At one point in time, the database (also known as DB) was considered a revolutionary technology. The database started as a technology of complex algorithms that was used to sort, change and process information. A little later, computers began to become more commercially available, and business people found real-world purposes. Now, with the rise of the blockchain, many wonder what makes this upgrade so revolutionary.
To compare, let’s see what the main differences are between a traditional database and a blockchain database.
Traditional database vs. blockchain database
Traditional databases use client-server architecture. This means that a user can modify data that is stored on a centralized server. Since control is centralized, those with designated authority can continue to control the database. When security is compromised, the data may be altered or deleted. In comparison, a blockchain leverages cryptography so that a series of decentralized nodes hold all the data. This is why the blockchain is described as the distributed ledger technology. Each node can verify new transactions to the blockchain or can enter new data into the database. In fact, for a new block to be added to the blockchain, the majority of the nodes must reach a consensus.
Blockchains solve issues of trust
But blockchain is more than just a database. A blockchain is a tool that allows two parties to establish trust with each other. This is becoming more important than ever before as more data is being produced and trusted relationships only continue to grow. Consider that an auditory, trusted administrator or other administrator is still needed to ensure that information makes it from one place to the next. A middleman is expensive and requires that both parties have confidence that the transaction will not be compromised.
What makes the blockchain so unique is that with its technology, no intermediary is needed. Therefore, competitors can have full trust in the data being shared between participants even if they are external to their company.
Removal of tangible things
The second thing that makes blockchain truly unique is that any digital asset can be stored without having a “real-world equivalent.” For example, a legal contract, a deed or a will can be stored as a piece of code in the blockchain. This code may contain the details of a future transaction and only require the two parties to conduct the transaction. This makes the solution more cost-effective, as a professional may not be needed to draft up the agreement or ensure that it has been executed. Some examples are blockchain-enabled land registry platforms which are currently being built in Georgia, the United Kingdom and even the United States.
Businesses can leverage this opportunity to take advantage of the diverse capabilities in their network without worrying about fraudulent transactions with an unknown or non-reputable party, since transactions are guaranteed through the blockchain.
Businesses can gain control of their data
Data has since become increasingly valuable, as the amount of individualized data that has been collected on each of us has only increased with social media usage and wearable technologies. Blockchain is believed to be the solution to online privacy by allowing each user to store their own data and control who has access to it through a private blockchain. This is mostly contrasted to the current marketplace where massive organizations build up records of our tastes and preferences (think of Amazon and Google) to be used in targeted sales campaigns. Blockchain may lead the revolution back to individual ownership of data.
Why blockchain is truly revolutionary
When the database came into being, it was genuinely game-changing for many industries. We can expect the same potential from the blockchain. Especially with new solutions to help businesses quickly develop use cases that will result in a return on investment (ROI). Both technologies were created for managing data, but the blockchain has genuinely given the power back in the hands of the user, and made businesses more efficient in their transactions by removing the middleman.
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