Blockchain and us
Blockchain is no longer just a tool to mine cryptocurrencies or manage databases. Now U. For blockchain to emerge as the technological imperative for public services, states will have to change existing regulations. They must address concerns about scalability, the difficulty of removing and editing data once uploaded, and investment in the new technology.
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- Don't know what's Blockchain technology? Let us explain
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- Are Blockchains the Answer for Secure Elections? Probably Not
- Blockchain Could Help Us Reclaim Control of Our Personal Data
Using smart, distributed ledgers to prove our identities and store our personal data could shift the power of and profit from data management from big, established firms back to individuals. This would havebig implications for identity systems. We could keep certified copies of identity documents, biometric test results, health data, or academic and training certificates online, available at all times, yet safe unless you give away your key.
Equifax lost the data of more than million people , and recompense is not forthcoming. Credit-referencing agencies benefit immensely from our data, but there are many other data privateers — from online shopping sites to retailers to media firms — that are doing the same, including our own governments. Social Security numbers, or UK National Insurance numbers, were originally created to keep track of the earnings history of workers for entitlement and benefit programs.
Both have since morphed into critical numbers assigned at birth that can be used by government agencies not just to collect taxes, but to identify individuals. They are also now used by private industry to track our financial and commercial histories. Many countries have such a national identity system. Among the various ways to prove identity, the U. A decade ago, the UK attempted to establish a national identity system , which was ultimately scrapped for many reasons, which included political overreaching, lack of security, and cost overruns.
Still, numerous smaller countries, such as Singapore, are exploring national identity systems that span government and the private sector. One of the more successful stories of governments instituting an identity system is Estonia, with its ID-kaarts. Reacting to cyber-attacks against the nation, the Estonian government decided that it needed to become more digital, and even more secure.
They decided to use a distributed ledger to build their system, rather than a traditional central database. Distributed ledgers are used in situations where multiple parties need to share authoritative information with each other without a central third party, such as for data-logging clinical assessments or storing data from commercial deals. These are multi-organization databases with a super audit trail. As a result, the Estonian system provides its citizens with an all-digital government experience, significantly reduced bureaucracy , and significantly high citizen satisfaction with their government dealings.
Each party on a blockchain has access to the entire database and its complete history. No single party controls the data or the information.
Every party can verify the records of its transaction partners directly, without an intermediary. Communication occurs directly between peers instead of through a central node.
Each node stores and forwards information to all other nodes. Every transaction and its associated value are visible to anyone with access to the system. Each node, or user, on a blockchain has a unique plus-character alphanumeric address that identifies it. Users can choose to remain anonymous or provide proof of their identity to others. Transactions occur between blockchain addresses. Various computational algorithms and approaches are deployed to ensure that the recording on the database is permanent, chronologically ordered, and available to all others on the network.
The digital nature of the ledger means that blockchain transactions can be tied to computational logic and in essence programmed. So users can set up algorithms and rules that automatically trigger transactions between nodes. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have increased the awareness of distributed ledgers with their use of a particular type of ledger — blockchain — to hold the details of coin accounts among millions of users.
Cryptocurrencies have certainly had their own problems with their wallets and exchanges — even ID-kaarts are not without their technical problems — but the distributed ledger technology holds firm for Estonia and for cryptocurrencies.
These technologies have been working in hostile environments now for nearly a decade. Hence the huge numbers of people that can be affected — more than million people in the Equifax breach, and more than 50 million at Home Depot — though perhaps Yahoo takes the cake with more than three billion alleged customer accounts hacked.
Of course, if you can find a distributed ledger online, you can copy it, too. However, a distributed ledger, while available to everyone, may be unreadable if its contents are encrypted. Most distributed ledgers outside cryptocurrencies are encrypted in whole or in part. This characteristic of encrypted distributed ledgers has big implications for identity systems. You can keep certified copies of identity documents, biometric test results, health data, or academic and training certificates online, available at all times, yet safe unless you give away your key.
At a whole system level, the database is very secure. Distributed ledgers seem ideal for private distributed identity systems, and many organizations are working to provide such systems to help people manage the huge amount of paperwork modern society requires to open accounts, validate yourself, or make payments.
Taken a small step further, these systems can help you keep relevant health or qualification records at your fingertips. This could shift the power of and profit from data management from big, established firms back to individual users.
