The blockchain revolutionized the sending of money around the globe, but can it also help solve our security problems, too? Experts believe that when applied to other business problems, the decentralized records management technology could make all kinds of transactions safer.
Don Tapscott, author and adjunct professor at the Rotman School of Management, recently co-founded the Blockchain Research Institute with his son Alex. He thinks that the blockchain has the potential to revolutionize security in modern computing applications.
The technology’s promise lies in its ability to keep everyone honest. The blockchain used in the bitcoin electronic currency network first proved this, he points out. It ‘seals’ collections of transactions into the network in the form of blocks, produced every 10 minutes. Computers on the network called miners encrypt that information, making it difficult for anyone else to tamper with.
“If I were to try and make a payment with the same money twice, I’d have to hack that 10-minute block, plus all of the previous blocks, because they’re all interconnected,” he says. “That’s the entire history of commerce on bitcoin. Not just on one computer but millions around the world simultaneously, and all of them using the highest level of cryptography, while its most powerful resource – the miners – are watching me.”