The value of bitcoin is beginning to expand beyond, well, bitcoin value. The mercurial online currency is based on a powerful peer-to-peer technology that is becoming recognized for it’s application and potential in other areas like information security. In recent years major retailers and even governments have struggled with data security. Bitcoin’s self-contained infrastructure offers potential in data security that could become as valuable as the digital currency itself.
The key to bitcoin’s potential for data security is its unique block chain innovation. Every transaction recorded is absorbed into a block that is then broadcast to other bitcoin users simultaneously. This broad, instantaneous dispersal is nearly impossible to modify after-the-fact. The information goes too far, to too many places, and too fast for it to be changed for unscrupulous ends. Rather than having one centralized ‘cloud’ server, the cloud is stored in blocks with every user that downloads the bitcoin program.
Bitcoin scatters each transaction block like pollen, ensuring that the encoded information cannot be wiped out or changed before it takes seed. This technology is not limited to transaction records. In the past year, startups have been focusing on adapting the block chain technology to other secure uses. Marriage licenses, car licenses, birth certificates, and even contracts can be recorded into these virtual ledgers that are then secured via wide-spread dispersal.
Apps are being developed, backed by venture capitalists, to modify the block chain to data security. Banks and multinational telecommunication companies are even exploring the bitcoin’s value for information security. As the bitcoin technology is adapted from a modern infrastructure for money movement to information movement, permanent records may be adjusted to utilize the virtual block chain ledger. Needless to say, with the potential of bitcoin technology branching out to data security, merchants in the bitcoin industry with a bitcoin merchant account can expect substantial potential growth.
There is a cautionary voice about the block chain potential. Academics have pointed out that the legal, social, and economic institutions of our present society are not built around this digital ledger. Disputes over ownership of property denoted by a license may be difficult to resolve legally using the bitcoin block chain ledger. The question is, what is bitcoin and the block chain useful for if in the case of legal disputes? The legal grey area could slow widespread adoption.
Bitcoin’s revolutionary block chain technology has planted its seeds in data security. How far it can grow depends on the application the startups squeeze out of this structure for information security. In either case, despite the turbulent launch of bitcoin, the underlying technology, and thus the merchants involved with bitcoin, may be exploring outward soon from its finance-based cradle.