When it comes to the technologies and platforms we use for the storage of people’s public information and data, security is the number one issue by a mile. If people are going to give their credit card information or other private details to a company, they expect that information to be kept safe and secure. However, this isn’t always the case. Over the past few years we have heard several different huge hacks and data breaches that have released the personal information of hundreds of millions of people into the wrong hands.
However, there is a new technology that could perhaps put an end to all these hacks and data breaches which are unfortunately becoming all too common. That technology is none other than blockchain. For those unfamiliar with it, blockchain technology is essentially a digitalized and decentralized public ledger that is constantly growing as more and more people complete “blocks” (recent transactions). It also runs on a distributed network of “nodes” (computers that are attached to the network) instead of a central server. The higher number of nodes there are in the chain, the more reliable and secure the technology can be.
It was originally created as the accounting method for Bitcoin, it soon grew to appear helpful in a variety of different applications and is one of the most talked-about technologies on the planet. It can be used to keep information safe and secure, prevent tampering and can be a great way to keep all types of records private, while also being transparent at the same time. While it is still in its infancy relative to other types of technology, it has a promising future and deserves more attention.
Even despite the numerous positives of blockchain, many people may worry about the safety and security of blockchain technology, which is fair, seeing as it is uncharted territory for many people. But not only is blockchain technology no more at risk for than traditional systems, it is actually more safe and secure when it comes to hacks or attacks on a server.
The reason that blockchain technology is a safer and more secure way is because, by design, it is nearly impossible to hack in the conventional manner. Most companies, programs or platforms have a central server in which all information and data is kept. As mentioned earlier, a blockchain is decentralized and info/data is stored on many different computers, so a huge hack would be very hard to pull off. On the other hand, hacking a company’s central server is not too difficult for some people (as all of the information is in one location), as evidence by the number of hacks that have taken place over the last few years.
One of the most recent was the massive Equifax hack in which more than 140 million people had their social security numbers compromised. A number of other high profile companies have suffered similar data breaches including eBay, Target, Yahoo, Home Depot and more. These breaches have compromised billions of different pieces of private information and caused companies hundreds of millions of dollarss. While those are bad, there can also be hacks that can have huge implications for the world itself, not only certain individuals.
One potential “hack” or security risk that many people are worrying about is actually our elections. Not only is there a large fear that Russia interfered with and tampered with the American democratic election process in 2016, but research has shown that voting machines are inadequately secured and can be compromised easily. By switching to a blockchain-powered remote voting system instead of voting in public in a centralized, we can get rid of these security concerns. While it would take a lot of work and lots of arguments would likely take place from those against it, it could help prevent some terrible things in the future.
One company that is trying to do to make this goal a reality is Boule. They are a remote voting technology that is based off of blockchain. They will make it possible to safely and securely vote right from your smart phone or computer, without the risk of tampering. Not only are voters counted in real time, but it is also a more efficient and accessible option than what we currently have, which could lead to a much higher voter turnout than ever before.
So whether it is our voting system, how we make transactions or how we secure information, blockchain technology is a safer and more secure option than what is out there today. While it won’t happen overnight (and some companies or individuals will be against it or nervous about it), we would love to see different companies and organizations begin to use blockchain technology more frequently.