Blockchain: The 5th Industrial Revolution
The Blockchain age is here.
Since the inseparable duo of Digital Transformation (DX) and Internet of Things (IoT) has driven many industries forward to an age of networked productivity at such mind-staggering speed, it’s hard to imagine any catalyst adding to this pair’s incredible power. However incredible DX and IoT are, though, there is still an issue that these two astonishing movements cannot address: intermediaries and middleman. Every transaction still requires the involvement of a third party that is trusted, certified, and regulated to complete transactions between multiple parties—that is, until the revolution of Blockchain, which will literally remove these intermediaries/middleman from every industry before this decade turns to the next.
Blockchain removes the need for middlemen and intermediaries, allowing transactions to happen without a centralized power ruling over them. The duo is now a trio: Digital Transformation, IoT, and Blockchain. This trio will push innovations forward into a 5th industrial revolution.
Transparency, The Open Ledger
Simply put, a Blockchain is a set of calculations that represent a transaction that cannot be altered, leaving no room for manipulation or modification in the future. The transactions are all transparently available on a public ledger that is not controlled or centralized by any corruptible Government, Agency, or Entity. This "decentralized" design allows a set of individuals or partners to do transactions and reach a consensus on who owns what without the presence of any trusted third party, creating a trustless system (a system of verification not needing a trusted third party) due to the public nature of all transactions within the ledger. Imagine being able to log online, punching in the serial number of a dollar bill, and seeing every hand that the bill touched from the day it was printed.
The transparent and decentralized model of a Blockchain network allows the creation of records for all kinds of data that cannot be broken. This is the fundamental nature of Blockchain technology, and it is the reason why we predict that every industry will be disrupted as Blockchain takes over and becomes the core of all business models.
Data, which Wired dubbed as the new oil of digital economies, is the foundation of IoT and exists in every business sector, which by default sets Blockchain technology up to be adapted by all industries, from banking, finance, entertainment, and insurance to every IT company on the planet. Think bank transactions, stock buying/selling, title searches, and everywhere else that transfer of ownership takes place, ultimately eliminating counterfeit merchandise sales and fraudulent claims, all while providing a very efficient economic ecosystem.
Today vs. Tomorrow
To put it into context, imagine you have a friend (Bill) who is asking for $200 through a messenger app. As a good friend, you agree. You immediately contact your bank manager and ask him/her to send $200 to Bill’s account. You then inform Bill to check the nearest bank for his monies. You also return to your bank (whether digitally, by calling, or through a physical visit) and ask them if the process was completed successfully.
That right there is how we’ve been doing transactions, even in today’s modern age. Yes, there are now apps that can be used to contact either Bill or your bank, which do fall under the heading of digital transformation. However, you and Bill still needed to trust the bank to manage the transaction. How about purchasing a collectible timepiece—why do you believe that it’s authentic? You believe this because you made the purchase from a third party you "trust," and you trust that the third party did its research. We can go on and on with examples, but the bottom line is that trusting third parties, which adds to both expense and inefficiency, is no longer needed with Blockchain. This is disruption in its most disruptive state.
Imagine a world where transactions can happen in an instant, unlocking the potential of every industry and shaking the very foundations of our economic and political systems by removing all of the inefficiencies that are baked into our everyday dealings. Even with its current limitations in terms of scalability and accessibility (which will both be dealt with in time), Blockchain is changing the future, fast. As Forbes’ Daniel Newman said, “There will be a time when it seems impossible that we ever survived without Blockchain.” How can we not agree? Blockchain does not start or end with economies; it will also transform the global political landscape(s) from corrupt to transparent. Think of the efficient world that is now upon us.
The Death of the Middleman
Blockchain removes an old and once considered “necessary” evil to doing transactions of any form: the intermediary. These intermediaries are different from industry to industry. For finance, it’s the banks; for software and hardware, it’s the solution providers. And with the recent boom of the cryptocurrencies, we are seeing the potential death of the number one intermediary in the world: fiat money, a.k.a. “real” money.
That there are too many limitations to watch out for has always been a concern of digital transformation in moving forward. Despite our mobile-empowered and networked lives, we still must go to banks, firms, and organizations and put our trust in them to do most of our transactions. Blockchain is aiming to remove this process and pave the way for unrestricted progress across all industries, which in turn will empower digital transformation movements across the world.
This will give birth to the rise of the digital economy’s trio of driving factors: Digital Transformation as the overall philosophy and digital mindset, IoT as the foundation and platform of data, and Blockchain as the basis of economic and political trust and security.
Even with the cryptocurrency industry booming with its use of Blockchain technology, there are still many facets of the global economy and political systems that have yet to embrace this new set of disruptions. However, we at STXBlockchain believe that it is only a matter of time, and we are just getting started.
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