Transparency in Blockchain

Any organisation’s data needs protecting. It is also important to know that within any large organisation or corporation, each department produces its own specific data. For example, within a large corporation it might be necessary to agree on certain language in order to keep the sales process running smoothly: within an e-commerce company, its separate departments might have different definitions for the term ‘delivery’. The warehouse management company defines ‘delivery’ as their product leaving the warehouse; the sales team defines it as the product arriving at the buyer’s house; and the support team only calls ‘delivery’ once the product has been installed. This discrepancy may seem trivial, however, in order for the business to run smoothly, this terminology needs to be agreed upon by all departments within the company. This is a small part of what a data governance consultant can help businesses with.

Consider a business user within an organisation, called Tom, who has just purchased a laptop and is expensing it to his company account. The accounting team flags the purchase and asks him to provide more details about the expense. He replies: ‘You’re the money guys, figure it out yourselves!’ This doesn’t help Tom in getting his money back for his laptop, but it also doesn’t help the accounting team better understand his purchase. Inconsistencies like these between the business team and the accounting team occur frequently when applied to data as well. The data guys in the IT department don’t create the data, but they have to monitor it, and when your data is inconsistent between systems, they have to figure out what’s going on. And who are they going to call? Tom, of course, the business user. Unfortunately, data problems arise in mass quantities of transactions and interactions inside application systems, and as a result of this, these problems can’t just be fixed with a meeting or telephone call. The IT team doesn’t have enough context to fix the data, and the business users believe that it is an IT problem. Reports begin adding up incorrectly as the data isn’t corresponding, different systems have their own customer records, setting up a new system requires lots of rework, and business roles end up consisting of rectifying spreadsheets between departments in search of consolidation.

Consolidation means harmonising the data resources to achieve consistency across all departments. An effective way we can achieve this harmonisation is through the implementation of blockchain technology. In the healthcare industry, hospitals and healthcare centres all use different methods of storing and using patient data. We are already witnessing in the industry the effective use of blockchain technology in consolidating patient data across these different institutions and centres: Medicalchain aims to create a smart medical ecosystem which gives patients total control of their medical records, making it easier and more efficient to provide their data to hospitals on the chain.

Good data governance implementation means that quality data is accessible to the right people throughout an organisation. It is about the accuracy, ownership, transparency, and routine use of the data. Transparency is another fundamental aspect of blockchain technology. Blockchains are distributed digital ledgers. What does distributed mean? Distributed in this context means that all users on the blockchain network are able to witness any transaction which occurs there. It means that if any bad actor were to attempt to tamper with the blockchain’s list of transactions, all other users would be able to publicly object, and in so doing, nullify the actions of the bad actor.

The transparency that blockchain facilitates can also be implemented throughout supply chains. Perhaps you are concerned with where your food comes from exactly; it is important to you, from an ethical and sustainability point of view, to establish where the beef you buy from the supermarket actually originates from. Or perhaps you are a coffee aficionado in search of your favourite bean, and the origin of your coffee beans is important to you. Blockchain ledger technology facilitates the storing of relevant data along these supply chains. We can store each and every transaction on a digital ledger from the sale of a Chianina bull, sold by a herder in rural Tuscany to a butcher in Florence, and then packaged by a distributor, before a customer in a restaurant orders it as a bistecca alla fiorentina in New York City. By scanning a barcode or QR code, this whole supply chain could be visible to the consumer and each stage within the chain, making the provenance of our meat much more verifiable. Total transparency and traceability.

This technology can be applied to any consumer supply chain, whether it is T-shirt production and sales, food production, or wine production and distribution. Georgia (the country) boasts a history of wine production spanning millennia dating back to the neolithic period: at least 8000 years of wine production. Georgia’s position as the home of wine is little known, given the proclivity towards French, Italian, and New World wines especially.

Blockchain technology has the ability to bring this kind of transparency and traceability to life in many consumer-based supply chains, and it is only getting started.

The Future of Business

Running a business today is not what it used to be a few decades ago. As the world grows increasingly tethered to the internet, the basic functioning of society continues to rapidly change. Before computers, companies relied on conventional methods to run their workflows. Today, almost everything is digitized. Most institutions now use digital documents as opposed to paper due to the massive facilitations that this switch brings to their operations. Computer documents are way easier to store, edit, categorize, and transfer. A single modern hard drive has enough capacity to store millions of digital documents. Should the need to transfer any of them arise, all it takes is a split second to send via email or cloud storage.

Modern business undoubtedly has a lot to thank today’s technology for, especially for the revolution of advertising and online payments. Previously, advertising was limited to radio, newspapers, and billboards. That was not very effective since it wasn’t possible to target ads at a specific audience. Today, most advertising takes place on the internet such as on websites and smartphone apps. Advanced algorithms govern the delivery of these ads based on the user’s interests to ensure their relevance and effectiveness. Besides that, the emergence of new technologies like blockchain are providing more diverse ways of payment that pave the way into the future of online finance.

