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HIGHLIGHTS & REPORT INDEX
Cruising Far Beyond its Humble Beginnings in Cryptocurrency, Blockchain Emerges as the Future of Data Transfer & Tracking
Blockchain was developed to enable the peer-to-peer digital currency or cryptocurrency system, Bitcoin, in 2008. Blockchain-based algorithms were used to aggregate Bitcoin transactions into `blocks` that could be added to a chain of existing blocks through cryptographic signatures. The technology is an innovative concept built on cryptography and distributed computing to assist people in performing transactions and recording these transactions in a ledger without knowing each other. The absence of third-party and recording of information publicly rather than on firewall-protected servers are the unique aspects of Blockchain technology. Unchangeable records within the transparent distributed ledger present Blockchain as a promising concept. Every transaction block is properly encrypted through creation of unique IDs for both seller and buyer, and subsequent addition of these IDs to the block. A subsequent block in the transaction network is associated to previous block by hashing part of earlier block.
The implementation of blockchain solutions is expected to gain momentum post pandemic. Increasing numbers of enterprises are realizing the benefits offered by blockchain solutions for IoT integration, food traceability, supply chain management, fair trade, and sustainability. Blockchain technology, with its capabilities of efficient data storage and security, combined with customizable transparency features, provides enterprises with a fair and more cost-effective way to manage data. The adoption of blockchain, which is seen to be prevalent at the enterprise level from years before beginning with proof-of-concepts, is expected to accelerate over the upcoming years. The global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic made industries realize the need for digital solutions that could optimize efficiency and data security. Blockchain technology holds the potential to provide a solution for delivering these improvements as development of digital solutions continues at a fast pace, and awareness increases among enterprises.
Of late, blockchain`s integration with sophisticated technologies including AI and IoT is growing in popularity. Artificial intelligence (AI) remains an appealing concept since the development of computers. The concept represents an algorithm intended to help machines in exhibiting functions beyond their original programming. Blockchain is anticipated to play an important role in facilitating various aspects of AI implementation. In order to fully leverage their capacities, machines that can learn need access to big data. However, majority of big data intended for mainstream use has been reserved for data analytics and exchange of this data is economically unfeasible. On the other hand, the use of blockchain is expected to change things. Blockchains are capable of providing a secure, reliable environment to help owners of big data in connecting with AI developers. The option is likely to enable development of sophisticated machine learning algorithms to assist smart devices in leveraging the available data to enable artificial sentience. AI has gained considerable attention in the technological space owing to its ability to enable a number of advanced functions. Powered by AI, sophisticated algorithms allow machines to execute numerous functions that are otherwise not possible. The integration of AI with blockchain is anticipated to boost the former and considerably augment its potential.
Since blockchain development and management is an extremely technical, complex and tedious process, enterprises do not take up implementation of blockchain-based solutions for their operations. Blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS), where enterprises contract vendors to establish blockchain-connected nodes for them and to manage their back-end operations, is therefore expected to drive adoption of blockchain technology among enterprises. With BaaS, companies can outsource development, maintenance and operation of blockchain platform without losing focus on their core business activities. The need to adopt BaaS is also growing among enterprises, as a means to curb fraud, provide secure record keeping and enhance transparency. Tech companies offer BaaS for helping enterprises in dealing with the complexities associated with the backend of Blockchain platform. With engagement model similar to SaaS, BaaS is gaining popularity as a means for businesses to adopt blockchain in their operations. Besides setting up the nodes on blockchain platform for the enterprise, BaaS providers also assume responsibility for addressing technical issues, thus accelerating the technology`s adoption within the enterprise. BaaS also enables companies to experiment with new technology prior to their roll out, thus eliminating complexities and reducing costs.
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