Saturday, June 8, 2019

Blockchain Trends in 2019 : The future of the Internet.



A lot of companies across different industries are investing in blockchain tech projects to help improve cybersecurity, healthcare, agriculture and other sectors. Just a short time in 2019 and we have already had the chance to observe the impact blockchain has had on our lives. The blockchain concept is more than a discovery potentially for the coordination of all human activities at a much larger scale. The logical capacity of this technology is already being harnessed by specific groups to address real-world problems.





Why is Blockchain technology so important?


Blockchain as the technology is known now got its name from a clever technology (Bitcoin) introduced by a Satoshi Nakamoto.

Think of the blockchain as just another class of the internet. In this digital era, the blockchain paradigm can be applied in finance, economics and money; hard assets (physical property, homes, cars); intangible assets (votes, ideas, reputation, intention, health data). The internet was designed as a network of information as data is moved from one node another. Once information is injected into the internet, it replicates and spreads like WiFi, hence losing its uniqueness. That's precisely how it was designed to operate. This flaw would go further to bring down the entertainment industry. This is because, in commercial interaction, information is not passed on for free, we transact value. Information can be sent around freely but the value cannot be spent twice, in order words we have to avoid double-spending.


The major breakthrough of the blockchain is its ability to be implemented in a decentralized trust-less system. Through algorithmic self-policing, any malicious attempt to defraud the system would be rejected. Blockchain and bitcoin are not the same. Bitcoin is digital cash that is transacted on the internet using a public ledger which is the blockchain. Another digital cash system developed over the years is Ether from Ethereum. Ethereum is just another alternative decentralized crypto-currency (bitcoin). In simple terms, Blockchain is an operating system and the Bitcoin and Ethereum are just applications that run on the operating system. This mode of decentralization could be the next major disruptive technology with the potential for re-configuring all human activity as the Web did.








How Blockchain works (Simplified)

A standard algorithm runs over a file (could be any file) to compress it into a shortcode called hash that is unique to the document. The has is 64-bit character code. No matter how large the file is, it is compressed into a 64-bit character secure hash that cannot be computed back-ward. The hash is then included in a blockchain transaction which adds to the proof of that existing digital asset at that moment. The hash can be recalculated from the underlying file confirming the contents of the hash has not been changed.

How Bitcoin works


A digital online payment system in which encryption techniques used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds independently from a central bank. Bitcoin was created in 2009 (released on January 9, 2009) by an unknown person or entity using the name Satoshi Nakamoto. The concept and operational details are described in a concise and readable white paper, “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” Payments using the decentralized virtual currency are recorded in a public ledger that is stored on many—potentially all—Bitcoin users’ computers, and continuously viewable on the Internet. Bitcoin is the first and largest decentralized cryptocurrency. 

The impact so far.


Enterprises no longer question the worth of blockchain in modern-day technology. The current emerging paradigm of blockchain for this decade is the connected world of computing relying on blockchain cryptography. The connected world has usefully included the blockchain technology as the overlay to what is increasingly becoming a seamlessly connected world of multi-device computing that includes Internet-of-Things (IoT) sensors, smartphones, tablets, laptops, smart homes and smart city. The technology that the blockchain enables is not merely the movement of money. However, it is the transfer of information and the effective allocation of the resources that money has enabled.


This is a summary of how the technology has been applied: digital content which provides proof of ownership for digital content storage and decentralized storage systems. Blockchain is being used in the fleet tracking market to identify care of custody and ownership of vehicles. This assists in the entire ecosystem, including fleet managers/owners, customers, and insurance companies. This will also help support a robust fractional usage/ownership value chain in which vehicles are used by multiple clients. In a related example, blockchain is also used in the general asset tracking market for similar purposes such as tracking ownership/custody of trailers that are often used by multiple semi-tractors as part of shipping operations and other logistics related industry verticals.



Ethereum also provides a decentralized platform for building apps and has seen the highest number of projects that are built on a blockchain platform. Some of these projects are:

1. Angur, Gnosis : Decentralized prediction market
2. BoardRoom: Blockchain governance platform
3. DigixGlobal: Technology to own gold assets
4. WeiFund: Crowd funding platform.
5. Maker: Autonomous bank and market maker
6. Slock.it : Smart locking and billing for sharing economy
7.VISA to Introduce Blockchain Based Solution for Payment Services


While some of these projects are finally moving from the test stage to the end-users there are hundreds of projects not mentioned here yet to be implemented.


Blockchain trends in 2019

Facebook's Secretive Blockchain (Details)




More information has popped up from Facebook's secretive crypto-currency project, GlobalCoin. The world's biggest social media announced the creation of its own crypto-currency and are yet to make its plans public of its crypto ambitions. Media reports over the past few months suggest the company wants to capitalize on the blockchain tech. In short, a team led by former PayPal president David Marcus is building an asset-backed crypto-currency, one designed to operate within the company’s existing messaging infrastructure.


Blockchain-enabled Document Management System by Kodak




The legacy camera brand announced this system at a two-day conference held recently. This platform is intended for businesses and governments to store and manage sensitive documents. The Kodak Document Management Platform relies on blockchain tech to provide efficiency and maximum security. Kodak-Services (details).


Aion Network launches first blockchain virtual machine on Java




Aion Network is a non-profit organization aiming to rebuild an internet that puts users first through the utilization of blockchain on top of the popular Java Virtual Machine. AVM (Aion Virtual Machine) is the first blockchain virtual machine available to Java developers. AVM is supplementary software that can coordinate and interact with the JVM as developers build decentralised applications and smart contracts above the Aion blockchain utilizes multiple tools already popular on the main net, which provides accessibility and redundancy in the public network it.


Apple's CryptoKit launch to bolster blockchain on iPhones




CryptoKit, a new Swift developer framework that can compute, evaluate and store keys in a device's enclave. For now Apple is helping  developers to easily navigate through the minefield of cryptography challenges. CryptoKit supports 256-, 384-, and 512-bit SHA-2 secure hashes, as well as NIST P-256, -384, and -521 signatures and X25519 keys.


There is no doubt Blockchain is one the major improvements to the Internet but it does not solve every issue. The major issue with this technology is privacy, pseudonymity (the ability of users to hide behind wallet address) and throughput limitation.  Also in a distributed network, it takes a long time to execute a transaction compared to that of centralized systems.

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