It’s everywhere; in the news, print media, and even your cellphone. You don’t scroll without encountering one or two things about an update on it. You may know it as bitcoin or other bitcoin-related digital assets, but these assets are just the tip of the iceberg in what blockchain is.
But then the world is changing at a quick rate and recent developments, language, and projects erupt at the speed of light, but the word blockchain persists around. So, how do you understand its current impact and its potential influence in the next decade to come?
There have been books written on blockchain, but it can be summarized in relatively simple concepts.
Let’s start with what brought blockchain into the limelight, Bitcoin. You would have heard of it and may even possibly engage in it. In the non-advanced years, there have always been plans to create a digital currency that possesses all the qualities a fiat or physical currency possesses — store of value, universal, and recognized.
Assuming Mr. X comes up with a digital X dollar, how are we sure he won’t give himself a billion X dollars or steal all the digital dollars for himself as it’s human nature to be very greedy. This was how Bitcoin was born with the aid of blockchain.
Bitcoin runs on the blockchain database and not normal databases like SQL that can be manipulated by human entry. The blockchain is a decentralized system of information recording that makes it almost impossible to hack, or cheat.
In more light, the blockchain is a public ledger book that is distributed among all computers, whereby everyone can see transactions that have occurred, that are occurring, and that will occur. It is programmable through a smart contract, as actions are executed once the desired conditions are met. It is also secured and every information stored is safe and immutable.
On the digital ledger, every transaction is time-stamped to show proof of each transaction and requires collective efforts to determine validity.
Web 3.0 is another sub-feature blockchain possesses. Although complex to understand, it is best understood as a more advanced internet that allows content to be created, shared, and executed. It contains features of Web 1.0 and 2.0 as well as machine learning, making it more assertive and highly customizable. A popular example is Apple’s Siri or Popular home AI, Alexa.
Web 3.0 intends on restoring and correcting the drawbacks of Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and puts information distribution and data privacy back in the user’s hands. It is described as the perfect web development envisioned by the early pioneers of the internet. There are new Web 3.0 blockchain projects that offer a wide range of services a centralized platform offers. Filecoin allows users to store their data and retrieve it easily — it seeks to replace centralized data storage platforms like AWS and Azure. Polkadot and Kusama ensure users are highly secured and scalable web, BitTorrent offers file-sharing services like Bluetooth, and XCMP focuses on data security.
Your thoughts now are: Yes, the features are cool and one of a kind as it is changing the world. How does it intend to dominate the world in the decade to come? For something to change the world, it should cut across Bitcoin, digital assets, and finances, right?
Using the blockchain supersedes finances and cuts across almost every aspect of life. The healthcare, educational system, agriculture, and communication can use the technology to suit their certain needs.
Blockchain’s potential impact in the next 10 years
1 — It is likely to reduce the power the government holds
Governmental institutions are known for the centralization of power, which some of them may exploit. The emergence of decentralized blockchain systems reduces the need for a centralized power authority, which puts some of the government institutions in fear.
There have been hundreds of cases where the government has expressed worry about Bitcoin taking over the duties of the central bank. It was tagged the pirate currency has been tagged as a threat to national security. If something bothers the government so much, it must be beneficial to the average person.
Imagine a financial system with no paper filing, no limit on what to deposit, transfer, and withdraw, or unnecessary charges to pay. A financial system that provides you financial freedom and privacy; this is what the blockchain seems to offer.
2 — Blockchain-powered assets can completely replace the fiat currency
It is no news that the immense success of Bitcoin has encouraged companies and even countries like El Salvador, Zimbabwe, and Brazil to adopt Bitcoin as a form of legal tender. The Bitcoin adoption bug has been spreading lately as more countries are considering and planning plans to include Bitcoin as a national currency.
3 — Help resolve cross-border payment issues of traditional banks
Despite the thousands of technological advancements humans have developed and updated, it is still difficult to transfer funds from a distinct part of the country to another. The cross-border payment in the retail section of the United States alone has increased to 3.56 billion, gaining over a 59% increase compared to its initial value in 2016, despite that, the traditional bank barely possesses the workforce to ensure a seamless transfer.
The only existing technology capable of providing a seamless cross-border payment is the blockchain. By transferring the corresponding amount of money in Bitcoin or any related digital assets, the recipient gets to receive the money within seconds. As long as the wallet address is right, the receiver gets to get the money at the speed of light. This means no need for its papers, excess verification process as with few clicks, the more is sent across your border.
4 — Blockchain technology will solve identity storage and management
In 2018 alone, one billion personal records were lost because of data breaches and 31% of these victims witnessed identity storage; all these could have been avoided if there was an impenetrable database. The blockchain is capable enough to house any form of information for a long time. This means the data can be traced anytime or whenever it is needed.
Thankfully, a lot of experts are harnessing the benefits blockchain technology offers by integrating their skills with blockchain to create blockchain identity management.
5 — The supply chain industry may likely adopt blockchain as the perfect technology for storing supply information
As with every industry, the supply chain industry battles with trust and transparency in the handling and delivery of products and information. With the use of blockchain technology, all parties can get to access product information irrespective of the location. Also, administrative processes costs can be reduced as the technology allows for transparent auditing of the supply data.
Rising technologies like Zero, Modum, and Waltonchain offer a different range of services to the supply industry, all for a token. When more supply technicians see the opportunity blockchain offers, human calculations plagued with error will no longer be needed.
6 — More technologies are partnering with blockchain to improve their functionality
In 2021, blockchain startup companies amassed over 2.6 billion USD in venture capital funding. Currently, there are over 11.5k startups using blockchain technology to solve prevailing real-life issues.
To the few experts that have studied the possibilities the blockchain world offers, opportunities are brimming up and collaborations are more frequent as they witness steady and functional progress.
Blockchain may eliminate the need for human labor, as smart contracts perform the same work at a better rate
Before the onset of technology, bookkeeping was done by humans sound in accounting, but because of the clumsy nature of humans, the information provided and data logged are always filled with errors. Also, there was a high rise in the manipulation of financial records with no one to bear the brunt.
Now, information can be stored and time-stamped immediately in the blockchain. Not only is it public for every and anyone to see, but it is also safe and can be used as evidence.
Once other companies catch up with this technology, there may be no need to hire the services of hand when it can all be done using the blockchain.
The advancement of technology will continue, with or without the support of the government or some concerned individuals. Blockchain technology will keep on expanding and humans will always need Web 3.0 creations. Although the changes may seem slow or unnoticeable, the accumulated progress throughout the years is the takeover you don’t expect. In summary, the blockchain technology right now is changing how the world operates and it will continue its way to dominate the modern economy.