Will Blockchain Become The New Trust Authority?

Bitcoin is worth more than $6500, but blockchain technology has the potential to be a driving force in the future of security. Read more to find out how!

Bitcoins are the forerunner for one of the most talked-about topics in the financial industry. The cryptocurrency rose around $900 dollars on Monday, trading at nearly $6500 (now more). As I write about this, I almost cry, because I declined the opportunity to invest in Bitcoin in 2013. Experts like Ronnie Moas from Standpoint Research think Bitcoin could reach $50,000 in just a few years. “Bitcoin prices will be volatile — it has been like that the last few years and it will be like that the next few years,” he said.

Others are more skeptical, saying that cryptocurrency prices are definitely a bubble. Whatever happens, these alternate currencies are dressing for success. Beyond value, cryptocurrency has stolen the spotlight for another reason: cyber security.

There are more than 86,000 blockchain projects in the works as of October 2017, according to Deloitte Insights. Though many do not survive, this means that they are becoming more popular than ever. One of the reasons is because of their security opportunities. As discussed previously on this blog, Trusted third parties are necessary to ensure the security of a website, or transaction.

For example, DigiCert is one of the largest Certificate Authority (CA) groups, and are responsible for ensuring the security of SSL certificates and authenticating the public and private keys necessary for trusted transactions and compliance with laws and regulations. However, this means you have to trust someone else’s reputation to protect your own.

Most people don’t have a problem with this. If they did, CAs wouldn’t be such large companies and a profitable industry. Just like CAs, other third parties require this trust to perform the business of all kinds, like banks, or escrow firms. The pieces of information, funds, or contracts are maintained by someone, a central person or organization, who has to be trusted to not do anything unethical or illegal with that information.

Blockchain decentralizes everything. You don’t need a third party for any transaction. It’s trustworthy because, ironically, it’s trustless. Here’s a simple explanation from the Huffington Post: “[Blockchain] Proof of Existence allows users to upload a file and pay a transaction fee to have a cryptographic proof of it included on the bitcoin blockchain. The actual data is not stored online and therefore does not risk unwanted publication of the user’s material.

“After anonymously uploading the document and paying the network fee, a hash of the document (or any other type of digital file) is generated as part of the transaction.

“The Proof of Existence website shows recently uploaded files that have hashes on the blockchain.

“This, in effect, uses the public and ledger-like nature of the blockchain to store the proof of your file, which can later be verified should an issue of authorship or dating arise.

It’s underdeveloped and underused, but blockchain could be the future of currency, and the future of a lot more. Keep checking out this blog for updates about the future of cyber security!