Blockchain Development – an Impetus for Growth and Innovation
Blockchain is one of those buzzwords you’ve inevitably seen on the web or heard on the news. Technology enthusiasts are excited about it, and for good reasons. If you’ve been following the crypto space for the last decade, blockchain’s tremendous growth and extensive utilization come as no surprise. But even if you’re vaguely familiar with the term, chances are your friends or acquaintances have mentioned it on more than a few occasions.
Blockchain is primarily associated with Bitcoin and its incredible rise in value. Everyone wants to join the crypto craze now and make a quick buck in the highly volatile markets. But for many, this gravy train has already left the station. Away from the trading frenzy, blockchain has found application in numerous realms such as healthcare, insurance, charities, logistics, music, real estate, gaming, digital art, and many more industries.
At Digitize Everything, we’ve always been early adopters of various technologies, and blockchain is no exception. As it becomes mainstream, blockchain revolutionizes the way the digital world processes data and does business. Before we deep our toes in blockchain development, let’s take a quick trip to the past and see how it all started.
What is Blockchain?
It may seem complicated, and it can be, but the blockchain isn’t rocket science by any means. At its core concept, a blockchain is a type of database or digital ledger that stores transactions and tracks assets in a network. A blockchain collects information together in groups, also known as blocks. A block has limited storage, so when it becomes full, it is chained onto the previously filled block, forming a chain of data, hence the term “blockchain.”
Blockchain is all about decentralization and transparency. It doesn’t store any data in a central location but transfers the control and decision-making to a distributed network, eliminating the middleman in the process. Bitcoin’s decentralized nature allows anyone to view and trace the history of transactions and assets.
One of the key features of blockchain technology is immutability – the ability of the ledger to remain unaltered and unchanged. No entity, even a government or corporation, can manipulate the data stored on the network.
Who invented the blockchain?
Satoshi Nakamoto is the proverbial father of Bitcoin and blockchain, two technologies that have developed mostly in his absence. Much mystery surrounds this name thought to be a pseudonym of an individual or a group of people. In 2008, Nakamoto published a white paper describing blockchain infrastructure and how it would support decentralized and secure peer-to-peer transactions.
One year later, Bitcoin became a reality. On January 3, 2009, Nakamoto mined the first bitcoin block containing 50 bitcoins, now worth 3 million dollars. The first bitcoin transaction took place a few days later when Nakamoto sent Hal Finney 10 bitcoin in block 170.
While Nakamoto was the first to introduce Bitcoin, the blockchain technology traces its roots back to Ralph Merkle, who, in his 1979 Ph.D. thesis for Stanford University, described for the first time an approach to public-key distribution and authentication called “tree authentication.” The Merkel tree, as it’s called now, is the basis of the entire blockchain.
The evolution of blockchain beyond cryptocurrencies
While the spotlight was firmly on Bitcoin at that time, Vitalik Buterin, a Russian Canadian prodigy programmer, published a white paper that introduced a decentralized application platform and further leveraged blockchain’s potential.
Officially launched in 2015 as Etherium, the new public blockchain brought added functionalities, including decentralized applications and smart contracts – agreements that are executed automatically without the help of a third party inside the blockchain. It was a pivotal moment for blockchain technology, as its use became widespread across multiple industries.
Blockchain development – the future is now
The digital landscape is evolving so fast that what seemed a promising concept only a few years ago is now a full-blown technology in various fields. Blockchain is no different.
The healthcare industry employs ledger technology to streamline the secure transfer of patient medical records, manage the medicine supply chain and help healthcare researchers unlock genetic code.
Real estate companies worldwide are using blockchain’s smart contracts to transparently and efficiently facilitate renting, buying, investing, and lending.
Professional sports clubs and sports companies are launching blockchain tools for fans to invest in teams. NFT collectibles (we’ll come back to them shortly) from soccer, MLB, NHL, or NBA are being turned into a new form of entertainment.
As you can see, blockchain is ubiquitous now. It can solve diverse problems and bring to life new ideas. And, while blockchain development is still in its infancy, it’s growing at an unprecedented pace. For businesses that prioritize innovation and want to stay ahead of the competition, blockchain technology provides a clear direction.
Blockchain apps or DApps (decentralized applications) open up possibilities for many industries because their intrinsic features are highly disruptive and largely unmatched by conventional apps. For startups this means more efficient business models and cost saving potential. DApp adoption rests on three strong pillars:
Security is crucial to app development. In a world where data breaches are as common as snow in winter, blockchain guarantees that no data is changed. The unbreakable encryption and decentralized architecture increase data privacy and minimize the intrusion of third-party apps. Moreover, every transaction registered on the blockchain is timestamped, adding extra protection.
Because it’s decentralized, blockchain records all the transactions and assets in the public ledger. Depending on the project and blockchain type, anyone can track them, or you can set up permissions, but a copy of transactions is stored on each network device all the time. The entire system is not only bulletproof but also scalable.
Blockchain nodes (basic units of a data structure) are distributed worldwide and are in-sync with each other. This feature ensures that the same copy of data exists across numerous devices, reducing errors and crashes to a minimum. Any user can verify if the system is working correctly.
NFTs – the new craze everyone’s raving about
As blockchain evolves, new sectors bring novelty to entertainment concepts and provide lucrative monetization opportunities to creatives and artists. The latest newcomer and the biggest talking point in the cryptoverse right now are non-fungible tokens, or simply NFTs.
NFTs are cryptographically unique tokens attached to digital (and sometimes physical) content, providing proof of ownership. Their identifying information is recorded in smart contracts and immutably registered on the token’s blockchain.
Every NFTs is unique and can’t be replaced or swapped like for like. Unlike Bitcoin or altcoins, which are interchangeable, NFTs are one-of-a-kind. It’s this uniqueness that raises their value to the roof and makes them some of the most wanted and expensive digital assets. NFTs trading volume surpassed $10 billion in Q3 2021, a 700% increase from the previous quarter.
Some of the biggest names in the music industry, luxury brands, and sports have already jumped on the NFTs bandwagon. The likes of Snoop Dogg are selling music and art as NFTs, while Gucci’s NFT is inspired by one of its latest collections. Sports memorabilia has also gone digital, as fans across the globe rush to collect historical cards and plays of their favorite teams and players.
Blockchain – the missing link to full-scale digitization
We’re on a mission to digitize everything, and blockchain technology brings us closer to our goal. As businesses embark on their digital transformation journey, our unparalleled expertise in blockchain development and the latest trends impacting it, is already being harnessed by our clients.
The Grid NFT collectibles authenticate classic physical artifacts from the greatest performances in NBA history. The more digital items users collect, the higher the chance to earn a unique piece of physical memorabilia. The Grid unifies authentication and blockchain technologies to distribute NFT-based ownership of ultra-rare physical artifacts.
The Grid is just one example of how we help startups and established companies launch their vision or expand existing operations via blockchain technology. The potential is limitless.
After years of testing and tweaking, the blockchain has truly arrived. It’s improving the services of many industries and is paving the way for continuous innovation. As global interest in blockchain development accelerates, now is the perfect time to jump in. Whether you want to secure financial transactions, store corporate and customer assets, or sell NFT collectibles, blockchain is the technology to drive business progress.