It seems the word on everyone’s lips is the blockchain. How much of it is hype, and how much is real?
The blockchain is heavily associated with cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin. My techies tell me it’s much more important than that.
The way the blockchain works is that each new block of transactions includes a cryptographic hash of the previous row.
That means you can’t just change a row. You have to unwind the whole chain. If you do that, then your version of the data is inconsistent with everyone else’s, and will be ignored.
It‘s the combination of cryptography and community that makes it work. It’s a wonderfully elegant idea.
We’ve just extended the iSOL8 module in Mineral Blue to write isolations to the blockchain.
The clever people at Mineral Blue have their own blockchain – called Industrial bc – that has no cryptocurrency associated with it. That means there’s no unpredictable ‘mining’ costs.
Mining is the process in which users ‘mine’ data into the blockchain. In Industrial bc, the only users who can mine are servers trusted by the enterprise.
What that gives us is a tamperproof ledger. We can prove – using mathematics – what happened at a certain time.
Why is that important? Because it means that if you ever find yourself in court, you can make your case using the laws of mathematics.
It also means you’re trustworthy. If your systems write information to the blockchain, it means you have nothing to hide. That gives trustworthy businesses a competitive advantage over untrustworthy ones.
The fuss over Bitcoin will eventually die down. Then we’re left with the real benefits of this impressive technology.
It appears safety systems and the blockchain are the perfect fit.