Blockchain is not Bitcoin
This phrase was borrowed from an article by Forbes, and we are using it
to try to dismantle the cliché in order to understand the opportunities for development and investment related to the so-called "chain of blocks". In fact, Bitcoin (like other cryptocurrencies) is nothing more than a variation of the blockchain, a technology that has become a trending topic thanks to the speculation recorded in the last nine months on the currency created by Nakamoto.
Although it is difficult to explain the mode of operation of the blockchain, we can start by imagining the similarities between the concept of trust, community, cryptography, transparency, sharing and competition used to achieve a common goal; although it might seem that all of these concepts are disconnected and unrelated, blockchain architecture stands as a collector of all of these, giving participants the ability to manage transactions /data that can be shared through the various nodes that make up the network. It is a deconstructed and decentralized database, built in different blocks divided from one another, in which any type of validation that creates an exchange of information / data between the components must be accepted by the same components of the network, the so-called nodes. It is a technology similar to cloud archiving, but with features and security systems that go beyond "simple" archiving on the web.
To try to simplify the functioning underlying this technology, let's try to give a practical meaning to describe how the blockchain paradigm works. Imagine that there are political elections in a country, or simply a referendum. Suppose that all eligible voters must vote in the same place. The first thing to do is verify the identity documents for each one. If the person is authorized to enter the voting area, they will be assigned an alphanumeric code to guarantee anonymity at the time of counting. On the contrary, the possibility of voting will be rejected. Once the identity and the right to vote have been validated, the voter will express their preference through a simple pre-filled ballot with the alphanumeric identification code assigned to them. Once the vote is over, let's imagine that all the other voters are given the list with the identification codes assigned to those present, actively participating in the counting of votes and, at the same time, maintaining their anonymity. When it's time to count, contrary to what happens in reality, each of these will have to validate every single vote under the supervision of those that are present, and, in case of anomalies, they refuse their validity. The necessary and sufficient condition in order for the vote to be considered valid is that all voters must give their approval to every single card. Otherwise, the single ballot will not be counted. This way, there is certainty that we have all given consent to every single card and the candidate or the proposal with more votes is chosen and shared in a democratic and transparent manner. The blockchain works in the same way. If we imagine voters as "nodes" of the blockchain and the database as the place where voters go to vote, through the anonymity and incorruptibility guaranteed by peer-to-peer connections (which in the example is represented by the alphanumeric code), you can get an idea of how this technology works. The exchange of information is represented by the consent that each voter gives on each vote while the final result is the candidate's choice, that for the blockchain could represent a solution to a mathematical or computer problem placed inside of the infrastructure.
Although the implementation of automated processes (or machine learning) it is to be monitored within blockchain infrastructures, the most important aspect to be counted is its flexibility and the ability to provide ad hoc solutions in many sectors, from private to public, in order to be able to satisfy very different needs. Another important aspect to consider is its impenetrability: according to a study by Juniper Research, between 2018 and 2022 an expense of 8,000 billion / $ is estimated to prevent risks related to cybersecurity. In a context that is more and more attentive to IT risks, investing in this technology could be a winning strategy to benefit from a competitive advantage in IT security. In 2017, investments in private blockchain and in companies with businesses aimed to providing solutions using this technology is estimated to 5.5 billion euros. Gartner estimates that the global business linked to the Blockchain can reach 3,000 billion / $ by 2024.