With the proliferation of smartphones and smart appliances, there is an increasing amount of unused computing and storage capacity wasting away in pockets, purses, and kitchens. Eventually, clever entrepreneurs will put these idle devices to work. The most natural fit would be as nodes in blockchains.
What Is Blockchain?
People are familiar with cloud-based applications. Every student and office worker knows Google Drive, and many folks have shared files via Dropbox. Blockchain may be more of a mystery, even among cryptocurrency enthusiasts who do not always understand the tech that supports their favorite coins.
A blockchain is a ledger or a set of records that is cryptographically secured or encrypted and shared across a distributed network of nodes. The system makes the blockchain more resistant to outages and less susceptible to hack than cloud-based applications, which are run by a central administrator or server.
Each node could be a computer, a smartphone, or a smart toaster – any device capable of exchanging data. As such, smart homes provide blockchain with a ready-made infrastructure. In the future, the world’s billions of smart devices could all be nodes, sharing information with distributed ledgers around the clock.
Will Blockchain Make the Cloud Obsolete?
Blockchain may power the world of tomorrow, but there is still a place for the cloud. The decentralized nature of distributed ledgers offer more security than centralized servers used by cloud-based apps, but that same centralization enables the cloud to process thousands of transactions per second. Of course, there are promising, next-generation blockchain projects that may be able to scale to that level; however, as of now, no truly decentralized chain can handle thousands of transfers per second without seriously compromising on security.
Blockchain and Real Estate
Real estate is a different story. Property sales are infrequent; each involves a large sum of money and the exchange of sensitive personal and financial information. Thus, it is a perfect application for blockchain technology.
Real estate does not have to wait. Innovators like Propy are already leveraging distributed ledgers to make deals more transparent and secure.