Blockchain, distributed ledger technology and the Fourth Industrial Revolution | N’Gunu Tiny
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N'Gunu Tiny - distributed ledger technology

Blockchain, distributed ledger technology and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is underway, with artificial intelligence (AI), distributed ledger technology (DLT) and blockchain tech leading the way. What led to this point and how does the future look?

A broad term for today’s technology, The Fourth Industrial Revolution encompasses the blurring of boundaries between biological, physical and digital worlds through the advancement of machine learning, AI, automation, quantum mechanics, genetic engineering and many other forms of tech.

And while we may feel reliant on technology in the 21st century, it’s important to note that we always have been. Throughout history, humanity has depended on technological advancements. And while the tech of each era may look different, the impact is the same. Tech exists to further our species in some way, to make things faster, better and stronger. Here’s how we got here.

From the First to the Fourth Industrial Revolution

The First Industrial Revolution towards the end of the 1700s can be measured in the sweeping changes to mechanization. This prompted industry to supersede agriculture as the main driver of the economy. People at the time would have witnessed the mass extraction of coal and the advent of the steam engine, together creating the energy that would power the new railroads and accelerate globalization.

About a century later, at the end of the 1800s, the Second Industrial Revolution can be quantified by the emerging energy sources of electricity, oil and gas and the wave of advances they initiated. The internal combustion engine was invented, and people witnessed the growth of steel, methods of communication that were previously unthinkable (telegram and telephone) and leaps forward in chemical synthesis. The end of this era came with the invention of the car and plane at the end of the 20th century.

Around the middle of the 20th century, we witnessed the Third Industrial Revolution with the emergence of telecommunications, electronics, computers and nuclear energy. Suddenly space travel became possible, and all kinds of biotechnology and research was undertaken. High levels of automation were possible thanks to the introduction of robotics into the workforce.

And at the start of the 20th century, the Internet heralded the beginning of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Since then, we’ve seen virtual reality and artificial intelligence (AI) become mainstream. More recently DLT and blockchain tech has led to the rise of cryptocurrencies.

Investing in distributed ledger technology as part of the 4th IR Revolution

At the Emerald Group, we focus on fintech investment, and select only partners that are creating disruptive tech solutions with the ultimate aim of reaching a fully digital economy. Disruptive technology over the last few years, such as Netflix, Uber and Deliveroo, are about changing the approach to business models, improving the customer experience and cutting costs.

Tech can cut extraneous costs and streamline services. And just as the Internet has transformed the way we gather information and communicate, DLT and blockchain will transform the way we use currency. The biggest barrier to true Peer-to-Peer (P2P) online transactions is security. We can never be sure that the person receiving the money is legitimate. This is why there is always a 3rd party to verify online transactions, such as a bank. Blockchain tech means this step can be skipped, thanks to its verifiable security.

Blockchain can be described as an account ledger in the form of interconnected blocks. Each block’s data can be distributed across networked computers simultaneously. And the cryptographic technology underpinning blockchain means a secure transaction.

The tech has many positives including its decentralized nature, high levels of security, novel ways to record and verify data and the robust verification process known as ‘mining’. A major challenge facing DLT is concerns from corporate and government entities over its long-term security. Privacy is the number one barrier between mass adoption of this tech.

Partnering with HBK GoChain for higher security

At Emerald, we’ve tackled this by teaming up with HBK GoChain for their specific blockchain tech design and their Proof of Work. GoChain has developed the world’s first integrated blockchain tech layer, completed by two other layers: Service and Application. This makes it simple to utilize for corporate services, financial companies and Governments to build their own applications. As it has a strict closed-circuit security protocol, the security is higher.

GoChain Blockchain has been developed specifically for e-government solutions, including visas, voter registration, elections, HR, law enforcement, the judicial system, e-payments, customs and trade, healthcare and agriculture among others. As an investor and partner, we’re very excited by the advances seen in tech like this, and the impact distributed ledger technology will have for everyone in the not too distant future.