How Blockchain Can Influence Social Media
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The term blockchain seems to be the big discussion point at the moment, so unless you’ve been living under a rock, it’s likely you’ve at least heard about it. For context, blockchain is the latest revolution that the digital age has cultivated and it’s come about as a direct result of user insecurity about data and how it’s currently transferred.
Presently leading the charge in this space is the US, China and Australia—with the latter currently developing the ANB (Australian National Blockchain), its own national blockchain platform designed to transform the legal industry and as a product of a partnership between Australia’s federal agency, CSIRO, Data61, Herbert Smith Freehills and IBM.
Despite garnering the attention of government agencies, however, many are still confounded with blockchain.
What is blockchain?
Blockchain is a public electronic ledger that stores data, which is continually authenticated by a community of average computer users rather than a central authority. It is a technology that allows digital information to be distributed rather than copied. In simple terms, it is a write-once, append-only ledger.
It was originally a mechanism for tracking the digital currency bitcoin. Today, however, it finds use in a variety of application such as in government database, banking, and most recently, the launch of Steemit –a social media platform using Steem blockchain to reward both its publishers and curators.
Let’s dissect blockchain into its components.
Block: It is the data or information stored.
Chain: It pertains to a collection of blocks or data.
Node: It refers to a computer that is connected to a blockchain network. Every node acts as an administrator of the blockchain.
Network: It is a group of computers or nodes that add blocks and reconcile the blocks added in the chain.
Cryptograph: It secures the system by creating a unique digital fingerprint.
As a transaction ledger, blockchain is unique because of the following features:
Blockchain only allows appending new transactions. The previous information is stored in blocks, which prevents edits, adjustments, and modifications.
Cryptography makes blockchain secured. It is used to link the contents of a newly added block with previous blocks. This feature makes tampering with blockchain impossible because changing the content of an earlier block will invalidate the data contained in all blocks placed after it.
Moreover, it is virtually impossible because there are millions of computers connected to a network, which means that a tamperer has to re-mine millions of blocks in a chain in order to modify a block.
Blockchain uses a large network of computers. It is consensus-driven because of the way it secures the system. To pre-empt attackers from maliciously adding transactions on the network, a person who adds a blockchain is required to solve a mathematical proof. Such proof is shared with the whole network and all the computers must agree on the result.
No single user has the control of the information on the blockchain. Nor is the blockchain database stored in a single location. Instead, identical data is hosted by millions of computers simultaneously and is accessible to anyone on the Internet. This is where blockchain’s value lies. You won’t have to rely on any agency or authority to safeguard your data or money.
Publicly published and verified
Every transaction recorded in the chain is published publicly. This means that anyone can view the contents and verify the actual records in the chain.
Blockchain and social media
Some describe blockchain as an improved version of the Internet. The system is designed to promote user accountability and data security– characteristics that may feel are lacking in how data is handled on the Internet at present. While blockchain was made for bitcoin and is mainly used in finance, it could soon change social media platforms and how online business is conducted.
Blockchain-based social media will improve transparency and security. For one, blockchain’s immutability will make identity verification easier and prevent identity theft as users without proper authorization won’t be able to access the information. It can also address fake content, spam bots, and fraudulent ad impressions.
Blockchain will compel social media platforms to reorganize their sharing algorithm, data security policy, and payment methods. For brands that rely on social advertising, this entails fast thinking on how to adopt crypto transactions in their business.
Without a doubt, blockchain has opened a new monetary period in the digital world. And businesses wanting to keep up, should take note and prepare for the next digital wave.