Blockchain technology, an ingenious invention that started as the underpinning of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, has rapidly evolved beyond its initial application, showing vast potential in establishing security, transparency, and efficiency.
This Cryptopolitan guide explores how blockchain technology complements the top 10 trending technologies, unlocking new capabilities, and propelling us towards a future where tech coexistence is not only plausible but instrumental in redefining our digital landscape.
A blockchain is a secure and unchangeable record that allows multiple parties to exchange encrypted information in an instant and transparent manner during transactions. This network can keep track of different things such as orders, payments, accounts, and production. As permissioned members have access to the same information, it increases their trust and confidence in their dealings with other businesses, and opens up new opportunities for efficiency.
Artificial intelligence involves using computers, data, and sometimes machines to imitate the problem-solving and decision-making abilities of humans. It includes sub-fields like machine learning and deep learning, which use algorithms trained on data to make predictions or classifications and improve their performance with time. AI offers benefits such as automating repetitive tasks, enhancing decision-making, and providing a better customer experience.
How does blockchain complement artificial intelligence?
Authenticity: The use of blockchain technology in AI allows for transparency in understanding how the data is being used and where it comes from, which helps address the issue of explainable AI. This transparency can help increase trust in the accuracy of the data and the recommendations made by AI. Using blockchain to store and distribute AI models creates an audit trail and enhances data security.
Augmentation: Blockchain-based business networks can benefit from the speed and intelligence of AI, which can quickly analyze and connect large amounts of data. Through blockchain, AI can access data from both inside and outside the organization, leading to more useful insights, efficient data management, and a transparent data economy.
Automation: The use of AI, automation, and blockchain can improve business processes that involve multiple parties by reducing obstacles, increasing speed, and enhancing efficiency. An illustration would be incorporating AI models within smart contracts implemented on a blockchain to suggest recalling expired products, conduct transactions (re-orders, payments, or stock purchases) based on fixed thresholds and events, settle disagreements, and choose the most eco-friendly mode of shipping.
Internet of Things
Using IoT, devices can send data to private blockchain networks via the internet, creating secure records of shared transactions. With IBM Blockchain, business partners can share and access IoT data without centralized control and management. Each transaction is verified, which prevents disputes and builds trust among the permissioned network members.
Combined use case of blockchain and the internet of things
- Freight transportation: The transportation of goods involves multiple parties with varying priorities, making it a complicated process. By using an IoT-enabled blockchain, the temperatures, positions, arrival times, and statuses of shipping containers can be stored as they are transported. The use of an immutable blockchain ensures that all parties can rely on the accuracy of the data and take necessary actions to move products in a prompt and efficient manner.
- Component tracking and compliance: It is important to be able to track the components that are used in the production of items such as airplanes and cars for safety and compliance purposes. By utilizing IoT technology and storing the data on shared blockchain ledgers, all parties involved can keep track of the origin of each component during the lifespan of the product. It is secure, simple, and cost-effective to share this information with manufacturers, shippers, and regulatory agencies.
- Log operational maintenance data: Blockchain technology allows for a secure record of operational data and maintenance of critical machines, such as engines and elevators, using IoT devices. Third-party maintenance partners can access the tamper-free ledger to monitor preventive maintenance and record their work. The operational records can also be shared with government entities to ensure compliance.
Blockchain technology is built upon data. It is also essential in resolving crucial issues within the industry. To enhance transparency and prevent fraudulence, we must scrutinize historical user behaviors and compare them with present actions. By doing so, we can identify patterns and trends.
How does blockchain complement data science?
Data science plays a crucial role in ensuring the security and reliability of transactions in blockchain technology. It helps maintain the integrity of the process and ensures that transactions are executed efficiently.
Utilizing data science, it is possible to detect any questionable activity on the blockchain network. This process involves organizing different transactions based on their characteristics, which facilitates their collection and analysis. By implementing this approach, organizations can more efficiently monitor the blockchain for criminal behaviors like money laundering and terrorist financing.
Although blockchain technology provides businesses with advantages, such as decentralized authentication and record-keeping, it also poses certain difficulties in terms of analyzing the data that is stored on the blockchain network. Blockchains are decentralized, which means there are no main servers for querying or analyzing data. However, researchers have created innovative methods to use AI, machine learning, and deep learning to perform analytics on blockchains and overcome these limitations.
