Blockchain: Disruptive Potential and Implementation Practices

The disruptive potential of blockchain technology is comparable, for many, to what the Internet was in the second half of the 1990s.
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The disruptive potential of blockchain technology is, for many, comparable to the Internet in the second half of the 1990s. It is potentially a technology that will change the lifestyle of the majority of the world’s population over the next 10 years. Some predictions point to 10% of the world GDP being transacted with blockchain support.

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), blockchain technology has since mobilized more than 2,500 patent applications and about $ 1.4 billion in investments.

Blockchain has the potential to change the way we perceive, think and use the Internet at the same time, bringing a return to the origins of the global network, that is, a decentralized and egalitarian system. What the group that adopted the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto presented to the world in 2008 went far beyond a technology that would support a cryptomoeda. In fact, this is a new way of reaching consensus on the contents of a database without anyone being in charge of it. At the same time, there has also been a way to compensate people for helping to make this database viable and increasingly reliable since they can decide to be part of the network by making available their computing resources so that they become operational validators, with the possibility of being compensated in different ways. For example, with currency units as in the case of “Bitcoin Blockchain”.

These two ideas have been replicated in dozens of new systems inspired by Bitcoin. One such system is Ethereum designed to be a blockchain network that will support a wide variety of applications. There are currently hundreds of Ethereum applications in development, from Facebook clones to crowdfunding services.

Implementation

In the face of a series of projects with comprehensive scopes, such as those mentioned above, undertaken for example by city halls, state governments, among other institutions, it is important not to be intimidated and understand that we are dealing with an open source technology, accessible to all as long as the knowledge requirements for its use are met.

It is reasonable and sensible for most companies and public institutions to begin their forays into the world of blockchains with small-scale pilot projects. In this sense, it is important to map out the need for computational resources that the project will require, possible bureaucratic obstacles, the expected benefits with the application, and the knowledge requirements for its execution. GitHub, Node JS, Virtualization, JavaScript, JSON and Golang, as well as experience in network architecture, encryption, and P2P connection are some of the building blocks of most blockchain applications.

In the coming years we will see the use of two types of blockchain networks: public and private. We will see companies make the decision to adopt private networks covering subsidiaries, affiliates, business partners and customers. The same should occur with the public administration that will build blockchain networks integrating taxpayers, agencies of different instances and assignments, and their suppliers. The difference between public and private blockchains is only in who can be part of each of the networks.

In turn, public blockchain networks will be widely used for a number of applications such as copyright registrations, product buying and selling, voting, among many others.

In the case of public blockchain networks any person or institution may participate. We will see that in many cases there will be some kind of incentive for different agents to participate in the network, as is currently the case with Bitcoin Blockchain. One of the disadvantages of this type of blockchain is the amount of computational resources needed to keep the database distributed, which can lead to a longer time for consensus on an operation to be achieved, and for all new records to be written to all nodes in the network.

Private blockchain networks require permission to join or invite. Access control can be exercised in a variety of ways, for example by a specific company, the network creator, a group of administrators, current participants or a public authority. This type of network offers great scalability and records processing.

With this post we closed this year’s series on Blockchain. If you have not read the previous posts in this series, access the content about the usage landscape and perspectives for blockchain technology and the current applications of this technology.