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Although bitcoin uses this technology to archive transactions and virtual currencies, the reality is that it has started to give other uses, since it also allows to save and share any type of data and documents. In this way, the blockchain technology can be described as a book of digital events shared by many different parties. It can only be updated from the consensus of each of the parties that are part of it, and once introduced, the information can never be erased. It is therefore a new way of storing data.
In fact, you could say that it is like a traditional database, but in which each block of information is securely connected to the other blocks through a digital signature. This allows many people to be connected, but if someone makes an unauthorized change in the chain, the rest can see what has happened. All this makes this technology the fastest, cheapest and safest. Not in vain, you would have to hack all the computers connected by blockchain in order to access your information.
It is true that the blockchain technology began to be known by bitcoin, the virtual crypto currency that has changed the way money moves in the world, but now goes much further. It has already begun to be used in many sectors, being the one of the bank the one that makes more use of this technology, since the service of storage and transfer of money offered by the banks is something that can also offer the blockchain. In fact, many banks have detected the disruptive power of this technology and, according to a study by Magister Advisors, they plan to invest a trillion dollars in blockchain projects in 2017.
Another great sector in which it begins to settle is that of payments and transfers. Although it has remained unchanged for more than 100 years, the different players in this sector are aware of the advantages offered by blockchain technology, because thanks to it, it is possible to connect payers and beneficiaries at very low costs and without intermediaries.
If you talk about the most interesting applications that the blockchain allows you to highlight the smart contracts. They are a kind of ‘smart contracts’ between two or more parties that are capable of being executed and enforced by themselves, autonomously and automatically. The use of blockchain technology in this type of documents serves to confirm that the contract has been fulfilled without disclosing confidential information about any of the parties or the nature of the transaction. In addition, smart contracts can be coded to reflect any type of data-based logic. This in practice results in the possibility of making payments to someone that you have subcontracted at the time you finish your job, as in the fact that your refrigerator bought eggs once it detects that they are over.
Another area in which you can guess an interesting future is that of electronic voting, but for the moment it has only been used in electoral processes of schools. For Spain, for example, at this moment in which there is a possibility of repeating the elections, the use of electronic voting would entail a saving of around 100 million euros, which is the expense of all the infrastructure derived from organizing some Elections – ballots and counting of votes included. For this reason, electronic voting has already been tested in some countries, but to date the systems used have not been able to resist being hacked by cybercrime attacks. However, with blockchain technology it would be possible to carry out this whole process by keeping voters’ identities secret and at a very low cost.
The infinite possibilities that venture to the blockchain show that it has already begun to give numerous applications: the authentication of academic certificates, the creation of the backbone of a network of independent IOT devices that allow its communication autonomously and So that the connected devices can update, search for viruses or carry out their own energy management, or to make the conditions of online music shared more fair, because blockchain technology is being developed to get payments to artists established in a way More direct and without the intervention, once again, of intermediaries.
The blockchain is the fundamental innovation
This technology designed to validate each transaction, is adaptable for any type of change, regardless of whether it is linked to a currency or not. Called a blockchain, it opens the possibility that the technology is used in other industries.
Marc Andreessen, partner of Andreessen Horowitz is another of the companies that are looking for projects to finance new companies focused on this new category, where they fit: digital assets, digital actions and bonds, digital crowdfunding, digital insurance, among others.
Projects based on this technology
Bitshares http://bitshares.org/ decentralized and interbank bank.
Keybase, https://keybase.io/ virtual identity card, with verification of people using the same underlying Bitcoin technology. Certificate of authenticity for files or video streams online.
Bitcoin Tangible Trust http://bitcointangibletrust.com/ allows people to buy and trade gold using Bitcoin technology to validate transactions and show ownership.
RippleSingapore https://www.ripplesingapore.com/ offers a similar service for trading gold, silver, platinum and coins.
Ethership – Distributed Package Delivery Network http://forum.ethereum.org/discussion/468/ethership-distributed-package-delivery-network
Messaging package services that could evolve towards an industry-based self-organization. Anyone would be part of the service and with a car could become a courier service, picking up and delivering packages as they travel or run errands ..
MaidSafe – http://maidsafe.net/ has developed a service that allows consumers to share storage with each other, an alternative to cloud computing providers like Amazon Web Services.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. and eBay have applied for patents around digital coins similar to Bitcoin and the underlying technologies. Many banks are evaluating this for internal operations. ”
Many startups are using the existing Bitcoin network, but many others are creating alternate versions that work the same way to provide verification. The most well-known projects are Mastercoin, Ethereum, Colored Coins, Counterparty, Ripple and BitShares.
Bitcoin only for Africa? We will have to be attentive to the startups that arise in the bitcoin-blockchain ecosystem, but surely this potential revolution will resonate in Silicon Valley, Bangalore, inlcuso in China.
The value of blockchain technology (Bitcoin) beyond its use as money
Bitcoin is associated as currency but the value of its technology goes beyond buying and selling cupcakes or other products in online stores. This is a brilliant technological development with enormous potential.
Entrepreneurs, backed by investors like Andreessen Horowitz and BitAngel, are betting that the technology behind the virtual currency can be used for a wide variety of financial streams currently offered by banks, stock exchanges, e-commerce providers and other intermediaries.
Invictus Innovations (http://bitshares.org/), Ripple Labs Inc. (https://www.ripplelabs.com/) and other new companies are leveraging Bitcoin’s underlying code for financial aspects such as authentication (making sure the Buyer does not impersonate another person), or verification of payments to ensure that a transaction is valid.
If such projects are successful, these new tools could reduce rates paid by buyers and sellers by about $ 1220 billion in the global e-commerce market, in addition to their impact on financial services, cloud computing, and other Areas.
“People are starting to realize that Bitcoin is more than just a currency and a payment system, it’s” the Internet of money, “David Johnston, co-founder of BitAngels, says:” We are at a very exciting time. ”
Investments in bitcoin technology
A group of startups investors interested in Bitcoin under the BitAngels initiative http://www.bitangels.co/ (Angel Investor Group) are analyzing projects to invest in more than 30 projects related to the “bitcoin methodology”.
There is growing recognition, even among financial firms, that the underlying design of Bitcoin technology can be used for any transaction that requires some degree of verification.
In a recent report, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. argues that while Bitcoin probably will not be viable as a currency, but instead the basic technology “could be a real promise.” Bitcoin’s future as the “Money Internet” was one Of the hottest topics at the CoinSummit conference in San Francisco.
The software behind Bitcoin is based on a public record of all transactions that have ever been made. When someone sells all or part of Bitcoin, the property change is registered by a global network of computers and sent to a public registry, ensuring that the same unit of money cannot be used twice. Computer owners to resolve and verify these transactions are rewarded with new Bitcoins for their work.