Basics of blockchain
Blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrency, has drawn global attention as it continues to revolutionise industries through disruptive and innovative means. The first use of blockchain technology dates back to 2009, when Bitcoin was born after Satoshi Nakamoto, the unknown founder of Bitcoin, mined the genesis block (Block 0).
According to IBM, “Blockchain is a shared, immutable ledger that facilitates the process of recording transactions and tracking assets in a business network.” Utilising a P2P (peer-to-peer) network to store information and data, blockchains are decentralised. This decentralisation has brought about data privacy that is needed today. Essentially, the explanation of blockchain can be divided into 2 parts: “Block” and “Chain”.
A “Block” holds information and data that are part of an indisputable chain of custody coupled with advanced data security. In every transaction, these blocks are linked securely, forming a “Chain” of data to prevent any block from being altered with. Each transaction on the chain is encrypted and sent to every node on the network to be verified and grouped into recorded timestamped blocks (which can be viewed based on different blockchains). This essentially means the data that is uploaded on the chain cannot be tampered with as it is secured by cryptography.
Blockchain is one such type of Distributed Ledger Technology that gained notoriety as the technology behind Bitcoin. That being said, the full potential of blockchain has yet to be realised. Many different industries have started integrating blockchain into their network. However, the centre of blockchain can be linked back to data, where data is gathered through anonymity.
At Netswap, we envision data sharing to be the future of blockchain.
To make device sharing successful, emphasis must be placed on Data Security and Data Management.
As Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, said, “Data is the new gold”.
Data, including how you’re currently serving the web, is constantly being collected and collated into a centralised database.
Data, including your name, address, age, contact details, etc., are valuable sellable assets to the internet and social media companies. These companies stores such data in centralised databases which raises some concerns:
Security 一 Data is kept in the same storage location, which implies that possible hacks can only be originated from a single source, leading to the data sets being stolen and tempered with.
Accessibility 一 Since data is stored in the same location, there is limited access to the same data set by more than one person.
Scalability 一 If there are too many people accessing the centralised database, this may cause a bottleneck since traffic to every network is limited. (Think of how many times you missed out on a concert ticket because of the number of people accessing the network at the same time.)
Currently, Blockchain is one of the most secure and safest ways to store data. Unlike a centralised database, a decentralised database has multiple nodes which allow data to be verified and cross-checked across the entire network. Hacking a single database can be considered difficult for accomplished hackers, but hacking multiple nodes simultaneously is practically impossible.
Why data sharing is the future of Blockchain
Since blockchain uses a decentralised database, all the data and information collected cannot be changed and tempered with. Users from different countries can access the database since every node in the network is constantly updated based on the latest transaction. Blockchain addresses the shortcomings of traditional centralised user models by internet businesses, which have security vulnerabilities and lack accountability.
Data sharing projects, such as filecoin, aim to “store humanity’s most important information” through a decentralised storage network. Filecoin utilises blockchain technology to effectively store and retrieve data whenever needed through nodes. Filecoin had an ICO in 2017, raising $257 million, and currently possesses a market cap of $1,210,214,138.
The technology behind blockchain enables data sharing to now, more feasible and appropriate. It prevents the leak of valuable datasets, while also enabling these datasets to be accessed from everywhere, at any time, by everyone. This enhances data privacy, eliminating the fear of your data is collected and abused. Collectively, this can be used in device sharing, where a single anonymous login would allow users access to multiple devices, seamlessly transferring data from one to another, through the automation and technology of blockchain.