Blockchain? Fad or Future?

By Dani Ross, Staff Writer

What is a blockchain and why is it going to revolutionize everything?

Picture a string of pearls. Each pearl is connected to another to make a singular necklace. Now, imagine that each pearl is a block of data and that the string is an infinite string of pearls. All valuable and all connected. That is basically how a blockchain works, but what is does is so much more.

Right now companies collect your data and use it to make money off of you, as well as make more money from you. You don’t see a dime of the wealth that you create for them.

Also, corporations and governments store all of this data that they collect in one centralized place, which has made it very convenient for hackers to steal.

Entities such as the Federal Government, Equifax, Target, Ebay, Blue Cross Blue Shield, VeriSign, Adobe, Home Depot and JP Morgan Chase just to name a few have all been hacked and your information has been compromised.

In short, not only is your information being profited from, it is also vulnerable with the current system of things.

Enter blockchains.

Blockchain will do for business what the Internet did for communication. It will completely change the game.

Take security for instance. A blockchain stores transactions in a block of data. That block is attached to a chain of other data blocks. If someone wanted to take or change any of the information on that blockchain they would have to hack each and every block of data and change the information on each and every block of data. We are talking about thousands to millions of blocks of data. In short, not happening!

One of the most talked-about blockchain systems is Bitcoin. Bitcoin rose to fame on the dark web as a cryptocurrency that was used for drug dealing. One of the boastful statements that Bitcoin makes is that it circumvents the banking system while allowing you to anonymously move large sums of money in seconds.

Those layers of security that allow anonymity make Bitcoin a huge data hog and has revived some almost extinct names in the tech industry.

Take IBM. Watson, cloud computing and data storage have given the century-old company new life. IBM is renting out data centers to clients across the globe and blockchains will be their largest data consumers.

Market & Market estimates that by 2022 blockchain-related products and services will reach $7.7 billion, up from $242 million last year.

For those of us who are looking for a safe, secure and trustworthy way of doing financial and business transactions, blockchain will change the game.

Blockchain can also be the solution to doing business with black businesses. You could potentially find a black-owned business and have safe transactions that will be recorded forever.

Because blockchain is open source, a company’s transaction history will be available and their credibility will no longer be a secret. Black-owned businesses can grow and expand without issues of trust inhibiting them. Faith can be restored in our business communities.

For example, imagine if a certain black-owned bank in North Carolina, whose stock has struggled to break $5 a share, decided to adopt a blockchain system as a banking option to recruit new small-business customers.

Instead of customers having to jump head first into new, unfamiliar technology, they could ease into it through a traditional financial institution that can be their conduit to financial prosperity.

The bank can show how blockchains can benefit companies by saving them time, cost and risk. Blockchain can help with data, retail payments and consumer lending. Blockchain would not make the bank obsolete, it would make it invaluable.

Blockchain systems offer safe, trustworthy financial transactions both nationally and internationally. Fees for things such as closing costs on mortgages and purchasing commercial buildings will eventually be eliminated because the entire transaction will be recorded and secured in a blockchain. Transactions will be more efficient because everyone will have access to all of the same information.

Blockchains will change the way that we execute contracts, sell music and conduct business. Let’s get ahead of the power curve and have sa take in the game.