Post-Bitcoin: The Real Beauty of Blockchains

Summer vacation is almost here — perfect to spend a few extra hours in the hammock thinking about new tech solutions, right? As for us, our thoughts drifted away already contemplating fintech this time. The blockchain technology has been on everyone’s lips for a while, especially for those who joined the Bitcoin wave last year. Put simply, the idea of blockchains is a system for transactions where each party has full access to the records — no fuzz. This enables disclosure within the network while using powerful cryptography to make sure that no transaction is adjusted nor deleted. It’s kind of like playing old-school Monopoly; everyone around the table watches you sneakily buying those fierce Norrmalmstorg hotels, making it impossible for you to hide your strategies. And once the dice are rolling, no changing of mind is allowed. It’s clear, it’s simple — and it’s all on the table.

While Bitcoin was the breakthrough, the blockchain is now reaching far outside the world of cryptocurrencies. See, the beauty of blockchain is the principle of a decentralized system, meaning there’s no central authority to verify each transaction or flow of information. Instead, there are complex rules for adding new information to the chain to ensure the authenticity, and once a change has been done, the records are adjusted and a copy goes out to each member of the network. You probably realize the tremendous amount of time and trouble this saves for any company or organization dealing with flows of information; Walmart has already implemented blockchains for tracking food and recording dates to avoid food waste, thanks to the instant access to all information on a single receipt.

 

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Source: Unsplash

Now, our favorite thing about blockchains: the unlimited opportunities. We live in a time where innovation has never been more widespread and ideas never more creative. All those amazing tech initiatives just about to be launched and utilized — many of them have one thing in common: dealing with cyber security. Ideas and innovation often run faster than security can keep up. Take this for example: the technology for self-driving cars is already up and running, but missing untouchable systems to guarantee full safety (here’s the whole story if you want to read more). Blockchains could put an end to those flaws. The outcome? Lower thresholds for new technology and innovative start-ups to find their way to the market. If that’s not a boost for the technical revolution, we don’t know what is!

They say a chain is no stronger than its weakest link; well, in this case, there won’t even be any room for those weak links. Blockchains make sure that each link is reliable by being very cautious of who’s being authorized to access in the first place. The real challenge however (there’s always one!) lies in facilitating these systems to render them accessible on the market, soon offering us highly efficient, bullet proof ways to communicate and to do business. Here’s a pioneer already: The Winding Tree, a blockchain powered alternative to hotels.com now in the works, soon working as a peer-to-peer network replacing pricey intermediary agencies in the hotel business. This means pushed down prizes for consumers and a more profitable market for companies. Thanks, blockchains — we’re looking forward to seeing more disruptive ideas being turned into reality.