“What is blockchain?” was one of the most asked questions by people around the world in January.
While a complex mechanism, it is basically a shared public ledger, also called a distributed database, which tracks transactions and ensures that the record of those transactions remains transparent and tamper-proof.
“Blockchain is a world-readable digital bulletin board,” said Ari Juels, a professor at Cornell University and former chief scientist at security firm RSA. “And when something is written to the bulletin board, it sticks there forever.”
Any web-shared blockchain is meant to be impossible to edit or forge, because there’s no centralized database vulnerable to hackers or chicanery.
“Blockchain is a way of creating strong trust relationships in a way that the internet alone can’t do. And that’s a powerful proposition in a lot of industries,” added Juels.
It is crucial for investors to understand the difference between cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, and the blockchain software programs that enable them. It is also important to get a feel for just how speculative digital monies like Bitcoin are right now before investing directly in the currencies or through related exchange traded funds or stocks.
Companies are not yet using blockchain programs to run any large-scale commercial projects. But Deutsche Bank (DB) forecasts that blockchain systems will, by 2027, record transactions for about 10% of worldwide GDP, with financial services and banking sectors likely to play key early roles.
Gartner Group forecasts an accelerating takeoff for blockchain platforms. Blockchain is estimated to have delivered $4 billion in business value-add or technology innovation in 2017, with that growing to $21 billion by 2020, $176 billion in 2025 and $3.1 trillion by 2030, says Gartner.
Source: Investor’s Business Daily