Have you ever purchased a ticket to a concert or sporting event from another party and walked to the gate with trepidation, hoping you didn’t purchase a counterfeit ticket? Those days may be coming to an end, thanks to the adoption of blockchain technology and interesting opportunities for future blockchain development.
For those new to blockchain, we have provided some basics below. For those more versed on the subject, please click here.
Blockchain technology first came about as a way to enable bitcoin transactions, however, bitcoin and blockchain are not the same thing. Blockchain is a system that allows a group of connected computers to main a single updated and secure ledger.
How does it work?
Each computer on the blockchain network records the transaction, meaning it’s a decentralized way of storing information. Once the transaction is completed, it’s secured sequentially using timestamps and cryptography, and then is later stamped again on a block of transactions. The block is then woven into other transaction blocks, and ultimately an irreversible public record.
Why is this important?
Before blockchain, a centralized authority, such as a bank or government would record the transaction. In a centralized authority model, security can be compromised. The rise of hackers and countless corporate security breaches such as Equifax, Target, and Uber, have only made this more prevalent. Blockchain uses hashes and cryptography, which basically means complex math problems from the network of computers, which are too complicated for a standard computer to solve. In fact, it may take a standard computer over a year of guessing random numbers, which is a year too late. This enables irreversible transactions and security.
How does this keep my concert ticket secure?
The original ticket is recorded and blockchain provides an escrow for both parties. The buyer gets reassurance that the ticket is valid and original (not a pdf printed off and sold a dozen times) and the seller is assured payment. Once the transaction is completed and timestamped it’s then stored onto blocks which are woven into the digital ledger and public record. The transaction is impossible to reverse or fake, giving the concert ticket goer a sense of security.
What’s next for blockchain?
Besides concert tickets, the opportunities for blockchain are numerous and are keeping developers working on blockchain busy. One such practice is using blockchain for financial trading. Stock exchanges have complicated procedures and systems, which are ripe for disruption. A typical trade involves pre-trade, trade, post-trade, custody, and security servicing, all are prone to hacks or errors. Blockchain can make this streamlined and more secure. The opportunity for blockchain development is improving the speed, as the current distributed ledgers have capacity issues.
Supply chain is another big opportunity for blockchain development. The transaction of goods from one country to another is also a complex maze. Shipping is much less tech savvy than finance, so supply chain has an opportunity to leapfrog several process upgrades. For example, a typical good manufactured and shipped from Shenzen to Los Angeles goes through a multitude of intermediaries. This generally requires a mountain of paperwork as the product goes through the chain of custody. Similar to finance, this has opportunities for lost paperwork, slow movement, and human error. Hijro is a leading example of how companies are utilizing this opportunity with a blockchain platform allowing assets to simultaneously interoperate on multiple networks. True North, a software engineering company, helped to build Hijro’s F.I.X platform connecting 2 or more blockchain networks, allowing for secure transactions in industries such as supply chain and finance. Blockchain could significantly reduce the transaction costs and shipping time, while providing increased security.
We will continue to share our thoughts on the next opportunities for blockchain and welcome our readers thoughts on how it may help solve their industries challenges.