Although blockchain technology is still evolving, it can already offer many advantages to the scientific community.
Blockchain is revolutionizing the world.
It is one of the biggest technology markets worldwide, with prospects tocontinue growing and eventually reaching 23.3 billion dollars worth ofinvestments by 2023, according to Statista.
In the future, the rapid growth in investments will encompass manydifferent industries, and blockchain will become a mainstream technology.
See also: How Blockchain Technology and Cognitive Computing Work Together
Currently, however, different industries are only at the early stage of introducing blockchain technology to different procedures and operations. According to Deloittes 2018 global blockchain survey, blockchain technology is expected to revolutionize many industries. It is anticipated that by using blockchain, industries will completely change the way they function.
According to Deloittes survey, manufacturing industries, as well as theenergy sector, along with healthcare, technology, and even the public sector (governmentalinstitutions, executive branch), will eventually turn to blockchain technologyto organize data, store it, and ensure its security.
But heres what caught our attention, while analyzing this survey.
Interestingly enough, life sciences (biotech, medical devices, andpharma) ranks high on the list of industries that will make use of blockchain.The technological advancement in life sciences greatly impacts the quality ofhealthcare, giving us new opportunities to improve it.
Lets take a step further.
Technological advancement in engineering and computer science will giveus new opportunities in manufacturing, the energy sector, and other relatedfields.
This pushes us to deduce the following thought: will science in general be changed by blockchain technology? And, if yes, what opportunities, prospects of implementation, and potential problems should we expect from it?
Lets dig deeper.
Blockchainfor Science: Revolutionary Opportunities
Blockchain technology is versatile. Therefore, the wholedata-hash-previous hash system works for every transaction involving value,whether its money, goods, or information. Besides, the high levels of securityensure fraud protection, as every transaction is recorded and distributed amongthe computer network.
As a result, these features of the blockchain technology offer thefollowing opportunities that can revolutionize science in different aspects.
Opportunity#1: Making Research Transparent
The science behind blockchain is simple.
A set of blocks that contain data is shared in one network of parties(nodes), which have equal and immutable access to the data carried by theblock.
Whats in it for scientific research?
Lets say a group of researchers is working on a statistical analysis ofa certain business venture. They collect data that is stored in blocks, thuscreating a data-carrying blockchain for this research.
Any changes that are made to this data will not go unnoticed, as everyresearcher from the team can equally spot and track these changes.
Joris van Rossum, Director of Special Projects at Digital Science, saysthat among the biggest benefits that blockchain can bring to scientificresearch is eliminatingpoor communication.
Right now, according to van Rossum, scientific research is at a verydeficient state. Blockchain gives an opportunity to change, as it ensuresreproducibility that is central for transparent scientific research.
Opportunity#2: Making Data Storage Safer
Blockchain is designed in a way that ensures safe storage of any datathat every block contains. Hashes, which work as a protection device for thedata, are hard to tamper, thus keeping all research data safely stored.
Essentially, blockchain is a decentralized database of information. Itis decentralized because every node has full access to the data and any changesthat have been made. This includes any changes made involving the hashes ofevery block, thus making it impossible to leak the information or corrupt it.
Blockchain technology also ensures an extra level of protection, as allthe data is broken into segments (shards), which are encrypted. Thus, anyclassified research data can be safely stored in blocks, accessed, and trackedby every node in the network.
Opportunity#3: Making Science Transparent
Blockchain technology brings an opportunity to make the decisions andthe activity of scientific organizations more transparent by introducingso-called smart contracts.
Distributedledger technology enables blockchain to store small computerprograms that track the data. Smart contracts are created in the form ofcomputer programs and are designed to cut the middleman in all datatransactions. Instead, this smart contract becomes the middle man, and all theactivity can be traced by the network of nodes.
The two main features that science and scientific research can benefitfrom are that smart contracts in their nature are:
Thisfeature of smart contracts wont allow any of the two parties to opt out of thecontract, change its terms, or terminate it. This means that every scientificorganization that was promised governmental funding will get it.
Smart contracts are almost impossible to tamper with. As all theactivities are fixated and stored in blocks, it not only gets safer to storethis data but makes the general activity of scientific organizations moretransparent and organized.
Blockchainfor Science: Prospects of Implementation
All the above-mentioned opportunities have already found theirimplementation in decentralized blockchain-based data storage.
