Blockchains were born with Bitcoin. And by Bitcoin I do not mean bitcoin (lowercase), the volatile and supposedly anonymous virtual currency that is not controlled by any third party, and allows individuals with Internet connectivity to send and receive value in any amount, globally, and almost for free. Lowercase bitcoins are an inextricable component of this new technology, and a uniquely significant one that transcends their monetary nature. They are digital containers that can be programmed to represent digitally “anything of value,” such as a security, a medical record or a work of art.
Today, blockchain-based platforms —blockchains for short— come in multiple flavors: they can be public or private, open source or proprietary. Some feature a digital container or token. Others don’t. Some allow the programming of self-executing contracts of any kind. Others have more limited programmability. In the near future, multiple blockchains of different flavors are bound to coexist, and technology will need to be built to make them compatible and interoperable.
Indeed, as easy as visualizing the enormous positive impact that shared cryptographic ledger technologies could have on the global economy is to notice the big challenges facing and risks posed by them.
Are blockchain vulnerable to money laundering or other criminal abuse? Do they pose a threat to national security? Are they safe for consumers and businesses to use? What are the risks of financial loss to consumers and investors? If ledgers are public or shared across multiple parties, can privacy and confidentiality be protected and preserved?
Read the full article by Juan LIanos here.
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