We are on the cusp of 5G internet and cable internet has evolved at such a fast pace that companies such as spectrum internet are able to offer gigabit internet which was only possible with fiber optic. A new technology called blockchain has emerged recently that powers all cryptocurrency. Blockchain at its core is a distributed public ledger that contains records of digital events or transactions. After execution, each of these transactions is added to the public record and can be verified by the majority. Information once verified and entered into the database can never be erased. The most popular application of blockchain is cryptocurrency mining. According to a recent white paper published by the World Economic Forum, this blockchain-based technology has the power to transform the current internet from an information-focused network to a more secure, value-driven network.
In the same way, the current generation of the internet has given way to information sharing and flow, blockchain based internet will usher in a new era of value. Imagine a global community of peer-to-peer network where billions of devices, which support one another without the need for third-party intermediaries. The impact of blockchain internet will be immense since no other architecture offers such a radical alternative. The true benefit is distributed ownership as compared to a single entity or megacorporation having a monopoly on data. These use of highly decentralized databases, also known as blockchain, can lead to better solutions to data privacy issues and can prevent your data being sold to the highest bidder as is the case with Facebook and the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Blockchain technology is evolving fast and a number of startups are already working on the new era of applications and platforms such as ride-sharing applications, social media platforms in an effort to replace the current leaders of the marketplace such as Uber, Facebook, and Amazon. Consumers will reap the true value since competition leads to lower cost and benefiting the users rather than corporations.
The birth of blockchain technology came as a response to the financial crisis that took place between the years of 2008-2010. This technology was created to operate the very first digital currency called Bitcoin, which allowed the currency to be traded, as well as stored, outside of normal financial infrastructure. Due to blockchain technology, this digital currency was free of any outside influence and third-party control, thereby allowing visibility of the true value held. Immunity to external influence prevented Bitcoin from being devalued due to financial or political reason hence leading to its success. Bitcoin has proven itself over the past decade to be reliable, resilient and secure and thus has proven that blockchain technology works.
The main benefit as mentioned earlier is the decentralization of information resulting in enhanced security since bits and piece and stored in different locations. The current set of internet protocols were created to allow communication, however, security has always been up to the end user to implement. At the moment all the accessible data is stored in a centralized database and once access is gained by unauthorized users then losses are inevitable. Thus, if unauthorized access takes place on a blockchain network those portions of data are vulnerable to the attack, but remaining data value or loses are mitigated and thus overall securer then the current methods. Blockchain essentially removes this vulnerability and will change the way data is handled and stored.
Even though the technology has already gone ahead and proven itself to be secure it is not without its disadvantages, which are the peers involved in sustaining the network. The simple version of this would be a domino-like catastrophic failure. Blockchain technology has been implemented in the bustling financial sectors and its usage has increased six-fold by 2017. As a new technology becomes common and usage increase, new vulnerabilities will be discovered. And there will always be those characters who would choose to exploit these vulnerabilities and thus taking advantage of it.
The future may be uncertain, however, change is inevitable and some will welcome the changes to come while others will attempt to negate them the best they can. Both the internet and how we incorporate it into our daily lives will change. China is a prime example of implementation and out of the box thinking due to the application dubbed WeChat. If you took the most popular applications from the last five years and combined them all together, you would get WeChat, which is a social media platform, communication application, and essentially your bank. Think about the possibilities of the next installment of WeChat implemented on a global scale instead of limiting it to just one country and the chaos it would create for all its competitors just as cryptocurrency has done for numerous currencies and the financial institutions for said currency.
There will always be those individuals who cry wolf and refuse to adopt new tech since they believe that their traditional methods are best which may be true for them but not the majority. On the other hand, we have individuals who are on the opposite spectrum since they embrace change and advancements while remaining focused on what the future has to offer.