How Durable or Robust Is The Blockchain Technology?

By Rushali Shome

Blockchain is the poster child of millennial modernity, a novel technology that has the potential to transform lives. It can empower businesses, enable supply chain management, enhance and improve healthcare practices and greatly benefit a large number of small and medium scale enterprises. Blockchain’s benefits have been lauded and spoken about over and over again in the past few years. In the days gone by, we have seen more and more companies take to this technology to fuel their expansion and streamline their administration. Insurance companies to tech giants, airline companies to medical services, a wide degree of service providers have taken to blockchain.

In the coming days, we expect to see an even greater number of businesses embrace blockchain and exhibit interesting new use cases that marry speed and efficiency with transparency and ease. Now, the question that remains is: how durable or robust is this technology that we have grown to trust so much. To answer that question, we must first have a look at how blockchain is structured in the first place.

In a blockchain network, several node computers participate and decide, by some form of consensus (depending on what consensus algorithm that particular network has), what forms of information will be entered into the digital ledger that is blockchain. Now this information, be it about transactions, healthcare information like patients’ medical history or information about how many stops some product made while in supply chain, on its way to get delivered, is stored in units known as blocks. Now each and every one of the blocks in a blockchain network bears a unique symbol of its identity. This identity is rather like a fingerprint and is known as that block’s hash value. Now is this the only security mechanism that makes the blockchain robust and durable? Not quite. The very reason why this technology is called a blockCHAIN is because these blocks are inexorably tied up to another and you cannot dismantle any one link in the chain without making the entire network or system collapse completely. Each block bears not only its own fingerprint but also that of the preceding block. This makes sure that every block is chained up in succession and cannot be taken out to make changes or modifications in the data in the ledger.

This quality makes blockchain technology immensely durable and inherently robust. Since these blocks of information cannot be distinguished and modified unscrupulously, the network remains quite secure. There is little possibility to overpower and take control of a blockchain network at any given point by any single entity. If blockchain is ever overpowered, it’ll be more because of human intent such as hacking rather than because of any major underlying flaw in the system.

Rushali Shome

Rushali Shome is a history undergraduate with a keen interest in puns, politics and beyond. When not typing away furiously in the “Notes” section of her phone, she can be found trying to catch the eye of servers at restaurants or weddings for a second helping.

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