Blockchain likely for mainstream adaption
Blockchain is incredible popular nowadays, with PNG hosting the Blockchain Pasifik Conference during APEC 2018, sponsored by the Australian Government, in Port Moresby. In recent weeks, the most popular social media platform in PNG, Facebook has announced its intention to adapt and enjoy the application of blockchain in its everyday business. What does this mean to Facebook users in PNG? Well, it simply means when Facebook introduces its Libra coin (cryptocurrency) into its current platform, users can buy and sell using the Libra coin on the social media platform.
For example, if you have been using Facebook groups like the PNG Marketplace, PNG Black-market, and PNG Traders etc to post your products to sell and if you have been buying products from those selling on Facebook, then instead of paying in cash or credit card, you may use the Libra coin – much faster and easier.
What is blockchain then? How do they work? What are the problems they solve? How can they be used?
Like the name in the case, a blockchain is a chain of blocks that contains information. This technique was originally descripted in 1991 by a group of researchers and was intended for digitally timestamp documents so that it is not possible to backdate them or to temper with them, almost like a notary.
However, it was not popularly used until it was adopted by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009 to create the digital cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. (Satoshi Nakamoto is not known whether a name of an individual or a group of people).
We enjoy using the Internet but do we know exactly who invented it? Blockchain and crypto currency world can be thought of as the same thing with the Internet Technology.
Now a blockchain is a distributed ledger that is completely open to anyone. Once some data has been recorded inside the blockchain; it is very difficult to change it.
So how does that work? Well let’s take a close look at a block; each block contains some data, hash of the block, and hash of the previous block.
The data that is stored inside the block depends on the type of blockchain. Bitcoin blockchain, for example, stores the details about the transaction; such as the sender, receiver and the amount of coins. Off course, this block also has the hash, you can compare the hash to a fingerprint – it identifies a block, all of its content.
Little is understood about the promising technology behind blockchain that is adopted by an accumulation of crypto-currencies today.
The blockchain is a digital shared ledger and is able to record and store data across a large network of computers, thus making records decentralized and virtually impossible for corruption.
The mechanism of storage ensures that there is no singular point of failure or target for attack, thus making this contemporary technology highly robust and secure.
In simple: Blockchain is like Android system on the Smart Phone. The applications on it like Facebook, Gmail, whatsapp, chrome, browser, YouTube, Instagram and etc are the different types of crypto currencies, payment systems, smart contracts and etc that are disruptive in nature to the current way of doing things, recording and storing transactions.
Having this in mind, using the blockchain technology one can solve a problem that may seem impossible, just like communication with another person without a smart phone using Facebook and whatsapp.
In Papua New Guinea, amongst the many problems we have, corruption is a major issue this country, its leaders, public servants and citizens alike must address.
In order to curb corruption in every government offices and systems, the government can see to how best disruptive technologies like blockchain can used to provide solutions. For example, blockchain can really help the government with collection taxes or revenues, NID registration and issuance, lands titles and records, and the entire national identity system.
One wonders for what exact purpose the blockchain identity system would be. Such systems hold privacy and data ownership as their primary principles, and it is well known that Facebook has had severe privacy problems. Perhaps the Libra coin is Facebook’s answer to the problem.
It will be interesting to see if the system does get implemented. Facebook already has the participation of well over a billion users, so the implementation of a blockchain identity system is no more than necessary than on its platform.
Bloomberg reported that Anthony Pompliano, a well-known crypto investor and evangelist, has said that Facebook would build the most-used crypto product, referring to Libra coin, and it’s certainly true that when a company like Facebook gets involved in blockchain and crytotech industry, the market will receive some excellent exposure and perhaps even mainstream adoption.
There are already blockchain startups emerging in PNG and crypto currencies like Kumulcoin, T4Gcoin and ToroKina which are pioneered by locals in PNG.
Many blockchain enthusiasts have commented that the PNG economic system, with its cultural, social and physical conditions is viable and timely for considering and implementing blockchain for mainstream adoption and into the government sanctioned projects and programs.