Business in the Modern World

In addition to the digitization of documents, modern business workflows rely on computers to smoothly plan and execute their strategies. Especially in the current pandemic-infested world, dependence on the internet to keep teams connected is higher than ever before. Online video conferencing services have quickly become the new standard for everyday work-from-home endeavors. Team operation is undeniably optimized by the help of these new ways of planning and communicating, with services like shared calendars and synced documents, although simple, becoming indispensable in an integrated and well-rounded team. The ability to automate boring activities in order to make time for more intricate ones has also further contributed to the evolution of teamwork. Gone are the days where employees have to spend days on end just to complete simple repetitive tasks. Automated scripts have become the obvious candidate for such duties due to their faster and more accurate operation compared to humans.

For most businesses, customer satisfaction is one of the most prominent indicators of success. Fortunately, the internet puts thousands of marketplaces right at users’ fingertips. Anyone can now instantly order goods online from their phone and have them delivered right to their doorstep. Some online vendors even provide the ability to order custom-made products like logo mats and engraved rings. This wouldn’t have been imaginable without recent groundbreaking innovations in online payment. It is now possible to transfer money to virtually anyone in the world with ease. Especially with the recent widespread prevalence of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies which are built specifically for this purpose, sending money online is now easier than ever before.

Blockchain and the Future of Business

Blockchain technology is one of the most interesting inventions of the 21st century. The technology had its debut in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto who released the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. At that time, one Bitcoin was valued at around $0. In April 2021, it reached around $64,000.

Blockchains’ mode of action comprises keeping track of information in a way that is decentralized, secure, and public. Any data added to the blockchain cannot be edited later on. This is possible through the clever use of peer-to-peer technology and cryptography. In the case of cryptocurrency, the blockchain keeps track of the transaction history between users, and this history can be later used to determine one’s balance. What makes crypto special is the fact that it is non-custodial and imposes very little fees on transfers. This means that anybody anywhere can create a wallet and instantly transfer thousands of dollars to anybody else with no questions asked.

With that said, blockchains provide potentially limitless solutions for businesses. One of the most useful blockchain implementations besides cryptocurrencies is Smart Contracts. In a nutshell, Smart Contracts are small applications that live on the blockchain and run only when previously defined conditions are met. Due to them being stored there, these contracts cannot be counterfeited and their code remains publicly visible by anyone. This way, everybody can be certain of their outcome and there is consequently less room for misunderstandings and conflicts. Going into the future, Smart Contracts can be a game-changer in the realm of finance and multi-sided business models.


Despite some of the complications that might arise with the use of crypto like their price volatility, their dominance over the world is inevitable. With the emergence of stable coins that do not change in value but possess all the other advantages of crypto, such issues can be easily mitigated. As more and more blockchain applications get developed, the technology can soon be put into purposes other than cryptocurrency. It is only a matter of time until businesses utilize it as the main substrate to their operations.

Expediting Cash Flow for Small Business

When you think about the challenges of starting a small business, concerns such as how to provide an interesting product and how to attract customers would no doubt come to mind. Indeed, finding your niche in the market is important to a small business’s success. However, that is only the first step. After your business is all set up and running, you will be faced with a major issue that is often initially overlooked—getting your clients to pay on time.

Show Me the Money, Please?

Cash flow is king in the small business environment. Delayed payments from clients could mean not being able to pay your suppliers and employees as promised. To ensure that your business can run smoothly, it is vital to be in full control of your accounts. An ad hoc accounting structure may seem more convenient in the beginning but will become confusing and unreliable in the long run.

Undeniably, the invoicing process can be tedious. It involves a lot of data and information, and business owners—especially those who also double as account managers—can be tempted to offer clients a simple outstanding balance amount instead of a proper invoice with a list of goods or services purchased. This is why many SMEs have now made the switch to online payment solutions that offer digital inventory management, invoicing, and bill collection.

At first glance, specialized online invoicing and payment solutions may seem like an additional cost for the company. But, consider the costs of all the paper invoices, print-out receipts, carbon copies, and postal supplies. Add to this the dollar value of lost invoices, late payments, and time spent on the administration of paper accounts, and you will find that digital invoicing will ultimately save you money. Some online invoicing solutions feature automatic recurring invoices and payment reminders, ensuring that you do not miss any payments.

In addition, creating thoughtful and tailored invoices for your clients makes your business look more professional and trustworthy. Having a documented list of each sale also helps clients feel more secure in their purchase and allows them to keep a mental gauge of each product or service and their respective costs. This means that they will remember you first when they need a similar product or service again. Furthermore, a detailed list aids with the processing of any claims such as exchanges or returns.
Despite the many benefits of online payment solutions, anxiety about transaction security is the main obstacle that prevents businesses moving from analog to digital cashflow management. Thankfully, Internet security has advanced by leaps and bounds and there are a myriad of legitimate and verified online invoicing platforms, including plenty of tools, such as an invoice template for Google docs, for businesses to choose from.

The Powerful New Ledger

Blockchain is a trending database technology that is revolutionizing the security of the e-commerce and online payments space. Renowned for being the backbone technology supporting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, blockchain is moving into the mainstream with global companies making use of its cutting-edge Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT).

