Blockchain or the Fourth Industrial Revolution
Is Blockchain the Internet of the XXI Century?
- After its incorporation and advancement in the financial sector for the protection of transactions, Blockchain technology reaches in other sectors such as industrial, services and the public sector.
- Traceability, integrity, efficiency and safety are some of the benefits, which provides block technology in new business processes derived from digital transformation.
More and more voices define Blockchain & IoT solutions as the Internet of Value, being one of the disruptive technologies that fall within the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution (Blockchain, Internet of Things – IoT-, Edge Computing & Space, Big Data, AI…) which, to this day, are already an essential reality in the process of Digital Transformation of organizations.
Although Blockchain’s own conception of block technology includes encryption and digital signature, not all encryption systems have the same capabilities and security levels to prevent fraud and it is at this point that encryption or digital signature, made through cryptographic hardware is key to building a truly reliable and secure Blockchain.
Encryption via Cryptographic Hardware vs Software
Software encryption, usually done using passwords, is more easily vulnerable by cybercriminals because it does not have the robustness and levels of authentication offered by hardware encryption and the use of symmetric and asymmetric keys randomly generated by a tested and certified cryptographic device, with which to encrypt and/or decrypt data or digitally sign Smart Contracts.
In the world of encryption, the greatest exponent of reliability is hardware security modules, known as HSM (Hardware Security Module), robust and fully reliable devices in the face of potential cyberattacks.
For all this, Blockchain transactions secured through Cryptographic Hardware provide a plus in the custody and protection of information, confidentiality and minimisation of potential fraud risks.
Transactions made through Blockchain technology emit a cryptographic hash as evidence, providing authenticity and integrity with this information and thus avoiding possible unauthorized alterations.
Other features of block technology include “reliable and adequate data availability,” as NIST points out, one of the leading international security hardware certification bodies.
New business models with Blockchain & IoT Solutions
That Blockchain technology is a disruptive technology that allows to implement new business models more efficient and secure in the advancement of companies towards the process of Digital Transformation, is an undeniable reality and a bet for the future.
Originally, this block technology has been applied to the financial sector to manage the new ecosystem of cryptocurrencies and transactions through Digital Banking and Fintech. But Blockchain has also reached the public administration strongly for the development of a more transparent, interoperable and more traceable Digital Governance model; for example, e-mail voting through which democratic participation is more accessible, secure, transparent and involves less investment.
Other industrial and service sectors pioneering the adoption of Blockchain are being the insurance or insurtech, legaltech, energy, telecommunications, food and distribution, healthcare, tourism, real estate… who benefit from Blockchain for better management and security of their processes (incident notifications for insurers, request for health appointments, contracts between companies…) mainly through Smart Contracts.
Likewise, as we noted in 2018 in our study with IDC, “Encryption and Digital Signature for Smart Organizations” the demand for cryptographic hardware is increasing by the proliferation of Blockchain technology and the wide development of IoT devices.
Another Blockchain application that has started to gain more ground is identity management, a process through which we will all be able to manage our personal data more securely. For example, if we collect an online purchase in a physical store we must be accredited through our ID, which contains private information such as our address, not necessary for this collection; with block technology this will no longer be necessary.
Therefore, we believe that Blockchain will constitute, in the very near future, a revolution in the way we relate and do business, with greater agility, efficiency, traceability and trust.