Blockchain Technology Is Supposed To Be Secure…But Is It?
Tom Kerr writing on blockchain technology …
I recently wrote to tell you how experts predicted that the price of bitcoin might go as high as $6,000 by the middle of 2018. Since then it’s hit $19,000.
Bitcoin and the blockchain technology underlying it are attracting investor attention because these historic innovations can save you time, money, and aggravation…while simplifying our overly-complicated lives.
The technology is still in its infancy, but it is already poised to change the financial world the way email and text messaging disrupted the telegram industry.
Using the extraordinarily secure bitcoin blockchain network, you can access your bitcoin money 24 hours a day, even on holidays, with just an internet connection – like the one on your smartphone.
You can send or receive bitcoin money to and from anyone, anywhere in the world, within minutes…and get instant transaction confirmation. You can accept bitcoin payments at your business, without setting up a merchant account or paying costly merchant fees.
You can hold the keys to the digital vault where your bitcoin is stored and protected by a specially-encrypted 51-character alphanumeric passcode or “key.” You never need to disclose that passcode key to anyone. Not a merchant, not your bank, not Equifax, not the IRS, not another living soul.
But saying that bitcoin and blockchain are only about money is like saying the internet is only useful for sending email.
Unique blockchain technology is already utilized for countless applications that extend far beyond the financial sector. You can use blockchain to make sure nobody edits your Last Will and Testament without permission, and you can use it to protect copyrights. There are ways to use blockchain technology to track luggage to its final destination. Some countries use the technology to prevent mortgage fraud and to simplify title searches and validate property ownership.
Now let’s consider one my favorite examples of potential blockchain value…safeguarding your precious Social Security number.
I’m sure you go to great lengths to protect it. But think of all the times you voluntarily gave it away, even to perfect strangers. Every employer you’ve had in your lifetime probably asked for it. Lots of hospitals and insurance companies likely have it. Credit bureaus like the one that just got hacked know it. A building contractor told me he found a file cabinet full of student Social Security numbers inside an abandoned schoolhouse.
Twenty-nine states used to require that your Social Security number be printed on the front of your drivers license. That means I handed mine to dozens of people – including bartenders and nightclub doormen – before I even turned 21.
But those unnecessary and scary vulnerabilities can be eliminated without exorbitant cost to taxpayers…if Social Security numbers are simply encrypted with blockchain technology. That would also ensure that you get your Social Security payments faster, and that nobody could possibly steal them.
You might think that this all sounds futuristic. But nations are already doing this kind of thing with phenomenal success.
Citizens in Estonia – one of the world’s most vibrant technological hubs – are issued a blockchain-connected ID card that’s secured by multiple levels of bitcoin-style encryption. They use it to file for state benefits similar to our Social Security or Medicare; to get prescriptions filled; to file their taxes, and to vote. Japan and Finland modeled their new national IDs on the same intelligent system…and Dubai plans to migrate all of its government documents to the blockchain by 2020.
That’s just a glimpse of why bitcoin and blockchain matter…and why they may be worth studying as potential investment vehicles or other life-enhancing tools.
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