It may be a bit premature to officially introduce the technology which supports Bitcoin, but the impact that Blockchain could have on economy, security, and even diamond warfare are too hard not to get excited about.
Used as a method of recording data, Blockchain creates a digital ledger of any important information which needs to be independently verified as having taken place, including transactions, agreements and contracts.
This information is then “blocked” together cryptographically and chronologically to form a “chain” of information, hence “Blockchain”. This chain is then distributed across however many computers are in the relevant network, which can be thousands, so that everyone within that network can access the most up-to-date version of this digital ledger.
On the face of it, and in light of cyber security worries, this may seem like a bad thing, but actually Blockchain technology is anticipated to have a leading role in reducing data breaches.
While everyone on the network can have access to the ledger, entries only outline the contents, rather than giving people access to the details. None of the original entries can be altered without changing the digital signature which accompanies the chain of information, which would alert system managers to an attempted breach, and information can only be added to.
What’s more in order for hackers to gain access to this information, they would have to source all of them in each location throughout the network at the same time.
It is hoped that this digital transparency will aid regulators in getting the information they need and help combat internal tax fraud.
From an administrative point of view, Blockchain will help avoid duplication because the ledger will contain all the most up-to-date items, and help speed up processes and transactions. For the insurance industry this could mean ease of access between insurers, brokers, loss adjusters, legal experts and clients, with the potential to reduce costs, delays and mistakes.
And that’s just the start. For now, we’ll have to wait and see what Blockchain has in store, and how it will impact the way we do business.