We live in the Information age. An era where access to, and the control of information, is the major defining characteristic. The digitisation of this information has had a huge impact on businesses across many industries and sectors, with people capitalising on this wealth of digitised information. Think Facebook, Google and Apple. Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Henry Ford may have been the face of the Industrial Age (here and over the pond). The Information Age has folk like Microsoft's Bill Gates, and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg at the helm.
It’s certainly a fast paced world out there today when it comes to information. Which means record-keeping is vital for any enterprise. Keeping accurate records helps businesses track their performance, make better decisions, and comply with regulatory requirements.
The importance of regulation has grown over time with the introduction of privacy legislation like GDPR. Introduced in 2018, it replaced the 1995 data protection directive.
Your data is now everywhere, and it's predicted that 463 exabytes of data will be generated worldwide, daily from 2025. So you may think you’re just casually posting on IG, checking your email, messaging on WhatsApp or streaming on Netflix – but you’re actually a data generating machine.
So it goes without saying that conventional record keeping solutions like databases and spreadsheets just can't keep up. However, with the introduction of blockchain technology and blockchain solutions, things are changing – for the better.
Data isn’t new. Marriage, birth, and death records have been kept for hundreds of years. However, there’s now so much information that we are past the bulky, time-consuming, paper based method of keeping track of it all. With the rise of the internet in the ‘90s, businesses could move data to online servers, giving them more accessibility and flexibility. But this centralised approach still leaves businesses vulnerable to security threats. Blockchain technology offers a solution to these problems by decentralising data and providing a more secure and transparent approach to record keeping.
Conventional record-keeping sees data stored formally, in a central location, with all new entries manually added or removed.
What sets blockchain apart, is that the data is distributed across a decentralised network of computers, which gets rid of the need for a single point of control which in turn boosts security and trust. This eliminates errors, hacks, and data breaches entirely.
Plus, once data is entered into the blockchain, it can't be altered or deleted. Any attempts to do this simply breaks the chain, and notifies everyone in the network of the data breach.
As I mentioned before, the sheer quantity of data being created today means it's getting increasingly difficult to manage, making companies genuinely vulnerable to data security issues. So it's plain to see how blockchain can save the day.
With all the excellent advantages that blockchain technology offers (cheaper, automated, secure, lower environmental impact etc) many businesses are still doing it the ‘old’ way.
Traditional databases are still the go-to solution for storing business data because they offer a flexible and scalable solution at a lower cost – initially. But of course they’re vulnerable to data loss or corruption. This is why a lot of businesses are deciding to blend their existing databases with blockchain technology, at least for now.
Decentralisation and transparency are the main two things that set blockchain solutions apart from conventional record-keeping solutions. There’s no central ‘authority’ or database administrator needed with blockchain tech. Blockchain provides a system that’s secure, auditable, and easy to use – and one that is inherently trustworthy.
A traditional database instead makes use of a ‘Client-Server Architecture’ where a user can modify the data, which is then stored on a central database or server. A designated authority holds control over the entire database and authenticates the user's credentials before providing access. The data can also be changed and deleted if something is compromised.
In a traditional database, people can potentially destroy or corrupt the data. Whereas in the Blockchain it’s impossible to tamper with it.
It’s all about trust. Blockchain technology creates trust in business transactions – like the exchange of sensitive information – by providing a system that’s secure, auditable, transparent and easy for people to use. Instead of relying on your reputation to build or maintain trust, blockchain takes away the need for it altogether, because anyone with the right permissions can review how, and when, their data has been exchanged.
As IBM says, ‘blockchain is sometimes called a “trustless” network – not because business partners don’t trust each other, but because they don’t have to.’
Other benefits include big cost savings from increased speed, efficiency, and automation – and decreased overhead and transaction costs, due to the elimination of pen pushing, paperwork, human error, and the need for third parties to verify transactions.
Here at ByzGen, our consulting service means we can solve complex and critical challenges, including the present ones surrounding sustainability and the climate crisis.
If you want to know more about our enterprise blockchain platform FALKOR SI and what it can do for you in this area or any other, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.