The combined potential of blockchain and 5G
We have heard a lot about 5G in the past couple years – and especially in 2020. With that conversation has come widespread speculation as to what the 5G network can help us accomplish and how it will officially catapult us into the next generation of global technology.
Every futuristic vision from self-driving cars to VR universes has come to mind, but 5G’s greatest impact may be tied to a technology that’s already been around for years – blockchain.
Here is a closer look at what 5G is and what its relationship with blockchain technology can help accomplish in the coming years.
What is 5G?
5G is the fifth generation of cellular networks, representing a new era in terms of size, speed (10x that of 4G), latency, connectivity, and overall capability for data and wireless devices.
4G technology was initially announced in 2010, but it wasn’t until a few years later that we truly started to see applications that would end up reshaping much of our modern world – and our relationship with our mobile devices.
The same has been forecasted for 5G, which means we should expect to see the network really take off in 2021 and 2022. 5G is currently available in most major U.S. cities in some capacity and is rolling out on an increasingly global scale as we speak.
What will 5G be used for?
Right now, the real-world applications of 5G are fairly limited in comparison to what 4G is able to accomplish, but as mentioned above, it’s primarily the potential of 5G that makes it such a hot topic of conversation.
It has been said 5G will have the capacity to make on-device data storage obsolete, allowing you to upload massive files to the cloud in a matter of seconds. Other speculative uses include ultra-HD video chat, video game streaming, unlimited home internet data, and healthcare applications such as VR physical therapy and smart bandages that automatically track and report on your healing process.
So where does blockchain come into the picture?
In conversations relating to the potential of 5G, blockchain technology is often mentioned right alongside as a tool that can complement the other and vice versa in several ways.
With the rollout of 5G will come an increasing presence of interconnected devices ranging from cars and thermostats to smart appliances and beyond, furthering the trend of the rapidly growing Internet of Things (IoT).
This growth will ultimately be unlocked due to the high-speed and low-latency nature of 5G, which allows devices to communicate and send data instantly across many different channels.
This does bring, however, a serious concern in the realm of security.
Security on the blockchain
As more of our devices become interconnected and begin communicating with one another, the number of channels through which intruders can access personal and potentially dangerous information also increases.
This is where blockchain – already known for its strong built-in security – can play a leading role in bolstering security for these devices. Blockchain is decentralized in nature, which together with complex algorithms on the chain can protect data sent and stored via the IoT.
Blockchain and finance
Scalability and security are also key issues in the digitization of finance and banking. Blockchain is already closely tied to the world of finance, thanks primarily to its upbringing in cryptocurrency and the current existence of several applications that allow for worldwide decentralized transactions.
5G can add to this by combining the security of blockchain in these transactions with the speed and connectivity needed to help developing nations in particular take advantage without causing excess strain on the network.
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