How many of you foresaw the advent of the internet age before it became a staple of our daily lives? Chances are, very few of you. Certainly, the average person couldn’t have anticipated just how much the internet would change our lives.
Global access to the world wide web has altered the way the we consume information; how we communicate, learn, and conduct business. Over the course of several decades, an entire ecosystem evolved – one that we could never have been predicted, especially in those early years.
Similarly, the technology that underpins Bitcoin (a well known crypto-currency) has now been around for almost a decade and has started to hit the mainstream media and non-technical observers.
Blockchain is a peer-to-peer public ledger maintained by a distributed network of computers that requires no intermediary or central authority. Essentially, it is a collection of mathematical algorithms and communication protocols that guarantees a level of security and authenticity for storing information.
If the Internet is dubbed the protocol (a set of rules) that facilitates communication, then the blockchain is considered the successor (or rather an upgrade) of that protocol. Don and Alex Tapscott, the authors of the book Blockchain Revolution declared blockchain to be the ‘Trust Protocol‘.
As the successor to the internet protocol, blockchain will be instrumental in forming the ‘Internet of Value’ – a world where money is transferred as easily and quickly as is information on the internet today.
To understand the fundamentals of blockchain is to grasp the attributes that blockchain has. A well summarised article on The Magic of the Blockchain, concluded it’s attributes to be; a ledger that is immutable, distributed and cryptographically secure. Distilling this jargon further you’ll get the following :
Ledger : A historical record of trades and (or) transactions.
Immutable : Once trade is recorded on the ledger, it is permanent and temper-proof.
Cryptographically secure : Everyone can trust the information at hand even when it’s gone through multiple processes and users. Allowing for independent verification.
Distributed : Everyone within the network (blockchain) gets a copy of the information on within the transaction, and is everyone is always synced and updated with everything.
In the Single Truth We Trust
So what does it mean for a protocol with these inherent qualities? Well, it goes back to the design and purpose of blockchains; technology that ensures a secure, efficient and transparent transaction of data and or value (Bitcoin). More importantly, it is a public ledger that everyone can inspect, but which no single user controls.
However, we live in a world where multiple record keeping systems maintain the same data, clearly not the most efficient way of working together. The problem is that it everyone’s data eventually has to be reconciled with one another every time transactions or batch processing has concluded. This takes time, resources and results in countless human errors.
Let’s illustrate the case by having you fill-up your car at the petrol station. You swipe your debit card to ‘authorise’ the purchase of the fuel. At this point the transaction initiates a series of steps in which you, your bank, the petrol station and the petrol station’s bank will all need to update their records whilst passing through credit services and clearing houses.The experience may seem instant, but the process of actually transferring the cash from point A to point B takes several days, if not weeks when cards are involved.
By blockchain standards, this seems like a dystopia. Especially when there is a lag between the trade and settlement, facilitated by the movement of money (which is slow). So how do you fill up your car in a blockchain enabled world ? You simply add a transaction to the blockchain stating that some funds you control (an amount someone else has transferred to you) now belongs to the petrol station. This happens instantaneously and is real time in which by definition, the trade is itself its own settlement. In other means, the record of trades IS the money, which leaves a fundamental question to be asked – What is money ?(We’ll discuss this in the next blockchain series on how it will disrupt the financial sector.)
This is what is meant by the ‘truth’ in the context of blockchains, the merging of information and value stored in a distributed ledger technology which “. . . allows ‘trusted transactions [to happen] directly between two or more parties, authenticated by mass collaboration and powered by collective self-interests” wrote Don Tapscott, author of Blockchain Revolution. It is not surprising an article in The Economist eluded that “spread of blockchain [can be disruptive] for anyone in the ‘trust business’- the centralised institutions and bureaucracies, such as banks, clearing houses and government authorities that are deemed sufficiently trustworthy to handle transactions.”
Solving modern-day problems with blockchains
While many may wrestle to grasp the full potential of blockchain technology, it is perhaps easier to define the applications that can utilize this new technology based on our current modern day problems. Companies and organisations that have to share or store valuable information are the most interested. By doing so, we can see how the possibilities are almost endless – as shown in the diagram below.
Source : Allens Linklaters ‘Blockchain Reaction’
As such, it’s really no surprise that MDEC were quick to show their support for Neuroware by granting them MSC status – the first blockchain company in Malaysia to gain this strategic position and benefit from the incentives provided and approved by the MOF.
In the following series of articles on Disruptive Blockchains Decrypted, we will look into how Blockchains have the potential to disrupt many industries – from the financial sector, supply chain management and all the way through to education.
Invest in Neuroware, Asia’s Leading Blockchain Infrastructure Provider
Neuroware are early innovators within a new digital landscape that is disrupting the way industries and organizations around the world are storing and sharing data. They are the first company in South East Asia to offer enterprise solutions and services for a wide array of distributed ledgers with their blockchain based operating systems and databases, which function upon various blockchains, from Bitcoin and Ethereum to Dogecoin and Dash.
Neuroware have already been recognized by the BankTechAsia, Fintech Singapore, TechBullion and Star Online community as the leading Blockchain Infrastructure Providers in Asia, where they have been educating governmental agencies and training organizations regarding distributed ledger technology and how it can reduce costs whilst also introducing new methods for generating revenue.
By investing in Neuroware, you’re investing in the future – a future with persistent data and inescapable transparency – a network that people such as Bill Gates and Sir Richard Branson have called the most important technology since the Internet. Find out more and how you could become a crucial part of the blockchain revolution by investing in Neuroware at – bit.ly/fundneuroware