Imagine a place where your personal information will be completely safe. Only you will decide who will have access to it and what part of this information to share. Also, you can easily cancel access to it. If such a place ever appears, it will be built on the blockchain technology, which is still in the process of development. But those who are familiar with it, are convinced that it will change many markets and industries.
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Features of the Blockchain
It's time to find out what this technology is capable of beyond cryptocurrency. Most of these opportunities take the form of "smart-contracts". This term was discovered by Nick Szabo long before the blockchain technology was improved. He envisaged a technology designed to replace legal contracts in which conditions could be digitized and automated. After the introduction of the blockchain, this term was introduced more widely – as software that performs calculations on it.
The blockchain is a distributed, decentralized, cryptographically protected registry. In it, each new block has a link to the previous one, which gives an agreement to confirm all the "transactions".
Briefly about Smart-Contracts
Today, any software can be a smart-contract, if it is based on blockchain technology. It can be used not only to complete the "transactions", but also to protect the data. In this contract, you can indicate that your doctor has access to your medical history, but he cannot see your financial history.
Although the use of blockchain technology for other applications is only beginning to develop, but some promising developments already exist. For example, Ethereum Project advertises itself as a localized application with smart-contracts, which users create themselves, work with them and carry out transactions.
One of the most famous applications based on Ethereum is Augur. It uses the blockchain-based betting system, using the knowledge of the masses to predict the upcoming events.
The positive and negative aspects of the application of smart- contracts
The potential future of this technology is endless. Starting with the implementation of the registry detachment properly, to streamline the settlement and approval operations, and ending with the transition to online elections. At the same time guaranteeing a safe vote, as for cracking you will need insane computer power. As with any new technology, it has both golden opportunities and opportunities for corruption. Let's look at the positive and negative aspects of applying smart contracts.
Here are some positive examples of how companies can use smart-contracts. Using blockchain technology, they can develop a fully automated supply chain management system. When a certain condition is met, appropriate actions are taken. Also, they can manage huge documentation. Each step in them can be added as a new block in the chain. Exchange of important business information online is important. After all, each node can contribute and access all the information in the blocks. It is also important to note that irreversibility makes the blockchain fraudulent. But the positive point is the elimination of fraud through the correct settings, due to which it is impossible to perform unauthorized changes in the already approved blocks.
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You should also consider the potential pitfalls of smart-contracts. Not everyone will like that the content of contracts is visible to all participants. After all, there are some parts of the business that are not suitable for public knowledge. Also, it is impossible to correct errors – the contract will have to be broken once the error is confirmed. The need to preserve personal information may violate local or international rules.
Another reason that companies can evade the use of blockchain technology is hacking. For it, a fully distributed network offers a large surface. It must be remembered that all nodes have access to all information. Thus, this can pose additional risks if the hacker can access the node or pretend to be one of them.
It is expected that the development of the blockchain will cause a revolution like the one that was brought to us by the worldwide Internet network. To win the corporate world, smart-contracts will take some time. But the first steps have already been taken. And we need to prepare well and start studying these new technologies.
Editor: Yuliya Soroka