Blockchain has paved the way for cryptocurrencies to become increasingly accepted across the world as a form of transaction. It has negated the need for third parties to be used as intermediaries for financial transactions, offering an alternative way of securing transfers for a cryptocurrency, such as Blockchain. It is a form of collective verification which has been described as a digital 'ecosystem'. The speed and trackability which Blockchain offers have made this open-source technology a prominent part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0).

How does Blockchain work?

Blockchain is a system of transaction records, with an infrastructure made of up nodes which are connected to each other, constantly exchanging data to stay up to date. This system stores and spreads the Blockchain data, with transactions being collected into blocks and then added to a Blockchain. Blockchain is not exclusively for Bitcoin and can also be used with other virtual currencies, such as Ether.

Where to next?

There is already evidence of a 'second generation' within Blockchain technology, which is characterised by 'smart contracts' and Ethereum. And there are different ways in which the Blockchain interacts with other technologies of Industry 4.0, especially Artificial Intelligence (AI). These two technologies could make it easier for Blockchain to achieve mass adoption, enabling data insights which can overcome complexities which currently stand in the way of a higher take-up, such as the large number of exchanges and protocols. 

Another area of potential for Blockchain and AI is where machine learning models can be shared via the Blockchain with no intermediary needed. One example of this is in the sphere of facial recognition devices, which could see details shared between devices more easily through the Blockchain, with no central control over the process, and no single organisation storing or taking ownership of the data.

How does NFC benefit the Blockchain?

Near Field Communication (NFC) technology can be used with the Blockchain as a way of holistically tracking products. NFC has become the backbone of anti-counterfeit solutions which use Blockchain technology. It can provide an extra level of security, with confidentiality of each transaction's private key - which is needed to update the Blockchain - being assured thanks to its storage on an encrypted NFC Tag.

At NFC Direct, we have our eye on all of the developments surrounding Blockchain and NFC and are capable of collaborating on projects related to Blockchain technology.