Most people have heard of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, but not everyone is familiar with the blockchain technology behind it. Blockchain technology has many potential applications beyond cryptocurrency that are being explored throughout multiple industries and public institutions; here, financial technology expert Harvey Kesner dives deeper into these applications and explains some of their uses.
Bitcoin And Blockchain
Bitcoin receives a large share of the daily coverage of financial news agencies and cable programs. The cryptocurrency’s well-documented spikes decline, and recoveries have spurred immense interest in the future of the technology-based investment and currency.
The core of Bitcoin is blockchain technology. Blockchain technology was developed around 2008 as a supporting framework for Bitcoin. A blockchain is a continuously enlarging list of “blocks,” which are groups of data linked together with cryptography that is resistant to alteration because of a highly distributed network of block ledgers.
Once a block has been linked to the blockchain, no alteration is possible without alteration of all subsequent blocks, which would require modifications to every record-keeping server that is part of the blockchain.
Blocks contain information about preceding blocks in the chain, unique transaction data related to that block, and accurate timestamp. Blockchain technology is by design completely decentralized and supports the security and independence of Bitcoin from any central bank or government.
Blockchain Applications Beyond Cryptocurrency
The security and permanence of blockchain technology are ideally suited for many types of transactions and functions beyond tracking cryptocurrency. Blockchains provide faster and more reliable automated communication capabilities to all industries by storing electronic communications and transactions in a permanent and unalterable record. Because of this technology, the reliability of automated communications is enhanced.
Governmental record keeping has been notoriously unreliable, slow and cumbersome, whether because of bureaucratic inefficiency, outright destruction, or mishandling of public records. Blockchain can work to significantly enhance security, transparency, and permanence of all forms of record keeping. Additionally, blockchain technology can support the accuracy of–and public trust in–election results.
Blockchain coupons are already proving to be useful for distributing relief packages of all sorts to refugees in parts of the world stricken by war and other disasters. The UN has already implemented blockchain-based relief programs to displaced refugees in Syria. The system has been effective in ensuring that relief items are getting to the right people at the right place and time.
Blockchain-based medical records are being developed as well; firms are currently working on extremely secure medical record maintenance using blockchain technology. Decentralized records are resistant to tampering and misuse while also being highly resilient against loss or damage.
Zero-knowledge proof blockchain technology can protect individuals from personally identifiable information being communicated while making medical research more effective through shared data that can customized treatments. The potential for blockchain technology to streamline critical processes, improve transparency, and cut costs across virtually every information system is just beginning to be explored.
About Harvey Kesner
Harvey Kesner is a corporate lawyer, financial expert, manager, and a go-to consultant for corporate finance, restructurings, and capital raising and all types of significant transactions, both domestic and international. He also has experience responding to business disputes, regulatory inquiries, investigations, as well as the adoption of anti-takeover measures.
He loves challenges and innovation, so he is not afraid to take on a leading role in negotiating outcomes in emerging industries. Mr. Kesner is interested in emerging blockchain technologies and their applications to industries of all types around the world and has assisted numerous bitcoin, mining, and blockchain companies since 2014.
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