To briefly summarize the concept, blockchain stores data chronologically in blocks that are linked together to form a chain. Once formed, blocks and chains cannot be edited or deleted. The blockchains are then stored across numerous computers and networks, which form what is known as a distributed ledger. This distributed ledger is constantly cross-checked by all the members in its network, ensuring that any unauthorized changes are quickly rectified. The transparency and immutability of blockchain can help small businesses increase their cash flow through a variety of applications.
A central feature of blockchain is smart contracts. Smart contracts use blockchain technology to build and enforce contracts between users and their clients. Smart contracts build unchangeable chains of relevant milestones, executing contract actions when certain conditions are met. This automation of contracts between businesses and their suppliers or clients essentially cut out intermediaries, streamlines the cash flow process, and, in doing so, saves businesses time and money.
The adoption of blockchain technology also enables small businesses to accept cryptocurrency payments—instead of fiat money—with faster transactions and lower processing fees. With cryptocurrency blazing up digital trading markets, they are a new and competitive cash flow option for SMEs who are game enough to take the plunge.

Blockchain’s decentralized nature and security features protect every user’s sensitive personal, financial, and identity information, allowing businesses to rest assured that their client’s data will not be used for unauthorized reasons. This works twofold for businesses, removing their risk of handling and storing client data while guaranteeing higher privacy for the clients. This way, businesses reap the profit without the probability.

Small business owners have a lot on their minds. From maintaining stock to providing quality service, balancing accounts, and simply being available to attend to any emergencies, they have plenty to think about each day. By making the switch to online invoicing and payment, small businesses can better manage income and cash flow, while freeing up time to focus on things that really matter.

Modern technology is consistently delivering more efficient business management solutions to the SME space. Small business owners who want to succeed should keep in step with such advances and make the most of the tools designed to help them rise above the competition.

Bitcoin and the Environment

According to a recent report by Morgan Stanley, Bitcoin mining consumes as much energy as the entire country of Morocco. Bitcoin mining consumes more energy than some countries, and a single Bitcoin transaction uses as much energy as the average American household does in a week. Bitcoin’s energy consumption is expected to grow with the network’s popularity - and this is showing little sign of slowing down.

On the other hand, Bitcoin mining is beginning to become a major driver of demand for renewable energy. It is a natural fit for renewable energy, such as hydroelectric and solar. By harnessing the power of water or sunlight, miners are able to offset their carbon footprint. Green energy is always a good thing, even if it is for a process that is as controversial as Bitcoin mining.

So what will the ultimate environmental impact of Bitcoin be?


In the early days of Bitcoin, mining was done primarily with the CPU. When Bitcoin was created, it was possible to mine Bitcoin on a desktop computer. As more people started mining, people attempted to figure out how to build more powerful computers and dedicated mining machines. As mining difficulty increased, mining shifted to GPU mining. When mining shifted to GPUs, Bitcoin mining started to be dominated by a few big players.

A few years ago, Bitcoin mining shifted to ASICs. These are specialized computers built just for mining Bitcoin. The increased efficiency and speed of these devices has made mining Bitcoin much more centralized. Today, the majority of mining is done in China, by large mining companies.

As mining difficulty increases, Bitcoin mining requires more energy. This drives up the cost of mining. As the price of Bitcoin increases, the mining arms race continues.

Environmental concerns

When it comes to Bitcoin mining and the environment, it’s important to look at both sides of the issue. Bitcoin mining consumes a lot of energy, there's no doubt about that. The reason for this is fundamental to the design of the blockchain itself: security.

Bitcoin mining is about making sure the blockchain is valid and secure. This is done by solving the computational problem of the proof of work. The winner of the computational puzzle has his or her block added to the blockchain. In order to make sure the computational puzzle is hard enough to solve but not too hard, the Bitcoin protocol automatically adjusts the difficulty based on the speed of mining. In order to determine the speed of mining, you need to look at the hash rate. The higher the hash rate, the harder it is to solve the computational problem. The Bitcoin protocol adjusts the hash rate to keep the average time between blocks at ten minutes.

The hashing process is basically a very complex mathematical puzzle that must be solved in order to add a block to the blockchain. The more difficult the puzzle, the more energy is required to solve it. The proof of work algorithm was designed to make sure the average time between blocks is ten minutes. That's the whole point of the Bitcoin protocol: to make the creation of new blocks roughly ten minutes apart.

So the bottom line is that without the energy expenditure, there would be no way of ensuring that the system remains secure, and the whole premise of Bitcoin as a secure, trustless system would fall apart.

Looking towards renewables

As Bitcoin mining grows and its energy usage increases, it is important to figure out how to make it sustainable. That’s where the growing interest in renewable energy comes in. There are several mining companies that have already begun to harness the power of the wind, the sun and water.

For example, HydroMiner, which operates out of the Austrian Alps has a number of green energy sources at its disposal. The company is able to use green energy sources such as hydroelectric power, solar power and wind power. Another example is the company, BlockBox, which runs off of solar panels.

This is the direction that the mining business is moving in. Those that are looking to stand out from the crowd and provide a more environmentally friendly service are going to be the ones that come out on top. Companies that choose to use green energy sources will have a competitive advantage over those that don’t.

