Making Sense of Blockchain

Making Sense of Blockchain

This piece was originally published in the September 2018 issue of electroindustry.

Steve Griffith, PMP, Industry Director, NEMA

The early internet dealt with intangibles. You sent or received emails, corresponded on forums, and read and distributed articles.

The modern internet deals with assets, the most valuable immediate items that you can touch and want to protect. These assets are stored in encoded form on a network-to-network chain called the blockchain or ledger, where each participant sees whom you do business with. This not only protects your business dealings and prevents theft but also simplifies your affairs, quickens the process, reduces errors, and saves you from hiring a third party.

This decentralized blockchain system is going to change your life, from the way you transact business or manage assets to the way you use your machines, vote, rent a car, and even prove who you are.

Blockchain is already evident in a number of applications:

  • financial services (asset management and insurance claims processing);
  • smart properties (cars, phones, and appliances);
  • smart contracts, which are digital contracts embedded with intelligence that provide self-execution (personal healthcare records and voting systems); and
  • identity protection (digital passports; birth, wedding, and death certificates).

Blockchain technology has the potential to disrupt distributed cloud storage by decentralizing current cloud storage services, which will improve security and decrease dependency.

The NEMA 2019 Strategic Initiative on blockchain will develop technical industry guidance detailing use cases and best practices that are applicable and relevant to NEMA Members.

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