How Blockchain Might Save Us All

How Blockchain Might Save Us All

Blog Article Published: 09/27/2019

By Kurt Seifried, Chief Blockchain Officer, CSA

I’ve been seeing a lot of articles claiming that Blockchain will save us from hackers, and ransomware, and all sorts of other Cyber-Shenanigans. So… will Blockchain save us all? Yes, well . . . sort of, it’s complicated. Let’s start with a story:

The evolution of web bwosers

Web browsers. Through the 1990’s and 2000’s the web browser became a dominant piece of software. Through the late 2000’s the dominance of JavaScript became obvious, with high speed Internet it became possible to deliver multi megabyte web pages (currently cnn.com is 1.4 megabytes, YoutTube is 1.9 and even the “lean” front page of google.com is 0.45). But the performance of running JavaScript in the web browser… well let’s be honest. It was becoming awful. So awful in fact that it was beginning to impact Google, who wanted to deliver rich web pages and services using JavaScript, but… the experience was so slow and awful people were getting turned off of it. Now if you’re the scale of Google the solution is simple: you engineer and release a really fast web browser with a really fast JavaScript engine (V8).

This has two main effects:

  1. It gives people a choice of a fast web browser and...
  2. It shames all the other slow web browsers into improving, or being so bad that they get left behind.

...and the evolution of Blockchain

I can’t help but feel that Blockchain is sort of having the same effect. For example backups. A critical component of information security is having backups. Without backups you can’t recover from an attack to a known good state very easily (even if the attacker didn’t delete records did he modify any? Do you have anything to compare to?). Blockchain solves the backup problem in two simple ways: everyone has a full copy of the data if they want, and the data itself has protections that will show if it was tampered or modified. Even better I can be reasonably certain I have ALL the data and that it is up to date (it’s 3am, do you know if your backups are up to date?).

When it comes to ransomware the biggest problem we see again and again is that the data that got encrypted is now effectively gone because nobody has a proper backup of it that can be recovered easily, if at all. Now to be clear I don’t think we should switch every data storage medium over to some Blockchain based version (I also don’t think Bitcoin is going to suddenly replace the world’s banking system), but I do think we should maybe ask “why can’t we have some of the benefits of Blockchain in our other data storage and processing systems?”

You can read more about Blockchain uses cases in CSA's latest research report here.

Interested in reading more about Blockchain from the Seifried Files? Continue the series here.

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