Data in digital life
Today all of life is digital- our money, music, identity, purchases, proofs, processes and personal info. These assets are easy to electronically copy. Or even alter and forge.
So we store these assets in fortified "data islands" of banks, governments, and internet companies, and hope all our digital life is kept safe from the bad guys.
This is pretty much how the Internet centralises our data today. But there's a problem - we've locked away our information assets with a middleman and given them the keys.
So they can use our data to charge fees and at leave it at risk of getting hacked.
And because the data is locked away, it can make life difficult for everyone. Banks must reconcile their ledgers and take days to move money between accounts. Government departments and businesses find it difficult to co-operate on behalf of citizens and customers.
BlockChain makes the internet work
BlockChain can make the internet work better by doing two things:
by enabling co-operation across the internet without a central authority,
by making sure we can guarantee the owner of any information at a particular time.
Incidentally, it lets us keep control over information, and cleverly keeps data secure without surrendering it to a 3rd party . In fact it keeps tamper-proof historical copies everywhere on the internet to make it robust and secure. A more general term for technology which maintains many copies of historical information is a Distributed Ledger.
Its implications are far reaching. As a consumer, citizen or business leader in any industry, it's worth understanding how BlockChain technology might change your world in the next three years.