Blockchain as the practical layer of application trust: myth or reality?!
Has the potential of blockchain been realized, or has the idea behind the technology garnered more hype than its actual application? That was the question defining October’s installment of Innov8: A Speaker Series with Jim Nasr, CEO of Acoer and former Chief Software Architect at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nasr and Acoer are using blockchain to elevate healthcare systems, and during his session, he used this experience as the portal to blockchain’s applicability.
But what is blockchain? While the oft-mentioned technology is often misunderstood, you could think of it this way: blockchain is a network of information, contained in “blocks” and linked by cryptography, a form of encrypted code. In other words, blockchain is a distributed ledger that places a premium on trust to allow two (or more) parties to efficiently make a verifiable and permanent transaction of some kind.
Blockchain has been especially seen as a tool to transfer important information; hence, the connection to healthcare. Nasr used an analogy of “software as a theme park” to demonstrate how software is interacted with through the desires or constraints of its users. A blockchain “attraction” at the theme park changes a user’s experience, but it’s still part of the full theme park “visit,” or software application. He segued from this foundational idea to demonstrate the trust inherent to blockchain, explaining the reasons why blockchain is part of the vision of the future.
Nasr’s session ultimately looked to the future of how blockchain could improve the systems that define our everyday lives — like tracking agricultural supply chains, airplane flights or coronavirus cases across the world — and the most important networks that connect them. You can view the full talk via the UTO YouTube channel.