Most people have heard of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Blockchain, and other jargon used in the world of cryptocurrencies. What many people may not know, however, is that Blockchain technology has gone far beyond the applications more commonly associated with it over the last ten years; cryptocurrency and Bitcoin. Blockchain is now being used to revolutionalize other industries with its plethora of advantages. More people are taking Blockchain certification to apply blockchain in their own businesses.
This article will expound on how blockchain is being used to make retirement easier and more stable for many clients:
First Things First: What is Blockchain?
Blockchain technology was outlined in 1991 by Stuart Haber and Scott Stornetta, two researchers who had been actively looking for a system to store documents with unalterable timestamps. However, blockchain technology was actively used first in January 2009 when Bitcoin was launched.
Just as its name suggests, blockchain essentially consists of ‘blocks’ of digital information stored in a database called a ‘chain.’ This digital information contained in each block is made up of three critical components: the transaction details (time, date, and value), your own digital signature (which is not identifying in any way), and some code called a hash code that distinguishes it from other blocks on the chain. As soon as your transaction is verified, it is added to the block then assigned a hash code to identify it.
Here we are dealing with the use of Blockchain in retirement plans. To explore all the concepts of Blockchain thoroughly, you can consider taking a Blockchain course.
How Secure is the Blockchain?
The fact that users can connect their own computers to the blockchain network and receive a current copy of the blockchain as it is updated may raise some questions about the integrity and security of information contained therein. Again, the digital signature or username used on the blocks are used to obtain personal data, which may make one doubt the people adding information onto the blockchain.
However, the information received on each computer on the blockchain network is identical; this means that if a hacker changed the information on one block, they would also have to access the information on the other computers to hide their tracks.
Again, the hash codes used to identify each block on the network also serve as a security measure. The hash codes are assigned by a mathematical function that chronologically arranges the blocks. Each block contains its hash code and the code of the block right behind it. Changing the information on one block automatically changes its hash code. To cover their tracks, again, they would need to change the code of the block right behind the one they just altered, and the process would continue. Altering the hash code of every block on the blockchain is impossible, as it would require an incredibly massive amount of computer power. This makes the information on the blockchain impossible to edit, corrupt, or delete.
Blockchain networks also have tests called consensus models that assess the computers desiring to join the blockchain and add blocks. Bitcoin uses ‘proof of work’ tests where computers must solve a complex math problem before being allowed to join their network.
How Blockchain is Used to Simplify Retirement
As seen above, blockchain offers companies a secure, reliable way to store and share sensitive documents and increase transparency and communication among business partners. The Bitcoin IRA is already using blockchain for retirement planning based on Ethereum.
1. Offers you the security you need
Pension plans are usually put in place to help you save funds for your future in retirement. However, many pension plans use spreadsheets and other manual methods to manage their vital information, which leaves it vulnerable to corruption, editing, and even deletion. Again, software used to manage retirement can be incredibly expensive.
2. Makes it possible to make the pension plan a smart contract
All pension plans are agreements in which you pay a certain amount and receive a payout at a given time. With a smart contract, the conditions stipulated in this agreement are executed automatically. This feature is only available on Ethereum, and with this solution, both collection and payouts are automated, which is convenient for you.
3. Blockchain increases transparency
Using blockchain to manage the pension plan data gives you access to all the information within your pension plan, which will eliminate the inconvenience of hidden fees or unfavorable terms. It also increases the ease of sharing and receiving data between you and your pension planner.
Other Sectors Where Blockchain is Applicable:
- Logistics and Supply chain
IBM blockchain technology is applied by businesses to verify the condition of their raw materials, and other essential aspects like location and time of delivery. It allows for transparency between firms and their suppliers in real time. It is also applied by greengrocers to track the food being delivered by farmers to avoid the occurrence of food-borne diseases. With the blockchain, they can quickly identify the food that is contaminated, and where it is throughout the supply chain.
- Identifying counterfeit and stolen goods
BlockVerify is an application used to avoid the losses associated with counterfeit, diverted, or stolen goods. OriginTrail is also used by concerned consumers to find out where the products they buy are coming from and the raw materials used to create them.
- Precious stones trade
Transparency is critical in the business of precious stones like diamonds, rubies, and emeralds to avoid conflict and losses in millions of dollars. DeBeers deals in diamonds; almost 30% of the planet’s diamonds are produced by this company, which uses a blockchain ledger to track diamonds from the mines to the final consumer.
The arena of entertainment has seen several companies use blockchain to streamline their activities. For instance, Guts, a ticketing system uses blockchain to reduce the forgery, duplication, and fraud that commonly affects ticketing. B2Expand is a gaming company that applies the Ethereum blockchain to create cross-gaming videogames.
Blockchain technology is used by hospitals to ensure safe storage of patients’ medical records. MedicalChain is the first healthcare company to apply blockchain to store patients’ records electronically. MedRec is another solution that stores patients’ records in the blockchain to eliminate security threats and time wastage associated with duplication. Using MedRec, patients can even grant researchers anonymous access to their files.
Blockchain has offered many businesses a cheap, yet secure way of storing and sharing information. Blockchain training is a great way to help you further understand and apply blockchain technology in your business.