Cloud computing can benefit from blockchain technology as it enables creating a decentralized network of nodes for data and processing power sharing. This helps enterprises to avoid relying on a single centralized provider. Rather, they can rely on a distributed network of computers that are not controlled by any particular company. A system like this offers various benefits, such as better security, more scalability, and greater availability.
Furthermore, decentralized networks of nodes have the potential to enable the development of novel applications that cannot be developed using conventional cloud-based architectures. An example of such an application is a distributed file storage system that is more secure and fault-tolerant than currently available solutions.
The use of blockchain in cloud computing is mainly linked to the Cloud of Things (CoT), which encompasses the connection between physical devices and the internet. This includes a wide range of objects, from wearables and connected cars to home appliances and industrial equipment.
The CoT (Context of Things) is anticipated to produce a large volume of data, which will require storage, processing, and analysis. Several industries gather data from connected devices via the Internet of Things (IoT) for diverse purposes, such as inventory management and asset tracking. Statista predicts that the number of IoT devices globally will reach 29 billion by 2030.
Blockchain can be utilized in cloud computing to improve data management and security for enterprises. An example would be using a blockchain-based system to securely and immutably store data collected by IoT devices. This is particularly useful since IoT devices usually have limited storage capacity, while the cloud can hold large amounts of data, emphasizing the significance of the concept of Cloud of Things (CoT).
Natural Language Processing
Blockchain can transform how we interact with the Internet and digital realm. It is basically a decentralized database that ensures secure, transparent, and tamper-proof transactions. With this technology, data can be stored and shared across a network of computers without any central authority or intermediary entity.
Blockchain can open up new possibilities for artificial intelligence (AI) by facilitating natural language processing (NLP) which involves comprehending and producing human language. NLP has several applications such as speech recognition, machine translation, and sentiment analysis through text analytics.
Combined use cases of blockchain and NLP
- There is a chance to improve record-keeping and data verification on a global scale. Blockchain technology can provide a secure system for record-keeping free from any sort of tampering or interference.
- NLP can help analyze large data sets and find patterns more efficiently. This can be helpful for tasks like targeted marketing, fraud detection, and product quality control.
- One potential use for blockchain is to establish secure digital identities for individuals and groups, which could be particularly valuable in instances where traditional forms of identification are unfeasible or unsafe, or when privacy is a concern.
- The usage of blockchain technology can facilitate the creation of transparent and tamper-proof transaction records. This feature is especially valuable in industries like finance, healthcare, and supply chains that rely on transparency for effective functioning.
- The use of NLP can improve the security of blockchain systems by detecting possible risks and weaknesses, particularly in scenarios where third-party entities are part of the blockchain network.
Researchers analyze genomic datasets to learn about the molecular mechanisms responsible for human diseases. This can help identify mutations that are specific to certain diseases. It’s worth noting that the human genome comprises roughly 3 billion base pairs, and while some genetic diseases are uncommon, even frequent conditions such as hypertension and diabetes have a genetic component.
Processing datasets requires specialized infrastructure and pipelines. The growing amount of genetic data has created issues related to data access, security, and privacy. To address these issues and simplify data operations, researchers are turning to blockchain technology.
Here are some combined usecases of Blockchain and Genomics
- Genomic Data Security: The security of genomics data is crucial, and blockchain technology offers excellent protection against data breaches. Although encryption can help combat breaches, it is not foolproof, and even the most secure systems can be hacked. However, blockchain technology uses hashing techniques to store data securely, providing better protection and allowing for secure data sharing.
- Genomic Data Sharing: Genetic information can now be sent anonymously anywhere in the world through the use of genomic data and the blockchain network. The decentralized nature of blockchain enables secure and convenient information exchange between organizations. The information is securely stored in a specialized ledger within a blockchain database.
- Immutability of genomic data: Blockchain for organizations in safeguarding their genomic data by ensuring its immutability. The decentralized structure of blockchain makes it impossible to alter genomic data, as any modification will be reflected across all nodes. This provides assurance against fraudulent activities, making data sharing much safer.
3D printing uses digital files to create solid, three-dimensional objects through an additive process. This means that material is added layer by layer until the object is complete. 3D printing is also referred to as “additive manufacturing.”
The potential of blockchain technology in addressing challenges of the digital thread in additive manufacturing (AM) is significant.
