Blockchain technology has become a bombshell. Whether it is a financial expert commenting on the merits of cryptocurrencies, or a newbie investor looking to make a quick buck by crypto trading; everyone around the globe is partaking in the marvels of Blockchain. No wonder, the investment in Blockchain startups is reaching a record high in 2021.
Given its omnipresence, one might think that people must know a lot about the Blockchain, but ironically that is not the case. Besides underpinning a novel digital asset class called cryptocurrencies, there is much more to Blockchains than what meets the eye. A revolutionary technology is bound to send ripples down society, culture, finance, and all other pillars of human existence. So is the case with Blockchain as well.
Before delving into the specific transformations Blockchains are bringing about, it is important to build foundational knowledge about the technology.
Blockchains: The What and the How
A definition fit for an elementary school student for Blockchain is the following: simply put, Blockchain is a novel way to store information and data.
All of us have heard of ledgers. Those grueling information tables contain individual information of transactions. Similarly, Blockchains are digital ledgers but without any specific owner.
Blockchains are owned by nodes (also called users) that are continuously verifying changes to the ledger through cryptographic computations. Every time there is a change to the ledger, by virtue of a transaction or a new contract, these nodes verify the changes cryptographically and update the network for all users.
This specific characteristic makes Blockchain a nemesis for centralized institutions. Having the power to break free from all Bureaucratic shackles, blockchain technology has the ability to cut out any ‘authorizing body’ from transactions making peer-to-peer, instantaneous digital transfers a reality!
If it really holds the potential to transform society, what is it already doing to cause disruptions?
Disrupting The Job Market
It is no coincidence that the widespread adoption of Blockchain technology will disrupt the labor market. With every revolutionary technology, there are always skills that go out of demand, simply because the utility of the jobs becomes obsolete.
With the adoption of a digital financial network, such as that of the Blockchain, there would be a surge in automation of transactions and financial protocols. This means that there would be a decreased need for manual authorization, third parties, and paperwork. While this will render a lot of skills out-of-demand at the same time new jobs such as a blockchain consultant will still be created.
Foreign Remittances: Super Easy With Blockchain
With the current banking system, sending money abroad can be a pain. Not only do users have to endure frustrating paperwork, but they also have to wait for days before the transaction finally goes through. This means that with the current system, friends and families are always at a risk of lacking basic necessities.
The current procedure demands that banks park foreign currencies in other countries waiting to strike an agreement before releasing the amount. While this process might be quick for transfers within the developed world, when it comes to developing regions, regulatory compliances and currency regulation can cause significant delays.
This is where coopting Blockchains in the financial system is making transactions immutable and rapid. When banks involved in the transfer are connected via the blockchain, regulatory compliance checking can be authenticated quickly by cryptography and the transaction can go through.
Blockchain Can Prevent Electoral Fraud
After witnessing the age of misinformation and its impact on democracies, specifically on the quality of elections around the world, people really are looking for a transparent solution to voting. The idea of using blockchain for voting is gaining traction because of its merits and the given context.
Simply put, blockchain technology has the potential to create an anonymized and decentralized information ledger which can be used to both register and record votes. Not only can this eliminate any third-party intervention in elections, but also prevent any type of electoral rigging or fraud.
Blockchain And Healthcare
Like any other targeted intervention, doctors require the complete medical history of a patient before they can carry out a conclusive diagnosis and give medical advice. In the current healthcare regime, users often find their medical histories and data fragmented over multiple doctors.
This is often the case because there are specialized healthcare professionals for different types of diseases spread across the globe. Blockchain in healthcare can transform the availability of medical histories. With the help of a self-owned blockchain record, patients can quickly manifest all their allergies, lifestyle choices, and past disease records. Blockchain-based medical records can also be used for identity verification.
With the help of accurate, ready-to-reveal, and elaborate medical histories, doctors can make efficient diagnoses having the potential to transform the healthcare sector, and significantly improve patient-doctor interactions.