The Rise of Cryptocurrency
There has been a lot of noise in recent years about cryptocurrency and its rise to prominence, and from Bitcoin’s inception in 2009, it has proved many people wrong to become an extremely fast-growing means of transaction – even making millionaires along the way, despite more recently succumbing to a drastic fall in price.
One of the latest things to come out of this phenomenon is ‘Blockchain’, and the more it circulates, the more important it is that we understand it. So, what is ‘Blockchain’ and how will it impact the internet?
Creating a Network of Trust and Transparency
To put it simply, Blockchain cuts out third parties, making the contact between buyer and seller direct via a decentralised database network. Putting the power into the hands of the consumer, a financial transaction creates a record – represented as a ‘block’ – which is then broadcast to an online community, or network, to be authenticated. Basically, a transaction cannot be verified and recorded until all computers within that chain approve it, creating a network of trust. Once approved, the block is added to a chain which creates a permanent online record of transactions for that buyer, and the money is transferred from them to the seller whilst generating a transparent ongoing ledger.
There are many ways in which Blockchain technology will change the face of the digital economy, and perhaps even become the platform of the future. Online industries are sure to be impacted, and these are some ways we think the internet will be affected.
Changing How We Do Banking
One industry that could be greatly affected is banking because of the elimination of the middleman when it comes to making payments, as well as the opportunity to pay online being given to those who would not usually have such access – i.e. third-world countries. Banks are now working on ways to include Bitcoin and Blockchain technologies so to keep up with this industry sway.
The decentralisation of transactions also leaves us less open to cyber attacks due to there being no singular point of error, which is what you get with centralised conventional online banking systems. Authorisation is spread across a peer-to-peer network, making it harder for a hacker to begin a scheme.
Revolutionising the Music Industry
Blockchain technology is looking to combat problems associated with the music industry – piracy, copyright issues and so forth – and a number of systems are in development aiming to make life better for both artist and listener. The Ethereum Blockchain, for example, has created Smart Contacts, which takes the power from the hands of fat-cat producers, allowing the artist to determine how royalties are dispersed. Making everything transparent and free of conflict, royalties can be distributed immediately, fairly and honestly.
Such technologies can also be used to prevent music piracy and unauthorised sharing and listening vis-à-vis the Napster age. Blockchain technology can help put an end to this by encoding tracks so that unique records are created every time a track is played, preventing it from being ripped. Music can also be distributed via a Blockchain platform, meaning that the artist can be directly compensated.
Affecting How We Gamble
Online gambling has been a thriving industry for some time, however, it has not been without its problems when it comes to security, third parties and overall reliability. Gambling Blockchain systems, such as LetBet are pioneering a turnaround in safer gambling by creating a transparent and anonymous platform. Dishonest and false players are tracked down, making manipulation and bots much easier to identify, as well as all interactions being undeletable.
When compared to conventional online gambling platforms, Blockchain technology offers decentralisation, making it, on top of everything else, extremely difficult to hack. Though the underlying technology ensures that the games are ran fairly, players should still make sure to read reviews on reliable BTC casinos that are operating justly.
Another advantage is that there is no need for unnecessary data collection, and not only is this anonymity more secure, but it also makes game play faster in general.
Altering Online Shopping Experiences
The way in which we make purchases online can also be impacted by Blockchain technology. Developers such as Soma are creating their own digital communities that can sell items with complete transparency when it comes to order history and customer feedback. These changes also allow sellers to become more personable as the contact between buyer and seller is more direct and social, which could also bring more customer loyalty.
The introduction of Blockchain also means that product authenticity can be checked, which is particularly useful when it comes to buying high-end and luxury items. Customers can view the seller’s history, which is indelible, to make sure that they are legit and that they aren’t going to sell them a cheap knock-off.
Moving into the Future
In this age of cryptocurrency, Blockchain looks to have a bright future. Adding transparency, honesty and convenience, it puts the power into the hands of the people, making things much more direct in the process. There are many ways in which it will impact the internet in the future for the better as various platforms continue to develop and improve.
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