Due to its decentralized nature, tampering with or stealing a 3D printed file from a Blockchain requires hacking into every entity that is part of the Blockchain network, rather than just one computer or printer. This task is extremely difficult and almost impossible. Hence, Blockchain technology is useful in reducing cyber risks and protecting Intellectual Property rights (IPR) because it creates an unchangeable and traceable record of changes.
The transactions of the network of 3D printers will be recorded by the blockchain to ensure that they print the intended 3D files. Any changes made to the 3D files will receive a new hash and will be recorded immutably in the distributed ledger.
In today’s world, all of our daily events and actions are recorded and stored as big data, which is utilized in various ways. Governments and private entities view this data as a valuable resource.
As we continue to digitize various aspects of our lives, including data and DNA, and even integrating DNA with objects around us, it’s important to realize that we have become deeply interconnected with the data we create while using technology platforms such as phones, computers, and apps.
Use Cases Blockchain combined with Big Data
Ensuring secure data storage remains a major challenge, particularly due to the costly cyber-security breaches resulting in data theft. However, in healthcare, blockchain technology provides an additional layer of security. The use of big data in industries that require secure and unchangeable data is becoming increasingly popular, and blockchain technology enables multiple individuals to share digital assets and information without the need for a middleman.
Blockchain combined with big data can be used for fraud control in various sectors, including financial services, government payroll and pension management, and electoral processes. For instance, the blockchain was used to verify the results of an election in a province in Sierra Leone in March 2018.
Electoral fraud continues to be an issue in several countries and is now advancing from physical disruptions during voting to data manipulation as technology improves. Using blockchain technology can help validate the input data for eligible voters and cross-match it with voter counts and results, which makes it much more difficult to manipulate results.
Blockchain is a highly secure method that is not commonly used by cybercriminals because it reduces weaknesses, utilizes strong encryption, and confirms data ownership and integrity. In fact, it can even eliminate the need for some passwords that are often considered the weakest aspect of cybersecurity.
One major benefit of using blockchain technology is its distributed ledger system. By using a decentralized public key infrastructure model, it significantly lowers the various risks usually present with centralized data storage, as there are no clear targets for potential attacks. Transactions are recorded across all nodes on the network, making it challenging for attackers to steal, tamper with, or compromise the data, unless there are platform-level vulnerabilities.
Blockchain collaborative consensus algorithm eliminates another common weakness. It has the ability to detect malicious actions, anomalies, and false positives without relying on a central authority. With multiple participants verifying transactions, it is more difficult to deceive the system. This improves authentication and enhances the security of data communications and record keeping.
Blockchain has several unique features, but it still utilizes encryption, which is a crucial cybersecurity tool. Through the use of public key infrastructure, the distributed ledger can secure communication, authenticate devices, validate configuration changes, and identify confidential devices in an internet of things (IoT) environment.
Blockchain technology can help prevent distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks by using a blockchain-based domain name system (DNS) to eliminate the single point of failure that makes these attacks possible.
Blockchain technology can be highly beneficial in enhancing process automation for organizations that are moving from manual processes to automation, or those looking to improve their current automated procedures. This is applicable across numerous industries.
Combined use cases of Blockchain and automation
The interconnectedness of the world economy has resulted in complex supply chains, bringing new opportunities but also inefficiencies. Blockchain technology can automate processes and allow suppliers and vendors to verify the exact amount of goods or services they provided, preventing fraud and counterfeiting while eliminating paperwork.
Although the cryptocurrency market has experienced tremendous growth, it’s a misconception to assume that blockchain technology is only suitable for organizations dealing in cryptocurrencies. In fact, legacy financial institutions may benefit more from the technology than crypto-based organizations. For instance, the Ripple blockchain is already being utilized to quicken and automate interbank settlements.
Blockchain technology has been tested by stock exchanges like the Australian Stock Exchange to enhance the speed and security of transactions. Visa is also exploring the use of blockchain technology for traditional and cryptocurrency transactions in the consumer payments sector.
The food and agriculture industry can benefit greatly from blockchain automation. Companies such as Walmart have already integrated blockchain technology into various stages of their supply chain. By using blockchain, food and agriculture companies can trace the origin of their products, including specific production batches for items like fish, meat, and produce.
In a world moving at breakneck speed towards digitalization, the integration of blockchain with the top trending technologies presents an exciting new frontier. Whether it’s fortifying the security infrastructure, accelerating data transactions, or ensuring impeccable record-keeping and verification processes, the compatibility of blockchain across different technology sectors is undeniably transformative.