Blockchain is a technology framework that was created along with Bitcoin (BTC) in 2008. Blockchain is a distributed digital ledger that is unalterable, distributed and public. A great way to visualize blockchain can be found at the site BlockGeeks .
Blockchain technology presents great opportunities for business applications based on its resilience, distributed nature, extensibility, data integrity, verification of parties in transactions, no single point of failure, openness and auditability among others.
These characteristics have driven a number of initiatives where this technology its being applied to attempt to solve many known challenges in cybersecurity. Some of them are:
The above blockchain applications look very promising and present a different approach based on a new technology, however blockchain is inextricably tied to cryptocurrencies which have a myriad of criminal incidents all of them involving significant loss of money for investors and end users. Its popularity is also shrouded in unproven almost metaphysical claims. Things such as solving world hunger, and all kinds of problems have been announced with no apparent solid proof but theoretical, conceptual at best and small scale or research white papers.
The blockchain frenzy has come to a point where fill in the blank plus blockchain, almost guarantees a perception of something that will become successful. One example of that is the overnight companies that have added the word blockchain to their name and seen immediate peaks in their stock value.
This technology presents as well a number of known limitations:
The blockchain or digital ledger technologies look attractive as a new approach to many known problems however many of these approaches are still unproven, many of them have yet to be tried in real production/large scale environments. It is a technology with many challenges that still need to be put to test and actually pass them. There is no such thing as “unhackable”, “unmodifiable” in information security.
It is important to view these new technology approaches with caution and to apply objectiveness to its real value. It is definitely possible that successful technology approaches derived from blockchain technology may come to fruition in the next years, as well as possible adaptations to current technology frameworks. However it is important no to drive the perceived value and usefulness of such a new and yet unproven technology.