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The limits of Blockchain

Blockchain, explained very simply, works as an accounts ledger that cannot be changes and can be checked at any time through the Internet. It can be used to record transfers between two people and takes interoperability to a new level. It is a fascinating concept and full of opportunities that really need to be taken.

This has led us to think that blockchains and their multiple uses can have a huge impact on the mechanics of all kinds of sectors, but to what extent is this possible? What are the limits of blockchain?

 

The impact of 'Blockchain' on the electricity and food industries

Blockchain technology has forced companies to quickly study how to integrate it for their own benefit. Any organization can take advantage of this resource to optimise and automate routine activities or to completely change all the processes used by the company.

The electricity industry has already begun to take advantage of this knowledge which makes it possible to create a decentralised wind and solar energy electricity system in which producers and consumers can actively participate in generation, distribution and retailing.

Brooklyn Microgrid is the name of a small community in New York that, parallel to the main electricity grid, consists of a solar energy market between users who have photovoltaic solar panels and surplus energy and those who need more energy. Blockchain is the method used in this scenario to trade energy without intermediaries.

Just as blockchains can modify the electricity service whilst also achieving greater efficiency and sustainability in the process, the food sector is also starting to experience the same with slight changes that are already being integrated into the industry.

IBM and Walmart have started to use these new mechanics to improve the traceability of supplies of the food they market, while other companies such as Skuchain validate the provenance of organic food using this technology as a tracker.

Advantages of and doubts raised with regard to 'Blockchain' in other sectors

Blockchain architecture presents possibilities that are yet to be discovered, as well as uses that are already being taken advantage of in all types of organisations. This is mainly due to user information originating from a single data source and because this technology is public, it provides free information.

This is especially noteworthy in the case of public administrations, for which it is much easier to know the status of companies because what has happened in an account can be quickly traced.

The improvements that have been introduced in this technology enable the verification of external factors before completing a transaction. Companies like Ascribe verify the real authors of a work using a system that was developed with this technology. In spite of the usual mistrust that buyers have with regard to trade between countries, it enables payment to be made only once the product reaches its destination.

Sectors like insurance are based on trust, so for them, it is a great advantage to be able to check the transactions for a client's public address to ensure that they meet certain financial conditions.

But one question that blockchains pose for all these actions is actually based on their main advantage: Transparency. The information provided by this technology to those who know a person's public key may not be liked by the entire public. A lack of intermediaries also means that it can be used for illegal businesses without this information being discovered, since in these cases nobody would know the user's public key.

Blockchain opens up a world of possibilities and changes the traditional logic of many sectors. We are not only speaking about transfers, this technology is already being applied in companies that are far removed from the banking sector. It is difficult to imagine how far this technology can go, and organisations need to support it and improve with it while they are at it.

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