How Mobile Apps Can Benefit from Blockchain Technology
Blockchain sounds like something physicists have been trying to uncover for hundreds of years, but the reality is blockchain is the new kid on the block (get it?) for managing and providing secure and reliable transactions. There are bidding wars over developers, apps that track sexual consent through blockchain, and the constant analysis and introduction of new cryptocurrencies that harness the power of blockchain. For the uninitiated, all this talk of hashes, blockchains, and cryptocurrencies can be overwhelming. In this post, we’re going to give a rough overview of the technology and what advantages, if any, exist for mobile apps willing to adopt the framework.
A Digital Ledger
One of the best ways to envision a blockchain implementation is as a ledger that tracks transactions between parties. The actual code behind the process is much more advanced and nuanced but thinking about the whole thing as a digital ledger tracked by many different parties is a good start. The thing that makes blockchain unique is its interconnected nature between stakeholders. Everyone is connected within a blockchain network and has knowledge of every transaction between each other party. This is possible by using a unique digital signature for each user, then each and every transaction is verified and applied to the blockchain.
Blockchain offers an inherent transparency which provides for a stronger sense of community. No transactions are hidden or obscured within the network. Anyone can look back to the very first transaction in the blockchain to see the sender, recipient and time of the transaction. This reduces, and arguably eliminates, the possibility of nefarious or false transactions. Because of the decentralized nature of the blockchain, no one entity can change or alter the transactions. Every node has a copy of the entire blockchain, which is verified by other nodes. This sense of openness builds a wave of support from the tech community and is why so many people are looking to build blockchain applications.
Another powerful aspect of blockchain technology is the elimination of trusting another on goodwill between the blockchain’s users. It sounds strange to phrase it like this, but it is the foundation of the entire technology. Blockchain systems require no faith or goodwill between users in order to guarantee the validity of a transaction. When two nodes on the blockchain initiate and approve a transaction, they need no formal knowledge of each other. While this anonymity has led to problems in the cases of Bitcoin and the Silk Road, this can also have positive and legitimate applications in the real world.
Blockchain in Mobile Applications
Presently, the most common implementation of blockchain technology exists in cryptocurrencies. New cryptocurrencies rise out of the woodwork on what seems like daily basis, and all of them utilize blockchains in one form or another. However, their market volatility and the high rate of failure overshadow the usefulness of blockchain technology.
If you have an app idea that depends on peer-to-peer currency transactions (fiat or otherwise), blockchain technology could be a natural fit. Not to mention in situations where you need to keep a dedicated and unalterable record of transactions of any kind, blockchain tech might also fit your bill. For other use cases of integrating blockchain into your application it might require discussing it with a professional development agency as implementing a sound, secure, and reliable blockchain solution for your project and deploying it are demanding tasks. If you’re ready to start developing such an app, it can pay off, in the long run, to work with mobile app developers with a track record of secure and scalable solutions. Consider reaching out to one of our account managers to find out how we can help you integrate blockchain technology into your project.