Recently, the Gartner consulting firm unveiled the top 10 strategic technology trends for 2017. Among concepts such as artificial intelligence and conversational systems, a technology is still little known that can transform the businesses of the future, is Blockchain (or distributed registries).
To understand what a Blockchain is, one must first understand what Bitcoin is. This virtual money that has long drawn the attention of the entire world is an encrypted and decentralized currency, the value of which is measured by direct and free transactions of intermediaries.
While the value of 1 real (that is, what you can buy with $ 1) is determined by the government of Brazil, and the value of 1 dollar (what you can buy with $ 1) is determined by the US government , The value of 1 Bitcoin is determined by an open-source and self-regulating algorithm.
Buying an asset over the internet, by the traditional way, requires that several companies (interested in profit) engage in the transaction to ensure that your money will be transferred securely to the account of the store or company of which you are a customer. With Bitcoin, you can make purchases without intermediaries, making the process faster, safer and cheaper.
The secret to this whole efficiency is Blockchain. This technology is nothing more than a kind of book of records that counts each of the transactions made around the world with virtual coins. It’s mainly what ensures that your transaction is secure and hacker-proof – more than ordinary transactions.
It works as follows (roughly): Bitcoin miners, those computers that offer their computing power to “fabricate” the virtual currency, act interconnectedly, around the globe, “writing down” every transaction made in time With Bitcoin. Each one keeps an eye on what others are doing.
Every 10 minutes, a page of this collaborative log book (one block) is closed containing all the transactions made in the previous 10 minutes anywhere on the internet. This block is connected to all other previously made blocks – a block chain, or a blockchain – so that one can only be accessed if it is properly connected to the others.
In other words, you have to break the encryption of the world’s largest computer network, maintained by millions of terminals spread across hundreds of countries. It is “virtually” impossible. In traditional centralized transactions, such as we normally use today, you just have to hack one of the middlemen – your bank, for example – to defraud the whole process and cause a huge loss.
It is only natural that the technology industry has shown an interest in this new system. As more people connect to the Internet, more businesses are looking for the virtual environment, more monopolies are firming up in the financial sector and more security is lost. Blockchain can ensure the stability and security necessary for the growth of the digital economy.
Blockchain is, therefore, the technology that underpins the “magic” of Bitcoin, or that of any other virtual currency. Little by little this self-regulation system begins to be used by other types of virtual encrypted transactions that go beyond Bitcoins, such as registry networks, for example, that need to validate information security instantly.
A good example is Hyperledger, an open source collaborative project initiated in 2015 by the Linux Foundation, which aims to share industrial applications for Blockchain technology. The idea behind Hyperledger is to create a free system capable of executing the transaction of any type of asset using Blockchain standards, for any type of company, creating a pattern to be followed by the entire industry.
Hyperledger concentrates all kinds of ideas that developers around the world can have about using Blockchain and offers it free to any interested company. So the whole industry learns by itself, helping each other, how this technology can, in theory, make an impact on the global economy: the end of the superpowers and the monopoly of sectors.
Internet transactions carried out in an open source security standard can, in theory, put the same business tools of large corporations into the hands of small entrepreneurs. New forms of entrepreneurship can emerge, with ordinary people administering assets and values over the internet safely, reducing costs, democratizing access to basic goods.
A good example is the La’Zooz, an experience based in Blockchain that thinks of replacing private transport services like Uber. The idea behind the project is for the service to oversee itself, ensuring that passengers can pay their drivers directly without an intermediary. It is an entity without owners and without central servers, free of bureaucracy or fees that only make the service more expensive.
“While the most frequent use is in the financial services industry, there are many potential applications including music distribution, identity verification, title registration, and the supply chain,” says Gartner. Report on the technological trends for 2017.
According to Gartner forecasts, a Blockchain-based business will be worth $10 billion by 2022. For now, this technology has not yet come out of testing environments, out of reach of the general public. But the confidence, security, and agility that this method of validation has already demonstrated in the Bitcoin transactions prove that there is much potential for a new economic revolution to come in a short time.