Surely after the 2008 global financial crisis, a mysterious white paper emerged from an unknown entity, person or group calling themselves ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’.In this mysterious white paper, a new peer to peer financial system was discussed. It was to use a digital cryptocurrency called Bitcoin.
It was the omen to people being sick of centralizing power meddling with an economic system. Many perceive this new system as a better way of doing things.
The technology invented to power this new system was called blockchain & Nakamoto’s paper was its grand unveiling.
So what is blockchain? , simply put: blockchain is a continuously updated the record of who holds what, these records are split into linked blocks & then secured using cryptography.
Blockchain has the social perception strongly related to bitcoin & other cryptocurrencies & most people view blockchain as something for intellectual tech-savvy criminals or anti-government.
But blockchain has application far beyond cryptocurrency & as a whole will be nothing short of revolutionary.
blockchain land registries are being looked at in Honduras, Sweden & Andhra Pradesh(India). diamonds are looking to be traded by blockchain to stop things like blood diamonds(diamonds from war throne region funding the war campaign).
Nasdaq stock exchange announces that it will soon begin blockchain system to record the trading & privately held companies.
The Bank of England has stated that blockchain is a significant innovation that could have far-reaching implications in the finance industry.
Microsoft is embracing blockchain with its new Ethereum based framework.
On social media front the Steemit, a Reddit competitor & its video companion DTube, a YouTube competitor, both are a blockchain based platform where you can get paid in cryptocurrency for creating content. this is showing a new direction & where social media could go.
Blockchain goes even further when we talk about something called a decentralize autonomous organization (DAO).
Because of blockchain technology, we now have the capability to create huge company organizations that are distributed & automated for the first time in history .this never been done before & could provide near limitless potential. before blockchain we were already halfway there, we have organizations like YouTube that are a mix of the old-style central management system with decentralize user base creating content.
DAO would have computer code that runs the rules & decisions instead of central management system team at the top. The people in decentralize network would decide on the rules, form a consensus and create something called smart contract. basically a set of computer coded rules that a computer would execute later when needed. In other words, DAO is like a democratic organization that runs automatically.
Legal Perspective :
The difficulty from a legal perspective is that no one at this point in time has been able to classify exactly what DAO is, it may be that in a few years DAO would become so popular that legislator will need to create special legislation that will recognize what DAO is, but at this point, no one knows.
A basic hypothetical example of how this might work, but just with one smart contract, so say in the future when the blockchain is readily established, you want to buy a used car. Traditionally you had to go the dealer or an individual, you had to make sure that the details are correct. you had hassle for the price with the seller, take some money from the bank, transfer the money, sign a lot of paperwork, wait for the money to clear & then you can finally have the car. this will take around a few days to do.
Now with the blockchain, using smart contract you could have this order all carried out in real time. the car would be uploaded to the blockchain so that you would already know that the details are correct because trust is built into the system . you could buy this car with cryptocurrency or normal currency that’s attached to your bank account & all of the ownership & other detail about the car is executed in a smart contract , so everything would happen in a matter of minutes instead of days . your ownership of the car is now attached to your digital identity on the blockchain. the global records in the blockchain system are now updated so that everybody in the system knows that now you own the car.
You can take all these steps even further by linking multiple different smart contracts into an organization, similar to Uber so that the whole process is automated with a rating system of services & customer satisfaction etc.
Although the setup is sharing economy model, & accordingly the smart contracts can be arranged in this way.
Such technology has huge potential & significance. but it’s not all rose . right now there are still some downsides.
Malicious smart contracts, for example, these can theoretically design to clog the entire system . in addition, if there are actual coding errors with the decentralized autonomous organization itself this could create massive problems. Another thing is that blockchain is also permanent, every record of the transaction is stored there for all time & this does not sit well for those concerned for privacy & right to be forgotten. To counter this problem some solutions have to be developed & there can be a need for an autonomous administration system for its maintenance & some contingency plans if few things go bad.
In the time of DAO, ICOs, the blockchain, smart contracts & things like that, we are at this stage in blockchain ecosystem probably equivalent to 1993. when the internet was opened up by President Clinton in the National Science Foundation prior to 1992.
The internet was only open to research organizations, defense contract agencies, government agencies.
Who would have thought back then in 1993 that there would be companies like Google, Amazon & Facebook to name a few?
All of these companies have taken advantages of the internet platform & looked at the internet & said how can I use this piece of technology ?… The same can be done with DAO.
Who knows that someone is going to think about in future or is now thinking about it ! & says “ wow, we can use this technology to do this , lets do it “ & rest of the world would say “wow, that’s really something I want to get on board & I want to utilize that service” .
Regardless, blockchain is the next step of the internet, a complete overhaul of how things in the world are going to be recorded, organize & run. I personally think it’s going to be a combination of artificial intelligence & blockchain that will be our future. Blockchain, IoT & Big Data Analytics can have greatly constructive & symbiotic relationship.
Now at present because of the abundance of data & exponential increase in computational capabilities making the possibility of artificial intelligence closer, making data science a stepping stone toward AI & making data a new gold & oil.
IoT devices can be the node blocks of the blockchain network , working as data collector & then that data would be fed to Big Data Analytics which will process that data & create analytical report or prediction on which the Artificial Intelligence will take decision & administer the blockchain network & that network can consist of complex multiple layers of blockchain… !
It’s like every single electronic device is becoming a neuron, which is getting connected to each to other through improvised smart blockchain network having high throughput working for Big Data Analytics along Artificial Intelligence.
It’s like the whole planet is wiring up & becoming a huge Brain…..!