Increasing efficiency

The first thing to consider is the hardware that is being used. If the hardware is old and inefficient, it may be time to upgrade to more efficient hardware. The more efficient the hardware, the less energy is required. If miners are using old hardware, it may be time to upgrade to more efficient mining hardware.

The next thing to consider is, as mentioned, the electricity source. Miners should consider moving to renewable energy sources such as hydroelectric power, solar power and wind power.

The third thing to consider is the cooling. Miners should look into techniques for cooling mining rigs that don’t require as much energy. For example, there are mining rigs that can be submerged underwater for cooling.

Do we really need blockchain?

Amidst the frenzied rise of cryptocurrencies in recent years, we often forget to ask the most fundamental question: what does blockchain, and all its associated energy usage, really gain us? Is it really necessary?

Bitcoin, and cryptocurrency hype, have infiltrated almost every sector of our economy. People are trying to market everything from Bitcoin property trusts to vending machines. But property investors were quite happy without blockchain-secured property ledgers, and custom vending machines available on the market today far outperform their niche crypto-powered alternatives in terms of flexibility and function. We need to keep this in mind when discussing energy usage and possible alternatives - Bitcoin definitely has advantages, and offers a lot of potential. But for certain applications, perhaps the best alternative is not to use blockchain at all.

On the energy side, the bottom line is that nobody knows exactly what the ultimate impact of Bitcoin mining will be on the environment. What we do know is that there is a lot of potential for green energy to be harnessed in the mining space. The future of green energy lies in mobile mining. As Bitcoin mining becomes more powerful and more energy intensive, the future lies in being able to harness the power of green energy wherever possible.

The Moral Importance of Cardano

Imagine that you are a farmer from Syria, displaced with your family due to the war and violence. Syria, eventually, finds a fraction of peace, after some years. Finally, you are able to return to your country, to your land, to rebuild your life with your wife and children. You arrive home, upon your land, to find it has been seized and reallocated by the authorities who were paid for its reallocation by another party. You plead that it is your land and it has been in your family for generations, but the government land register states otherwise. You have no way of proving that it is your own property. The record states that you don’t own it. This is the reality for around a billion people worldwide.

You are a hard-working man brought up in rural China, now living in Toronto, from where you send money to your family back home, every month. You go to Western Union to make your transfer and pay a remittance cost of 15%. For every $100 you send to your family, $15 of that is taken as a fee.

The fees remain extortionate when we talk about credit too. For a microfinance loan (a loan under $100) in the developing world, the rate of interest can be anything between 35-85%. How do you get ahead if this is your reality? How do you build wealth? Moreover, you are unable to get insurance, because you have no history of credit. When the storm comes and destroys your crops, who pays for it? You do - with the resources that you don’t have. And when you do manage to own something, to reach the next rung of the ladder, that something can be taken away from you without explanation.

In Cambodia, there is a huge identity crisis. You can buy a passport there for around $100 without even having to be a native. What does this tell us about the country as a space for identity? Is it a stable identity space? If these documents are invalid, how can we do business using them? Can we rely upon these documents and can we use them to build reputation and trust?

These are the types of stories that Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson says are lived out by over a billion people worldwide. They are some of the problems that he intends Cardano to alleviate. The Cardano blockchain aims to grant its users first of all with the luxury of secure identities, something the majority of us in the developed world would never consider a luxury. With these secure identities, protected on the blockchain network of Cardano, individuals can begin to build a reputation for themselves in Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and predominantly Africa. For without identity, you can’t build a reputation; and without reputation, you can’t build credit or work. It is then that we can decide who are the good and bad actors within the blockchain; we can decide that once the network is established, just like it is done on eBay. Enterprises are quickly becoming interested in incorporating blockchain technology into their companies’ infrastructures because of the benefits associated with it: cost-effective, more efficient, and higher levels of security. For example, companies are able to combine blockchain technology with that of docker registry technology.

Returning to Africa, Owen Martin-Jones is the founder of a micro-loan distribution network in Malawi called Mayankho, which focuses on empowering women in the region to become entrepreneurs. He told me that it wasn’t enough, for most of the recipients of Mayankho’s micro-loans, to be given the money without some instruction towards its productive use. It was only when these women learned that they had the choice to put their loan towards investing in their families’ futures instead of spending it impulsively on the present, only then did the floor begin to rise. The money, without the education, is worthless.

These women are the kind of people Cardano seeks to raise with their network. They represent the massive amount of untapped liquidity in these countries and tremendous financial potential can be unleashed if we are only able to help them become financially and socially free. Hernando de Soto Polar urged us in 2003 to consider this untapped financial potential: “In Haiti, untitled rural and urban real estate holdings are together worth some 5.2 billion. To put that sum in context, it is four times the total of all the assets of all the legally operating companies in Haiti, nine times the value of all assets owned by the government, and 158 times the value of all foreign direct investment in Haiti's recorded history to 1995.”

A quiet revolution in the form of blockchain and crypto technology has been taking place around us and within us. What might end up being even more important is the ethical and moral revolution that may occur as a result. If Cardano’s goals are realised, we might see the emergence of billions of new individuals into the global financial sphere through its blockchain. For Hoskinson and Cardano, the two revolutions go hand in hand.

