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Blockchain is a revolution that didn't happen, says BBC


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“Blockchain technology has been around for over a decade and has been very popular. It looks quite useful, but in practice, it is hardly used. So what happened?". This is how the BBC approached the topic in an article published on Tuesday (11).

Titled ‘Blockchain: the revolution that hasn’t happened yet,” the BBC describes a bit of the current technology landscape. As the text suggests, the aim is to show that the blockchain ‘has been struggling’ to find a goal.

To explain, the article addresses blockchain solutions already adopted or in progress, mainly referring to documentation – and the author did not need many words to describe the innovation that came up with bitcoin:

"But the basic idea, of an information book distributed to several users instead of being maintained centrally, sparked a lot of interest."

Blockchain does not prevent false data

The article then cites some ideas, such as that of Professor Gilbert Fridgen, from the research center at the University of Luxembourg. He suggests a distributed accounting system to monitor diplomas issued by educational institutions.

And it makes sense. According to a BBC report in 2018, there were thousands of fake degrees in circulation. "Therefore, a decentralized system that tracks qualifications could attract employers," he argued.

However, Fridgen noted that the blockchain itself cannot prevent fraudsters from entering false information into a system. But if these trust issues can be resolved, the newspaper says, blockchain can bring real benefits.

Another example is that of the billionaire Danish group Maersk, whose main activities are the transport and energy sector. According to the BBC, the company already registers on blockchain about 10 million customs documents every week.

Alternatives to blockchain

Although blockchain allows data immutability, the article questions that there are other possibilities for keeping data safe. "A similar system could be achieved with other technologies".

However, according to the text, this would not be the problem of blockchain not advancing, but how transformative the blockchain-style alternatives would be.

At least defenders have long argued that blockchain could be a better alternative to traditional databases, the text says.

And the BBC also gave an example of how a decentralized database could facilitate, for example, if a bank's system goes down:

"Imagine that you are shopping and arrive at the register, but your card does not work," he asked. "It turns out that your bank has collapsed and no one can pay the bill."

And he argued:

“But what if the cash register had access to an updated credit or debit card balance record every time you bought something? Even with the bank's systems down, your card would still work ”.

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