Before we can answer the question, we have to understand what blockchain is. If you ask your search engine for an explanation, many ways of defining blockchain will appear and you can end up more confused than before you started. Probably one of the best ways of explaining it comes from HSBC Security Services who say its key characteristics are:
- Distribution: rather than relying on a centralized record it has a shared ledger, which is visible to every node or participant.
• Security: the use of cryptography makes the system public yet secure.
• Immutability: blockchain technology is designed to prevent tampering or amendment.
• Trust: blockchain data can act as a trusted, mutually agreed record.
Many people like the fact that you can make a transaction without anyone knowing who you are unless you want them to. There is no one place where all your bank details are stored, so there is much less chance of being hacked, and no third party to take a charge for handling your money.
Blockchain first came to the forefront of technology with the start of Bitcoin in 2009, but now many people have realized how many others areas cryptocurrencies and blockchain could be applicable to.
Bitcoin And Blockchain Affecting The Gaming World
Online casinos were among the first to realize the potential of letting players deposit Bitcoin instead of cash. Every time a player makes a deposit into an online casino, it shows immediately in their account. In reality, the casino could have to wait days for the cash to actually turn up, and some credit card companies only hand over the cash once a month. To make it worse, by the time it reaches the casino the amount would have been reduced because of the charges levied by banks and other financial institutions. It is estimated that overall, taking into account the use of fraudulent cards as well, a casino only receives about 80 percent of every deposit made.
Blockchain technology means the money reaches the casino within minutes, and for the full amount. It allows peer-to-peer transactions that are fast and secure, without any middlemen to take charges. When Bitcoin was rising in value, players were on to a winner. They could withdraw their casino winnings in Bitcoin or cash, but as the value has gone back down, more players are reverting to depositing money by the more traditional methods of debit or credit cards, and some casinos have stopped accepting cryptocurrencies. At Oddschecker you will find reviews of online casinos, many of which offer a bonus of cash or free games when you join them. You will also find a comparison of features and deposit methods as well as games, which can be very useful if you are new to online gaming, and do not have a clue where to start.
Blockchain Making Contracts Easier
At the moment, a contract, whether it is to buy a property, an employment contract, a business contract or other papers that need legalizing and signing for any other reason, can take quite a bit of time to get everything sorted and in order. Even by email, copies with alterations can be going backwards and forwards between people for days, and sometimes that is how a misunderstanding occurs.
With blockchain technology, everyone involved can be looking at the same document at the same time, no matter where he or she is in the world, or how many individuals are involved. Any changes are instant for everyone to see, which speeds up the whole process. This can be particularly relevant to governments when they are dealing with other countries, trying to reach agreements for all sorts of matters.
Many multinationals have realized the potential of Blockchain, and with giants like IBM and Microsoft offering blockchain solutions to enterprise clients, this new technology is set to grow even more. It is estimated that by 2022, these smart contracts as they are being called, will be in use by 25 percent of the world’s organizations.
It is not just the big boys getting involved in blockchain. There are platforms emerging, such as Jincor, which allows businesses, no matter what their size, to accept smart contracts and cryptocurrencies “with no legal, technical or operational complications, in a cost-effective manner.” Such platforms are set to make it easier for businesses to be involved in the new technology without having to make investments themselves, and this will all add to its growth.
Blockchain In Healthcare
There is no doubt that health services worldwide are ready for change, or that blockchain technology could be a big factor in its transformation. One of the first models was The Mediledger Project. This brought together competitors in the fields of pharmaceutical manufacturing and wholesaling, and between them, they used blockchain technology to improve the track and trace capabilities for prescription medicines. To make this work, those involved developed a blockchain solution that gives full privacy with no loss of business intelligence while allowing verification and provenance reporting.
ConnectingCare brings providers together from different clinical organizations and from the same platform they can view the data for shared patients. There are strategic opportunities for all users, and this is helping to drive down the cost of healthcare as well as improving treatment timescales.
Robomed Network is designed to provide the most effective medical care. First launched in Russia and then Dubai, Robomed Network already deals with over 9000 patients and offers over 30,000 services. The aim of this project is to ensure that its patients get the best care and treatment possible, and its clinical guidelines are constantly being improved by the professional medical community involved.
These are just three of the successes where blockchain has been used in healthcare, there are many more in progress that will all contribute to making healthcare better globally.
Blockchain Can Be Used To Educate Us
Just think how much easier it will be for children and students when they do a piece of work for a teacher to mark, if they do not have to risk losing it, or even worse the teacher losing it. Thanks to blockchain, loose sheets of paper may become of thing of the past, only discussed in history lessons.
This unique storage technology will allow teachers to put the work in place, and the students to do the work on the same platform, all secure with no losses. The teachers will then be able to mark the work, and once it is signed off, it will not be changeable.
This will also mean the end of false qualifications, as they will all be verifiable on the blockchain. No more news reports about fake doctors and the like, because blockchain has the capability for qualifications to be shared with everyone.
The possibilities of using blockchain in education are amazing, which is why the likes of Sony and IBM are working together to produce educational services to be run by teachers and students.
In education alone, let alone the other professions mentioned and those not mentioned, think of the savings this would mean in the amount of paper used, and how good that is for the trees of the world.
Yes, Blockchain Is Changing The World
Blockchain is changing the world in many ways we are not even aware of in our everyday lives. The financial institutions are evolving because of it, as well as the legal profession and the world of gaming. Healthcare and education are benefitting, but also there are many other areas that will be made easier to access and more secure because of blockchain technology.
It has been likened to a second generation Internet that enables us to do whatever we want directly, without interference from third parties. It is the biggest innovation in computer science for decades, and is set to change the world we live in.