Change has always been the biggest, strongest and the most dominant of all factors capable of altering the ways we live. All you can do about change is to embrace what it brings along or try to resist it, but one thing is for sure, change always turns out to be the winner.
In fact, it’s not the change itself that bothers most, it’s the unprecedented pace at which it introduces new and unheard of technologies and innovations, which are welcomed at individual level, but not so much at organizational and government level.
It’s a fact that most of the governments around the world, institutions and organizations are far from keeping up with the pace of change. Most of them were never built on the foundations strong enough and systems scalable enough to predict and evolve to this fast past of change.
However, it’s quite relieving to see the organizations finally organizing themselves to move to the next level, thanks to some of the technological breakthroughs of recent times, and perhaps the biggest of them all is none other than the blockchain technology.
Fact is that there are simply countless ways and manners in which blockchain technology has unmatched potential, from its concept to its applications, biggest and most well known of which until now is cryptocurrency. Yes, if you didn’t know it yet, cryptocurrencies or digital currencies are based on blockchain technology.
In recent times, perhaps nothing has been able to offer the type of returns cryptocurrency has offered to its users. Bitcoin, considered to be the pioneer and the most famed of all cryptocurrencies produced until now, has been able to grow far beyond anyone’s wildest imaginations since the time it was introduced back in 2009.
Not even into a decade of existence and the total market cap of cryptocurrency right now is above $24 billion, with Bitcoin alone contributing around $16 billion of it. Though there have been bumps and jolts on the way, but people still like investing in cryptocurrency because of its inherent features based on blockchain architecture, such as its non-centralized and secure nature.
What makes blockchain so special?
What makes blockchain so special is the way it decentralizes the concept of authority, enabling everything to monitor everything else on a particular network. Taking cryptocurrency as an example, anytime any units of a cryptocurrency are exchanged, that specific transaction is checked against every other transaction ever taken place on a network to authenticate it. Once authenticated, it becomes an immutable part of the whole history of transactions ever occurred and recorded on that network.
The entire history of transactions over a cryptocurrency network is stored in an open ledger, where the record of all transactions is packed as blocks of information of a predetermined size, each of which is added to the chain of blocks connected to each other before that, therefore, referred as the “blockchain”.
Trust – Going beyond it!
Experts believe that the real beauty of blockchain lies in its ability to create and maintain the element of trust in whatever it is powering. As a matter of fact, trust is what helps all institutions, particularly the financial ones, run the way they are running presently. All of them need to earn trust from people who participate in them and continue to establish their trustworthiness, so that people continue to use them.
When we engage in exchanging goods and services for money, we are actually putting our faith in that currency, believing and expecting it to hold its value. Credit, which is perhaps the biggest powerhouse behind how almost all economies of the world work presently, is nothing but a mechanism that makes sure people get the goods and services they want before actually paying for them, based on the trust that payments will be made against the trade later on.
With blockchain by your side, you really don’t need to make such leaps of faith. Blockchain powered systems are inherently trustworthy because of their design, which leaves no room for fraud, corruption or even human error to significantly impact the sustainability of the whole system, with everything distributed, accessible and verifiable to anyone on the system.
Realizing its potential, the banking industry all around the globe has already strode into blockchain domain, exploring ways and methods to harness the power of its intrinsic features in upgrading their own processes and practices. Some big names of global stature in banking industry willing to tap into the potential of blockchain include Bank of America, Citi Bank, UBS (a Swedish Investment Bank), JP Morgan and BNB Paribas. That’s why investments of well over $400 million were seen during only the first half of 2016 into startups involving some variation of blockchain based digital currencies.
More than wealth management
When we say blockchain is ready to evolve way more than wealth management, there’s some real substance behind it. There are many new avenues being explored by blockchain based services, such as writing smart contracts, securing digital identities and complementing Internet of Things (IoT). All such concepts and ideas surely hold immense potential in transforming and reshaping the future of the world, but many believe that the biggest potential of blockchain lies in the role it is capable of playing in uplifting our currently existing political systems.
Yes, we are taking about a blockchain based political infrastructure that powers the dynamics of mass politics, giving rise to the real concept of direct democracy, a political landscape where citizens will be able to vote directly on specific issues by themselves rather than delegating them to the political representatives chosen conventionally to make decisions on important matters on their behalf.
Additionally, if such a revolutionary system extends to national currencies, powering them on blockchain, citizens would be empowered to keep track of every single dollar of their tax money, getting aware of exactly how and where their hard earned money is spent. This could set the foundations of a totally transparent and incorruptible world, where people can have a very direct involvement and say in shaping up the societies they are a part of.
With a technological innovation not even a decade old, but still strong enough to influence and impact so many areas of contemporary lifestyle, people are referring to blockchain technology as the most innovative and powerful technological leap after the birth of internet itself. Back in its infancy, no one could have ever foreseen about internet growing so big, so powerful and so imperative for the whole world. From what it has already achieved to what it promises, blockchain seems right on its way to impact the world as significantly as did the internet.