Everyone who is anyone in the computer industry has been fueling the buzz about the blockchain tech. It has been heralded as completely revolutionary, a new way for data to be managed and stored, and an extremely secure alternative to what we are used to.
But can it really live up to the hype, or has Bitcoin proven that there are severe flaws with the tech? In this post, we will clear up some of the confusion.
Bitcoin And Blockchain Are Two Different Things
First and foremost, we need to understand that Bitcoin is simply an application that runs on the blockchain tech. Bitcoin was the first application run on this technology and was a testing ground for it. But blockchain is capable of a lot more than cryptocurrency transfers.
Cryptocurrencies make the headlines the most because of their widely varying values, but the tech can be applied in many different industries. Take Ethereum, for example, where the purpose of the network was to create a platform for developers, rather than a straight crypto investment.
Stefan, the main editor an co-founder of BitFortune, claims there are plenty of other uses for it as well. In fact, he and his team emphasized 6 ways the blockchain technology has impacted various industries. Since negative feelings towards new things and innovative solutions often seem to overweigh the positive sides, it’s always interesting to see hear what the other party has to say as well.
Bitcoin Has Scaling Issues
What most people don’t realize is that Bitcoin was first implemented in 2009. That is close to a decade ago. Considering the rapid development of computer capabilities since then, that is practically the dark ages.
The app that started it all was meant to be a trial to see if the software could work. Back then, not a lot of thought went into how to upscale it at a later stage. And, considering that the currency only really started gaining widespread acceptance in 2017, this wasn’t a problem.
When there were still only a few users on the network, it was easy to mine blocks and thus process transactions. As a security measure, a block size of 1MB was introduced. This places severe limits on the application’s ability to process transactions.
As more and more users start to join the network and more transactions are added, this data limit becomes even more important. As the network size increases, it becomes increasingly difficult to mine blocks and so far less profitable for miners.
This has a knock-on effect on the network. The fewer miners there are mining blocks, the longer it takes to process transactions. To make it more profitable for miners again, transaction fees must increase. Since one of the advantages initially was lower transaction fees, this has a negative impact.
It Is Open Source
Enough doom and gloom. In its own way, Bitcoin can be considered a rip-roaring success. There are problems now, but that is thanks to its popularity. The good news is that developers wanting to implement blockchain-based apps are able to learn from this experience.
The software itself is open source, meaning that developers can freely use it and change it to make their own apps work. It’s what makes this a very exciting technology to keep an eye on. It really is still in its nascent phase.
2018 was the first year that we really started to see planning in this sector move into workable applications.
We Don’t Understand It Properly Yet
At one stage the world wide web consisted of a handful of websites. And, by handful, we literally mean something like 40 websites or so. Considering that by the end of 2017, the number of internet users globally was just under 3.7 billion, that figure seems unreal.
But it is a testament to how far we have come. The concept of the internet was initially introduced in 1989. This means that it went from a handful of users to 3.7 billion users in under three decades.
How is this relevant to the blockchain tech? Many experts believe that this tech is the next WWW. We’re only ten years into this at the moment, but who knows what will happen when it becomes a more widely accepted concept.
Think about it for a moment – today we google for everything. We can access the web off several devices and have technology that has been built to support its use.
What happens when blockchain-based applications start to become as common as phone apps and the tech advance?