Privacy May Be Blockchain’s Best Application

Search Encrypt/ April 12, 2018/ Tech

Cryptocurrency and blockchain have taken off in huge ways over the past year. There are countless opinions about the legitimacy, reliability, and future of cryptocurrencies and their widespread use. One idea that there is less disagreement on is that blockchain and cryptocurrencies’ ability to protect user data from companies and governments.

Blockchain Is Great For Data Security

The Economist explains in this article, that “the cryptographic technology that underlies bitcoin, called the ‘blockchain’, has applications well beyond cash and currency.” Grass-roots organizations could use blockchain to undermine giant data companies, like Google and Facebook.

Building Blockchain gives us this easy to understand explanation of what blockchain does and how it works

The problem with most, if not all, internet services is that user information is collected and stored on servers. These servers are a target for hackers who can infiltrate them and steal the data.

Decentralizing control of global data, by moving it to block chain, reduces risk for the companies storing the user information. You would no longer have to trust individual companies with your private data. Another benefit is that you wouldn’t have a profile with multiple providers, such as Twitter, Facebook and Google. All of your information would be stored in one secure, and much more private, place.

Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF)is working to build “an open source decentralized identity ecosystem for people, organizations, apps, and devices. Many large corporations are on board with DIF’s mission, including Microsoft and IBM.

Pillars of a New Decentralized Data Ecosystem

Ankur Patel, of Microsoft’s Identity Division said:

“Today, apps, services, and organizations deliver convenient, predictable, tailored experiences that depend on control of identity-bound data. We need a secure encrypted digital hub that can interact with user’s data while honoring user privacy and control.”

Adopting blockchain across the board could completely alter the way the internet works. Users would ultimately benefit the most, because their data is no longer at the mercy of the many companies storing their information.

 

Saya Iwasaki explains that knowledge and influence in the crypto and blockchain markets are limited to a select group of people. This is an issue because placing all the power of blockchain in a few sets of hands could just transfer existing data power to those new groups rather than truly decentralizing.

Blockchain’s Decentralization Is Huge Technological Advance

Because, for the past couple decades, internet users have had to rely on big data companies like Facebook or Google to securely store their data, these companies have achieved great power. However, this means that the control of the internet (and the data gathered from it) falls into just a few private buckets. With block chain, users are empowered by being able to decide where their data goes, and knowing that it isn’t being sold to third-parties.

Block chain’s long-term effects on the internet becoming more democratic and run by its users will likely outweigh the effects it has on the world’s monetary systems.