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Despite the increased interest and research around the blockchain technology, computer scientists at Brown University in Rhode Island claim that the technology has not yet reached its potential. Therefore, there is still much to be explored about this tool.

The development, according to one of the scientists, is particularly important when it is considered that many industries seek to benefit from the reliability and decentralization of the blockchain.

“Most people will not become cryptocurrency speculators, but one day the blockchains can be used for everything: from monitoring products’ freshness, trading stocks to tracking items that move through the world’s largest supply chains. They are suitable for any interaction in which the parties may have a discussion process and are interested in reaching a conclusion”, says Professor Maurice Herlihy.

It is worth remembering that some companies are already making use of a blockchain in various applications. For instance, in the fight against coronavirus and in the prevention of cancer. As well as in the production of identities, and even in monitoring supply chains, as cited by the study’s author.

Experts also point out that, unlike cryptocurrencies, blockchains do not have such a mechanical operation. In any case, the first softwares were programmed with linearities, opening a space for each demand.

“At first”, Maurice explains, “the blockchain technology worked this way for the sake of simplicity, because it was easier to program. By analogy, think of 1,000 people who wish to buy concert tickets at the same time, and the software doesn’t want two people to have the same seat. When choosing your seat, you have a padlock in the database, as well as a padlock in the bathroom that allows only one person to enter at a time”.

blockchain potential

Blockchain potential can be expanded over time

But despite the current limitation, Maurice believes that over time, there will be an increase in interest and importance in the blockchain technology, machine learning technologies and in the growing interest in the ownership of personal data. “Blockchain technologies could provide a more explicit and transparent way for people to control their data”, he says. “For example, they could serve as a data market where you selectively sell data from your smart devices to insurance companies”.

And with this growing interest, Brown researchers predict a maturing use of the systems. “As the use of blockchain continues to grow, people are less and less happy to wait for someone else’s transaction to be concluded. Over time, the speed will only become more important”, the report highlights.