In the scope of humanity, blockchain technology is an extremely new concept with a lot of revolutionary characteristics. It’s complexity and ability to transform our society equate its magnitude to the internet explosion of the early 1990s. It’s popularity and support are growing exponentially and many of its components will have a prolific impact on our world.

One of blockchain technology’s most impactful characteristics is its decentralized nature. A system as decentralized as blockchain is most unlike anything we have seen in our society or economy thus far, aside from the creation of the internet itself. Most of our monetary transactions today are facilitated by a “middleman” that is the bank. There are many difficulties and costs that arise from using a third-party vendor such as a bank that could be mitigated with the integration of blockchain. Take the idea of correspondent banking, for example.

Trying to make international transactions is a process that is made extraordinarily difficult given our current system. Since there are so many individual banks in existence, it isn’t feasible for every single one of them to form international partnerships, so transactions bounce around from bank to bank. When taking things like manual entry, differing ledgers, and reconciliation into account, this can become a costly and time-consuming task that can often lead to failures in transaction. With the use of blockchain, however, a singular, decentralized ledger would make this international transaction system a much smoother process that saves valuable time and money.

Aside from this specific example, blockchain’s decentralization possesses the obvious benefit of preventing one omnipotent person or organization from governing the entire system. This benefit would directly impact our economy in the future, and we have already seen its success in the rise of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Aside from its decentralized nature is blockchain technology’s degree of security. As the technology put into security has grown over the decades, so has the technology put into breaching security.

Hackers have become more creative and persistent than ever as we have seen a societal shift towards the use of digital monetary transactions and storage. This is an area where blockchain could make an enormous improvement in the near future. Since blockchain is a public ledger, anyone can view every transaction being made, including the details of each transaction, and those who opt to connect their computer to the blockchain network automatically receive updated ledgers each time a new block is added. This means any attempts to hack into the system are easily detectable. Despite this level of transparency, identities are kept relatively anonymous to protect personal information associated with each user, keeping identity theft at bay.

Additionally, blockchain’s use of cryptographic tools like “hashes” and “proof of work” make its network incredibly difficult and nearly impossible to infiltrate or alter. Even if a hacker were to successfully alter a block, they would have to alter the hash of each successive block in order to render the hack undetectable, and even then, they would have to own over 50% of the connected computers to approve this change in blocks. This level of consistent security is something that could revolutionize the way we as a society make transactions with our money, allowing us to feel much safer and more confident in our system. In the future, blockchain technology would find its primary advantages integrated mainly into our system of currency, making it a mammoth contribution to our evolving economy. However, this will not be its only contribution.
Blockchain’s immaculate structure makes it the ideal candidate for securely storing large quantities of information.

Given its security, accessibility, and capacity, blockchain would be the ideal choice for storing data like medical records or historical information. Storing medical records in blockchain would not only cut costs and improve efficiency, but it would also further protect the identities of medical patients. Additionally, storing historical records in something as secure as blockchain would greatly improve the accuracy of future historical accounts and information. Aside from mainstream impacts, blockchain can affect aspects of our society that are much more localized. Take ride sharing, for example.
Companies like Uber and Lyft haven completely revolutionized the way we commute, but not every government supports the idea. Some governments have banned Uber, Lyft, and other ride share companies in order to protect the preexisting taxi systems. With the decentralized approach of blockchain, new ride share enterprises can form without worry of government intervention, such as “La’Zooz,” a ride share company that uses “Zooz” as its tokens to prevent interference of any central authority.

Simply put, blockchain is the technology of the future. Throughout human history, we have seen revolutionary advances, some few and far between, that have completely changed our way of existing. With the amenities provided by blockchain technology, our future could look completely different than our present, and these differences, birthed from innovation, would certainly change our world for the better.

Author's Bio: 

I am a computer science professor. Being a tech enthusiast I keep close tabs on trends and will be glad to share and discuss the latest wrapups in the field with the community.