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4 Ways Blockchain Technology is Changing the Way We Do Business

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Blockchain

The global economy has undergone digitization since the 20th century. The first phase of digital tech is aimed at reducing the time taken to complete mundane business tasks. The next wave of technology, however, brings a new order of economic conduct.

Blockchain, is one of the phenomena that has become widely popular. It might have seen its first application with cryptocurrencies. However, its real potential lies in its ability to revolutionize the conventional business landscape.

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain, also known as distributed ledger, can help to track, record, and store transactions on blocks. In the business ecosystem, these blocks of data hold the potential to perform different types of good exchanges, contracts, sales, monitoring, payment, and recording.

As this technology becomes more mature, more industries will use them to refine their business procedures and communications. And with a wide potential waiting ahead, we might be watching new faces of Blockchain technology changing the corporate currently.

A report from International Data Corporation (IDC) anticipated Blockchain spending to reach 12 billion USD by 2022.

Blockchain Business Value Forecast
Blockchain Business Value Forecast

IMAGE: Source

The question is, how can we apply Blockchain across different verticals today?

This blog lists four ways Blockchain is changing the business landscape. Let’s explore how:

1.Streamlines Business Management and Operations

One of the most promising factors of Blockchain is its ability to streamline business operations and reduce the friction between different parties during the information exchange. If manufacturers aim to run efficient and effective operations, they must work on strong and regular communication with value-chain partners. These include the suppliers, certification companies, logistical departments, buyers, and service providers.

The Blockchain technology can cut the manual tasks involved to maintain this communication. It enables a new approach to rapid and secure information exchange across the value chains. It puts an end to data silos by providing controlled and secure access to every partner.

Entities working in the same business have a higher level of trust because they access the same network and work towards the same goals. Maersk, the global shipping giant, is already working on this aspect of technology. It was operating on the trial of Hyperledger Fabric to track shipping containers globally and prove that records were not changed.

Digital Asset and IBM created it to host a chaincode of data. This is more secure than traditional asset management and tracking.

2. Simplified Payments

Banks are using the outdated system with regular upgrades. This puts a business owner at a high risk of cyberattack, social engineering, or phishing. For example, malicious entities might steal the information of individuals or send payment to a cyber-criminal.

Blockchain brings a digital currency that eliminates all such possibilities. Every transaction takes place in a block. Each block links with the previous and the next block in line. Cryptography is the basis of this technology. This security encryption keeps hacking and frauds at bay. This turns into the safest form of digital payment and information storage. It enables entrepreneurs to set up a scalable online business.

80 of the world’s leading banks have joined a consortium, called R3. They have created Corda, a distributed ledger platform with the highest banking standards. Even International Monetary Fund (IMF) has taken note of the new economic wave created by Blockchain. It recently made the following statement:

“Rapid advances in digital technology are transforming the financial services landscape, creating opportunities and challenges for consumers, service providers and regulators alike.”

With Blockchain payments, unnecessary links are cut out of the chain with their associated costs. Like for example, you can purchase a heavy asset such that of a car from platforms like Autocoincars and feel confident in making the right choice without undergoing any hassles.

3. Replacing traditional contracts

Smart contracts are another factor of Blockchain technology that will greatly influence business relationships and organizational communication. It will help to ensure and regulate a standard of service between the parties involved.

These crypto contracts control digital currency transactions. When translated into a business terms, they work as an agreement between the two sides where they agree on several conditions before proceeding with the business activities.

Think of all the steps involved in buying a car. It requires verification of the identities and evaluation of the vehicle history. There may be stipulations around the retention or removal of certain fixtures in the wheels that need attention. When both parties agree upon the related issues, they can then proceed to formulate a contract. Next, there is transfer of money between the parties according to the agreed terms.

A smart contract is a piece of software code with contractual conditions and terms wired into it. It connects with the Blockchain ledger and tracks all elements of the contract. Identity, legality, and ownership get validation, and the process proceeds ahead.

4. Data compliance and records

Business data is a valuable asset that they can’t afford to lose. Cybercriminals have developed multiple ways to penetrate in business systems and steal delicate information. There are high chances that Blockchain will reduce these attacks if the developers find a system to protect valuable corporate data.

Its applications like long-term data security, compliance, and record-keeping will enable businesses to keep malicious entities away. A lot of research in this domain is pending. Yet, we anticipate some extraordinary developments to happen over the years.

Wrapping Up

There is a huge potential of Blockchain technology that can bring a positive impact on the overall corporate climate. A few years from now, the business landscape will be radically different than what it is today. Instead of waiting for that period, we better play an active role to bring the change.

The Blockchain, together with smart contracts and virtual currencies, will make business procedures scalable, efficient, and fast. We better dive into the learning sphere to know what and when to do!

Feel free to share your views with us.

Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on healthcare technology, fitness and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides her time between travel and writing.

2 Comments

2 Comments

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Cryptocurrency

What is Blockchain Technology? How does it Help in our Daily Lives?

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Blockchain and Bitcoin

A Blockchain is a continuously expanding list of records known as blocks that are connected together via cryptography. A cryptographic hash of the preceding block, a timestamp, and transaction data are all included in each block. The term “blockchain” has gotten a lot of attention recently. That is primarily due to the fact that it is the foundation of the world’s most well-known cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.

Many governments and major banks have decided to adopt the Blockchain concept for many of their traditional transactions. This framework’s applications and potential are enormous, and it is seen to be revolutionizing the way transactions are conducted in a variety of fields.

Introduction

Blockchain has received a lot of attention in recent years. This has been dubbed the most disruptive technology of the decade by many. The financial markets, in particular, may be the hardest one to be hit.

Many industries, including healthcare, pharmaceuticals, insurance, smart properties, automobiles, and even governments, are adopting the technology.

However, the most successful Blockchain implementation to date is Bitcoin – A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, which also happens to be the first blockchain implementation. To comprehend blockchain technology, it is necessary to first comprehend the Bitcoin System’s concept and implementation.

You will learn what Blockchain is, its architecture, how it is implemented, and its different characteristics in this post. While describing the nuances of blockchain, I will use Bitcoin as an example.

The Blockchain architecture is not simple, and many people have created excellent papers, tutorials, and videos about it. These appeal to a wide range of people, from beginners to experts. In this video, I’ll focus on the fundamentals of blockchain architecture, with both beginners and experts in mind. Before digging into the blockchain, it’s necessary to understand why this new technology was created in the first place. The answer to this question is found in the concept of double-spending.

Satoshi Nakamoto first presented Bitcoin to the world in 2008 with a research-style white paper titled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.

Bitcoin not only solved the double-spending problem, but also provided a slew of other benefits. One such benefit worth highlighting is transaction privacy. Satoshi, who established the system and transacted a few coins on it, is completely unknown to the rest of the world.

Imagine that in this age of social media, when everyone’s anonymity is at risk, the world hasn’t been able to figure out who Satoshi is yet. In truth, we have no idea if Satoshi is a single person or a collective. Googling it also revealed that Satoshi Nakamoto owns around $19.4 billion worth of bitcoins, which are now unclaimed in the Bitcoin system. So, what exactly is Bitcoin? Let’s have a look!

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin
Bitcoin

As you saw before, the bank keeps track of all transactions in a ledger. The bank keeps this ledger in its possession and maintains it. Satoshi suggested making this ledger public and community-maintained.

When you make such a ledger public, you’ll have to think about a lot of things. This ledger must be impenetrable to tampering so that no one may alter its contents. We’ll have to find out how to keep the anonymity because each entry in the ledger is publicly viewable; obviously, you don’t want the entire world to know that I paid you one million dollars.

Also, because there is only one single ledger that keeps track of all of the world’s transactions, the size of the book would be a major worry. It was not easy to provide a solution to these complexities, and that is what I am aiming here: to explain the basic architecture of Bitcoin in simple terms.

This tutorial is about the Blockchain, which is the fundamental architecture. To comprehend the Blockchain architecture, you must first comprehend a few essential characteristics upon which it is built. So, let’s begin with PKI, or Public Key Cryptography.

Public Key Cryptography

Asymmetric cryptography is sometimes known as public-key cryptography or PKI. It employs two key pairs: public and private. A key is a lengthy binary number that is used to unlock a door. The public key is widely distributed and, as the name implies, really public. The private key must be kept secret at all times and should never be lost.

In the case of Bitcoin, if you ever lose your private key to your Bitcoin wallet, the entire contents of your wallet will be instantly vulnerable to theft, and before you know it, all of your money (the contents of your wallet) will be gone, with no way to track down who stole it – that is the anonymity in the system that I mentioned earlier.

Hashing, Mining & PoW

The hashing function is one of the most significant functions in PKI. A hash function converts data of any size to data of a specific size. Bitcoin employs the SHA-256 hash function, which generates a 256-bit hash (output) (32 bytes).

The beauty of this hash is that it (the 256-bit value) is regarded unique for the contents of the message for all practical reasons. The hash value will change if the message is changed. Not only that, but given a hash value, reconstructing the original message is impossible.

Let’s move on to another notion in Bitcoin, mining, now that we’ve seen the relevance of hashing.

Due to the network’s widespread distribution, each miner should expect to receive several messages from multiple merchants at any given moment. The miner merges all of these signals into a single block.

After forming a block of messages, the miner uses the hashing function to generate a hash of the block. As you are aware, if a third party changes the contents of this block, the hash becomes invalid. In addition, each message is time-stamped, ensuring that no one can change the chronological order of the messages without changing the hash value of the block.

