Have you ever wondered how to track where your food was from? Or how to save things permanently and securely in cyberspace so that no one can steal your hard work? A new technology with great potential called blockchain technology has the capability of connecting farmers to consumers regarding the consumption of their food as well as securely saving information in separate data locations named “blocks.” Not only can it be used to track food, but it also can help businesses keep confidential information safe in a block so it may not be duplicated.
Blockchains can be best described as many databases or networks regarding one specific subject. This network is divided into separate categories named “blocks.” In each of these blocks, previous information and current data are stored, and while new data can be added to each category, past information entered cannot be removed or edited. This makes the technology very safe and reliant. The crucial link that connects all these blocks and information is known as cryptography. Cryptography, the use of codes, is powerful enough to ensure that the data cannot be tampered with since it involves complicated mathematical blockages for hackers.
Since the technology is very secure, businesses have considered adding blockchains to their corporations. Companies are always looking for safer ways to store their data, and since past information cannot be altered, it is a pro for large businesses. Not only can blockchains store information, but it is also possible to transfer files throughout the overall network. Businesses can transfer confidential files such as contracts, law cases, and other information safely from one location to another. In addition, even artists and authors can use this technology to transfer an original copy of their book to an editor or to send an authentic art piece.
Recently, blockchains have been tested to track turkey farms across the United States. A tag was added to each turkey in one particular farm in Virginia, codes were entered in each block, and the experiment began. Using blockchains, farmers entered data regarding the turkey’s diet, life, diseases and space. Each turkey essentially had its own blog in the network explaining its everyday life. This allowed farmers to become more transparent with their consumers, and it also let the customer know if the animal they were consuming was at organic standards or if it could contain any possible diseases. Blockchains allow farmers to communicate with families consuming their product which forms a link between the producer and consumer.
While the technology seems amazing and secure, there are some drawbacks just as any other database on the internet. Since it is fairly new to the market, it is not fully developed and because of this, blockchains are considered unpredictable. Also while the technology may seem secure, it can be hijacked due to careless mistakes. If an unexperienced coder is applying an incorrect code to each block, the information may be retrieved by anybody, including hackers. However, this can be prevented with proper training and by using methodical processes, and blockchains are still safer to use than Microsoft Excel or Word since those are much easier to hack than multiple blocks.
Blockchain technology can be beneficial to society due to its capability to secure confidential and even helpful information in each block. It can help connect farmers to the consumers’ families to educate them on where their food comes from, or blockchains can transfer contract and even art from one person to another. With more development and safety standards, this technology can help connect corporations to their clients, employees, consumers, and many more people in one network.