from 01 Jan 2019
There’s been a lot of talk about the wonders of blockchain in the last few years. The concept of “this thing… but with Blockchain” is the new “this thing… but with a computer” when it comes to squatting on patents. Would-be inventors are theorizing that almost anything is better with blockchain, and to an extent they are right. The security, trust and distributed aspects of blockchain make it a potentially effective way to solve a lot of problems.
Decentralization is Key
The thing that makes blockchain such a promising concept is the idea of decentralization. Traditional, monolithic computer server structures are useful for smaller scale apps where it is vital that one server or party has control. As the number of users increases, however, it becomes harder for one single server to do a good job and that is where blockchain comes in.
With blockchain, several other servers or apps also contribute their processing power. The distributed ledger that is associated with blockchain and the way that all the other parties involved in the processing of the transaction are expected to sign off on each transaction, means that it is much harder to hack or fake what is going on.
Even mobile applications are finding a usage for blockchain technologies. Whether you’re on Android or iOS, some platforms are allowing for mobile mining as well.
This makes blockchain useful for everything from financial transactions to esports and gaming. It spreads the load, reduces the risk of ‘denial of service’ attacks, reduces the risk of an outage stopping things from taking place, and means that fraud is less of an issue. While we have been using the word ‘server’ here, really with blockchain technology, a better word would be peer. Users are also contributing to the network in a server fashion – as with Bitcoin Wallets that are processing transactions for the ledger.
What Incentive is there For Users to Adopt Blockchain?
The challenge is finding ways to encourage users to adopt blockchain. These days, few Bitcoin consumer-level users run a wallet on their own machine; they prefer to use a third-party server instead. Few people are willing to use blockchain apps that will consume huge amounts of bandwidth, unless there is some financial compensation for them.
Figuring out ways to encourage people to adopt blockchain technology is not going to be easy. Some companies have found ways to give the tech appeal by offering freebies or discounts to people who will participate. As the tech becomes more common, networks get faster, and users become more familiar with what is going on (and less likely to think of it as ‘hogging my computer and stealing my processor time’), then we might see it become more commonplace.
Certainly, the potential is there for tech companies to harness blockchain to improve their performance and to cut costs. There are already some companies, such as Gladius, which are using blockchain to solve the issue of sharing content and protecting against DDoS attacks. They are likely the first of many, as the era of monolithic infrastructures appears to be coming to an end. At least for the time being.
Article Author: Amita Choudhary, Resource Manager
I’m a resource manager in IT consultancy firm. It’s been 6 years I’m hiring and resourcing talent in SAP, AI and blockchain industry and gradually developed interest in learning Python, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.