Blockchain – The Three Eyed Raven!
by Mohamed Noushad, Data Analyst
I was born on 18 October 2008 in a garden with Bitcoin as my brother. During my early days, I was hiding behind my brother and the whole world was speaking about him. I was flying around the countryside, sipping nectar and distracting some early enthusiasts who were following me. He got famous as he made people rich although that was not what he was just supposed to be. There were rumors about why our dad chose to be on incognito. Though I have seen him, I choose not to speak, and you will know why as you keep reading.
Let’s go back in time. The history of how we became what we are today. People call it Industrial revolution and they say we are in the beginning of the fourth Industrial revolution. You may be wondering how I know the history before I was born. Well, I have a story telling grandma. She is called Wikipedia in your world.
Man began to advance stage by stage by means of Industrial revolution. From invention of steam engine, telephone, radio to the modern-day cousins of mine like AI (Artificial Intelligence), sensors, automated machines, robots etc. Yesterday, we had a heated discussion on our role in the world. Having said that, let me tell you why I was born.
With the third industrial revolution, automation was solving almost all the problems the people faced. The technology itself was addressing the problems at its best. My great grandfather solved the problems like Distribution and Information. He is called Internet. People can now buy their most loved stuffs from Internet which is an example of how Distribution problem is solved. Similarly, they can search what they want and get information from any search engine. Thus the information problem was also solved.
Though it was told by creators of my grandfather that it would actually bring people together without any intermediaries, my grandfather was often used by people to create intermediaries and serve the fruits of the technologies that came ahead by benefiting the profit from it. This was a problem. Along with intermediaries, there came associated problems like trust, identity and privacy.
While I was very young, people mostly underestimated my potential to the crypto money-making world. It was at this time, the enthusiasts whom I kept on disturbing started to find my true potential as the solution to most of the problems that I just mentioned above. I believe I am making sense now and let me refer to your real-world examples to help you understand it better.
Privacy. Any idea in the total size of data present at this point of time? 1 ZB. Imagine the responsibility to take care. You don’t really own your data in the Healthcare sector and the access is unregulated and siloed within provider or hospital EMR systems. This is not only related to the privacy issue. Take the case of US alone. In 2017, the United States spent $3.5 trillion on Health expenditures. That is 18 percentage of the country’s GDP. The data predicts more expenditure in the coming years. This is seen as a threat to both Medicare programs and federal budget more broadly.
The world is thinking more about a proactive care method where importance is given in building good health than the reactive care approach of building treatment clinics for diseases. The main hindrance to the approach is patient data stored in siloes within isolated clinics, aka EMR systems which often results in redundant inefficient treatment as the history of illness is not available which is time consuming and increases the expenditure as well. The traditional identity layer and centralized storage of data and access are no more a solution to it.
A patient centric system with authorized access mapped to the digital identity is the solution to bring about all the patient records to the hands of the patient. Thanks to my believers in Attinad Software. They created the solution called Healthereum to address this. The identity layer provided by me ensures that only the right person has access to data. The patient is also capable of sharing data to other participants in the system. So, when consulting a doctor, access can be given to doctor who can investigate the patient records and hence obtain the efficient treatment. Switching between providers is hassle free. Redundant treatment procedures are almost extinct. All the transactions are logged on my ledger and hence there is an immutable record of a history of who all had access to data.
Intermediaries. Let me refer to “Uber”. The automation of connecting service offering taxi drivers to passengers created the Intermediary Uber. Hence, the true benefit of technology is kept proprietary by the intermediary organization either because they had early access to the technology or were the early presenters of the idea leveraging the technology. If I was given a chance to help, my smart contract can take care of linking the passenger to the taxi driver and get the money directly paid from the passenger to taxi driver. I don’t need any intermediary fees because I am a solution to intermediary!
Trust. Not all business is directly between two parties. Wherever there are lot of parties as participants, there are conflicting records with each of them. Let me refer to Warehouse management to help you understand it better. Fraud on the warehouse floor is an example. Many employees have direct access to inventory and inventory accounting records. Since the inventory count is always changing and there are so many points of failure, it is an attractive target for fraud. Employees can falsify incoming shipments by under reporting the number of units collected and keeping the excess, then concealing the theft by altering receivers copy. Logistics industry accounts for billions of dollar theft in this manner. What most of them does is spending money or people to reconcile, re audit and finally come at an agreement. The truth is I can handle it alone due to my nature of distributed ledger keeping a single source of truth and the best part is you cannot delete anything once written on my ledger. So, guess what it does? No more fraud. No one can manipulate the records. The physical inventory counts can be done by authentic devices like barcode scanners which are time stamped and recorded on my immutable ledger. This can be compared with the perpetual inventory count made in the receiving warehouse. Since the data is on my ledger, the employees cannot alter the data and hence fraud can be prevented.
Identity. How sure are you about the authenticity of the person whom you are communicating with? How safe is your data when you sign up on a website? This is mainly because the identity is not in your hands once you provide the details on Internet. You are not owning your identity. Did you know that I have ways to give ownership of your identity back to you? For example, you provide your date of birth on Internet to prove you are above a certain age. With me, you own your identity which is provided by decentralized identity. With the advancement of Zero Knowledge Proofs (ZKP), you can now prove something without revealing or exposing it. So, if you want to prove you are above certain age, you don’t need to reveal your date of birth instead my friend ZKP takes care of it. Thus, with me, you no longer need to worry about your identity being used by anyone else.
So, who am I? I exist in different forms and I adapt to different situations on need basis, I have some different names as well. Some people often call me DLT, aka Distributed Ledger Technology. With time, different forms of mine have emerged. From bitcoin, Ethereum, Hyperledger, Corda to many more exciting and more to come.
I have a consensus model which brings the democratic part of mine to you. I authenticate records based on majority on my ledger. This helps people to lead on a better opinion and hence decision making. Though you may find my consensus model a debate of discussion on planet earth, I don’t want to be blamed for any. If it runs on spending your electricity like Bitcoin and Ethereum, feel free to try out other models which offers my consensus as plug and play model. Ultimately, your decisions on my working model is to benefit you.
The reason why my father remained incognito is because he didn’t want me to be known owned by any names as it needs to be truly decentralized. I often admire him for his vision.
The hype about me written on the internet world is not fully true. Many people try to use my name as an industry buzzword to get attention and speak of things that I can’t really solve. If you have a problem which needs my application, feel free to speak to my friends at Attinad. They will first analyze if I have an application in the problem and implement me wherever is required. They believe strongly that my problem-solving solutions like Identity, Trust, decentralization added on to the present technology stack is going to lead the world forward.