Decentralized clouds started emerging recently, becoming a strongcompetitor and a potential threat to centralized servers such as Google Cloud,Dropbox, etc.
Decentralized cloud storage uses blockchain technology to:
Essentially, all the above-mentioned opportunities, brought to scienceand scientific research by blockchain, are already, in one way or another,implemented by decentralized clouds.
Besides obvious reasons, like transparency and security, scientists andresearchers could be interested in decentralized clouds for the following reasons:
Since blockchain technology is behind this idea, every file indecentralized cloud storage is marked with a hash, and every other filecontains a hash from a previous file. Thus, any scientific organization, oreven a small group of researchers, can be sure that every file is safely storedand wont go missing.
Blockchainfor Science: Potential Problems
Alongside with the above-mentioned advantages, the implementation ofblockchain technology can potentially cause problems. Aside from the fact thatscience is currently not fully ready for blockchainadoption, the technology itself is still underdeveloped, which may lead to thefollowing issues.
Problem#1: Authorization Issues
The goal of blockchain technology is to encrypt and safely store thedata and establish consensus in a distributed network.
To prove that a network member has permission to write to a certainchain, it is required to run complex algorithms that will ensure rightfulauthorization. Such algorithms take immense amounts of computing power, whichcomes at a cost.
So, even if blockchain technology can solve theproblems of securing and storing the data for scientific research, theauthorization of each network member remains an issue.
Problem#2: Lack of Legislation
As scientific society follows certain rules established by law, usingblockchain technology may present certain legislation-relatedissues:
All these issues need further clarification and the development oflegislation that will cover and resolve them.
Problem#3: Potential Hacker Attacks
Although blockchain is considered one of the most secure technologies inthe world, theres a possibility that a blockchain can be hacked.
This happened to Coinbase and Ethereum Classic when a hacker gainedcontrol of more than half of the networks computing power. Covering thisstory, MITTechnology Review listed the reasons that could potentiallyundermine the security of the blockchain technology:
Although now it is the best solution to ensure security, blockchaintechnology is far from being perfect. Before switching from a centralizedserver to decentralized cloud storage, researchers should understand thatalthough the chances of research information getting hacked are lower, it isstill possible.
Blockchain Brings New Potential to Science
Apart from some issues, blockchain technology brings a variety ofbenefits to the scientific community. Every researcher knows that effectivecommunication, transparency, and data security are crucial for high-qualityresearch.
Although blockchain technology is still evolving, it can already offermany advantages to the scientific community. And, as the evolution ofblockchain technology shows no signs of stopping, we can safely say that oneday it will become integral for scientific research and science in general.
- How to install the Seafile cloud storage solution on Ubuntu Server 20.04 - TechRepublic - July 31st, 2020
- Five on-premise and cloud options for network-attached storage - ComputerWeekly.com - July 31st, 2020
- Want to back up the worlds largest SSD? Use this 100TB cloud storage - TechRadar - July 31st, 2020
- 4 reasons why Tresorit is the best cloud storage service - Tech Advisor - July 31st, 2020
- Cloud Technologies Your Business Needs in 2020 - The Seeker - July 31st, 2020
- FBI Alerts to Rise in Targeted Netwalker Ransomware Attacks - HealthITSecurity.com - July 31st, 2020
- The entire Netflix movie archive will fit on this 90PB storage system - TechRadar - July 31st, 2020
- Student discounts: the best offers in 2020 - Creative Bloq - July 31st, 2020
- Cloud Storage Market to Grow at a CAGR of 21.9% from 2020 to 2027 to Reach $222 Billion by 2027 - PRNewswire - July 23rd, 2020
