Lastest news

Blockchain: the internet of today

Aug 12, 2019

Gregg Guerin believes blockchain has the potential to impact the world as much as the internet did in the 1990s and become the next significant infrastructure of innovation.

While many people are wary of it, blockchain is simply a decentralised, secure database, or digital ledger, that keeps a continuously growing list of data records, agreements, contracts or transactions (blocks), that occur on a peer-to-peer network. By allowing digital information to be distributed but not copied or edited, blockchain technology has created the backbone of a new type of internet.

Similar to the impact mobile phones had on photography, the transformational technology that is blockchain has delivered digitisation (photos are no longer primarily on film or paper), dematerialisation (virtually every smartphone has a camera app), demonetisation (it costs practically nothing to replicate or transfer photos) and democratisation (everyone can now become a photographer).

These changes – initially deceptively small – have compounded at an exponential rate.

Global impact

As blockchain is decentralised, it makes it a global phenomenon that allows developers all over the world to work with and explore the technology. It connects the digital world and has formed a new infrastructure for innovation within multiple industries globally. Blockchain is nearly impossible to tamper with, making it increasingly more invaluable in a world of constant cybersecurity threats.

Blockchain in the real world

Some people have only heard of blockchain in the context of cryptocurrencies. Blockchain is not Bitcoin; it is merely the powerful technology used by cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin – similar to how email uses the internet.

However, it’s not limited to cryptocurrencies. As this technology continues to evolve, we are seeing more and more companies across a variety of industries and sectors using the technology to enable the real-time transmission of information and data.

In the real world, away from the technical digitalisation sphere, blockchain technology has many facets and capabilities. To show its diversity, blockchain technology helps connect with the cloud, makes global payments easier via digital networks, monitors aircraft components to enhance safety, aids the sustainable optimisation of farming resources. Blockchain is even used to combat child labour in the Congo by easily tracking the essential minerals used in smartphones and electric cars.

In these early days of blockchain, the technology’s impact on the top and bottom line of many companies can seem small, but if history is any guide, change could happen very fast, from Bitcoin to farming to investments.

I see great legitimacy in the blockchain revolution and feel it has the potential to change technological infrastructure and have as much an impact on the world as the internet did in the 90s.

Gregg Guerin Senior Global Product Specialist at First Global Portfolios.

This article was originally published in The FM Report.