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What is Blockchain? 2 Positives and 2 Negatives

blockchain, ai, machinelearning, computers, IT, iot, internetofthings

Source: Digital Trends

Introduction

What exactly is blockchain and how can it help your business?  That’s a good question where the answer is changing all the time.  It’s a new technology so many studies and trial and error are going to be completed before that can even begin to fully answer that question.  Here’s what is known right now, which is plenty. 

Positives of Using Blockchain

  1. The blockchain is located in one location – Nobody has control of any of the information going in or out.  This means that all the work that enters and exits is original content that has not been modified.  It’s a public ledger that is extremely difficult to tamper with.  The built-in layer of protection used to encrypt everything is something that standard technology cannot imitate.  
  2. Blockchain has been around for over 40 years – The technology is new and only a decade old, but people have been studying it since at least 1976.  The blockchain is something that will take time before it can become fully useful for what companies really want to use it for.  The technology right now is just so expensive to get as blockchain uses such advanced calculations.  The power these systems need is what has to be taken into consideration.  This is the reason that cryptocurrency was introduced first.  It rewards people for using its technology through monetary means. 

Negatives of Using Blockchain 

  1. The Computing Power Needed (electricity) – Large blockchain systems eat up tons of electricity.   It’s equated to the amount of power a small country uses.  Not very appealing for emerging markets or developed nations. 
  1. The Speed of Transactions – Block in chains that are created takes time to verify in the distributed network.  At worst verification took over 41 hours.   The fastest is 15 seconds.  Still too long if someone wants to buy something.   

Summary 

The problems will be fixed over time as blockchain is used more.  The question is how long will it take before it’s up to standards for full use in the business environment?  Right now, it’s used for smart contracts and maybe protecting people’s personal information, but that’s about it.  It will take some time before it can handle data more quickly so it can be used for more types of business transactions. Patience is key! 

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