Describe blockchain?

Blockchain is a tamper-proof electronic ledger. Think of it the same way as you would an accounting ledger book, a cash book, a land title register or a medical health file. The key difference between them is that records in a typical accounting book or land title register can be manipulated, but not on the blockchain.

Record keeping requires a record keeper that you can trust. However, sometimes the record keeper can engage in fraud and corruption. Additionally, the record keeper charges a fee for its services. Blockchain makes records tamper-proof such that you no longer need a record keeper in between.

Removing this intermediary, blockchain mitigates the risk of fraud and corruption and makes transactions frictionless, fast and cost-effective. Blockchain helps you do away with intermediaries such as escrow agents, share custodians, health-record companies and money transmitters – anyone who brokers a transaction and charges a fee merely because they introduce an element of trust in the system. Take the example of money transmitters who help Indian workers in Dubai to remit money to their families in Kerala. In 2018, India received over USD 83 billion in inward remittances. The estimated cost of these was USD 4.1 billion. Remittance through blockchain would have cut out the intermediaries, reducing this cost by 60% translating to saving of INR 18,000 crore per year.

Everything we do requires record keeping – financial services (lending, payments), health services (vaccine delivery, hospital management), governance (subsidies and cash benefits, courts) or managing data privacy. So, blockchain holds the potential to impact every aspect of life and governance.