One of the great advantages of blockchain technology has been its ability to enable secure collaboration among multiple parties from a set of decentralized data. Some have called this the “democratization” of data because everyone with the proper permissions has access to that data on a blockchain.
Blockchain’s unique characteristics include:
• Decentralized trust via data transparency which enables collaboration
• Verifiable identities of participants and goods to authentic items and prevent fraud
• Business processes automated in virtually real-time
• Highly-secure data that is tamper evident, meaning if a bad actor tampers with a set of data, then all blockchain participants will be aware of that.
Recently, I spoke with Dr. Sally Eaves about the benefits of Blockchain technology and where the tech is headed in the future. She shared some easy to understand insights about the state of the tech today, and where it is headed.
“In the early phases of blockchain, there was an awful lot of hype, a lot of conceptualization, but not much on the tangibles,” says Eaves. “But now, some of the early pilots have come to fruition, so we can actually talk about those real-world examples. There’s definitely a threshold that’s been crossed.”
“We’re in an extended global crisis of trust that affects all sectors, not just financial services,” explains Eaves. She believes the fact that blockchain actually embeds trust has been missed in many conversations, and the press tends to move to the darker side about what technology might take away rather than what it can enable.
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Protecting Our Most Sensitive Data
“I think there’s a lovely opportunity for a marriage between blockchain and AI technology. Healthcare is the one that most excites me,” notes Eaves.
She explains that our DNA is the most sensitive data we have in many respects, and we can use blockchain to share that data with complete security and control. There are many populations, particularly around ethnic groups, where there’s a real lack of data around certain medical conditions.
“With blockchain, we can encourage more people to feel safe donating their DNA data where it can then be mined using the advances in AI and machine learning to get nuanced data insights,” says Eaves. “It’s a powerful combination in terms of security, control, and then insight generation.”
Blockchain Takes a Leading Role in Ethical Supply Chains
Supply chain is one of the most advanced applications for blockchain technology. It’s a natural fit because of the ability to build transparency into the supply chain so that all participants across the chain can see where goods are at any given point in time. With blockchain, even though supply chains are often complex, we can effectively track and trace goods from point A to point Z in real-time.