As a result, the communications in the block are impenetrably safe from tampering. This fact is further described in terms of how it is utilized to secure all network transactions.

We need to create a distributed timestamp server on a peer-to-peer network because all transactions are time stamped. This necessitates some more implementation, which I shall explain now as the Proof-of-Work. We’ll now add a new item named Nonce to each block.

A once is a number that ensures the hash of a block fulfils a set of criteria. This condition can be that the generated hash’s first four digits must all be zero.

As a result, the produced hash would be 000010101010xxx. The miner usually starts with a Nonce value of 0 and increases it until the resulting hash meets the given requirement.

It’s important to note that hash generation is random and out of your control; you can’t compel the hash function to generate a specific hash. As a result, it may take several cycles to obtain the appropriate hash with four leading zeros.

A once is a number that ensures the hash of a block fulfils a set of criteria. This condition can be that the generated hash’s first four digits must all be zero.

As a result, the produced hash would be 000010101010xxx. The miner usually starts with a Nonce value of 0 and increases it until the resulting hash meets the given requirement.

It’s important to note that hash generation is random and out of your control; you can’t compel the hash function to generate a specific hash. As a result, it may take several cycles to obtain the appropriate hash with four leading zeros.

The time it takes to generate a block in the bitcoin system is estimated to be 10 minutes. After the miner has successfully mined the block, he releases it into the system, making it the chain’s final block.

It’s worth noting that numerous miners are vying for the right to create the valid block. The first successful miner is rewarded with bitcoins by the Bitcoin system. In general, the miner with the most processing power may emerge as the early victor. This might lead to attacks on the entire system from those with a lot of processing power.

Blockchain Privacy

The anonymity of bitcoin transactions is jeopardized when the ledger that records all transactions is made fully public. Anyone, anywhere in the globe, would be able to figure out who paid who? By keeping its records confidential, the traditional banking system is able to retain this level of anonymity.

A new technique is used to achieve privacy in the Bitcoin system. It’s worth noting that we indicated the sender of a bitcoin must know who to pay. As a result, he requests the vendor’s public key in order to make the payment. This public key can be kept private.

In the sense that, as a service provider, you would simply provide your public key to someone who inquired about payment.

This public key’s link with you hasn’t been reflected anywhere in the ledger. Anyone outside of the transaction would only know how much money is being sent and to whose public key it is being paid out.

You can produce a fresh private/public key for each transaction to obtain a better level of privacy so that multiple transactions made by you cannot be grouped together by a third party. For the uninitiated, this simply means that a number of smaller transactions were carried out, none of which will ever be tied to a single source.

Finally, any system that is dependent on the internet is open to abuse.

Conclusion

Using Bitcoin as a case study, you were introduced to numerous Blockchain ideas in this short tutorial. Bitcoin is the first successful blockchain implementation. Today, blockchain technology is being used in a variety of industries where trust without the involvement of a centralized authority is desired. So, welcome to the Blockchain world.

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Cryptocurrency

5 Popular Cryptocurrencies in 2021 – Here’s What You should Know About them

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Cryptocurrency

There are over 4,000 cryptocurrencies in circulation, with an ever-growing range of services. Bitcoin, in particular, has received a lot of attention recently.

In reality, “bitcoin” and “cryptocurrency” have come to represent the same thing, although cryptocurrency marketplaces are flooded with alternatives. Before you begin, as with any investment, it’s critical to know what you’re getting into.

This is especially true for a speculative asset like cryptocurrency.

However, deciding which ones to invest in can be challenging, which is why I’ve compiled a list of the top cryptocurrencies to consider.

What exactly is a cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a type of online payment that can be used to buy and sell products and services.

Many businesses have created their currencies, known as tokens. These tokens can be exchanged for the industry’s goods or services.

Consider them to be like arcade tokens or casino chips. To use the good or service, you’ll need to convert actual money to cryptocurrency. Blockchain is the technology that enables cryptocurrency to function.

Blockchain is a decentralized technology that handles and records transactions across many computers. The security of this technology is part of its attractiveness.

Here are the top cryptocurrencies to keep an eye on right now.

With this information, you will learn what you need to know to make a possible investment. You can also be better equipped to spot chances in smaller coins if you understand the fundamental differences between the crypto assets.

Here are the top cryptocurrencies to keep an eye on right now.

With this information, you will learn what you need to know to make a possible investment. You can also be better equipped to spot chances in smaller coins if you understand the fundamental differences between the crypto assets.

Bitcoin Cash ($BCH)

This original cryptocurrency continues to be the most popular.

Bitcoin (BTC) is held in a decentralized network using a digital record known as the blockchain. Anyone can participate in this open-source cryptocurrency.