- Google Cloud Claims Another Win With Box Partnership - Forbes - July 23rd, 2020
- Stand Alone Cloud Storage Market Size, Share, Growth Rate, Revenue, Applications, Industry Demand & Forecast to 2025 - 3rd Watch News - July 23rd, 2020
- Global Enterprise Cloud Storage Market 2020 by Company, Regions, Type and Application, Forecast to 2025 - Cole of Duty - July 23rd, 2020
- Stand Alone Cloud Storage Market: The Development Strategies Adopted By Major Key Players And To Understand The Competitive Scenario - 3rd Watch News - July 23rd, 2020
- BitDam Advanced Threat Protection now available on Microsoft Azure Marketplace - Help Net Security - July 23rd, 2020
- Nexsan Unity taps into cloud and Assureon archive - TechTarget - July 23rd, 2020
- IPVanish July sale: three months of VPN cover for the price of one with this deal - Tom's Guide UK - July 23rd, 2020
- Commvault integrates Hedvig with HyperScale X appliance Blocks and Files - Blocks and Files - July 23rd, 2020
- Q&A: Sophos poll shows how attackers are taking advantage of cloud migration to wreak havoc - Security Boulevard - July 23rd, 2020
- Life After COVID 19: E-Discovery Considerations for Attorneys and Clients - JD Supra - July 23rd, 2020
- 4 Ways to Advance Your Tech Without Sacrificing Security - Security Boulevard - July 7th, 2020
- Cloud Storage Market Is expected to Witness Significant Growth between 2020 to 2028| Top Key Players- AWS, IBM, Microsoft, Google, Oracle, HPE - Owned - July 7th, 2020
- Software-defined storage: It's a Thing Blocks and Files - Blocks and Files - July 7th, 2020
- Microsoft takes legal action against COVID-19-related cybercrime - Microsoft on the Issues - Microsoft - July 7th, 2020
- How Vodafone is helping MSMEs gear up for their business revival - YourStory - July 7th, 2020
- IP Video Surveillance And VSaaS Market Growth Analysis By Manufacturers, Regions, Types and Application Forecast - Apsters News - July 7th, 2020
- Alternatives to banned apps Shareit and Xender for file transfer - Digit - July 4th, 2020
- I Don't Care How Great These OneDrive Improvements Are, I'm Not Using It - Gizmodo UK - July 4th, 2020
- Cloud Based Storage Market with Report In Depth Industry Analysis on Trends, Growth, Opportunities and Forecast till 2024 - AlgosOnline - July 4th, 2020
- Global Cloud Storage Software Market 2020, Analysis by Growing Demand, Types, Application, Top Trends, User-Demand and Opportunities Assessment till... - July 4th, 2020
- Cloud Robotics Market to Grow at Robust CAGR in the COVID-19 - Kentucky Journal 24 - July 4th, 2020
- Global Software-Defined Storage Market 2020-2024| Surge in Cloud Adoption to Boost Market Growth | Technavio - Yahoo Finance - July 4th, 2020
- This cheap HP laptop hides a surprising secret that barely anyone noticed - TechRadar - July 4th, 2020
- NIAGARA GENEALOGY: Treasure your heirlooms and their stories - Lockport Union-Sun & Journal - July 4th, 2020
- Commvault partners with Microsoft to deliver SaaS and cloud technology - ChannelLife New Zealand - July 4th, 2020
- ZM: 3 Work From Home Stocks for the Second Half of 2020 - StockNews.com - July 4th, 2020
- Commvault and Microsoft Partner to Deliver SaaS and Cloud Technology Solutions - IT News Africa - July 4th, 2020
- Lockly Vision critique: A smart lock and a online video doorbell in a person effectively-built unit - Tech Gaming Report - July 4th, 2020
- Dell GM On Future With VMware And Besting HPE GreenLake - CRN: Technology news for channel partners and solution providers - July 4th, 2020
- Igneous CEO hands over reins to storage industry vet Blocks and Files - Blocks and Files - July 2nd, 2020
- The Pros and Cons of Hybrid vs Private Cloud Computing - Mighty Gadget - July 2nd, 2020
- Will we ever have a universal file storage platform? - BroadbandDeals - July 2nd, 2020
- Microsoft is finally making one of Windows 10s most unloved features actually useful - TechRadar - July 2nd, 2020
- 6 basics of storage automation, predictive analytics and AI - TechTarget - July 2nd, 2020
- WithStand Software Now Available from Associated Research - PR Web - July 2nd, 2020
- AWS Takes the High Ground with Space Unit - EnterpriseAI - July 2nd, 2020
- Global Stand Alone Cloud Storage Market 2020 by Company, Regions, Type and Application, Forecast to 2025 - Cole of Duty - June 29th, 2020
