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Blockchain’s first revolutionary product may be online identity

In a recent interview, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman talked about blockchain, the encrypted and decentralized online ledger system that underpins the world’s most popular online payment system, and its potential applications. For most people, blockchain is about efficiency, but it is more than that. The railways are quite efficient, the systems are quite inefficient today, sometimes there is a middleman and sometimes there is not. 

So I think one of the neat things that can happen with blockchain, for example, is identity. Small blockchains with few nodes (computers) are susceptible to fraud when a thief gains control of the majority of nodes. Indeed, blockchain was first hacked in a high-profile incident last year. 

But for businesses, blockchain has the potential to create a secure real-time communications network that supports a wide range of applications, from financial services to health care, education, health care, and more.

Not surprisingly, technology providers and businesses are rushing to learn how to use distributed ledger technology (DLT) to save time and administrative costs. A slew of start-ups are haggling over what they see as revolutionary solutions, such as reallocating the blockchain, best known as the digital transaction book behind cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, to capture votes. But the recent hype around this relatively new technology is real, as the nature of DLT represents a fundamental shift in the way information is shared. 

An Internet-based system could improve voter access to elections by preventing tampering and improving public oversight, advocates say. Cybersecurity and voting experts view blockchain as needlessly complicated and a threat to the integrity of the electoral process itself. But blockchain advocates say the technology addresses the problem that votes can be controlled by a single person or group of machines. 

First and foremost, blockchain is a public electronic register that builds on the Internet and is used by different users to record transactions that are stamped each time and linked to the previous one. Each time a set of transactions is added, the data becomes a blockchain, hence the name. Blockchain can only be updated by consensus of system participants and not deleted when new data is entered, according to its creators. 

Blockchain is a storage medium for operations, as described in the white paper described above, and provides a consensus on the order in which operations are written down. The writing – once – appendage of many technologies is embedded to allow a verifiable and verifiable record of transactions. 

As described in the White Paper, there are currently 76,000 domain names registered on Blockstack’s website, with over 1.5 million active users. Indeed, the success of Block Stack’s “new Internet” depends on how many people use it and how many applications are being developed for it. But one of the biggest challenges BlockStack faces in using blockchain technology is that it can come under the control of a single entity and move from a decentralized to a centralized one. 

In a recent interview, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman talked about the importance of blockchain, an encrypted and decentralized online ledger system underpinned by the use of Bitcoin and other digital currencies such as Ethereum. Most people think blockchain is about efficiency, but systems today are pretty efficient. The railways are pretty inefficient, and sometimes there’s a middleman, so the blockchain works for that. 

Daniel Schulman. CEO of Paypal

So I think one of the neat things that can happen with blockchain, for example, is identity. As it stands, proponents claim that it is the most secure record – the technology ever developed, and every piece of information is stored in an invariable, time-stamped list that is then replicated on other servers around the globe. The central insight behind Bitcoin is that the decentralized register records all verified transactions. 

The chain thrives on the chain and helps to ensure protection against corruption, whether technological or otherwise. The safest record in the history of the world, but also one with the highest level of safety.

While the jury is still out on Bitcoin’s contribution to civilization, the digital currency has introduced at least one promising technology. Blockchain is an incorruptible digital register of economic transactions that can be programmed to capture not only financial transactions, but also the identities of individuals, companies, and even governments. In other words, blockchain technology is often described as a “shared spreadsheet ledger” that can be maintained in the same way as an online database such as Google Docs or Dropbox. 

Large companies will always drive innovation, but we are already seeing that large industries are prone to this change. The power of blockchain, a distributed ledger technology, is applied to all kinds of digital records and transactions. Blockchain – smart contracts based on smart contracts, read on to get a deeper explanation, turn the blockchain into a digital record of transactions without the need for middlemen to execute automated exchanges. Since the recorded value is available to everyone on the network, each incoming transaction becomes a new block of data to be added to the blockchains. 

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Bibek B Chettri
Bibek is an initial CDT member of RECAP blockchain network
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