The blockchain is arguably one of the most brilliant inventions of the millennium and it has continued to evolve over the years. Blockchain allows for the distribution of digital information, thereby creating the chords that hold the new internet together.
Originally created by a group of people or person called Satoshi Nakamoto, Blockchain was devised to power the first digital currency, Bitcoin but it has evolved over the years with new meaning and application ascribed to it.
Blockchain is durable
Like the internet, blockchain technology is quite robust and durable and this is made possible by its ability to store blocks of information that are similar across its networks - preventing control by a single entity as well as removing the incidence of a single point of failure.
When you build on the blockchain, the only problems you'll encounter will be based on bad intentions and human error, not the underlying concepts that hold the technology.
Blockchain and Bitcoin
One of the most popular cases use for blockchain is for bitcoin transactions. When you send bitcoin to someone, the nodes scan the network to validate possession of those currencies and then, once the information is confirmed, the transaction gets added to a "block" which gets added to the previous block in the network and then a chain is formed - hence the name "blockchain".
There is no single point of failure in the blockchain because transactions can't be undone or tampered with. This can be viewed as an advantage as well as a disadvantage of using digital currencies compared to traditional financial transactions.
Blockchain: Beyond Cryptocurrency
Blockchain at its fundamental level is a decentralized ledger that keeps record across a peer-to-peer network. It's greatest advantages is the ease of transfer of assets without the need to go through a centralized third party.
Other potential application of the blockchain network includes manufacturing, automotive where fractional ownership in autonomous cars could be better managed as well as in healthcare.
For healthcare, the blockchain network can create encrypted health information for patients which could then be shared with multiple providers in a safe and secure way.
There are so many applications to the use of blockchain beyond bitcoin. It can be deployed to track and trace the origin of goods from the farm to the warehouse, where the raw materials come from, verify ownership of intellectual property and help recover stolen goods in transit.
Blockchain application is endless and can only be limited by our imagination. The technology provides better transparency and visibility to the supply chain and increases the value of products as consumers now have the detailed information on where they came from.
Blockchain and Manufacturing
Supply chain, identity, and data management are three key areas that blockchain can work on to revolutionize the manufacturing sector.
As a manufacturer, there are so many things you have to deal with that makes transparency and accountability challenges.
These ranges from logistics of shipping new parts as more manufacturers are starting to shift from the traditional break-fix model to the cost-effective subscription-based model that maximizes product uptime.
This allows the manufacturers to leverage predictive analysis so they are more proactive to their maintenance culture and not just reactionary.
With Blockchain, there can be a better track and trace system put in place to enhance the visibility of this process. Blockchain at the top of its technology allows a manufacturer to see its entire global service supply chain repair parts as they move and ensure repairs are done before damage is done.
Blockchain will also ensure this data can create and maintain a shared and continually reconciled database seamlessly in a decentralized manner.
Blockchain and Food Tech
If we go back to the Spinach Scare of 2006, where consumers were confused about the scarcity of their beloved vegetable and then had to wait for weeks to figure out that the major problems affecting the supply of spinach were the lower elevation and the rain. With blockchain, there will be better visibility and transparency in the food chain making sure that the spinach scare of 2006 would be solved in days rather than weeks.
Today's consumers want to be more informed about the processes involved in the production of the meals they consume.
Blockchain technology allows for that level of transparency and accountability as a consumer can look up information to trace the path their food goes through from the farm to the warehouse to their local grocery store.
They will also be informed about the ingredients as well as other preservatives that they might not want to consume. With so much spotlight on every step taken, food production will also take an ethical turn in terms of how food is grown, caught and even slaughtered.
We could also expect new but desirable practices are kept like how animals are hunted and what they do with their skin as well as whether or not fishes are responsibly caught at sea.
Blockchain goes a long way in addressing a lot of issues that we can have and it is a track and trace dream for manufacturers. Adding Blockchain to a manufacturer's sophisticated but complex system won't come cheap but once it is put in motion, blockchain technology can make the processes simpler and easier.