The first publicly used application of – and therefore the most associated subject to blockchain technology – is the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, a new generation of private currencies. This currency is known all over the world, and everybody wants to be a part of this hyped innovation phenomenon.
Mostly, investors are driven by the (still unregulated) possibility to gain a lot of money without realising that the Bitcoin underlying protocol, blockchain technology, has the potential to be a game-changer for almost every business field. For sure, cryptocurrencies are the most disruptive innovations in our society because, for the first time in history of mankind, it changes our traditional and sluggish banking system.
Generally, we are at the beginning of a big change, with blockchain technology as the next industrial revolution, like when steam machines, electricity or the internet were invented. In my opinion, in a decade or two, blockchain technology and its further developments will be the world’s general infrastructure!
What is blockchain technology?
Simply explained, blockchain technology is an open decentralised database of every transaction involving value, such as money, goods, property, work or even votes. It enables peer-to-peer transactions without any third party, e.g. a bank, a lawyer or a trustee. This decentralised database is verified by its own community and can’t be manipulated.
Due to its security, transparency, trustworthiness, internationality and fairness, many enterprises begin to implement this technology into their processes and are building up a new infrastructure. As a positive matter of fact, a lot of money can be economised, too.
What blockchain means for business innovation
Some real examples show the possible applications of this innovation: Factom uses blockchain technology for supply chain management systems. Or with RegChain, an Irish project launched to simplify reporting in order to create a more transparent compliance and to use a data storage that is more secure. Further, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is one of the first universities to issue recipient-owned virtual credentials by using the technology.
One of my favourite projects is terra0. Scientists at the Research Center for Computer Science (FZI) in Berlin and the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy are currently trying to find out to what extent it can be planted in a self-afforesting forest. Sensors feed certain information into the blockchain, among which is how much sun a tree gets, how fast it grows and whether it has been attacked by pests. Based on this data, the blockchain could then decide for itself what happens to the tree: does it need care or should it be chopped? As you see, the useful possibilities are almost limitless!
The future of blockchain
Despite regarding all these fantastic projects, we must not forget that our civilisation is currently developing in an experimental stage. This pioneering technology is still being researched. Experts have already developed a new generation of encryption technology, directed acyclic graph (DAG), which is better suited for Internet of Things (IoT), the communication between devices and machines, than blockchain technology.
There is still a lot of potential in researching and implementing new processes, so it’s nearly impossible to seriously predict where our future will lead us, and how quickly. Nevertheless, I am convinced that this innovation is the world’s coming general infrastructure.
Global players like IBM, Walmart, Nestlé, Microsoft and Amazon have already implemented this technology in their own products or are building up blockchain-based processes together. These are significant signs that blockchain technology is getting more and more indispensable.
Cryptocurrency and blockchain adviser Markus Wyss has a degree in Psychology from the University of Bern, where he gained insight into the mental skills and the individual potential of human beings. He began his career in several sales and consulting projects, mostly with a financial business background. In this period, he was introduced to Bitcoin and the underlying blockchain technology, an area in which he later intensified his focus. He is also a regional sales manager for a next-generation online marketing enterprise. Connect with Markus on Linkedin.