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There are a lot of ongoing activities in the world. Most of these activities which are official, require the storage, maintenance and safety of data. Data is kept as a record for future purposes or to trace out future projects to these activities.
However, it is not always safe. Data theft is a common practice. With the data being digital these days, it is easy for Organizations to lose their entire bunch of information and access to hackers. Hence, a more secure system is needed to hold the data.
We will talk about the implication and importance of a blockchain and how it can help to secure sensitive data. Though, blockchain technology is quite new and people do have many concerns and questions due to lack of knowledge.
What is Blockchain?
You might have come across the term "Blockchain" several times while learning about technology or when talking about Cryptocurrency. It's incredibly popular. Block-chain's scope is not limited to the financial market or banking rather it has a scope far beyond. We will share the facts with supporting and you decide if blockchain is a current solution to stop corruption or not.
It is to be understood that Blockchain is not an app or a digital platform, rather it is a technology adopted into many fields for its significant characteristics, with Cryptocurrency is the most prominent one.
The Structure of a Blockchain:
Blockchain, as the name suggests, is a chain of blocks. A block is a digital structure that holds data in an encrypted and string-sized format also known as Hash value.
Each block contains three things:
A unique hash of its own, the hash of the previous block and some bit of information. Hash value was originally the data or information which was an input.
The encrypted format is the output. Each block connects with the previous one by its hash and forms a chronological chain.
This chain is connected and yet unique, with all of its elements being identically different. It is same as your finger printing that one finger print is always different from the other which makes blockchain technology different and unique.
Function of a Blockchain
Blockchain works as a timestamp for the data, recording the time and date, without disclosing all the information. A blockchain is very secure and almost impossible to tamper with. A block is added when new information is generated. Blockchain is a distributed ledger. It means that it works on a peer-to-peer network and everyone will receive a copy of the blockchain.
Users agree what blocks are valid and what aren't. It is still safe as all the information is in an encrypted format and it's very difficult to retrieve the original input from it.
Where is Blockchain Technology used?
It was prominently used by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009 to create the Cryptocurrency Bitcoin.
Apart from Cryptocurrency, Blockchain technology is being used in many fields such as Healthcare, Banking and financial services, Government Records, Travel and transportation, telecommunication etc. You can say that any industry which requires a large amount of data and that too in a secure form, Blockchain is the solution because it stops manipulation which is a global problem. Authorities can see real time and transparent data with the help of blockchain technology.
Use of Blockchain in Healthcare Industry
With the ongoing pandemic, Healthcare industry is functioning more than its capacity. Records of the patients, the number of people vaccinated certain areas, number of people affected, the time and date when treatment was given etc. are pieces of information that need to be recorded.
It is becoming difficult for countries to keep a track of it. Hence, many nations and large companies are adopting Blockchain technology is used in different sectors due to its effectiveness and ability to identify unique information from large chunks of stored data. Healthcare Technologies previously faced a lot of hassle with most data being lost or altered for the sake of political pride. Blockchain can help a great deal in this regard.
With vaccination drives being conducted in almost every country, blockchain will also help track the type of vaccine, how many vaccines were ordered, how many people were vaccinated etc. along with the date and time. The conventional systems would take a lot of time and would either exhaust or show errors with such a large data.
Use of Blockchain in Banking Sector:
Not just healthcare, Blockchain also promises benefits in finances. Along with Cryptocurrency, it can play an important role in the conventional setup as well. Banks need to record daily transactions and details of their customers as well. Their systems often get hacked with all the important pieces of information being lost. With digital banking, people feel unsafe to share and save the details of their transactions. Blockchain also ensures high security.
Use of Blockchain to maintain Government Records:
Governments also need Blockchain for recording of administrative data. With corruption thriving in almost any political setup across the world, government records are extremely vulnerable and are manipulated to look appealing to the public. Governments are looking forward to blockchain as it will help the data remain authentic and genuine, hence stopping the widespread corruption to a great extent. Not just that, governments are also at risk of secretive information leaking to other nations.
Along with these industries, there are many such as education and transportation that might consider adopting blockchain.
Types of Blockchains:
With blockchain being inclusive of various fields, it has certain types. There are mainly four types- Public Blockchains, Private Blockchains, Consortium Blockchains and Hybrid Blockchains. Each function ideally.
The Public Blockchain follows a peer-to-peer network and is Decentralized. It means that there is no central authority or node which holds all data. It distributes it to all the nodes or users in order to replicate data so that it is not lost. Anyone on the network can have access to these Blockchains. Computations and mining activities add blocks to this distributed ledger. They function independently, which means that if their parent Organization stops working, they will still hold all the data and be effective.
On the contrary, a private Blockchain is the one that works within an enclosed environment. This means that only certain people have access and there is a single entity who holds and controls the flow of it. If Public Blockchains are like the Internet, Private ones are like the Intranet.
A Hybrid Blockchain is a combination of Private and public. It can function as either depending on the requirement and the permeability. Some data is kept public, whereas the other are kept private.
The consortium Blockchain is also known as the federated blockchain is very similar to the hybrid. It has a bit of both Public and Private but it allows multiple Organizations, often having similar objectives to use it. It is highly effective as it is controlled by preset nodes. It has a validator node and the rest are member nodes.
It is to be noted that the data inside a blockchain, including its hash value, will depend on its type.
Advantages and Adaptation of Blockchain?
As discussed so far, blockchain technology has a lot of advantages which include security, encryption, distribution and data storage.
However, not all countries have advanced technological resources in order to adopt Blockchain technology into their conventional systems. Cryptocurrency is pioneering in celebrating Blockchain all over the world which holds a potential for it gaining more recognition.