My Favorite Technology – Mohammed Arbaaz Shaikh

What if I told you there exists a social media platform that pays you for using it. Imagine Facebook, but it pays you for the likes and comments you receive on your posts. Sounds too good to be true, I know. My reaction was similar when my cybersecurity mentor told me about Steemit back in 2018.

He said, “The Shadow Breakers (a hacker group) released the NSA’s Eternal Blue exploits on a website called Steemit, which is a social media platform that pays you for the likes and comments on your posts.” 

Again, I had the same questions you have right now. How is it possible? Surely, there is some catch to it. In the era of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, where people are becoming rich by using us and our data, what is this new platform that wants to make us rich? And with that in mind, I spent the rest of the day trying to figure out how this Steemit thing works.

Fast forward to 1 AM at night, I came across some really fancy words like Cryptocurrency, Cryptography, Distributed Network and of course, the most important word ‘Blockchain’. All this information was very overwhelming at first, but who knew this word would end up being my favourite technology in the coming months. 

In 1988, The Economist ran a headline that said “Get ready for a world currency”. That headline received some serious backlash back then. But 30 years later, after the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, the prediction came out to be true in the name of Bitcoin. And with Bitcoin, a revolutionary game changing technology was born, Blockchain.

Bitcoin entirely changed the way money works today. Right from how currency is issued to how it is transferred. It has enabled transfer of value even in third world countries where there is no strong banking system. All of this has only been possible because of Blockchain, the technology behind Bitcoin.

Blockchain is not just limited to financial applications like cryptocurrencies. Blockchain can be used to improve the security of applications, to replace middlemen in processes, to improve traceability in Supply Chain Management among many other applications. The development of the Ethereum Blockchain has made things much easier. Ethereum is the ‘next big thing’.

Ethereum is like a world supercomputer. With Ethereum, you can theoretically take any application from our conventional Internet and build it on top of the Ethereum Blockchain Network. This makes things extremely secure in multiple ways. Because, if a malicious entity wants to hack the Ethereum Blockchain (your application’s backend), they will have to hack majority of Ethereum nodes (there are thousands of nodes spread across the world). And not just that, they will have to hack all of them at the same time instant. And at present, no single entity in the world possesses the computational power required to hack the Ethereum Blockchain. 

Blockchain has come to the rescue of many struggling people living in poverty stricken war zones. In Syria for example, refugees are being taken care of using a Blockchain based solution. The United Nations’ World Food Programme provides food and resources to thousands of Syrian refugees in what is the biggest charitable-cause implementation on the Ethereum Blockchain. The identities of these refugees are stored on Ethereum, and they are provided with cryptocurrency based food vouchers and work opportunities through the blockchain.

Another important way Blockchain is changing the world is by striving to build a Decentralized Internet. A censorship resistant Internet where you won’t be silenced and your voice will be heard. An Internet that is not controlled by governments and big tech companies who make billions off you and your data. Blockchain is helping to build the Internet of future, the Internet we deserve. Web 3.0 will change the way Internet works, and Blockchain will be at the core of the architecture of this Decentralized Internet.

Earlier this year, Linked In released their list of Top 10 Hard Skills to learn in 2020. As expected by many, Blockchain topped that list. We are currently at the beginning of The Blockchain Revolution. This revolutionary technology has the potential to completely change the way we live. Just like The Internet did back in the 90s. Is this technology really as big as the Internet? I’m tempted to say yes but I’ll leave that for you to decide.

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