Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies are making their way from the dark alleys of SilkRoad and AlphaBay into the mainstream. Suddenly, investing in these digital currencies has become something of a fad, with hedge funds and Wall Street pundits getting on board.
As someone who works in IT and sees both the behavior of customers and platforms, there is a clear trend — though anecdotal — of more interest over both new cryptocurrencies and consequently, matters that relate to safety and privacy.
While digital currencies may provide a new and substantial investment vehicle, the greater revolution may not be through Bitcoin, but through the blockchain technology upon which it is built. Suddenly blockchain is being suggested as a solution for everything from farming to climate change, and from real estate to VR content marketing.
Blockchain technology has some inherent properties that make it uniquely designed to change the way we address information and communication. This is most clear in the realm of cybersecurity, where blockchain is making some substantial inroads already.
Blockchain, as a distributed ledger, stores information immutably. This means there can be no change to information once it is coded into the chain. The implications for this in the cybersecurity world should be evident.
Blockchain is based on ‘hashes’, or mathematical functions that result in a single multi-digit solution. The point of hash equations is that they are impossible to back-calculate, since they are very complex equations and require access to the original data point. Further, any change to the original data would produce a different response in an unpredictable way, identifying any mutation.
Additionally, blocks are linked together with this hash. Each block not only contains its own data and hash, but also references the hash of the previous block. Therefore the connection between each block is more than simply the connection of blocks together. Since the hashes are based on the previous block’s data content, both the content and the hash are immutably connected to the previous block.
Consider the specific application in finance for example. Transactions can be immutably processed and stored in such a way that there is no risk of compromise. Credit card transactions cannot be disputed once coded. Financial transfers can be digitally signed, processed, and verified in seconds, immutably.
Bitcoin debit card and wallet providers such as Cryptopay are already taking advantage of this system.
The company created an exchange with dollars, euros, and pounds as fiat currencies, while leveraging their knowledge of the blockchain technology to create safe and secure systems for Bitcoin owners.
Because companies like Cryptopay can assure the safety and integrity of their users’ data and transaction information, there is almost no risk. Plus the Bitcoin debit card is accepted anywhere VISA is accepted, making use and functionality effectively equal with traditional debit cards.
Read the source article at informationweek.com.