The concept of blockchain has been very popular in the past few years and has seen various applications in a variety of fields lately. First, you must understand the concept of what blockchain technology is and why companies and individuals are using blockchain technology so widely. The earliest works on cryptographically secured chains were put forth by Stuart Haber in the year 1991. The concept of the blockchain, however, came to existence in the year 2008, introduced by Satoshi Nakamoto. The blockchain essentially was defined as blocks or records that have been linked together for a more secure utility, without the necessity to be signed by a third or trusted party. The most important feature of this technology is that the chain once made, is exceedingly difficult to alter. In case the chain is to be altered, it will not be done without changing the subsequent blocks, which will only be authorized by professionals. The technology was initially developed with a purpose of using in a public domain. However, due to the advances of the technology, it has also been adopted in private sectors.
IBM set up a unit for research in Singapore in 2016, to bring up ideas and innovations that could be used for the betterment of the company by making use of the technology. A meeting was held for the professionals in the World Economic Forum in 2016 to interact and come up with new ideas for governance models using blockchain technology. Accenture revealed that the blockchains attained 13.5% adoption rate in the financial sector since 2016. In addition, the Global Blockchain Forum was created when many companies came together in 2016, for the purpose of betterment of the field of digital commerce. In the year 2018, it was revealed that there has been an increase in the need to adopt to blockchain technology so as to help the companies to function better.
There are two types of blockchain technology which are:
- Open blockchains/ Public blockchains: Open blockchains are very user-friendly and do not require permissions to access. Thus, they are open to individuals and companies but they do require the physical access to actually view. The advantage of the public or open blockchain is that it requires no access control. This allows anyone to add applications to the given network without the necessity of approval and the blockchain can be made use as a transport layer. In addition, the open blockchain is very easy to use.
- Permissioned blockchain/ private blockchain: The private type of blockchains enable full control over who gets admittance to the network. In contrast with the public blockchain, the private blockchain is assessed by the network proprietor. It doesn’t depend on anonymous nodes for validation of transactions. The private or permissioned blockchain is also referred to as hybrid blockchain by some people.
Companies and individuals are using blockchain technology widely in various fields and a few of them worth mentioning have been given below:
- Cryptocurrencies: In the case of cryptocurrencies, the blockchain has been used extensively by the Ethereum and Bitcoin networks. In the year 2018, Facebook expressed that it is opening a new group for blockchain use and development. This group is to be guided by David Marcus, who initially handled Messenger. It has also been revealed that Facebook will launch its own cryptocurrency in order to help payments on the platform using blockchain.
- Financial services: In the financial sector, companies have shown a great interest in using the technology as it helps in speeding up the back-office work. UBS, a popular bank has opened a lab dedicated for the research in blockchain technology and how it can help in increasing the efficiency of the bank by reducing the costs. In addition, the German bank Berenber, has also researched quite a lot in this field and believes that there is a better future for using the technology.
- Music: Companies and individuals are using blockchain technology very wisely in the field of music too. IBM in 2017 partnered with PRS for Music and ASCAP and has agreed to include the technology for music distribution. Companies say that using blockchain help artist gain better control over the proper circulation of their work among their listeners.
The blockchain technology, whether in the private or public domain, is being used widely by many companies. The best part of using the technology lies in the fact that it can be made use of in any field or sector to facilitate the better working of the company. Tremendous research is being done for uplifting the technology and for creating new horizons for development. Very soon, it will be seen that most of the companies have adopted the usage of this technology in some form or the other and make the best of the given technology.