Blockchain‌ ‌and‌ ‌DevOps:‌ ‌A‌ ‌New‌ ‌Power‌ ‌ Couple?‌

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If you work in the digital industry, you must have no doubt heard of blockchain by now. The revolutionary database technology that formed the backbone network of rock star cryptocurrency Bitcoin is now being adopted across various mainstream sectors. As the global business economy becomes ever more dependent on software, applications, and web-based development, the potential impact of blockchain is likewise growing.

Blockchain for Enterprises

Blockchain is a shared, unalterable ledger that supports the recording of transactions and tracking of assets. Each transaction is recorded as a block of data as it occurs and each block is linked to the ones before and after it based on a purely chronological order. These blocks form an irreversible blockchain in which content cannot be altered. Furthermore, blockchain ledges are distributed across wide networks, ensuring that no record can be tampered with from a single source. This immutable ledger of transactions is both exceptionally secure and transparent.

Smart contracts are an application of blockchain technology that has multiple benefits for enterprise platforms. Smart contracts are software protocols stored on a blockchain that run automatically or trigger a subsequent action when certain predetermined conditions are fulfilled. Because transactions through smart contracts are secure, digital, and automated, there is virtually no risk of fraud and human error. The need for intermediaries is removed, saving both time and financial resources.
The distributed database system used in blockchain is also one of its most attractive features. Since the blockchain database is accessible to all authorized users, there is more data monitoring. And while users may view the data or add new blocks, existing data cannot be modified or deleted. The absolute transparency of the decentralized blockchain ledger translates to secure and robust databases that improve the integrity of the entire software platform.

Blockchain technology is growing rapidly and blockchain-based software development is the next sector poised to boom from its support. With the World Economic Forum predicting that 10% of GDP will be stored on blockchains or blockchain-related technology by 2025, global businesses are looking to software developers to help them make sense and good use of this technology.

Introducing DevOps

Aside from blockchain, another buzzword that has been making the rounds in software development circles in recent years is DevOps. DevOps is essentially the unification of software development (Dev) and software operations (Ops). It is a holistic approach that combines the tools and practices across software engineering and IT operations to improve the development phase. This agile relationship between previously segregated departments results in shorter development cycles and better product evolution. Notable companies that have transitioned to DevOps include Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook.

A DevOps-oriented software development company is made up of dedicated cross-functional teams that work based on communication and collaboration. In the old-fashioned IT environment, various skill-centric silos or departments take turns to work on a project, passing it to and fro in a linear fashion with limited communication. DevOps teams, however, are self-sufficient and consist of various specialists such as software developers, business analysts, and IT managers.

Unlike traditional development teams that put out large releases at a time, DevOps teams work with small milestones. This focus on frequent and manageable delivery allows more thorough testing, reduces the margin of error, and allows the prompt rectification of any unforeseen issues. More importantly, by working in small morsels, the end product turns out as close to the client’s needs as possible.

Automation is a huge part of DevOps culture. DevOps tools allow enterprise developers to run fully automated DevOps pipelines from code to production. The use of automation allows DevOps teams to pay attention to creative tasks instead of spending time on trivial, routine functions. Aside from automated testing, the deployment process can be automated too, with builds that pass tests being sent through the CI/CD pipeline to clients.

The CI/CD process is a central concept of the modern DevOps environment. CI stands for continuous integration, where developers add code into their shared database throughout the day. Automatic testing procedures are initiated and all errors resolved. CD stands for continuous deployment where a good build is automatically released to the production environment.

A Happy Union

Given the inherent characteristics of both blockchain and DevOps, it seems that software developers could only benefit from combining the two.
DevOps is geared towards the idea of smooth and speedy implementation across individuals in a team within an agile environment. Blockchain can ensure the security and transparency of the software development process as it is being updated by numerous stakeholders. The data on the blockchain ledger can be viewed instantly by all authorized users, providing greater visibility and perception of progress during the CI/CD process.

DevOps developers can also use blockchain smart contracts to regulate their software testing process. As businesses strive to be more customer-centric, smart contracts can be used to independently verify specific user requirements. These smart contracts can automatically put a hold on releasing software builds until these specific issues are resolved.
From secure transactions to privacy management, shared ledgers, and smart contracts, it is believed that blockchain technology will transform the way business is conducted. At the same time, DevOps can provide a reliable and efficient environment that further builds on the virtues of blockchain.
As blockchain technology and DevOps enterprise software development grow in tandem, they are poised to deliver incredible value to organizations willing to embrace cutting-edge technology.

The Future of Software Development

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Blockchain technology continues to prove itself as a massive game-changer in the world of computing. In a nutshell, a blockchain is a serverless, secure, and decentralized way of storing information. Through the clever use of cryptography, specifically cryptographic hash functions, it is virtually impossible to tamper with information already added to a blockchain. At the moment, the most widespread implementation of blockchain is in the realm of cryptocurrency where they are used to store and validate transactions between users. This is not the only possible purpose that the technology can be put into, however. There are virtually endless possibilities, and as an increasing number of developers begin switching to the development of blockchain applications, we can soon expect new innovative methods in which the power of blockchain is leveraged.

