A revolution is on its way in the world of digital computing, and it’s called blockchain. Well known for its use in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, blockchain is being tested for use in a variety of solutions, from smart contracts to digital music.
According to this article by Dan Radak on Kenkarlo.com, Blockchain technology is of interest to the field of cybersecurity because of its complex encryption and apparent impenetrability.
A blockchain system requires a peer-to-peer network to function. Blockchain shares the blocks among all the participants of the network. Cryptography is at the core of blockchain. There are two uses for encryption in the blockchain. First, it protects the privacy of users. Others may see the transaction and its amounts, but they won’t know who is involved in it. Second, encrypted blocks are protected from tampering in the future.
But blockchain can do more than just digital currency, Mr. Radak says. One arena that would benefit from the utmost security is private messaging. Whether in personal conversations or high-stakes discussions, people who are communicating through messaging apps have an expectation of privacy. But without encryption, any private message data stream is vulnerable to attack.
Blockchain offers private messaging with the encrypted security needed to keep confidential conversations out of the newspapers. It handles the public key infrastructure (PKI) better than encrypted apps, several blockchain private messaging apps are now under development and will be publicly released soon.
The internet will continue to grow exponentially in the next few years, largely due to the implementation of a plethora of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. IoT will be everywhere, from the toaster in your kitchen to the robotics on the automaker’s floor. Keeping all those devices secure is a huge challenge.
Blockchain technology, with its decentralized architecture and distributed ledger, will provide both control and security for remote IoT devices. Smart contracts, which can provide validation for transactions in a blockchain environment, may be used to manage IoT activities and keep devices secure from hackers.
Mr. Radak concludes that there is still some trepidation about blockchain — perhaps because of its association with the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. Bitcoin has been used in the dark web to make an illicit purchase for drugs and arms. But Bitcoin is not blockchain. The technology that was invented in 2008 by someone calling himself Satoshi Nakamoto is more than a cryptocurrency protection scheme. And while Bitcoin may fluctuate in value — both as a currency and as an idea — it looks like blockchain has some solid potential for use in many different settings. The only thing that remains is for people to adopt it. And that may be a few years down the road yet.