Two key dates to consider for somebody who is curious about Blockchain: 1991 and 2008. Both are important and link together the origins of this new technology, which is making waves in a number of industries. You might have heard the name before, you possibly discussed it with a friend and are both scratching your heads wondering what it’s about, or you’re getting the subject confused with Bitcoin, which is not uncommon.

Just to clarify – Bitcoin and Blockchain are not the same but are key to the new era for technology. In 1991, cryptographer colleagues Stuart Haber andW. Scott Stornetta penned a journal about how to digitally time-stamp a document. In order to keep a document private and to avoid the tampering of data, the premise was you can certify its use and recognise the creation date by using computer algorithms and ‘digital stamps’ to ensure authenticity and not need a record keeper.

A genius idea that was light years ahead of its time, sadly the process was never realised professionally and lost its patency in 2004. Fast forward four years later and the name Satoshi Nakamoto surfaced. In 2008, a whitepaper was released by this name (with doubts remaining about whether its a person or a group) – titled Bitcoin: A Peer to Peer Electronic Cash System. Using a similar method to that designed by Haber and Stornetta, Bitcoin was born and temporarily revolutionised the way financial transactions are made. A world was imagined without the need for a third party or trusted mediator. Bitcoin is the largest form of Blockchain, but the latter is more important as it’s the system that made Bitcoin a possibility, helping to shape the future of decentralised transactions.

Blockchain is essentially a decentralised ledger that records transactions between two parties. It’s a public network that works using nodes that communicate across a large server to secure data. The beauty behind the technology is it can be viewed by a large audience, but it’s harder to manipulate or change by outside sources, making it a more secure process in theory. Over the past ten years, the technology has developed tenfold, with reports that 15% of financial institutions use applications of this nature to run their business. Now more Blockchains are cropping up and sectors such as banking, healthcare and the property industry want a piece of the action, to name only a few.

They recognise the power it can provide as a tool to create a faster interaction between parties, plus it can store huge amounts of data. In the past decade the technology has evolved, but there’s still limitations which are preventing its true potential being unleashed upon the world. A number of businesses are lining up to utilise the technology, but the cost of running it and its lack of ability to share data with other applications was a stumbling block. Although this idea was created two decades ago, it has taken till now to realise the importance of decentralising the network. The main selling point behind Blockchain is its capability to spread data and transactions across multiple computers. It will be much harder to break through the wall to intercept that data because Blockchain does not rely upon a central point of control to manage its security. 

Therefore, transactions can be validated, allowing each transaction to remain authentic, accurate and secure. The next step was providing a large enough decentralised network that answered the key issues surrounding current Blockchains. Alacrity answers these main concerns by offering a platform that has a built in Oracle, which connects with other data sources efficiently. A fairer network has also been designed, where the distributed coin is the same throughout the network, rewarding the developers in the process. 

Blockchain can only accelerate and expand from here. The sky is the limit for this technology because it can be used across so many industries. Who doesn’t need to keep there data secure? That’s why GDPR was created across Europe. It’s so easy for hackers to steal bank details, documents and personal information. Work can be lost so easily when not backed up on a computer.

The internet continues to revolutionise the way we think, helping us to evolve as humans, with phones and laptops usage the norm. But when you consider how much key data we store on there and how easily it can be shared, the next step was giving the power back to the user, ensuring their rights to privacy remain. Blockchain will solve all of these issues and improve the way we interact, helping to prevent fraud, make faster transactions and share key data across multiple networks. As more companies recognise the capabilities of Blockchain to inspire, the reputation of this innovative technology will only increase.