Blockchain technologies are extremely popular in modern times. Blockchain-enabled services and systems are known to be reliable and secure. For instance, blockchain-enabled IoT (Internet of Things) devices are great for storing user-associated public keys, data access audit logs, authorisation rules and other sensitive information. Similarly, there are hundreds of online services and platforms that run on a blockchain or connect to multiple blockchains.
Further, blockchain technology is almost like the internet, where the network is decentralised, rather than being hosted by a single server. However, unlike the traditional internet model, blockchain technology is known for being more secure and advanced. Web3 or Web 3.0 is a concept which promotes the idea of the World Wide Web being run on blockchain technology, thus being truly decentralised.
The internet consists of millions of systems connected to an open network, where no one can control or manipulate it. As of now, there is no clear way of switching off the internet for everyone. The World Wide Web is the largest decentralised data relay and communication system that humans have ever seen. However, the internet also consists of private and distributed networks along with public decentralised networks. Web 3.0 wishes to change this and make the internet decentralised
Also, the traditional internet model has no definite structure or shape. Thus, by implementing blockchain-based architecture, we can make the internet more user friendly and safe. Blockchain technology is also based on concepts such as token-driven economics, which help us in securing our transactions, financial data and money.
What is Blockchain Technology and How is it Used for Security Purposes?
Blockchain technologies are distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) that run on multiple independent nodes (or computers/systems), rather than on a selected few systems. Blockchain is a decentralised concept of the internet that is based on cryptography and the consensus of users. Unlike other public and private servers or networks, blockchain networks are owned by all the members (systems) in the network and cannot be shut down or manipulated by anyone. There are no central systems or servers hosting and controlling the blockchain.
There is no way one can bribe a moderator, admin or a group of systems to influence any service or information that is on the blockchain. For example, let us assume that you store your pictures on a blockchain network. In that case, no one will be able to remove or take down your digital property till you choose to trade, sell or remove it.
Blockchain technology is owned by the users and thus, no centralised organisation or group of individuals can manipulate any asset or property which is in the blockchain. For example, a private bank can end up in a situation where it is unable to let users withdraw money from their accounts.
However, blockchain networks are out of the control of any bank or financial institution. If you store your money on a blockchain network such as Ethereum, there is no way a central authority can manipulate your assets. Even if there is a genuine request from law enforcement, no organisation can seize funds or property in a blockchain network without the cooperation of the owner.
As a matter of fact, many companies and agencies have even started moving their rights, royalties and contracts to blockchain networks as digital assets. This ensures that none of the assets can be modified and documentation is also created which can be used in a court of law. Due to this documentation being on a decentralised blockchain, it is mostly considered to be reliable for legal affairs as well. Intellectual Property or IP rights and the blockchain are a match made in heaven, with unalterable documentation which can be verified by anyone.
Why are Blockchains Secure?
Blockchains run on the participation of nodes or member systems across distributed networks. Thus, there is no single point of failure or loophole that can compromise the network. This also makes these networks invulnerable to cyber attacks. The network is invincible to attacks, but what about blockchain-enabled digital wallets and personal property? The only way to compromise one’s personal property in the blockchain is through social engineering or phishing methods, which still require wallet authorisation which is hard to procure. There are no technical means to directly hack into digital wallets.
Blockchain networks are also encrypted with their architectures possessing multiple security qualities. The structure of data and the flow of information in a blockchain are all documented with hashes and cryptographic chains. This ensures that we can trust the transactional history of any asset. Each transaction in the blockchain is verified by other nodes in the network, thus removing the possibility of any error. When there are any changes in the blockchain, a new block is created which connects to all the other blocks in the chain in a way it is impossible to manipulate. Each node in the system contains the history of all the transactions in the blockchain, essentially ensuring that no data or transaction goes amiss.
Every record on a blockchain is backed by private keys which are assigned to each transaction. Members of the network or the nodes also have their own private keys which help us verify the origin or the source of the asset or property. These private keys act as digital signatures that can be used across multiple platforms that are connected to the blockchain. Thus, a transaction can be verified through multiple services and platforms as well. Whenever a record is manipulated, these private keys become invalid.
Through this, we can understand how tampering with a node or a system inside a blockchain will not affect the main network in the slightest, as all the members of the network are still there.
Blockchains are extremely secure, however, there are certain types of blockchains that are more reliable than others. There are also private and public blockchains, both of which offer different security features. Newer blockchains have two layers rather than a single layer, thus being even safer and more advanced. For example, Polygon (MATIC) is a multi-layered blockchain which offers more effective security measures.
A programme such as a blockchain and cryptocurrency e-degree can definitely help you learn more about blockchain technologies.