“The three D’s of blockchain are Democratization, Decentralization and Demonetization.”
(Prof.) Dr. R. K. Shyamasundar, Department of Computer Science, IIT Bombay.
Blockchain architecture is a type of distributed ledger technology that facilitates secure digital transactions between multiple parties without the need of a central management authority system. It has gained significant attention in recent years as it carries the potential to revolutionize a wide range of industries. Blockchain technology can record transactions that are secure, transparent, and entirely immutable in nature.
Unlike traditional centralized systems, blockchain operates by creating a tamper-proof network of nodes that validate and record transactions which can be used for a variety of purposes. Originally developed as the underlying technology for the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, this technology has since evolved to be used in many other applications, including supply chain management, identity verification and smart contracts. Blockchain could transform many industries by increasing their efficiency, security, and trust in digital and other asset transactions.
However, the potential of blockchain technology extends far beyond this basic function. In the 10th episode of the Emerging Tech Webinar Series, the esteemed panellists examined the multitude of additional benefits and use cases of blockchain.
On the expert panellist we had (Prof.) Dr. R. K. Shyamasundar, Department of Computer Science Engineering, IIT Bombay, Mr. Anshul Rustaggi, Founder, Totality Corp and the session was moderated by Mr. Vinayak Godse, CEO, Data Security Council of India (DSCI).
Mr. Vinayak Godse initiated the conversation by briefly explaining the key basics of blockchain and the role it plays in the development of Web 3.0. He highlighted the various applications of blockchain, especially in the evolution of metaverse and immersive technologies.
During the conversation, many pertinent questions regarding this technology were put forward. Dr. Shyamasundar highlighted the remarkable evolution of blockchain technology, particularly in the areas of supply chain management and COVID-19 certificate distribution. The three key properties that have made blockchain appealing for various applications are its immutability, distributed nature, and public platform. However, as these features were questioned, second and third-generation blockchain solutions emerged, including smart contracts. He further mentioned cap theorem, which is a major limitation of distributed systems. It states that the system is only capable of delivering two out of three necessary characteristics, which are availability, partition tolerance and consistency, at a time. For example, in ERC20. This arises a lot of intrinsic problems. Furthermore, he emphasized on addressing the vulnerabilities of the emerging technologies as a mandatory evolution strategy which is the need of the hour.
Some of the key takeaways from the discussion are –
- India requires a law that must allow property transactions using blockchain technology to eliminate corruption.
- Supply chain management played a key role in providing Covid-19 vaccination certificates in India.
- Governance is the most important aspect of blockchain.
- India has started to utilize Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) at local level.
- Access control and regulatory constraints are most likely the major drawbacks of blockchain.
Mr. Anshul Rustaggi, whose expertise lies in Web3 and NFTs, brough up the topic of future insight where people will have to pay for confidentiality and privacy of data. It is possible that it might no longer be offered by organizations for free as they collect user data for analytics. Handful of people in India look for decentralized options as their primary data storage preference. He also mentioned that the NFT market recently recorded a sale of 8 crores which will total to a 339 crore NFT business in India alone. He even quoted examples, such as Tata Neo, that has already adopted blockchain technology incorporated in the form of premium reward points for its users along with NFTs on distinguished platforms.
The panellist further dwelled on the potential utility of the concept of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) and how India has started its use at a local level to examine the potential threats and challenges it might cause when recognized as an alternative to replace cash as currency. They also encouraged the use of blockchain by brands like Nike and Starbucks for faster deployment. Blockchain also holds the capability to provide solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues such as poverty, corruption and environmental sustainability. Blockchain-based systems can enable more efficient and transparent distribution of aid and resources, as well as promote sustainable practices using smart contracts and tokenized incentives.
Indeed, the future of blockchain is incredibly promising and far beyond transformative. As technology continues to evolve, the possibilities of blockchain are endless. We can expect to see more innovative use cases and solutions that have the potential to transform industries and societies.
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