Bitcoin, as well as other cryptocurrencies, are at all-time high in popularity, as more and more people hear about it and decide to invest, trusting the blockchain technology behind it.
The attraction of this technology is that it is based on blockchain, which is a decentralized way to manage the database that records Bitcoin transactions, meaning that no one authority has its claws into it. Blockchain, however, is a technology that seems to quickly be finding use in other areas apart from cryptocurrencies.
We wanted to find out more about the future of blockchain, so we had a chat with Sam Rehman, CTO of Arxan. Arxan is a company that provides security for application instances across numerous industries, including financial services, mobile payments, healthcare, automotive, gaming and so on.
Sam Rehman has been with Arxan for over two years, working to shape the technical directions and to drive innovation. He’s been in the technology industry for over 25 years, previously working for companies such as EPAM Systems, and Oracle.
Q: How would you explain the blockchain technology to someone who is just now hearing about it?
A: Blockchain technology allows separate systems to agree on transactions and not let others go back in time and modify them. In other words, the technology is designed to record transactions publicly and in sequence (chronologically order), hence it’s well suited for any distributed transactions that require a growing list of immutable records and a significant sequence that cannot be tampered.
Q: What do you believe are the strengths and weaknesses of the blockchain technology, as observed over the past decade?
A: One of the clear weaknesses is that the technology is fairly new. There are still kinks, like any new tech, that need to be worked out and a clear definition of what can be used in blockchain, safely. As such, I suggest anyone who’s looking to implement this to be careful with what use cases they are using it for.
Q: Where do you believe the future of blockchain lies, as there are discussions of expanding the technology to areas beyond cryptocurrency?
A: Blockchain could be used for a new generation of distributed transactions, and will allow peer to peer, trustless model to thrive. But it’s critical to focus on implementation – especially on use cases for today.
Q: Blockchain is secure by design, but how could it help other areas of the Internet in the search for cybersecurity?
A: I’m not sure if we can make a blanket statement around the intrinsic security level of blockchain, but it is designed to provide immutability for distributed records, which in a connected world is very much needed. Take any example where you will need to exchange transactions but requires records of the sequences of operations. It could potentially be used for cases from identification to non-repudiation and more. But again it all depends on the specific implementation.
Q: How is the technology changing the shape of the world’s industry and where do you see its adoption five years from now?
A: Clearly distributed ledger is a great use case for it. But I think we will start to see more high-value network transactions leaning towards a similar model.
Q: Is the transparency offered by blockchain something most companies would be attracted to when considering its implementation or just the opposite?
I think it would be attractive, but so much of it is around the transaction model. I think it’s more the rootless nature of it that would be more interesting. Because in some ways, depending on visibility to what, it could actually increase privacy, and reduce visibility to others.