You might have heard about ‘blockchain’ recently. It’s evolved a lot since it was originally devised for the digital currency, Bitcoin. Blockchain allows information to be distributed but not copied, which is creating a new type of internet. Keep reading to learn what blockchain is, and if it will really make the internet safer.
What is blockchain?
Blockchain is a decentralized digital ledger initially developed for Bitcoin cryptocurrency. It can record any kind of online transaction from payments to private downloads. This technology prevents hackers from accessing a load of information at once because you can’t tamper with a specific piece of data without other blocks in the chain being disrupted. There is also no single server for hackers to target making it more secure.
Also, no single corporation is managing this information. Google and Facebook, for example, are massive companies that own all of that data we enter into their platforms. Instead, think of blockchain as a co-op management for this data, there is shared trust and responsibility. For cryptocurrency, this enabled the middle man to be cut out so peer-to-peer transactions could take place online, without the need for third party intermediaries that usually get our information.
Will this make the internet safer?
This technology is being adopted across diverse industries such as nonprofits and banks. Partly because it is viewed as being secure. You can think of blockchain as having three tiers of security: linkage, encryption, and decentralized distribution. With this technology we will no longer have to rely on separate intermediaries to facilitate transactions, and this will, in turn, preserve our digital privacy.
So what’s the catch?
Does blockchain sound too good to be true? Well, it kind of is. Just because you store information in a blockchain doesn’t mean you can do away with all of the previous cybersecurity practices you’ve learnt over the years: