Blockchain tech is relatively new, but not entirely as new as you might think. It was in 2017 that it started to gain traction on a global scale and entered the public’s consciousness. Who can forget how Bitcoin jumped in value from around $1,000 to just under $20,000 in the space of a year?

Or how it halved in value again not even a week later? It was something that made headlines across the globe, and that shot blockchain tech into the spotlight. 

It’s Not as New as You Think

While the world only stood up and took notice in 2017, the actual tech behind blockchain had been around since 2009. For the first few years, it languished in obscurity, known and understood only by those with a solid techie background. It was hailed as revolutionary by those in the know. 

What Makes Blockchain Technology So Special?

It’s exciting because the control of data does not need to rest with one specific organization or person. It’s controlled by the community, which is part of the reason that data stored this way is more secure.

If someone were to hack the system, he or she would have to hack every computer within the network to change any data as the information is stored across the different nodes.

The format that the chain takes is also key to its security. Every piece of data added is assigned a block and processed in order. Each block is time-stamped and linked to the block that came before. You cannot change or delete data because this would cause a break in the chain.

This is the second reason why the system is a lot more secure. There have been instances where it’s been necessary for chains to change direction. Like the DAO hack a few years ago, for example, which is accomplished through a soft fork or a hard fork.

The former is more of an update of the software – if you don’t update your software, you won’t be able to access the chain. The latter is when the chain branches off into a different direction. So, with the DAO hack, for example, the community voted to void all transactions that occurred after the hack.

Mainly, they voted to go to a point before the hack occurred and start over. This resulted in the formation of two separate chains. Up until the hack, they’d have been identical. 

Is This an Industry Disruptor?

The short answer is most definitely. Blockchain technology is very versatile and can impact several different industries. It’s currently in use in the financial sector and the insurance industry because it’s a way to process vast amounts of data more cost-effectively. 

What we found interesting was the potential impact it could have on the entertainment industry. The guide to blockchain in media and entertainment by FilmTrack goes into this in a lot more detail, but what we found interesting was that it could provide a viable solution for artists to protect their intellectual property and to also give them a platform to sell their work. 

What’s even more exciting, though, is that this is just the beginning for this nascent technology. Where it will take us in the future is anyone’s guess.