The mention of Blockchain automatically leads to thoughts on Bitcoin despite the two referring to different things. Blockchain is indeed the technology that powers bitcoin, a cryptocurrency. For those who are less familiar with the ins and outs of the currency, an explanation of Bitcoin functionality reveals that the blockchain is a “general log of transactions” on which “you can see all transactions that have ever taken place or ever will take place.” In other words, if Bitcoin is used in a financial transaction, that transaction is permanently recorded in a public space. And this concept, of an incorruptible universal record and tracking system, has already become an important tech application for a number of budding businesses.
Below is a representation of how Blockchain works based on a bitcoin transactionBlockchain shown through a Bitcoin transactions
IBM is now looking to explore the application of the same technology with the Kenyan government, in the management of health, education and real estate, with the view of instituting transparency in government operations. According to BusinessDaily, the government is already running a pilot for the same targeting education and land records in the country. If implemented, it will be difficult to fraudulently sell land or even print fake academic credentials. The pilot for the same is slated to last 3 months and is being spearheaded by the Ministry of ICT.
If implemented, the government will be following in the footsteps of NASDAQ, which has deployed the technology in its stock market. Large banks such as Goldmann Sachs and Morgan Stanley have also begun to explore areas of application for the technology within their operations. Last year, Barclays also announced an innovation contest based on the technology that targeted solutions dealing with supply chain management.
Definitely a welcome move!