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What is the Blockchain?

By Scott Max

The Blockchain is a technology that allows the transfer of data in a completely secure way thanks to a very sophisticated codification. It is usually compared to a company's ledger where all incoming and outgoing money is registered. 

This video will help explain everything:

Of course, in this case, we would talk about a digital event book.

To talk about Blockchain is to talk about the technology (the information encoding system) that is behind Bitcoin. However, its function goes beyond that. It also serves to create other crypto currencies that are based on the same principles, but that have other properties (policy, algorithm, etc.).

The Blockchain contributes to a great novelty. It is that this transfer does not need an intermediary to check and approve the information, but it is distributed in several independent nodes that register and validate it. Thus, once the information is entered it cannot be deleted, only new records can be added. In addition, it will not be legitimated unless most of them agree to do so. The latter is considered mission impossible.

How does the Blockchain work?

1. Transaction

Two parties, Maria and Juan, decide to exchange a unit of value (a digital currency, such as bitcoin, or another digital representation of some other asset, such as an educational/professional title) and begin a transaction.

2. Block

The transaction is sent with other pending transactions creating a "block". The block is sent to the network of computers participating in the system.

3. Verification

These computers (also called "miners" in the Bitcoin block chain) evaluate the transactions and, by means of mathematical calculations, indicate whether they are valid, based on agreed-upon rules. When they reach a "consensus" the transactions are considered verified.

4. Hash

Each verified block of transactions is temporarily sealed with a cryptographic hash. In addition, all blocks contain references to previous block hashes, creating a string of records. Such a chain will never be classified, it is considered impossible.

5. Execution

The unit of value moves from Mary's account to John's account.

Uses of Blockchain in Digital Marketing

Now that we know what it is and how it works, it's time to discover its uses in Digital Marketing and take advantage of it in our strategy.

More security in online shopping

The Blockchain brings full confidence when making transactions. Goodbye to counterfeits. With the products within the blockchain it would be possible to track them from their manufacture to their destination. In this way, we could verify that what we buy is not a copy. This makes the brand stronger and would eliminate the possible fear of the consumer buying something counterfeit.

This is already being done. As a sample we have the company Volpone and its wine with Blockchain certification. Just by scanning a QR code on the bottle you will have the exact information from the cultivation of the grapes, every transaction made by the suppliers and the final customer.

Brand responsibility

Until now, if a company wanted to do something we could only trust its word or resort to a professional (either a lawyer, a notary, etc.) to make sure it was fulfilled. This changes with the Blockchain and its intelligent contracts, that is, they are automatically fulfilled once the parties have agreed on the terms. These cannot be destroyed. A paper can be stolen, disappear, burned, etc. With Blockchain the "company promise" is responsible and public.

Is this the end of the trolls?

Think for a moment that to use the internet we would have to use a unique and universal card or key. A key that would replace all the previous ones that we would use to navigate, for the bank, social networks and other personal data. If all this information was in a Blockchain network, it would put an end to the anonymity in social networks (so-called trolls) and to all those who pretend to be others to attack their competition. This would increase the security of the user.

The user has the power

The current debate regarding the Blockchain and digital marketing focuses on what to do if the user wants to charge for offering his data or for receiving an advertisement. Because, of course, in the universe of the blockchain each user owns his data. So, for example, if a brand wants to send a message to a user, it would have to ask him. The consumer will put a price on the transaction. And you would have to pay the user, but not the media in which the ad is displayed. This would result in a more loyal user (especially if they have decided to offer their data).

Current uses of the Blockchain

The refugee crisis

In 2017, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNWFP) sent more than 10,000 crypto coupons to thousands of Syrian refugees. These coupons could be redeemed in the markets participating in the project.

All this was possible thanks to a startup launched by the developer and co-founder of Ethereum, Gavin Woods, through the data signature company Datarella. In 2014 the Syrian crisis became "the greatest humanitarian emergency of our era". Today the global refugee crisis continues to grow. The Blockchain may mean an opportunity to bypass bureaucracy and international uncertainty. Thanks to Ethereum's technology it gives refugees direct access to these donations. Thus, for the first time, a great step is taken by including them in a dialogue aimed at solving this international crisis.

Preventing Electoral Fraud

Cybersecurity and voter fraud have been exceptionally worrying since the 2016 elections in the United States. And the truth is that this is not the first time that voter legitimacy has been questioned. Blockchain's technology has the ability to provide a system for counting electronic votes that is impossible to decipher. This system can secure an election during voter registration as well as account for voter identification and ensure that votes cannot be tampered with at a later date

Just as the Blockchain works with crypto-currencies, it can also create a permanent public ledger for counted votes. This promises a future of equitable democratic elections around the world. In fact there is already a startup working on this called Follow My Vote.

These are just some of the uses the Blockchain is currently having in society. However, this goes beyond that. 

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