The many possible futures of blockchain technology
Blockchain technology, the underlying code behind all cryptocurrencies, is very effective at tracking transactions while preserving user anonymity. The idea that Bitcoins have value at all, as they are not fiat-backed by any institution or government, is that they cannot be copied or duplicated due to the non-local public ledger tracking every transaction. The massive collaborative nature of these exchanges ensures accurate settlement and clear times in mere seconds.
On the finance side, it is clear Bitcoin is having an impact. It is, unfortunately, financially unstable. Other cryptocurrencies, Stablecoins, are using blockchain technology to produce currency backed by real currency. This stabilizes the per-unit price and makes, for the first time ever, international payments faster, safer, and less susceptible to money laundering and other fraud.
If there are future disruptions due to blockchain, it is safe to assume those disruptions will not be limited to financial transactions. Whole industries might be affected by the changes coming in the next couple of years.
More and more of our personal devices are being internet-enabled. They call it the Internet of Things, and even if it is a terrible nomenclature, it’s a decent catch all for smart phones, smart homes, connected thermostats, WiFi-enabled security systems, and household data hubs.
A big problem with so much personal data literally streaming through our daily routines is one of security. Blockchain could theoretically eliminate those security lapses. The same basic idea, that your account has a public key and private key, would interact in a decentralized system which keeps the data files private, secure, and safe.
Smart contracts, too, will see a revolution of sorts. There will be no more need for a third-party intermediary ensuring all parties fulfill their ends of every bargain. It would be possible to have the ledger confirm contractual terms have been successfully met. The applications are as limitless as a legal proceeding.
Government and elections
Voting machines could use the added layer of security, especially in today’s foreign infiltration environment. In addition to blockchain levels of added encryption and security, private citizens will also have the option to confirm who they cast a vote for, as well as if and when that vote was counted.
Personal identification is a bit of a roller coaster of different forms, cards, and stamps. Many have state IDs, like a drivers license, but also a computer password, a social security number, physical real-world keys for unlocking literal doors and bike locks, and more.
It is possible to consider a future where everything is stored via a blockchain ID number, with all interactions encrypted and instantly encoded on a massive public ledger. The ledger is open-source and available to scrutiny, and in order to prevent fraud, all other personal identifies would be hidden by that private key.
… And a lot more coming
This is only the tip of the blockchain technology iceberg. Applications are being considered for practical artificial intelligence programming, machine learning, deep learning, and a million other things. It’s an exciting time to be a part of the digital frontier.
For the time being, however, it’s all about trades, exchanges, and mining, and of these, mining might be the best way to invest time and resources. The biggest factors for a decent mining rig is solving for power consumption and the generated heat.
Compute North solves these problems with its colocation services. We have a dedicated technical support staff and 24/7 onsite security at all of our mining sites. Contact us to have your rig installed before the next giant leap in technology gets here.