This would also shift the responsibility. Equifax and others have shown the weakness of central databases in the hands of a single firm. Mutual distributed ledger systems have the potential to provide us with identity and activity management, even permitting us to make a market selling information about ourselves, taking control and cash back from companies like Equifax and Yahoo and giving it back to ourselves.
There will certainly be mistakes along the way, but how can we truly object to reclaiming control of our most private property — our personal data? You have 1 free article s left this month. You are reading your last free article for this month. Subscribe for unlimited access. Create an account to read 2 more.
Analytics and data science. Recent data breaches should be a huge wake-up call. Here are five basic principles underlying the technology. Distributed Database Each party on a blockchain has access to the entire database and its complete history. Peer-to-Peer Transmission Communication occurs directly between peers instead of through a central node.
Transparency with Pseudonymity Every transaction and its associated value are visible to anyone with access to the system.
Computational Logic The digital nature of the ledger means that blockchain transactions can be tied to computational logic and in essence programmed. Read more on Analytics and data science or related topics Cybersecurity and digital privacy and Blockchain.
Don't know what's Blockchain technology? Let us explain
Are you interested in testing our corporate solutions? Please do not hesitate to contact me. Industry-specific and extensively researched technical data partially from exclusive partnerships. A paid subscription is required for full access. Additional Information. PatentSight also tracks former names of companies and subsidiaries, ongoing mergers and acquisitions, acquisitions of the past, reassignments, companies that have the same applicant, and transliterations by patent offices. Technology field definition by Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property — ip-search: "The technology field covers distributed ledger, or shared ledger design, of which one form is Blockchain.
Primer on Blockchain
Official websites use. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites. Blockchain represents a new paradigm for digital interactions and serves as the underlying technology for most cryptocurrencies. A blockchain is a collaborative, tamper-resistant ledger that maintains transactional records. The transactional records data are grouped into blocks. Since a blockchain network is difficult to alter or destroy, it provides a resilient method of collaborative record keeping. NIST researchers have been investigating blockchain technologies at multiple levels: from use cases, applications and existing services, to protocols, security guarantees, and cryptographic mechanisms. Research outcomes include scientific papers and the production of software for experimentation as well as providing direction for other NIST endeavors in this space.
The Future of Money. From blockchain and bitcoin to NFTs and the metaverse, how fintech innovation is changing the future of money. Read More. We are on the precipice of a new form of finance that will use a range of technologies to change the way we use and manage one of our most fundamental tools: money. Gone are the days of taking out cash from an ATM, applying for a mortgage by visiting a bank branch, or shopping in a department store.
What is blockchain?
Schwinger writes: When parties interact in transactions conducted via blockchain technology, they may find themselves in relationships to one another that the law has not yet had the opportunity to clearly define. Courts, commentators, governmental officials, litigants and legislatures are now exploring which participants in various kinds of blockchain-based activities might be subject to liabilities for injuries or wrongs allegedly arising from those activities. Robert A. Read the full article, Liability rumblings along the blockchain. As we head into , it is helpful to reflect on the white collar enforcement trends of the past year to assess what may lie ahead. United States January 27,
The Blockchain and Us
The seal of the U. It will initially trade securities, such as stocks or exchange-traded funds, first listed on its exchange, but those securities would be tradable on rival bourses. BSTX ultimately aims to expand trading to all U. Stock tokens are digital versions of equities pegged to the underlying share, usually traded in fractional units. In addition to traditional pricing data feeds, BSTX plans to offer a market data feed that will operate on a private blockchain. That feed will allow exchange members to see their own activity, as well as the activity of other BSTX participants on an anonymized, delayed basis, the exchange filing said.
Bitcoin and similar blockchain-based currencies require huge amounts of power, predominantly generated from fossil fuels. The incoming mayor of New York City thinks cryptocurrency and blockchain technology are the future. Eric Adams has advocated to reshape the city into a crypto hotspot, with crypto being taught in schools.
2021 Blockchain Employment ReportRELATED VIDEO: How the US government is using blockchain to fight fraud - Kathryn Haun - TEDxSanFrancisco
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Are Blockchains the Answer for Secure Elections? Probably Not
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Blockchain Could Help Us Reclaim Control of Our Personal Data