BlockChain is a Buzz or Reality in Digital Transformation

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BlockChain is a Buzz or Reality in Digital Transformation

“Blockchain is the biggest opportunity set we can think of over the next decade or so” by Bob Greifeld.

Blockchain is a shared, unchangeable ledger that eases the process of maintaining transactions & stalking assets in a business network. An asset can be tangible (a car, a house, cash) or intangible (patents, intellectual property, copyrights). Practically anything of value can be tracked on a blockchain network, decreasing risk & reducing costs for all involved.

This concept was introduced in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto.

A blockchain is a distributed database that maintains a list of ordered records, called blocks. Blockchain means, where secure blocks of data are bound together in chains using cryptographic principles. Every block has a timestamp & a link to a previous block. The ledger of data is unchangeable & is managed not by a single authority but by a group of computers called nodes. It ensures that no single entity controls the flow of information or transactions. Users can only edit the information of the blockchain that they “own” by having the private keys mandatory to make changes to the file. Cryptography makes sure that everyone’s copy of the distributed blockchain stayed in synch. 

This enables a verifiable & decentralized record of transactions between two people. An essential feature of this information flow is that digital information can never be duplicated, only distributed. This makes blockchain technology a protected channel for information flow.

4 Key enterprise Blockchain Use-cases:

  1.  Record Keeping: High accuracy & low-cost mechanism that needs user-specific encryption keys.
  2.  Digitized Assets: With programmable features in a secure, decentralized & authentic VUCA environment.
  3. Transfer of Value: Protected, near real-time, low-cost transfer of assets without any mediator.
  4. Smart Contracts: Validates parts of a transaction immediately, stimulating next action instantly until complete.

Enterprise blockchain aims to settle business issues related to multi-enterprise interactions & eases the creation of new business models through the application of distributed ledger technologies.

How does Blockchain Work?

As on the internet, anyone can publish information & then others can retrieve it anywhere in the world. A blockchain technology permits everyone to send value anywhere in the world where the blockchain file can be accessed. But you must have a private, cryptographically generated key to edit only the blocks you “possess.”

By using your private key & someone else’s public key you can transfer the value of whatever is stored in that section of the blockchain management.

So, to use the bitcoin example, keys are used to transfer blocks, which hold units of currency that have financial value. It performs the function of recording the transfer, which is commonly performed by banks.

It also does a second role, establishing trust & identity, because no one can edit a blockchain without having the corresponding keys. Edits not verified by those keys are rejected by the network. The keys, like a physical currency — could subjectively be stolen, but few lines of computer code can normally be kept secure at a low cost.

This means that the vital functions supported by banks — confirming identities to stop fraud & then recording authorized transactions — can be carried out by a blockchain more swiftly & precisely.

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Why is Blockchain Important?

  1. Unmatched Security-
  • Transaction verification is one of the basic features of blockchain technology.
  • A transaction must be requested through a wallet & sent to all the computers in a blockchain network. Each of these nodes or computers must verify the transaction against a set of fixed rules in that network. The information is then placed in a block and encrypted with a hash. Once this hash is verified by the nodes, the information stored in that block is permanent, immutable & secure. Any changes to the data by hackers finally alter the hash & the entire chain of transactions linked to the hash. This means that the information cannot be altered or misused by anyone.
  1.  Increased Cost & Time Efficiencies-
  • It eliminates the need for third-party mediation. Instead of relying on third-party mediators for verification & the movement of information, blockchain uses cryptology to enable direct transactions between two parties.
  • It eliminates the time-consuming process of hitting on the doors of central authorities.
  • Maintaining the record through a single ledger also eliminates the litter of error-prone manual processes, therefore saving time & money.
  1. Finer Transparency-
  • Being a type of distributed ledger, the nature of the blockchain technology allows alterations to be made only through the agreement of all network participants who share the same documentation. Even a single modification in the transaction record would mean that all following records will have to be altered.
  • It means everyone is aware of any change. This makes sure transparency & places a high level of accountability for everyone who handles the document. The transaction history also gives an audit trail of where the information originated from, and every instance of when transactions happened & changes were made. This helps in ensuring the originality of the assets & prevention of fraud.

Private vs. Public Blockchains

Public or Permissionless Blockchain: As a peer-to-peer network, integrated with a distributed time-stamping server, public blockchain project’s records can be maintained freely to interchange information between parties. There’s no requirement for a managing director. In effect, the blockchain users are the managing director. Permissionless blockchains start with a pool of cryptocurrency to pay miners or service providers to participate in the process.

Private or Permissioned Blockchain: It permits companies to generate & centrally administer their transactional networks that can be used inter- or intra-company with partners.

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Also, blockchain networks can be used for “smart contracts,” or scripts for business automation that accomplish when certain legitimate conditions are met. For example, after a bad batch of lettuce resulted in consumers getting sick from e-coli, IBM & Walmart generated a blockchain-based supply chain to track produce from farm to table. Walmart has demanded its produce suppliers enter their data into the blockchain database. Once on the blockchain implementation, produce can be automatically tracked through smart contracts from point to point, eliminating human intervention & error.

De Beers, which sways about 35% of the world’s diamond production, has also started a blockchain-based supply chain to track diamonds for authenticity & to make sure they aren’t coming from war-torn regions where miners are exploited. After driving a blockchain-based produce supply chain tracking system, Walmart is telling suppliers to get their product data into the system so they can start tracking produce from farm to store.

Final Word

Blockchain technology has the power to affect all recordkeeping processes, including the way transactions are initiated, authorized, processed, recorded & reported.

According to a Global blockchain projects survey done by Deloitte: It declares that such increased production is here to reside, with 39% of global respondents saying they have already included blockchain into production (41% of respondents from companies with greater than US$100 million in revenue), a significant increase from 23% last year. That’s the central takeaway from their 2020 Global Blockchain Survey, which discovers that leaders no longer consider the technology revolutionary & solely promising—they now see it as essential to organizational innovation.

In 2020, a progressive number of leaders have expressed this sentiment, saying that they see blockchain as a top 5 strategic priority, and are increasing their investments in staffing & blockchain technologies.

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