Maybe the title is a little bit of exaggeration but it is close to reality. Blockchain being an emergent technology is entering into different fields where trust can be a major role in growth of businesses
Currently blockchain is making it's way into different industries other than finance such as medical industry, supply chain industry, voting, record storage and many more. Soon there will be a time where entire industrial revolution will run entirely on blockchain.
But how it does so ?
To know how blockchain will change the world, we need to understand how blockchain is formed and it's history.
Blockchain was initially used as the technology behind the famous cryptocurrency known as Bitcoin. This currency was curated by a person who goes by the name Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008. By 2009 Bitcoin was released as an open source software and is being implemented upto date. To run such a cryptocurrency he employed the use of this technology called the Blockchain which is used to store transaction details chronologically which brings us to a question. What is Blockchain ?
Blockchain is a distributed public ledger which records data chronologically. From the word itself we can understand that a Blockchain comprises of blocks interconnected to each other by chains. Technically speaking, blocks contain data stored and the chain is the hash value which links to the block. Hash function is used to convert data into hash value which is used to link different blocks.
Here is a small representation of a blockchain by code. For this demo I am using Python because I am comfortable using that language.
Notice that there is a dictionary printing out list of values in the output. If the values are not clear to you then you are free to copy the code and run it on your python IDE or on any other IDE supporting python.
To understand the code we have created two classes called as Block which will contain methods for creating and maintaining a block ( I am really sorry if you cannot understand object oriented programming approach, but I'll try my best to make you understand this code ) as well as Blockchain class. The block class will house a constructor which will take the values "data" , "hash" and "last_hash". These are essential in any blockchain. The data is used to create a hash value. Now, in a real blockchain, there are extra values such as timestamp, difficulty, nonce etc.
Block values are then used in the Blockchain class ( which is a list ) where the block values are stored and for representation I have printed the output in a dictionary.
In the representation we were able to understand what is the basic functionality of a blockchain. Now in an actual blockchain we use SHA 256 as the actual hash function. Generally hash functions are one way and we cannot reverse hash to get back the original data. This is one of the factors which makes blockchain trust worthy. Whenever we try to change any kind of data in the hash, the resulting hash changes resulting in an entirely new hash. This is another check to which either data is tampered or not.
Thirdly, in an actual blockchain, the ledger is distributed. Which means there are multiple copies of the same chain all being updated at real time. The computers/ mobile devices which does this work is known as the node. If anyone tries to change the data in any one node. The other nodes have the original data and can deem the tampered data invalid. This ensures trust in blockchain.
Fourthly, Blockchain employs a method known as the proof of work. Here a node has to spend some computational power to mine the block into the chain. The fastest one to complete this process is rewarded an incentive which made Bitcoin totally popular. Proof of Work is the reason bitcoin blockchain becomes almost impenetrable. Firstly to tamper an entire blockchain, a highly powerful PC is required to recalculate hashes of an entire chain. To get such a powerful PC, will cost a lot of money which is not worth investing according to how much returns one gain from doing so.
Using cryptography to sign transactions bitcoin makes transaction a lot more secure. But for blockchain there is no usage of cryptography and all the functionality of blockchain is sufficient for application like medical records, property records and supply chain records. This will increase the trust between different entities and make life more smooth.
In the end, blockchain has many useful features which ensures trust in every activity that takes place in a blockchain environment. Also blockchain might provide employment to those people who might take an effort in understanding this technology.