What is blockchain and why people are using it?

It is a distributed database shared through nodes of a computer network. Blockchain helps to store the information electronically in a digital format. Blockchain is known for being used in cryptocurrency systems, such as Bitcoin. It helps in creating a secure and decentralized record of transactions.

Blockchain claims to guarantee the fidelity and security of the recorded data and trust without involving a trusted third party.

In the blockchain, data is stored in sets known as blocks holding sets of information. These blocks have a fixed amount of storage capacity and are closely linked with the previous block, therefore, forming a blockchain. When new information needs to be recorded, a new block is formed and after the information has been recorded, the block gets added to the chain.

Traditionally in databases, data are recorded in tables whereas, in blockchain, databases are formed into blocks. Each block creates a timestamp in the data structure. When a block is added to the chain, as a result, it creates a fixed timeline of data result, data structure creates an irreversible timeline of data which becomes fixed in the timeline. 

Blockchain is preferred due to various reasons. 

Blockchain is used in transactional fields, being approved by thousands of computers. This helps in eliminating human involvement. Blockchain doesn’t require to have the verification process done by a human. Even if a mistake, due to being separate blocks, the error will not spread out.

Just like eliminating the need for humans to verify, similarly, blockchain removes any need for a trusted third-party verification and thus eliminates the cost that comes with it. When doing the payment, payment processing companies incur a charge but blockchain helps in eliminating them as well.

Information stored in the blockchain is not located in its central location. Information is spread throughout various computers. This step reduces the chances of losing data since if a copy of the blockchain is breached then only a single copy of the information will be with the cyber attackers and the whole network will not be compromised.

Blockchain provides quick deposits all day and every day. This is helpful if money needs to be transferred or deposited to a bank in different time zones. 

Blockchain networks are confidential networks and not just anonymous. When transactions are made using blockchain, a person with the internet can view the list of transaction history but the person will not be able to access any information about the use nor can the user be identified. 

To store in blockchain about the transaction, a unique key or a public key is added to the blockchain on behalf of the transaction detail recorded in the blockchain.

After the transactions are recorded, they need to get verified by the blockchain network. When information is verified by the blockchain network then the information gets added to the blockchain. 

Most blockchain is entirely open-source software. This means it can be accessed by anyone and can be viewed by anyone which enables to review of cryptocurrencies. Thus, there is no hidden information about who controls Bitcoin or how is it edited. Hence, anybody can suggest new changes, and later on, if companies accept the idea, then the idea will be updated.

Several types of industries have started adopting blockchain in their companies. 

What is cloud storage and why do people use it?

Cloud storage help businesses and consumers to have a secure online place to store data. Having data online allows the user to access the data from any location and also the data can be shared with those who have the authorization to access it. Cloud storage also helps to back up data so that data can be recovered even from an off-site location.

Having access to cloud services allows the user to have upgraded subscription packages which will allow the user to have access to large storage sizes and additional cloud services.

Using cloud storage helps businesses to eliminate the need to buy data storage infrastructure which will help the company to have more space on the premises. Having cloud infrastructure eliminates the requirement to maintain the cloud infrastructure in the premises since cloud infrastructure will be maintained by the cloud service provider. The cloud servers will help companies to up their storage capacity whenever required just by changing the subscription plan. 

Cloud enables its users to collaborate with their colleagues which means that the users can work remotely and even after or before business hours. This is because users can access files anytime if they are authorized to. Cloud servers can be accessed with mobile data as well therefore using cloud storage to store files will bring a positive effect on the environment since there will be less consumption of energy.

Therefore, by eliminating the need to have employees for the on-premises data center, the company can employ for the tasks which have higher priorities.

Cloud computing provides various services such as 

  • Infrastructure as a Service,
  • Platform as a Service,
  • Software as a Service.

Difference between blockchain and cloud storage?

Where data can be accessed through the cloud anytime, in blockchain, it uses different styles of encryption along with hash to store data in protected databases. 

In the cloud, storage data are mutable whereas, in blockchain technology, data are not mutable. 

Cloud storage provides services in three formats and in blockchain it eliminates the need to use a trusted third party.

Cloud computing is centralized which means that all the data are stored in the company’s centralized set of data centers where blockchain follows decentralization.

A user can choose their data to be either public or private or a combination of both but in blockchain, its main feature is providing transparency of data.

Cloud computing follows the traditional method of database structure data stored will reside in the machines involving participants. Whereas, blockchain claims to be incorruptible where online data registry is reliable with various transactions. This states that participants using blockchain technology can alter the data by taking necessary approval from each party involved in the transaction.

Following are the companies which provide cloud computing services:

Google, IBM, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, and Alibaba Cloud.

Following are the projects which use blockchain technology:

Ethereum, Bitcoin, Hyperledger Fabric, and Quorum.

How is blockchain disrupting the cloud storage industry?

Mainly why blockchain is moving ahead with progress and is getting more preference is due to the fact that it is more secure due to the elimination of trusted third parties. Also keeping the data in a decentralized manner also makes the blockchain technology more secure. Not to forget that data gets secured in a block thus, cyber attackers can’t access the whole chain of data since they are separated and need different unique keys. Therefore, blockchain is less vulnerable to attackers and there is reduced systematic damage and widespread data loss. 

Also, it is next to impossible if someone wants to alter the data since the transactions are governed by a code and it is not controlled by a third party. 

Many companies have jumped to providing blockchain services along with their cloud services. That is because providing blockchain services cost less expensive as many small organizations collaborate and provide the shared computing power and space to store data. 

Following are some companies that are using blockchain technology, as per 101Blockchains:

Unilever, Ford, FDA, DHL, AIA Group, MetLife, American International Group, etc.

Salesforce has launched Salesforce Blockchain which is built on CRM software. 

Storj provides blockchain technology services enabled with cloud storage networks which help in facilitating better security and lowering the cost of transactions for storing information in the cloud.

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