You thought this would secretly be an article about touting bitcoins, right? Well we will reassure you in advance - it is not. It is, however, about the technology behind cryptocurrencies - "Blockchain". Time to pause for a moment at the bridge we want to build between trustworthy companies and civilised bitcoin believers.
In today's digital world, privacy and data protection has become a top priority for both individuals and businesses. With the increasing number of cyber threats (greetings, Putin) and data breaches, ensuring the security and confidentiality of sensitive information has become paramount. Look at the result of the cyber attack on the city of Antwerp - Residents are still struggling to apply for a residents' card, change of domicile or waste card after 5 months. According to Federal Police figures, the total number of (indicated) cyber attacks reached the sad record of 100 000 in 2022.
Blockchain and file encryption are two powerful technologies that can work together to provide enhanced data security and privacy. How can you combine the two to create a robust system for securing data?
Blockchain, originally developed as the underlying technology behind cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, has evolved into a versatile technology with various use cases beyond digital currencies. At its core, blockchain is A decentralised and distributed ledger that records transactions or data across multiple nodes in a network. That sounded Chinese? Basically, blockchain is nothing more than an unbreakable database stored not in one place, but in ten thousand different places.
Maybe a tangible analogy will help? Suppose you invent a new revolutionary drug. You obviously don't want anyone to be able to counterfeit it. You choose 5 random people in different continents who know only part of the recipe - they never meet and don't know who they are from each other. Thus, the entire recipe will never be able to be leaked and thus remains safe. Blockchain works in much the same way (decentralisation). This is obviously not a new technique - but the technology behind it has made huge leaps in recent years.
The decentralised nature of blockchain makes it highly resistant to manipulation and unauthorised access, making it an ideal platform for securing data. Our client Mintblue does exactly that. They use blockchain technology to secure businesses and set up sophisticated user roles. This keeps important data safe and in the hands of the right people.
Another bridge builder is Onegrid, one of our joint ventures that builds bridges between artists and their (early) fans. Through their platform, you can invest in artists close to your heart using NFTs (another buzzword). Are you in early and the artist becomes an established name? Then you can earn quite a few (digital) pennies there.
What is an NFT again? Think of it as a digital artwork you can take ownership of. You can buy and sell them. How do you prove that you are the owner of a particular piece? You guessed it... via the blockchain. The unbreakable database succeeds the transactions making it a secure market. It is also not managed by a bank or central government, creating a global free market in its purest form. There are drawbacks to a free market too, but that is another discussion.
Now that the cryptocurrency and NFT craze has subsided a bit, it is time to harness the underlying technologies to make our world a better place. Many new pioneering technologies create anxiety in the early stages. However, it is a matter of finding right ways to implement them in business cases to solve problems.