Four reasons why your app should use blockchain technology

One of the hottest technology trends in the market right now is blockchain. It has lately become the ultimate solution for cybersecurity on a network. From small startups to many big governments, everybody is starting to make use of it. But while everyone is talking about blockchain, not everyone understands it.

So in this article, we will provide you with the answers to three big questions about blockchain technology:

  1. What is Blockchain?
  2. How does it work?
  3. How your mobile app can benefit from blockchain?

So let’s jump in!

But before that, let us know a little about the history of blockchain technology.

 

History of blockchain

To discuss the history of blockchain technology, we need to know a little about Bitcoin first. Satoshi Nakamoto, the unknown inventor of Bitcoin, launched Bitcoin in 2008. It was the world’s first true peer-to-peer electronic cash system. Bitcoin was a revolution in the banking industry. It was the first time that money was being transferred between two parties on a network without a third party governing the transaction.

But even though Bitcoin was huge, the technology it worked upon, managed to make a bigger splash in the world. With the coming of Bitcoin, the world was introduced with the blockchain technology as well. And since then, blockchain has only grown more popular and more useful for various industries.

Blockchain was the founding concept behind bitcoin and many cryptocurrencies that came after it. Thus it seemed that aiding cryptocurrencies was its only reason to exist.

But the scope of this technology went further than anyone had ever anticipated. In the past decade, blockchain has sufficiently managed to overshadow its own purpose.

 

1. What is blockchain?

A blockchain is an append-only public ledger of transactions. When we say append-only, we mean that you can add a new block of information onto a ledger, but you cannot edit one. This is done using cryptography in such a way that every previous block of data is attached to the next block. Thus, if some data is changed in the last block, then all the data after it will be changed as well.

One of the prime reasons why blockchain technology is so popular is its decentralized nature which makes it extremely secure. Let’s understand it correctly.

 

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2. How does blockchain work?

A blockchain network is a collection of a large number of computers, which are also known as Nodes. Only these Nodes are allowed to add a transaction in a blockchain, using their authentication key as a signature. Furthermore, blockchain enforces data redundancy as well. Every time a new block of data comes, it is shared with all the other the Nodes on the network.

This way, every block of data has multiple copies. This makes it impossible for a hacker to mess with this data because then, other Nodes will find out instantaneously.

Some of the critical questions linked with a blockchain technology are:

 

1. What are “Nodes” in blockchain?

Nodes, as we have already mentioned, are the parties involved in a blockchain network. There is no particular qualification required to become a blockchain Node. Anyone can download the free software and become one; all you have to do is leave one port of your system open. The downside is it takes a lot of power and storage space. These Nodes help in data redundancy since each one carries the copy of the entire blockchain.

 

2. What are Miners in blockchain?

Miners are particular kinds of Nodes. These nodes are allowed to add data blocks on a blockchain. The process of adding a block to a blockchain network is called Minning. Miners do that by solving a complicated math problem.

 

3. What is the “blockchain math problem”?

Every Miner is allowed to add new blocks of data to a blockchain. But only if they can link that block, with the last block that was attached to the chain. To achieve this, every Miner has to solve a math problem. A Miner has to guess a number at random and then combine it with the data in the block and pass it through a hash function. The result must be in in a certain range to be valid and start with a pre-decided series of zeroes. The result is broadcasted to other Nodes, and by using a consensus approach, they decide if the transaction is valid or not.



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4. What is a Hash function in blockchain?

Hash functions are one of the key elements which make blockchain so secure. Whenever you store a block of data in a blockchain, a hash is created. Every new block contains a previous block hash. This hash carries the information about the hash where the next block will go. Furthermore, every block has a current hash. It links that block to the next block when it comes.

Every hash provides a result of a certain length. In the case of cryptocurrencies, it is 256, since blockchain is encrypted using SHA-256 encryption technique.

 

5. What is Decentralized data in blockchain:

One term that you will often find linked to blockchain is Decentralized data. This means that there is no central repository of data in a blockchain. And neither is there a third party in the network, governing it. All of the data is distributed among all the nodes. Thus there is no way to regulate a blockchain since all involved in the network are peers.

 

3. What are the advantages of Blockchain for mobile apps?

1. Data security

One of the prime advantages of the blockchain technology is security. While cryptocurrencies use it to store the data of transactions, mobile app infrastructure can use it to safeguard user data. Since a blockchain is a collection of interconnected nodes over a network, there is no central point which can be hacked to retrieve user data. And if a hack occurs in one node and data is corrupted, then, when other Nodes will get that data, they will try to match it with their previous copy of the data. And if they find any discrepancy in the block, they will realize that the network is no longer safe.

A mobile app infrastructure has two faces- front end, and back end. The front end is the app in the user’s mobile phone. The back end contains everything else which user doesn’t need to know about the infrastructure. If we fuse the blockchain technology with our app infrastructure, then every user will act as a Node. And they will have a unique signature to access and change the data.

 

2. Data Transparency

Thanks to blockchain technology’s decentralized nature, a copy of data is stored at all the involved Nodes. This way, every single Node has the latest copy of the data. Since the data has many copies at the same time, it becomes impossible to tamper with it because even the slightest change in the data will not go unnoticed by the other Nodes. This makes every Node in the network, a governing body- they all keep an eye out for any unauthorized mining of the blockchain data.



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Blockchain provides robust security and data tracking mechanism and might prove as an asset for your mobile app.  

 

3. Protection of Infrastructure

Blockchain makes regulation of a network by any third party impossible.  Regular DNS is prone to all sorts of hacks and interferences. But a Blockchain DNS makes it impossible for a third party to enter your network without the permission from all the Nodes. Even governments cannot enter your network unless you allow them to.

 

4. Goodbye Passwords

Blockchain believes in authentication using the consensus approach. Before mining some data, a Miner needs to provide the result of the math problem and then share it with the rest of the Nodes. If they all agree that the transaction is genuine, only then it is allowed or else it is discarded.

This makes passwords futile. Since there is always a threat of a password being guessed, a hard encryption algorithm can be the solution to your users’ need to store their crucial data. Thus blockchain based apps can enhance the security of your network and users’ data.




 


Conclusion

With the pace at which blockchain is finding its way into the main-stream apps these days, it should come as no surprise to us that soon, most apps will start using it as well. In these times, when data is everything, it becomes a provider’s job to make sure that users’ data remain safe in their network. So to make sure that your users don’t lose any critical data that they’ve entrusted you with, it is prudent that you start thinking of bringing blockchain technology into your app infrastructure as well.

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