal Banking: Although Blockchain is a new technology, it is still adopted globally, and people who do not have bank accounts can also use Blockchain to store money. Blockchain is a great way to use banking features without having a bank account. The other reason for using Blockchain as universal banking is that it protects against theft, which is likely to happen when you have cash in your pockets or wallet.

 

Applications of Blockchain

There are several potential applications of blockchain technology. Some of the most promising applications include:

 

  • Supply chain management: Blockchain could streamline supply chain management and logistics. By tracking the movement of goods and materials through a blockchain-based system, businesses could gain greater visibility into their supply chains and identify inefficiencies and bottlenecks.

 

  • Identity management: Blockchain could create a digital identity for individuals, businesses, and other entities. Identity management could potentially help to reduce fraud and increase security.

 

  • Data management: Blockchain could store and manage data more securely and efficiently. For example, healthcare providers could use Blockchain to store and share patient health records securely.

 

  • Voting: Blockchain could create a secure, tamper-proof electronic voting system, potentially increasing transparency and voter turnout.

 

  • Financial services: Blockchain could streamline financial transactions and reduce costs. For example, banks could use Blockchain to process payments more quickly and securely.

 

  • NFT Marketplaces: A blockchain is a distributed database that allows for secure, transparent, and tamper-proof record-keeping. In an NFT marketplace, Blockchain can track ownership of digital assets and ensure that transactions are secure and transparent. Additionally, Blockchain can help verify the authenticity of NFTs, which is essential in ensuring that collectors can purchase genuine assets.

 

  • Real Estate: The Blockchain is a distributed database that can store information about real estate transactions. When a transaction is recorded on the Blockchain, it is visible to all parties involved. This transparency can help to reduce fraud and increase confidence in the real estate market.

 

  • Insurance: Blockchain can help insurance companies to become more efficient and effective in several ways, including:
  • Reducing the time it takes to process claims and payments
  • Enhancing data security and privacy
  • Eliminating fraud
  • Improving customer experience

 

Future Growth of Blockchain Technology

Blockchain is a rapidly growing technology, and experts predict a significant rise in its future demand. Market analysts forecast a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 67%, reaching a market value of $137.8 billion by 2030. Several factors are driving this growth, including:

 

Increased demand for digital identity and security: Blockchain offers a secure and transparent way to store and manage digital identities. This is becoming increasingly important as more and more of our lives move online.

 

Growing adoption across industries: Blockchain is being explored and implemented in various industries, including supply chain management, healthcare, finance, and voting. As businesses become more familiar with the technology, we can expect even broader adoption in the future.

 

Development of new applications: New applications for blockchain technology are constantly emerging. For example, blockchain is being used to create new forms of digital assets, such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

 

Conclusion

Blockchain is a rapidly growing technology with enhancements in its development. It enabled new developments such as smart contracts, which are extremely useful for automating some processes.

Companies have also started implementing this technology in various fields such as tax calculation, the healthcare sector to keep medical records, e-notary fields, etc. Blockchain makes it easy for these platforms to make transactions and keep the records of these transactions more secure in the databases. It also reduces the involvement of third parties while doing these transactions.

 

FAQs

 

  1. What is the primary purpose of Blockchain?

The main goal of Blockchain is to allow the details of the digital transaction to be recorded and distributed. It also restricts data alteration, creating a foundation for immutable ledgers where digital data cannot be altered or deleted.

 

  1. Why is blockchain technology suitable?

Blockchain technology is good for building trust among unknown parties from two locations to make payments. It is also better for providing transparency and traceability of the data shared across the business network.

 

  1. What is the most prominent blockchain company?

  • Crypto exchanges: Binance boasts a massive user base and its blockchain technology.

 

  • Established names: Coinbase, a recognized exchange with significant brand influence.

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