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Blockchain Technology and Applications

University of Texas at Austin_091921A
[ The University of Texas at Austin]


- Overview

A blockchain is a digital ledger of transactions maintained by a network of computers in a way that is difficult to hack or change. The technology provides a secure way for individuals to transact directly with each other without intermediaries like governments, banks or other third parties.

Lists of records (called blocks) are linked together using cryptography. Each transaction is independently verified by a peer-to-peer network of computers, time-stamped and added to the ledger. Once recorded, data cannot be easily changed.

While the use of bitcoin, ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies has grown in popularity, blockchain technology has promising applications in legal contracts, property sales, medical records, and any other industry that requires authorizing and recording a series of actions or transactions.

Thus, you can use blockchain technology to create an unchangeable or immutable ledger for tracking orders, payments, accounts, and other transactions. The system has built-in mechanisms that prevent unauthorized transaction entry and create consistency in the shared view of those transactions.


- Benefits of Blockchain Technology

Blockchain is an emerging technology that could radically improve transaction security for banks, supply chains and other transaction networks. It is estimated that blockchain will generate $3.1 trillion in new business value by 2030. Essentially, it provides the basis for a dynamic distributed ledger that can be used to save time when recording transactions between parties, eliminate costs associated with intermediaries, and reduce the risk of fraud and tampering.

A blockchain is a distributed database where every entry needs to be approved by a network of peers without any intervention from an intermediary or central authority. This distributed, decentralized nature of the database makes it highly secure and transparent, as multiple nodes (peers) in the network have copies of it. 

If there is any anomaly in a single node's database, other nodes in the network can point it out and correct it. It is an ideal feature not only for the financial industry, but for any industry that values data security and transparency. 

Benefits of Blockchain Technology:

• Increased time efficiency due to real-time transactions

• Direct transactions eliminate overhead and intermediary costs

• Reduce risks associated with cybercrime, fraud and tampering

• More transparent processes and proper record creation and tracking

• Highly secure due to encryption and decentralized blockchain protocol


- Blockchain Platforms

Blockchain technology is an advanced database mechanism that allows transparent sharing of information within a business network. Blockchain databases store data in blocks that are linked together in a chain. Data is consistent in time because you cannot delete or modify the chain without network consensus. 

Blockchain platform technology is a decentralized solution for tracking, recording and facilitating transactions. These tools create a public ledger based on globally distributed historical transactions to prevent tampering and fraud. Every interaction is recorded in a database that relies on every previous, time-stamped transaction to validate and execute the exchange.

Blockchain technology was originally used for financial transactions, but can be applied to a variety of industries including e-commerce, supply chain management and data integration. This self-sustaining database can be used by businesses to record transactions and eliminate fraudulent transactions. These software solutions provide a framework for creating applications that depend on transactions of any type.

To qualify for the blockchain category, a product must:

  • Create a real-time distributed transactional database
  • Create User Identification Labels for Event Parties
  • Validate every transaction on the active ledger for approval
  • Freeze any unverifiable transactions


- Blockchain Applications

Blockchain technology is used in many different industries. According to recent research by CBInsights, annual blockchain spending will reach $16B by 2023, and adoption of the technology is increasing. The technology is actually helping many adopters stay ahead of their competitors. It is clear that more companies will adopt the technology because of the benefits it brings to company operations.

In addition to enabling instant transactions over a peer-to-peer network and reducing the cost of middlemen, the technology uses authentication to protect data and make it harder to hack than any legacy system.

By far the largest use case for blockchain technology is in cryptocurrencies. However, blockchain doesn’t end there. Blockchain applications go far beyond cryptocurrencies and bitcoin. Banks and financial institutions find blockchain useful as it helps them process transactions faster and at a lower cost. The technology, which improves transparency and fairness while saving businesses time and money, is impacting industries in a variety of ways, from how contracts are enforced to making government work more efficient.

Here are some examples of blockchain applications:

  • Money transfer
  • Smart contracts
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Personal identity security
  • Healthcare
  • Logistics
  • Non-fungible tokens (NFTs)
  • Government
  • Media
  • Agriculture


[More to come ...]


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