More and more developers are considering blockchain for apps, as this technology—originally developed for Bitcoin cryptocurrency—holds tremendous potential for applications that require data storage or ledger-type functionalities. In fact, blockchain can benefit virtually any app that must stow and access large volumes of data in a secure, reliable manner. But what are the precise benefits of using blockchain technology for mobile apps? Well, the advantages range from security and reliability to decreased development and maintenance costs.
Benefit #1: Blockchain is Secure
The first benefit of blockchain is its security. The security that’s used in blockchain technology is simply the best, as it leverages some of the most advanced cryptography in existence. In fact, it’s a form of technology that is secure by design, meaning it was built in a way that allows for the highest level of security and encryption (while the Bitcoin blockchain data is not encrypted by default, this technology can easily accommodate encryption, if desired).
Blockchain is a distributed network that was developed using a series of interconnected “blocks” which contribute to the platform’s overall security level. Each block includes transaction data and a timestamp for the prior block. The data is encoded in what’s known as a cryptographic hash—a feature that makes it virtually impossible to surreptitiously alter a single block. This is significant, as the majority of digital crimes and wrongdoings involve data modification. In most cases, the perpetrator relies on a lack of immediate or short-term detection. But this simply isn’t possible with blockchain technology; a modification is immediately apparent and measures to conceal the alteration would take a significant amount of time, computing power and effort.
To avoid detection, you would need to alter the data on not only the target block but on all the blocks “downstream” since all those downstream blocks contain a cryptographic hash for the prior block. This would require the collusion of an entire network of developers (or in the case of Bitcoin, a vast majority of the miners), with everyone working together to alter all subsequent blocks. The total number of blocks could number in the millions or even billions. In short, this degree of corruption and collusion is unlikely to arise. It would be comparable to every Wells Fargo banker in the nation working non-stop as part of a week-long heist. As such, blockchain allows for a highly secure, safe app.
Benefit #2: Blockchain is Reliable
Blockchain’s very construction makes it reliable and tamper-proof, as it was designed to be secure and stable, with a high level of Byzantine fault tolerance (meaning the distributed nature of the hardware makes the system more impervious to collapse). These are all desirable yet hard-to-come-by traits in a mobile app.
This piece of technology was developed using blocks which contain data stowed in more than one location—a redundancy that dramatically boosts reliability. And as noted above, blockchain’s interlinked, distributed nature makes it resistant to unauthorized data modification. Meanwhile, the distributed nature of blockchain’s hardware (i.e. servers) also enhances reliability in a big way. That’s because it’s quite unlikely you would have a single event impacting multiple data centers in numerous locations.
The extremely reliable, secure nature of blockchain means it’s suitable for a wide variety of applications, from recording business and financial transactions to serving as a platform for medical record storage and everything in between. Any app that needs to store large volumes of data can potentially benefit.
Benefit #3: Blockchain is a Fairly Simple Platform
One of blockchain’s many advantages is its relative simplicity, particularly when compared to other programs that are designed to perform similar functions. Other software is generally much harder to develop, maintain, utilize and integrate into your mobile app platform. This greater complexity results in far higher development costs and increased maintenance-related expenses. These qualities make blockchain very desirable as a cost-saving measure for those seeking to develop an app.
Benefit #4: Blockchain is in Perpetual Development
Blockchain technology is advancing at a rapid pace thanks to the ever-increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and LiteCoin. This means you’re selecting a technology that will not only be relevant for many years to come but will likely be subject to some significant updates and improvements.
The technology used to develop blockchain is widely available on an open-source basis, so anyone can access and tinker with the source code. Because open-source technology allows developers to share advances and improvements with others, you won’t need to rely solely on your in-house development team. This means you can cut back on development costs while still capitalizing on the latest blockchain benefits, advances and improvements.
Blockchain technology is really still in its infancy, and we’ll likely see some major innovations in the coming years, with more and more developers opting to integrate blockchain into their digital creations. The result could be some truly remarkable apps with unparalleled security and reliability.
If you’re thinking about leveraging blockchain in your own mobile app, you’ll need a team that has extensive experience with emerging technologies. That’s precisely what you’ll find when you turn to the world-class developers with 7T! At 7T, we specialize in blockchain and other innovative technologies such as machine learning, predictive analytics, augmented reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and natural language processing.