Blockchain technology emerged in 2008 and passes through the world like a hurricane. Traditional markets, such as banking, have been shaken by this news and are reinventing themselves to stay alive in the game.
The most famous fruit of this technology is Bitcoin. The virtual currency has been drawing attention for some years, but exploded in 2017 when its value rose more than 1500% in just 12 months.
However, Bitcoin is just the tip of the iceberg. Blockchain technology offers a number of practical applications and promises to change our lives, especially with regard to digital data security and telecommunication.
After all, what is blockchain?
Blockchain is one of those novelties that seems too abstract for outsiders. But in good Portuguese, the term can be translated as "chain of blocks" or "chained blocks". Each block contains a specific content (for example, a financial value) and a fingerprint (code) that refers to the previous block, and so on. In this way, a chain of blocks connected by registered fingerprints is created.
To better understand, imagine the sequence: Block A (contains number 2); Block B (contains the number 3 + fingerprint of Block A), Block C (contains the number 4 + fingerprint of Block C).
Notice that each part of the row is interconnected with the others and you can trace the origin of any block from the fingerprint of one of them. This allows all information to be certified and validated quickly.
Why is blockchain good for digital security?
Among the main advantages of this technology, the most cited by the specialists is cybersecurity. This is because (in addition to the tracking mentioned in the item above) the blockchain breaks with the current model of centralized data storage and bets on decentralization.
The blocks are "deposited" in thousands of computers around the world, but interconnected with each other. Thanks to the integrated work of the machines, any change made to the block chain is only accepted if all the computers "allow".
In practice, this means that even if one machine is hacked, the others will notice the change and stop the attack.
Thus, it is much more difficult to invade such a system. However, experts also say that nothing is 100% safe and that flaws can occur, though they are rare.
How will the blockchain impact the lives of people and companies?
Little by little, the blockchain begins to invade our lives, bringing about great changes, especially, as far as the security of the information exchanged by the Internet is concerned.
Bank password will be a thing of the past - The most commented news with the arrival of blockchain is the change of how we access our banking and financial information. We currently enter a username and password to view the account online. In the future it will be different.
Thanks to the technology, it is possible to validate and verify a certain device (cellular or desktop) and to check with which user this device is linked. Currently, verification is done only by the user profile, creating security holes.
This possibility of directly validating the device will make a lot of bank retire the current mode of logging in.
Hospital patients will have more privacy - Putting aside the habit of entering user and password to access the sites will also bring benefits to patients from clinics, hospitals and offices. Currently, each person's health data is linked to a profile (with username and password, of course).
From the blockchain, several startups are creating ways to keep information secret and accessed in different ways, without the need for a common login. Thus, the data is stored in a much more secure way, keeping absolute secrecy.
Food tracking will be more reliable - The blockchain's ability to keep all transactions and changes recorded in an encrypted system is an effective weapon for food tracking. That's why Walmart, the world's largest retailer, has plunged headlong into technology.
The retailer's goal is to develop "a standards-based method of collecting data on the origin, safety and authenticity of food."
It means that the end consumer will know everything about the food they buy, from the place where it was planted, when it was harvested and how it came to the supermarket shelf.
So much information is especially useful in the Chinese market, in which early experiments are coming off the paper. The trend is for the project to be implemented in many other countries.
Security will be better on smartphones - Sirin Labs is developing the first smartphone in the world based on blockchain. The main goal is to create a special device to manage crypto-coins, such as Bitcoin. Only the idea goes further.
Called Finney, the smartphone will also feature a number of other features, such as intrusion detection from user behavior, to increase (and much) the security of the device.