Blockchain Technology and Applications
This book provides an overview of the latest developments on Blockchain technology and its applications. The internet has already made it possible to transfer information quickly and cheaply, without involving intermediaries, while Blockchain gives the same benefits for transferring value. The Internet is used to transfer words and images, while Blockchain is used for transactions. Essentially, Blockchain is a combination of two elements: a shared and distributed ledger with synchronized data spread over multiple sites, countries, and / or institutions, and a cryptography – a digital token with a monetary value.
This technology could have a huge impact on the value chain in our society. This impact includes efficiency, transparency, ownership, value (transfer), automation, and service provision. To understand the world of blockchain, we need to understand the innovation of the currency Bitcoin in 2009, that was built on Blockchain technology. Bitcoin is a combination of four individual elements: (1) cryptography, (2) a peer-to-peer network, (3) an open source protocol and (4) a shared ledger. This makes it a phenomenon that people have been enthusiastic about.
This book is comprised of chapters written by experts on Blockchain from Austria, Brazil, China, Croatia, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, and Switzerland, on the following topics: (1) Blockchain and the Agenda 2030 by Danielle Mendes Thame Denny, (2) Application of Blockchain Technology in the Field of E-Government Services by Jiarui Zhang, (3) Can the Cybersecurity of Smart Building be Improved Using Blockchain Technology? by Ben van Lier, (4) Influence of Blockchain Applications and Digitalization on Real Estate by Jan Veuger, (5) Blockchain: Technology Looking For a Problem in Real Estate? by Jo Bronckers and Jan Veuger et al., (6) Real Estate Startup Get a Brick by Wendel Hulsebos and Jan Veuger, (7) Blockchain: An Efficiency Solution For Housing Associations? by Michel Vonk, (8) Blockchain Applications in Support of the Energy Transition by Mieke Oostra and Jelle Rijpma, and (9) Many Keys of Blockchain for Real Estate by Esther Dekker.
Many questions remain about Blockchain, including whether to continue looking at existing markets for applications of the technology, or at disruptive and innovative newcomers. Is Blockchain only a technological disruption or a real game changer? Will the entire value chain of the market embrace it? Confidence in Blockchain is certainly a precondition for guiding disruption where (new) companies use new technology to offer cheaper and superior alternatives in the market. However, the big question is, how quickly will Blockchain develop as well as all its applications? Stephen Hawking wrote in his book Brief Answers to the Big Questions about how we will shape the future (Hawking, 2018: p207): “In the same way that the internet, our mobile phones, medical imaging, satellite navigation, and social networks would have been incomprehensible to the society of only a few generations ago, our future world is beginning to be conceived. Information on its own will not take us there, but the intelligent and creative use of it will.” (Imprint: Nova)