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Demystifying Blockchain

Humanity has been on the road to evolution since its inception, we have seen human beings evolve from the simple creatures we were, from using primitive tools to becoming interstellar explorers, employing complex machinery and ingenuity to achieve the impossible. While the biological signs of evolution are not so evident now technology has taken the front seat on our evolutionary road trip.

Since its inception, humanity has been on a journey of evolution — from using primitive tools to becoming interstellar explorers we have increasingly employed complex machinery and our ingenuity to achieve the impossible, and now technology is at the forefront of our continued evolutionary development.

Innovation has always been our biggest strength and we have seen amazing concepts take shape and become everyday reality. The invention of the wheel was an early example of how we worked our minds towards making life easier and it revolutionised not only transportation but so much more. If we talk about something more last century, the internet was this amazing concept that envisioned connecting hardware and led to a universe of possibilities.

The thing with any good invention is not just how well it has weathered time and evolved with our needs, but also about how true it is, how for a brief moment it was just about making life easier.

The Invention of Necessity

Pick up any recent invention or concept, AR/VR, Crypto Currency, and internet of Things etc. They are still buzzwords for many. People are getting on-board because they think they need to be on board and that I feel is a failure to not understand the technology and a failure to realise its potential — its use case.

Block chain is no different, people know of it but are yet to understand it. They want to get on board the Block chain movement, but are not sure on how that can or should happen. For Block chain to truly arrive, it has to be understood.

Understanding the Block chain

First and foremost, Block chain is not just a platform for processing digital/crypto currencies such as Bitcoin. Block chain is a distributed platform that introduces transparency, immutability and trust, along with privacy for recording the history of transactions using a shared, irrefutable ledger. Instead of a central trusted authority performing the verification role, the network maintains the block chain ledger by verifying the authenticity of any and all changes to it. Because of the visible nature of the distributed platform any and all transactions are tamper proof; this is proven by the fact that, since its inception around 8 years ago, bitcoin, which is one application of block chain technology, has never been compromised.

How it applies to you

When we talked about the invention of things there has always been a core need. Block chain was made as an immutable database where digital transactions could be securely stored. As stated earlier, Block chain does apply to crypto currency, but the possibilities it holds are endless. We now have the means of keeping records not just of transactions, but code, contracts, legal documents or medical records etc.

Imagine working with a totally transparent government. Where you know exactly how your tax money is being utilised. How each project is being managed because key information from financial milestones to vendor allotment is maintained in a tamper proof ledger. Imagine also that the organisation you work for or with is also as transparent. You know how solid their foundations are, how well they have performed over the years and how invested they are into the economy because of their financial history. That is the power of an immutable distributed database that provides a 360 view of governments, organisations, goods and even individuals.

Block chain is a revolution that is out to simplify how secure, transparent and traceable things can be. Once we set this simplicity as the tone of work, uncompromised and unhindered by countless security protocols, we open up to a much more evolved and customer centric work environment. One where organisations like government and financial institutions, which are traditionally seen as bureaucratic, can now crack the code and become much more agile and responsive.

Taking action today

For us to truly realise the potential any technology holds there needs to be active involvement from key stakeholders within verticals. Both solution providers and key institutions need to spend considerable time in understanding how the technology works and what its use cases are.

Technology is fast, its pace is immense. Many organisations now realise that technology will either disrupt or evolve their operations. The need of the day is to sense urgency and embrace the global block chain movement.

One catch however is for organisations to understand that not everything can be ported to block chain. It is important to factor out why a shared ledger is required in the first place — how the central authority currently in existence is introducing inefficiency in the overall process flow and how block chain is enabling immediate consensus among disparate parties to achieve both trust and efficiencies in the value chain.

At Avanza Solutions we are closely working with government ministries and financial institutions in an effort to demystify block chain implementations.

Some of our current engagements in this space comprise smart government contracts, Citizen’s / resident’s National Identity, corporate regulations & compliance eco-systems and foreign remittances. However, it is also important for institutions and companies to realise that, while the urgency to evolve their operations does exist, not all scenarios are inherently tailored to the block chain.

We are constantly and actively examining the global block chain movement, and our objective is to empower organisations with deeper access to knowledge that will help them on their road to successful use case implementations — that is to make life easier and more efficient in the business landscape.

by Moazzam Kamran — Global Head of Marketing at Avanza Solutions

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