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Blockchain is one of the most hyped technologies since the Internet. There has been a considerable number of blockchain start-ups announced in recent years (hundreds of thousands in 2017 alone). Nearly every large corporate, government body, trade association and charity has announced proofs of concept (POCs) to demonstrate the feasibility of different blockchain applications.
The potential for blockchain and distributed ledger technologies (DLT) should, however, be considered separately as they are quite different. DLT, or decentralised databases, are “systems that enable parties who don’t fully trust each other to form and maintain consensus about the existence, status and evolution of a set of shared facts” (Richard Gendal Brown, R3 CTO). Although individuals commonly talk about blockchain, blockchain is a type of DLT and therefore use cases for each are quite distinct.
The potential for widespread adoption of blockchain in financial services, which was where some of the earliest use cases were generated including Bitcoin, is limited. Blockchain has often been cited as a potential disruptor to the traditional domestic payments networks. However, as blockchain currently stands, it is not the answer. A bitcoin is difficult to purchase for the average person, the networks are slow, the transaction fees are high, the community is full of trolls, hackers, scammers, and merchant acceptance is scarce. In contrast, there is a potential opportunity in international payments for blockchain enabled payments as they can provide a solution to the existing complex, costly and slow processes.
Blockchain technology has a large potential to transform business operating models in the long term. Blockchain distributed ledger technology is more a foundational technology—with the potential to create new foundations for global economic and social systems—than a disruptive technology, which typically "attack a traditional business model with a lower-cost solution and overtake incumbent firms quickly". Even so, there are a few operational products maturing from proof of concept by late 2016. The use of blockchains promises to bring significant efficiencies to global supply chains, financial transactions, asset ledgers and decentralized social networking.
As of 2016, some observers remain skeptical. Steve Wilson, of Constellation Research, believes the technology has been hyped with unrealistic claims. To mitigate riskbusinesses are reluctant to place blockchain at the core of the business structure.
This means specific blockchain applications may be a disruptive innovation, because substantially lower-cost solutions can be instantiated, which can disrupt existing business models. Blockchain protocols facilitate businesses to use new methods of processing digital transactions. Examples include a payment system and digital currency, facilitating crowdsales, or implementing prediction markets and generic governance tools.
Blockchains alleviate the need for a trust service provider and are predicted to result in less capital being tied up in disputes. Blockchains have the potential to reduce systemic riskand financial fraud. They automate processes that were previously time-consuming and done manually, such as the incorporation of businesses. In theory, it would be possible to collect taxes, conduct conveyancing and provide risk management with blockchains.
As a distributed ledger, blockchain reduces the costs involved in verifying transactions, and by removing the need for trusted "third-parties" such as banks to complete transactions, the technology also lowers the cost of networking, therefore allowing several applications.
Starting with a strong focus on financial applications, blockchain technology is extending to activities including decentralized applications and collaborative organizations that eliminate a middleman.
Major applications of blockchain include cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin and ether. Since bitcoin was the first kind of cryptocurrency, other ones have been termed altcoins. Similarly, the blockchains of other cryptocurrencies have been termed altchains.
"Land is a financial source, if people can prove they own it, they can borrow against it."Emmanuel Noah, CEO of Ghanian startup BenBen, New York Observer
Frameworks and trials such as the one at the Sweden Land Registry aim to demonstrate the effectiveness of the blockchain at speeding land sale deals. The Republic of Georgia is piloting a blockchain-based property registry. The Ethical and Fair Creators Association uses blockchain to help startups protect their authentic ideas.
The Government of India is fighting land fraud with the help of a blockchain.
In October 2017, one of the first international property transactions was completed successfully using a blockchain based Smart contract.
In the first half of 2018, an experiment will be conducted on the use of blocking technology to monitor the reliability of the Unified State Real Estate Register (USRER) data in the territory of Moscow.
Each of the Big Four accounting firms is testing blockchain technologies in various formats. Ernst & Young has provided cryptocurrency wallets to all (Swiss) employees, has installed a bitcoin ATM in their office in Switzerland, and accepts bitcoin as payment for all its consulting services. Marcel Stalder, CEO of Ernst & Young Switzerland stated "We don't only want to talk about digitalization, but also actively drive this process together with our employees and our clients. It is important to us that everybody gets on board and prepares themselves for the revolution set to take place in the business world through blockchains, [to] smart contracts and digital currencies."PwC, Deloitte, and KPMG have taken a different path from Ernst & Young and are all testing private blockchains.
Blockchain-based smart contracts are contracts that can be partially or fully executed or enforced without human interaction. One of the main objectives of a smart contract is automated escrow. The IMF believes blockchains could reduce moral hazards and optimize the use of contracts in general. Due to the lack of widespread use their legal status is unclear.
Some blockchain implementations could enable the coding of contracts that will execute when specified conditions are met. A blockchain smart contract would be enabled by extensible programming instructions that define and execute an agreement. For example, Ethereum Solidity is an open source blockchain project that was built specifically to realize this possibility by implementing a Turing-complete programming language capability to implement such contracts also used to build robust, professional-quality software, both as standalone applications and as web services.
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Blockchain is a technology for building decentralized systems. Blockchain network is a decentralized and distributed digital ledger that records transactions across many computers in such a way that the registered transactions cannot be altered retroactively.
This program introduces Blockchain and its use-cases to the delegates so that they can understand the various applications and choose the respective domain wisely for their future products and verticals.
Introduction To Blockchain
Blockchain Use Cases
Concepts around Mining and Transactions
Centralised vs. Decentralised Blockchains
Anyone having zeal to learn new technology can go for it. Students and professionals aspiring to make a career in Blockchain should opt for the program.
Corporate Executives looking to connect corproate strategy to technology
Government Executives looking to better understand opportunities
High school & college students
Supply Chain Managers
CEO's, Boards, and Senior VP's
Entrepreneurs looking for something new
Consultants and Professional Service Providers
Anyone looking to better prepare for long term career potential in the future
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