How the Blockchain is Powering Our Future

Visual Capitalist  |

The future is bright, and it’s going to be driven by the blockchain.

Blockchain technology is already turning the financial industry upside down through its disruptive applications, but finance is only the tip of the iceberg. The blockchain’s true scope is in its ability to change the way you do things every day – like voting, travelling, or going to the doctor.

The Future of Blockchain

Today’s infographic comes to us from HIVE Blockchain Technologies, and it gives us a glimpse into the potential of blockchain technology beyond the world of finance.

How the Blockchain is Powering Our Future

While the blockchain is primarily associated with cryptocurrencies and the financial industry, the true potential of blockchain technology is much broader and far-reaching.

Innovative startups are already finding ways to leverage blockchain technology to give facelifts to nearly every industry imaginable, changing traditional practices and making way for new, disruptive business models.

In fact, it’s almost difficult to imagine an area of life that won’t lend itself to a blockchain-fueled upgrade.

Today's Blockchain

In its current form, the blockchain works something like this:

  1. Party A wants to transact with Party B
  2. This transaction is recorded on the blockchain as a block of encrypted data
  3. This block is then broadcast to every participant in the blockchain network. The block itself is visible to all, but sensitive information is encrypted to protect the privacy of both parties
  4. Each participant on the blockchain checks the validity of the block, essentially by confirming that everyone has the same version of encrypted information to eliminate the possibility of tampering
  5. Once verified, the block is added to the chain. Once added, it can’t be moved, changed, or tampered with
  6. Now that the transaction has been verified, it proceeds as planned

Right now, this technology is primarily used for financial transactions, but it can also be used to exchange information, contracts, and official records.

The Blockchain's Limitless Impact

The unique design of the blockchain makes it ideal for situations requiring:

Security
Transactions are virtually tamper-proof. Because each participant on the network checks each block for consistency, trying to hack the blockchain would be like trying to sneak through a single door guarded by a hundred dogs. It can’t be done.

Transparency
Each block is visible to every member of the network, ensuring trust between parties.

Collaboration
Because a blockchain has no borders, it allows for secure collaboration between parties sharing any kind of transaction.

As a result of these traits, the blockchain has limitless potential in all kinds of applications.

Future Blockchain Uses

Here are just some examples of future blockchain uses.

Decision-making
The blockchain can be used in business and government to increase transparency between parties, reduce corruption, and streamline bureaucracy. Transactions are tamper-proof and open to the public eye, allowing everything from rental agreements to national elections to be made fair and equitable.

Healthcare
The blockchain has the potential to improve medical access and efficiency. By allowing patient records to be shared securely between healthcare providers, doctors can bring all that information together to improve their diagnoses and develop more holistic treatment plans for individual patients.

With all of that patient data collated on the network, blockchain technology can help to advance more sophisticated medical research, potentially curing diseases or providing insights for more effective treatments.

Identity
Identity theft could also become a thing of the past with blockchain and biometrics. All of your personal identity information – even your passport, educational records, and driving licence – can be securely stored on the blockchain. Because your data is linked to biometrics unique to you and impossible to forge, the information is safe from fraud.

But these are just some examples – and the blockchain will impact nearly every facet of our lives, even allowing service providers collaborate with one another to give you unique, personalized service, when you need it.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer

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