The digital asset is divisible up to 1/100,000,000th of a Bitcoin, commonly known as a “Satoshi,”. The hard cap is Bitcoin’s most significant feature.

By design, only 21 million Bitcoins can be mined. In a process known as halving, the pace at which new Bitcoin may be mined is cut by half every four years, with the most recent halving occurring in May 2020.

Previous halvings have also resulted in price hikes for Bitcoin. This is why Bitcoin proponents regard it as the ultimate store of value.

Bitcoin works as “digital gold” for securely transferring wealth in a world when almost anything digital can be duplicated and shared.

Bitcoin is already the largest cryptocurrency, with a market capitalization of more than twice the next largest coin.

Bitcoin was the first digital asset to reach a $1 trillion market cap.

Bitcoin is the leading now. However, its proportion of the entire market has begun to drop due to the emergence of rival projects.

Ethereum ($ETH)

While bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency among investors, it is far from being the most powerful.

That honor goes to Ethereum, and for a good reason. Its blockchain allows anyone to build on it.

If Bitcoin uses blockchain for money and payments, Ethereum’s blockchain might be used for a broader range of activities, including smart contracts and its native token Ether (ETH). Ethereum, the second most valuable cryptocurrency by market value and volume, has set a new high, boosted by increased institutional interest.

Ethereum is an excellent place to start investing if you’re new to the cryptocurrency sector.

The power of the $ETH token is proportional to the network’s size, implying that the token will only grow in value as more dApps and projects are introduced to the network.

USD Coin

The USD Coin (USDC) bills itself as “the world’s digital currency.” USDC was created by Circle, a worldwide financial corporation that has received funding from Goldman Sachs, Baidu, and IDG Capital, among others. USD Coin’s price is linked to the US dollar, making it far more stable than other cryptocurrencies. This stability makes it more suitable for digital payments. Other cryptocurrencies have a higher potential for growth as investments with more risk of losing value.

Zcash ($ZEC)

Zcash to be a zee privacy alternative to Bitcoin. Zcash claims it offers confidentiality to protect your privacy and financial history. They can confirm the transactions quickly with low transaction fees. It is an open currency that can be spent, sent, and received via mobile phone, computer, or digital wallet. It also provides equal access to everyone.

Zcash was first mined in 2016. Like Bitcoin, it has a limit of 21 million units.

Litecoin (LTC)

Charlie Lee founded Litecoin in 2011. LTC is peer-to-peer money, similar to Bitcoin. It also employs an entirely decentralized network with near-zero transaction fees. Litecoin is also one of the most valuable cryptocurrencies in terms of market capitalization. It varies from Bitcoin because it has faster transaction speeds and more efficient storage.

The more frequently blocks are generated, the more transactions are supported.

This enables a shorter time to confirm a transaction. As a digital currency, Litecoin has been demonstrated. LTC has an 84 million coin hard cap. The economic advantages and faster processing speed of this long-running cryptocurrency have allowed it to continue to rise.

Cardano is a cryptocurrency (ADA)

Cardano is a decentralized blockchain platform that enables secure peer-to-peer transactions by using a native coin.

It was founded in 2015 by Charles Hoskinson, who also co-founded Ethereum.

Cardano provides a “proof-of-stake” protocol, which does not reward excessive energy consumption and is becoming a more common approach for blockchains to validate transactions for security reasons.

With a market cap of $43 billion, Cardano is a transitive cryptocurrency.

What should you know about cryptocurrencies before you invest?

If you’ve recently been interested in cryptocurrency and are considering investing, here are some things you should know before making a purchase.

Don’t risk more than you can afford to lose by investing

Cryptocurrency is a riskier investment than many others. Except for volatility, nothing is certain. In most cases, it is uncontrolled.

There is no FDIC insurance or a buyer of last resort for this item. Cryptocurrency prices fluctuate drastically from minute to minute. The level of danger varies.

Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency, has existed for more than a decade and is far less likely than most other coins to vanish. It is, however, not without risk. As a result, don’t stake your entire farm, or your entire life savings, on any coin.

Research Well Before you jump into the investment

Spend hours upon hours researching the technology to grasp the value proposition and the hazards before investing a sizeable amount of money in any digital currency. Read everything you can on the subject. Listen to podcasts to learn as much as you can.

Borrow books about digital currency and related disciplines, including cryptography, game theory, and economics, from the library.

Conclusion

Cryptocurrency isn’t just a new financial choice; it’s an entirely different world from traditional equities and bonds.

Even for seasoned traditional investors, mastering the basics takes time because of unfamiliar jargon, evolving technologies, and keeping up with memes and tweets. If your local ordinances are no longer enforcing COVID-19 lockdowns, attend local gatherings. Ask questions and get answers. If you don’t understand something, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification before making any decision

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