Blockchain is a term that we have been hearing a lot these days. It has become the talk of the town since the bitcoin boom has started.
So what exactly is Blockchain?
Blockchain is a consensus-based secure decentralized public/private database which stores information immutably over a peer-to-peer network. The first block in the blockchain is called the Genesis block. Based on this block additional blocks are added to form a chain of blocks.
Each block in the blockchain is connected to other blocks sequentially like a chain with the help of the previous hash. Due to this if someone tries to hack a block he/she has to completely hack the whole chain which requires 51% of the total computing power of the blockchain network. This makes hacking a blockchain near to impossible. So, blockchain is more secure and safe compared to a regular database.
Whatever you store in the blockchain is referred to as a transaction. Once the information or transaction gets stored in the blockchain it becomes immutable which means no one can change it, which brings more trust and integrity to the data
Blockchain Use Cases :
1. Supply Chain Management
As we all know supply chain is the process that occurs between the supplier and the business. Blockchain can help in resolving some major problems in the existing supply chain system through the digitalization of the assets. Blockchain can ensure that a user receives authentic products. It does this by attaching unique identities to the products and storing this information into the blockchain. With this unique id, one will be able to track product location, shelf life, etc. Users can also be able to verify the product they received through a blockchain-enabled supply chain.
2. Digital Identity
Today's digital identity mechanism is completely centralized which is leading to a lot of identity thefts, data breaches, etc. With the help of blockchain, all this highly important information can be encrypted and stored inside the blockchain. By implementing this only users will have control over the information. Users will be able to grant as well as revoke access to a person or a company that wants to view the identity information. This type of identity mechanism will ensure that user data is being used only for appropriate purposes only.
This is the most important use case of the blockchain in my opinion. We all know that Voting fraud is a major issue that almost every country is experiencing today. Blockchain can ensure that a person is able to vote only once and also prior to voting it can verify the digital identity of the person. Blockchain Voting can also increase the voting percentage as the voting can be done online itself from the comfort of the voter’s home. Hence there will be no need of visiting a particular place and waiting long hours to cast a vote.
By using blockchain in the medical industry, everything from the manufacturing of the medicines to the delivery of the medicines can be tracked. This will ensure that customers will not receive any fake medicines. Also, the complete medical history of the patient can be maintained inside the blockchain itself. This will help in keeping track of the patient’s previous medical treatments which in turn will help the doctors to give the best prescription possible.
The supply chain of food has never been transparent. There is no track of how the food is being held before it is delivered to a customer. This can be harmful as the food that customers received can be contaminated. Implementing blockchain in food safety will make it easy for customers to track the history and location of a product at a particular time. End-to-end traceability would improve the efficiency of the food supply chain.