- Cloud Storage Gateways Market Expected to Witness the Highest Growth 2025 - Cole of Duty - June 29th, 2020
- The Global Bare Metal Cloud Market is expected to grow by $ 7.89 bn during 2020-2024 progressing at a CAGR of 39% during the forecast period - Yahoo... - June 29th, 2020
- Deploying the Best of Both Worlds: Data Orchestration for Hybrid Cloud - eWeek - June 29th, 2020
- Global Hybrid Cloud Storage Market 2020 With Size, Share, Product Types, Growth Analysis, Business Statistics, Future Prospects and Key Companies... - June 29th, 2020
- Qumulo Shift opens up scale-out NAS to AWS S3 in the cloud - ComputerWeekly.com - June 29th, 2020
- Microsofts new Windows File Recovery tool lets you retrieve deleted documents - The Verge - June 29th, 2020
- Business Cloud Storage Market To Witness the Highest Growth Globally in Coming Years 2020-2026 - Cole of Duty - June 29th, 2020
- Global Private Cloud Storage Market 2020 With Growth Rate of XX% CAGR by Competitive Factors, Innovative-Technology, Demands and Services Offered Till... - June 29th, 2020
- IHS Markit commits to three-year data and infrastructure migration to AWS cloud - ComputerWeekly.com - June 29th, 2020
- Groundhog Day Security experts decry latest US attempt to kill end-to-end encryption - The Daily Swig - June 29th, 2020
- Cloud infrastructure continues to grow in 2020 - IT-Online - June 29th, 2020
- The Future of Peer-to-Peer Online Learning Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic - Cointelegraph - June 29th, 2020
- Cloud Content Delivery Network (CDN) Market Global Outlook on Key Growth Trends, Factors and Forecast 2025 - 3rd Watch News - June 29th, 2020
- Current and Future Analysis of Hybrid Cloud Storage Software Market Over the Forecast Period to 2026 - Daily Facts N Trends - June 2nd, 2020
- KIOXIA Offers Thin Provisioning to Increase Cloud Storage Ability - Database Trends and Applications - June 2nd, 2020
- of COVID-19 Outbreak on Multi Cloud Storage Solutions, Global Market to witness - GroundAlerts.com - June 2nd, 2020
- BackupVault Cloud Backup review: Back(up) to reality | IT PRO - IT PRO - June 2nd, 2020
- Concert tickets and your couch: Online streaming platforms keep performers and venues in business | Opinion - PennLive - June 2nd, 2020
- Microsoft works with WANdisco to shift on-premises data lakes to the Azure cloud - Blocks and Files - June 2nd, 2020
- Cloud Robotics Market 2020 Size, Share, Trends, Top Manufacturers, Regional Analysis, Business Growth, Applications, Emerging Opportunities And... - June 2nd, 2020
- Samsung's Galaxy M11 takes the fight to the Redmi Note 8 in India - Android Central - June 2nd, 2020
- Managing the capacity for remote work - ITWeb - June 2nd, 2020
- Tech Q&A: Reaching the limits of unlimited storage in Google Photos - telegraphherald.com - June 1st, 2020
- Impact of Covid-19 Outbreak on Cloud Storage Market 2020 Trends, Growth Opportunities, Demand, Application, Top Companies and Industry Forecast 2026 -... - June 1st, 2020
- Global Cloud Storage Market: Leading Segments and their Growth Drivers 2020-2026 - ITResearchBrief.com - June 1st, 2020
- Pure Storage CEO On Why The Firm Was 'Well Positioned' Before COVID-19 Hit And What's Next - CRN: Technology news for channel partners and solution... - June 1st, 2020
- Wasabi CEO David Friend: New $30 Million Funding Round Comes From 'Family Offices,' Not Venture Capital - CRN: Technology news for channel partners... - June 1st, 2020
- How to Take Your Work Offline in Case of an Emergency - WIRED - June 1st, 2020
- Data protection best practice more important than ever in cloud environment - ITWeb - June 1st, 2020
- E-Discovery Preservation: What to Consider as Offices Open Back Up from COVID-19 - JD Supra - June 1st, 2020
- Dell's OneFS for Google Cloud. What do the competitors think? - Blocks and Files - June 1st, 2020
- 69% off and free cloud storage makes this VPN deal one of the best around right now - TechRadar India - May 19th, 2020
- GoodFirms Survey: Around 92.13% People Believe Cloud Storage have Influenced their Data Habits - WhaTech - May 19th, 2020
- Best practices and need of cloud storage for protecting corporate and personal data - CRN.in - May 19th, 2020