Blockchain is a technology buzzword getting a lot of attention these days. At its core, this technology is a means for securing data in a distributed database. The data is de-centralized as opposed to all together in one place such as in a traditional database structure. Its design makes it potentially more secure as well.
If you’re a DBA or a software developer, this certainly gets you wondering if you will end up working with such a technology. You may even be wondering if it will replace centralized database technology altogether. However, along with all the excitement about Blockchains, there’s also confusion and negative sentiment. There’s the fact that blockchains have long been associated with the cryptocurrency industry, and its speculative nature. Blockchain is indeed the main technology behind cryptocurrencies, but they are two separate ideas that were developed together.
The origins of Blockchain
When the stock market crashed in 2008, it undermined confidence in the legitimacy of US banks. Several major US banks had provided housing loans to many people who could no longer afford them. These customers defaulted on their payments and the banks lost enormous amounts of money. Some of them went bankrupt. The US government bailed out many banks and lending institutions. Banks, once considered unassailable authorities in the matters of lending and money handling were suddenly questionable, as were the regulations that governed them.
The Idea of Bitcoin evolved shortly after the crash. Its creator (Satoshi Nakamoto, likely a pseudonym) saw it as an antidote to the failure of these central authorities. He also developed Blockchain because it does away with the necessity of a third party or central authority for the approval of a transaction. Instead, it creates a public digital ledger in a distributed network of computers. It is reliable because every transaction is cryptographically secure and linked through encryption to a previous transaction. Consequently, transactions are very hard to fake. It also keeps a permanent (immutable) record of each and every transaction.
Not just for currency
But Bitcoin is merely one of the thousands of possible applications for Blockchain. It can record loans or contracts, medical and legal records and much more. According to the International Monetary Fund, it even has the potential to empower millions of people in developing nations by providing “new low-cost payment methods to those who lack bank accounts”.
What does Blockchain have in store for you?
I believe Blockchain has a great future ahead of it. It will surely revolutionize how we trade, manage assets and exchange information. That said, no matter what industry you work in, Blockchain is potentially disruptive. And this gets back to whether this technology may have a direct impact on your work. On June 11 at Kscope18 I’ll be presenting “Blockchain Applied: Finding a Use Case for APEX.”I’ll be talking about the principles of Blockchain and how this technology may apply or impact the Oracle APEX developer.
Blockchain Applied: Finding a Use Case for APEX – by Adrian Png
When: June 11, 2018, Session 1, 10:45 AM – 11:45 AM
Room: Northern Hemisphere E2, Fifth Level
Topic: Application Express – Subtopic: APEX Integration