If you have not been hiding under a rock for the last ten years, you will know that “Bitcoin” and “Blockchain” have become the buzzwords in cryptocurrency and Financial Technology. While the phrase “Bitcoin millionaire” is also on everyone’s lips, there is still much that people don’t know and this is what has caused fear and consternation among users and regulators around the world. Another term, “Decentralised” is also confusing and to understand what this means for you going forward, we have to compare decentralised with centralised technology. Decentralisation is one of the most critical advantages of blockchain protocols, and there are many benefits for businesses and industries to use this revolutionary technology in the future.
What does Centralisation mean?
The most prominent industries with daily use of centralisation technology are YouTube, Twitter, Banks, Facebook, and a great many others. What it means is that a third party or intermediary is required to verify a (data) transaction. For example, debit/credit card to make an ATM transaction, or email. When a customer registers their account, be it for a card or email, they have to provide personal information: name, date of birth and nationality (for example) and this data is stored on centralised servers.
Customers, therefore, have to trust that the information they provide is secure from cyber criminals. A case in point is the major invasion in 2015 by hackers on Yahoo centralised server infiltrating the database and gaining access to confidential personal information. Had this been a banking facility, the damage could have been astronomical, and customers would have been lucky to get out without financial loss.
Centralised Systems have three areas of concern for users:
1.Customers must trust that their private and confidential data is secure and will not be shared or stolen.
2.Centralised Systems have full autonomy: system and data control.
3.Centralised Data Servers are often at risk by cybercriminals.
What does Decentralisation mean?
Essentially, decentralisation works off blockchain technology, and the first example was Bitcoin in 2009. With the Bitcoin protocol, people could transact payments without verification by a centralised authority. Each user [device] connects as a “node” which means that if there are millions of users, there are millions of nodes connecting to each other, and to the network, which makes hacking difficult; hackers would need to control every node in the chain.
Another important feature of decentralisation is that the system users are in effect anonymous because they require public or private key rather than personal information to interact on the system.
Blockchain systems are decentralised meaning that they are there is no single controlling authority, and they are not backed by a central bank or government body. One of the most significant benefits to society is the absence of a single powerful controlling authority or corporation. It would have been almost impossible for Yahoo to be hacked if they had been operating on a decentralised system in 2015.
Centralised vs. Decentralised Blockchain – Examples
The invention of Bitcoin as a global cryptocurrency payment system in 2009 came as a massive boost to Financial Technology. Banks have access to every customer’s personal information, and they have been operating their ATMs and external banking services on a centralised system since the 1980s. They know precisely who is involved in the transaction: who is paying or being paid and the amount being transferred from one account to another. This kind of authority may give people comfort, but it also means that customers are vulnerable to hacking and fraud.
Global Payments System
A decentralised payment system removes the issues, and the use of cryptocurrency means that customers do not require a third party intermediary [the bank] to manage transactions, which makes Bitcoin and other cryptos, a form of “peer-to-peer” payment mechanism.
Without the intermediary interference, transactions are either free or at the very least, considerably reduced, making cryptocurrencies ideal as a means of payment, especially for cross border payments, where exchange control on fiat currency makes transactions very costly. An example of this is Western Union; high exchange rate charges and transaction fees, and where transaction times are not instantaneous.
Decentralised systems are online, making transactions instant whether the individuals are in the same town or, in different countries. The payment deal and exchange rate eliminated because the transaction is in the same cryptocurrency. The two people in operation use private keys to access their cryptocurrencies adding safety measures and privacy that is not available on a centralised system.
Advantages of Decentralised Global Payments
- No third party access – no intermediary
- No central location removes total system failure
- Instant global transactions
- Low-cost global transactions
- Security for users
- Network transparency – everyone using the network can view deals [transactions]
The Internet of Things – IOT
IOT, in its most basic form, is a connective mechanism for people and devices via the internet, resulting in the formation of blockchain and cryptocurrency technology.
The evolution of the internet and the world-wide-web now has people around the globe connected via computers and mobile devices. Every physical device used for daily use, now even motor cars and energy supplies have a connection to the internet, which means that this connected data is stored and recorded via centralised servers.
The problem with this centralised system is that if there is a failure on the network platform or worst scenario, information hacked, the data and devices would be corrupted, which could be life-threatening.
The risk comes from every piece of personal information held by a centralised company, which gives them access to every part of your life including your spending and financial status. What it means for everyone is that nothing is safe and this kind of information can and is, turned into financial gain for unscrupulous criminals who scour the internet looking for ways to make a fast dollar.
There is another way to keep information safe and out of the hands of internet felons: Decentralisation through blockchain. For example, decentralised system debit and credit cards connected to a decentralised platform network, which includes ATMs, bank accounts, mobile phones, and android devices. In effect, everything is decentralised and blockchain connected via the IOT, to give added security and instant access for users.
Advantages of Decentralised IOT
- User data remains private and confidential
- Better controls reducing criminal access and hacking
- IOT means highly unlikely to have a system failure
- User anonymity: accounts require private/personal key for access
The future of Blockchain: Decentralised vs. Centralised
By now, you have a reasonable understanding of centralisation and decentralisation; the benefits of decentralisation will have become apparent. By removing corporate and governmental control, the system allows a democratically regulated system giving the power and authority of personal and financial information to users.
The problem with decentralisation is that it does not fit the bill with regulators and large corporations. More freedom for users means less control and therefore less money and power by governments, banking giants, and financial institutions. Consequently, they are fighting back. Regulators around the world have been lobbying their agencies to stop the decentralisation movement.
In this regard, many of the decentralised systems have come under government regulatory scrutiny and many of the cryptocurrencies introduced since the Bitcoin revolution, are now facing uphill legal and regulatory battles. Even Bitcoin underwent a remarkable revolutionary alteration: Traded as an exchangeable asset, rather than as it was first intended, the innovative payment method.
MTCore Centralised Blockchain – Bideration
MTCore is a Financial Technology company set up to bring secure centralisation to cryptocurrency in the form of “BIDERATION” process.
Rather than doing away with the intermediary, MTCore has embraced a central controlling body to ensure that users’ funds are secure with their tier one banking partners. The difference between MTCore and other forms of centralisation payment and investment systems is the process, which gives users equal voting on investments through the bideration process.
- Blockchain and decentralisation are still under review. Many Bitcoin protagonists believe that there should no form of regulatory or governmental control over how people use their funds.
- However, with the wider demand for better technological applications and the wider use of the internet, criminal elements still abound. The international community cannot allow delinquency, illegal behaviour and loss of freedom and earnings for the mainstream majority of users. With no legal recourse, it would result in chaos and bankruptcy of not only individuals but also fiat currencies and nations.
- Centralised networks have their problems in that they are often unreliable and open to abuse. However, with proper fiscal and financial management and secure technology, providing a democratic business and operating platform or software, such as MTCore, individuals’ are protected from misadventure and economic disaster.
- In addition, any system that provides a more energy efficient alternative to the current Bitcoin mining methodology and volatile asset trading exchange can definitely offer a better future for more users in the future.