Today, software engineering is one of the fastest-growing businesses in the world. As more and more companies become dependent on computer systems to run their workflows, the demand for specialized software rises to an all-time high. Certain new inventions in the world of tech make building software easier for both individual developers and massive teams alike. Services for cloud computing, containerization, and virtualization have become simply indispensable as they facilitate the testing and deployment of builds. This allows software engineers to build more stable software with wide platform support in a shorter period.

The Future of Software Development

Undoubtedly, all developers worldwide face plenty of obstacles every day. Difficulties like software bugs and hardware limitations need to be taken into consideration and must not hinder the performance of the software being built. Other disruptions like lack of synchrony between development teams can also give rise to numerous challenges. It is therefore crucial for developers to find a way to rapidly and efficiently deliver their products without compromising integrity.

Traditionally, software engineering teams were split into two: the development team and the operations team. The development team’s main job is to write the source code for a project and build it for the operations team to test and provide feedback. Usually, the development team’s testing environment is controlled and less lifelike than that of the operations team. This results in them needing a lot of time to run the necessary tests, during which the other team remains idle. This approach is obviously slow and inefficient as the teams do not work synchronously and collaboration is absent between them. To solve this problem, a new approach called DevOps is put into action.

So, what is DevOps? It is a unified solution that changes the mode of action of software engineering teams to enable a smoother and more integrated workflow. In this approach, the development team begins building the source code and keeps track of it using Version Control. The code is then progressively sent in small chunks to the operations team where it is rigorously tested in realistic environments to simulate real-life situations. Automation – leaving computers to do tasks with little to no human intervention – is one of the main methods used in the DevOps approach and is crucial in the phase of testing. Other technologies like virtualization and containerization are also widely utilized in this phase. The result is then fed back to the development team to fix bugs and improve performance, and the cycle restarts. This is why the DevOps approach is usually represented by an infinity symbol to indicate its repetitive nature.

Big online companies like Netflix and others cannot afford any server downtime as it would result in significant financial loss. This makes it impossible to run maintenance and implement any upgrades. By using the DevOps method, no server downtime is needed and the resulting product is so stable that there is virtually no risk of system failure due to bugs.

What is Blockchain Development?

Blockchain development is a new field of software development that is attracting a great number of software engineers. Blockchain developers work together to build both the underlying blockchain technology and the applications that run on it. These two combined shape the blockchain functionality that we all know.

In the beginning, the core developers design and build the features that go into the blockchain itself. These can include security implementations to ensure authenticity and tamper resistance, as well as the network design to govern the distribution and decentralization of data. They also implement certain software on the backend that works behind the scenes and runs the blockchain protocols. The end product is a substrate on which practical applications can be built.

An example of that is the front-end, which is the visual interface that is presented to the user so they can interact with the software. Depending on the purpose, the front-end needs to be user-friendly and compliant with the clients’ needs. Another popular blockchain application is that of Smart Contracts. They are small scripts stored on the blockchain and are designed to automatically execute according to certain circumstances listed in the contract. Being stored there, smart contracts are public, transparent, and resistant to counterfeiting. This opens a wide variety of potential uses in which they can be implemented.


Going forward, blockchain technology will undoubtedly grow and dominate a great part of everyone’s online life. Cryptocurrency is an example of the unstoppable potential of blockchain, and as software development methods become increasingly efficient, more and more blockchain applications will emerge, setting new standards for online networking and security. Governments may also soon adopt blockchain technology for official record-keeping and as a way to avoid political corruption.

Your Private Data is Not as Private as You Think

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In a world where the internet has invaded our homes and offices, it has become almost impossible to find someone who doesn’t possess an online presence. Whether on social media or other online endeavors, we all have some data on the internet that can be traced back to us. Think about all the times you have entered your personal information on an online sign-up page or survey. This data needs to be responsibly managed to ensure not only users’ privacy but also companies’ future abilities to smoothly run operations. Some time ago before the widespread use of the internet, companies and institutions did not have a lot of digital data to handle, so traditional storage and curation methods were sufficient. This is not the case today, however. As data becomes more and more abundant, new management strategies need to be developed to keep up and ensure the authenticity and security of this digital asset. In fact, data is now considered one of the most treasured resources in the world surpassing oil in value. This is unsurprising given the endless ways it can be utilized.

What Happens to Your Information?

As a user, your data is of extreme value to online companies. Many websites that we access on our personal devices have built-in trackers and algorithms that work behind the scenes to collect our data, sometimes even without our knowledge.

Website cookies are small footprints you leave behind while browsing the internet. They are mostly used to track your activity across different pages and can sometimes help in targeted advertising. Advertising companies aggregate this data and build a virtual profile for every user containing their personal information and interests. This profile is then used to deliver specific ads based on every user’s needs. Targeted advertising is useful as it reduces irrelevant ads and only shows users offers that they care about. So when you see an ad for the exact thing you googled a week ago, know that it’s not just a coincidence, but rather an intricate neural network following you around trying to show you the most useful ad.

