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At the CompTIA EMEA Member and Partner Channel Conference 2017, Julia Moiseeva, director of FinTest, delivered a fascinating insight into blockchain, a mysterious and much misunderstood technology, and its potential for businesses. She began the presentation by providing an overview of what blockchain is and how it works.
So What is Blockchain?
Essentially, blockchain is a decentralised, digitised public ledger of all transactions that occur over the system. Everyone owns a part of the blockchain, enabling trust by consensus. At least 51 percent of the other parties on the blockchain verify the transactions that occur across it, meaning it is nearly impossible to change, and is therefore secure.
The technology was developed as a reaction to the financial crisis in 2007, where people grew sceptical of banks as a central authority of monetary transactions. Yet, until recently blockchain, and its cryptocurrency Bitcoin, were typically associated with the dark Web and crime. This is now changing as the technology evolves rapidly.
New technology such as Ethereum is taking blockchain to the next level by developing smart contracts, where terms of a contract between parties are embedded into the blockchain and automatically execute once certain conditions are met. This means that users can’t go back on their word, dodging a direct debit payment, for example.
How Can Businesses Take Advantage of It?
Moiseeva outlined how businesses can start to take advantage of this technology, and how a number of startups, venture capitalists, governments and regulators are investing heavily in this area.
She then presented three example case studies of industries that could benefit from blockchain:
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