In spite of that, data collection can also impose a privacy risk for users. In the unfortunate case of a data breach, private user data is made public and often sold off to the highest bidder on the Dark Web. To avoid such complications, companies are raising their hiring standards and now require proper data governance training and cybersecurity skills. Sadly, there isn’t enough awareness being spread on the importance of online privacy. For this reason, it is of great importance for everyone to take the necessary precautions while surfing the internet. This includes using a VPN on untrusted networks and investing in a password manager to avoid the reuse of passwords across different accounts. It is also very important to think twice before entering any personal information on shady websites.

The Future of Data Storage and Management

Digital data storage has come a long way since its invention in 1947. In that era, it took a hard drive that weighed more than a ton to store a meager 3.75 megabytes of data. Today, hard drives weigh less than half a pound and can hold up to 4,000,000 megabytes. In addition to hardware devices, innovative new technologies like blockchains are emerging and showing great potential for the future of data storage.

Blockchains use peer-to-peer networks combined with cryptography to provide a decentralized and incredibly secure online method of storing information. They are designed in a way that prevents data already added to the blockchain to be tampered with later on. Blockchains play a great role in the operation of Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies by keeping track of and validating transactions between users. This way, the transparency, publicity, and authenticity of these transactions are ensured. The fact that blockchains are decentralized and non-custodial enables the ability to send and receive crypto payments around the world without any limitations. For this reason, Bitcoin is the main payment method used on the Dark Web for the purchase of illegal goods and services.

In the future, it is expected that blockchain technology will be put to other uses besides cryptocurrencies. As more and more blockchain applications get developed, they may soon be used to keep track of things like medical records or even criminal history. Governments may also put this technology into action to record official documents and run secure and transparent voting mechanisms.


The world we live in today is not the same as that of a few decades ago. As we continue to grow increasingly dependent on the internet, we must not forget the importance of practicing safe online habits. Luckily, innovative inventions like blockchains and cryptography are showing promising potential for the future of online data security. At the rate at which blockchains are growing now, it would be unsurprising to see blockchain-enabled data management taking over in the near future.

Can Blockchain Revolutionize Medicine?

You have just returned back to Arusha, in northern Tanzania, after completing your day descent of Mount Kilimanjaro. You manage over the previous six days to hike 19,000 ft to the summit, but on your return to your hotel in Arusha you stumble and crack your head on the tarmac in front of you. A doctor is quickly by your side, though you know none of this in your unconscious state. You’re rushed to hospital and on examination, the doctor decides that surgery is necessary. But they have no copy of your medical history, and therefore no way to verify any possible surgery contraindications. The local doctor is able to contact your GP back home in London to request your medical records; however, there’s no way for your GP to know if the man on the phone is legitimate. In the end, your GP acquiesces to sending the files, not wishing to risk the health of his patient overseas.

What if there was a way of verifying this exchange, between the doctor on the ground in Tanzania, and the GP in London, a way of ensuring the transfer of the correct data quickly and securely? We can think of blockchain technology as distributed ledgers on which massive amounts of information can be stored. In this case, the blockchain acts as a cyber pipeline between the two doctors, through which the necessary data can be transferred. The blockchain also acts as the storage mechanism within which your medical record is securely kept. If we think for a moment where our own information is currently stored online, we realise that we have little agency over it at all. Right now our information resides with doctors, with hospitals, with insurance companies, and even with online forms. These entities may possess all of your medical information or even only parts of it. Devices like FitBit even possess some of our information.

Who owns patient data? How much of that data is yours and what can you do with it once you have it? The problem is that we don’t have full agency of our information. Fortunately, companies like YouBase are working with hospitals to start to give patients greater data agency over their own health information. An advantage of combining with blockchain compatible technologies like YouBase is that more effective communication across the value chain within medical networks might now be possible. For example, each medical centre and hospital might have different ways of storing and transferring patient data. Blockchain platforms such as MedicalChain, Medibloc, and Patientory seek to amalgamate these different storage systems to ensure interoperability. As the patient/user, you can use a token in order to share information about yourself to help doctors and surgeons understand your health history.

So if we go in for surgery, whether it be orthopedic, surgery for targeted fat reduction, or other illnesses, all of your relevant health information can be exchanged with the hospital through the transferral of a token. For example, prior to liposuction surgery, full disclosure of health history including any illness, prior surgery of any kind and complications from prior surgery is necessary, as well as any history with anesthesia.

The implementation of blockchain technology within the medical space can benefit its supply chains, too. The pharma industry has the highest standards for product safety, stability, and security. The pharma supply chain management, with blockchain, can be monitored securely and transparently - this can mitigate time delays and human error. Blockchain can also be used in this domain to monitor cost, labour, and to verify authenticity of products by tracking them to their origins, combating counterfeit product trafficking which costs $200 billion in losses to the market annually. Modum, for example, works in compliance with EU laws which require proof that medical products haven’t been exposed to certain conditions such as high or low temperatures which could damage or change them. Company iSolve, similarly, envisions an end to end drug supply chain solution through the implementation of blockchain tech. The use of blockchain would make the drug supply chain transparent for pharma companies who wish to see the distribution patterns of their medical products.

Casting our vision further into the future, we might see companies like EncryptGen and Nebula Genomics using blockchain platforms to enable individuals to share genomic data safely and securely. Companies like these predict that in future, opportunities around personal genome sequencing will create a data market worth billions of dollars.

The implementation of blockchain technology may have begun in the cryptocurrency market, but it is quickly spreading outwards, as its benefits are realised by an increasingly larger group of industries and individuals. It is more than likely that blockchain will have as great an impact on our lives, if not greater, than the internet.

Blockchain Technology and the Future of Finance

Two of the most interesting technologies of the decade are blockchains and cryptocurrency. Despite their widespread popularity, many people are still yet to understand how a blockchain works. Ideas for similar technologies have been around since the 1980s, but the first real implementation of a blockchain took place in 2008 with the release of the revolutionary cryptocurrency known as Bitcoin. Since then, thousands of similar new cryptocurrencies have been created, further popularizing blockchains. According to its creators, Bitcoin is a form of decentralized digital currency built on a blockchain with peer-to-peer technology that enables fast and effortless money transfer.

Blockchain Technology Explained

The most prominent role of blockchains is keeping track of certain events as they happen, kind of like a record book that can be modified by anyone. To ensure legitimacy and authenticity, an intricate computer technology called cryptography is put into action. Combined with peer-to-peer networks, the result is a trusted ledger that lies at the heart of cryptocurrency.
As its name suggests, a blockchain consists of an ordered chain of blocks, each containing data of a specific type. In the case of the Bitcoin blockchain, each block includes records of the transactions that take place on the network. What’s peculiar about it is that anyone can join this network and broadcast new transactions to the chain, making it decentralized, publicly accessible, and non-custodial. This works by having every member keep their own copy of the blockchain, broadcasting changes to others as they occur. This does raise several concerns, however. If anyone can add information to the blockchain, what is stopping malicious members from creating fraudulent transactions under fake identities, and how can the network decide which version of the blockchain to trust?
This is where cryptography is factored in. A certain cryptographic algorithm SHA-256 plays an important role in verifying transactions as well as entire blocks on the blockchain. The main purpose of this function is to return a string of bits of a fixed length – also known as the “digest” or “hash” – for every piece of data that is fed into it. It works in an irreversible manner, so the original data cannot be reconstructed from the digest, and a fixed input will always yield the exact same output. Should this input be even slightly altered, the resulting digest would be entirely different. The only possible way to reverse this function involves trying every possible combination until a match is found, but the number of combinations is so ridiculously enormous that it is deemed virtually impossible. By requiring any added transaction to be signed using a hash generated by its author, another cryptographic algorithm can then determine if this hash is valid, and consequently the transaction itself.
On the Bitcoin blockchain, transactions are arranged into groups, or blocks, of 2400. Each block contains in its header the hash of the previous one as an effective way of keeping track of the block order. To verify each block and make it trusted by the network, an interesting method called “Proof-of-Work” is implemented. It requires every new block to have a substantial amount of computational work put into it. This is achieved by adding a variable piece of data to each block so that the hash of this block meets a certain requirement. Here is where miners come into play, trying all possible combinations of the variable data until that requirement is met. The first miner to solve the puzzle receives a certain amount of Bitcoin as a bonus and broadcasts the newly verified block to everyone else on the network. If someone attempts to make changes to a block, it would entail calculating the proof-of-work for all the blocks that will ever follow, requiring them to control more than half of the miners on the network. This explains why the network grows more secure as additional miners join. To determine the balance of a certain user, the transaction history of this user is simply collected from the blockchain and summed up.

How Bitcoin is Changing the World

The spread of cryptocurrencies is slowly changing the world. Many users are choosing crypto over traditional cash as it provides a multitude of facilitations to everyday life. This includes the widespread availability, ease of transfer, and anonymity provided by Bitcoin.

A rapidly increasing range of international companies are beginning to accept crypto as a form of payment. Compared to bank transfers, Bitcoin payments are faster, easier, and impose significantly lower fees. Considering other emerging cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin Cash (BCH) that are designed with everyday transactions in mind, cryptocurrency may soon become the top payment method worldwide. Cryptocurrency is certainly cool, while fiat money is certainly practical, but it can be said that new cryptocurrencies may bring the best of both worlds, providing great functionality while still looking sleek, just like a pair of prescription sunglasses that you might also someday pay for, using cryptocurrency.
The only major downsides of cryptocurrencies are their extreme volatility and potentially negative environmental impact. While most crypto coins maintain a somewhat fixed price, there is always a slim possibility of a sudden drop in their value. On the bright side, certain “stable coins” have been developed to mitigate this. They are backed by actual gold to maintain a stable value, eliminating the risk of loss. Regarding environmental impact, despite crypto miners requiring large amounts of electrical energy, it is still significantly lower than that of banks. It was found that the Bitcoin ecosystem currently consumes less than 10% of the total energy used by the banking system worldwide.


Although cryptocurrencies are still somewhat contemporary, they have already changed a lot in the world and are exhibiting great potential. As blockchain technology continues to improve and becomes increasingly efficient, the widespread use of crypto becomes imminent. Maybe someday we will be able to completely ditch traditional money in favor of crypto. Who can tell?