Blockchain has revolutionized the information writing, storing, and management process. The concept of a centralized database is history. Now you can write and store data to a blockchain and spread it across any number of nodes and can be verified by all participants who want to confirm it.
Append-Only Data Storage
Data is not stored in a traditional database on a Blockchain. Data in a blockchain can’t be tampered with. This is possible because of the append-only nature of the blockchain database. What this basically means is that after a transaction data is stored in a blockchain (as a block), that data can’t be edited or altered. As a result, all such transactions are shielded from getting corrupted.
But wait! The rabbit hole is much deeper. There are many aspects to data storage on a blockchain.
Smart contract is another aspect of writing data to a blockchain. These are digital contracts stored on blockchains and automatically executed on the realization of predetermined terms and conditions. They can be used to automate agreement executions or workflows. All participants will get instant updates in real-time. They can also automate a future workflow process and trigger the desired action when the desired conditions are met.
Smart contracts work based on simple statements written into code on a blockchain. When a set of predetermined conditions are satisfied, a network of computers swings into action to execute the transactions when predetermined needs are met and verified. The blockchain is updated on every completed action, making the action irreversible and transparent. However, only those with authorized access can view the results.
Many stipulations may be incorporated within a smart contract to convince the participants that the task will be completed. Participants must determine how their data will be represented on the blockchain in advance. They must accept the rules and the exceptions governing the transactions. Importantly, they must define a framework to resolve the disputes that might arise at any stage of the transaction.
When the above aspects are finalized, a developer can be asked to program the smart contract to be written on the blockchain. Smart Contract structuring can be simplified by using blockchains.
When a new blockchain or block is created, the data stored in the block is pulled from transactions registered in the previous blocks. They are grouped into more blocks. This makes the whole blockchain system tamper-proof. It also enhances the security of the blockchain as the validity of the transaction history is validated multiple times, thus guaranteeing its integrity.
Hashing is a part of the method of storing data on a blockchain. When some data is added to a blockchain, it is hashed or translated into a series of texts. They are then encrypted and stored in the blockchain. The same hashing process must be used to decrypt and access that specific data.
When data is stored on a Blockchain, two terms gain critical value. They are- private key and public key. The private key is used for transactions which are not open to any changes without authorized permission. The public key is used to send transactions online. Both the keys are needed when someone wants to send or verify transactions.
Methods of Writing and Storing Data on Blockchain
Check the transaction data on a blockchain. It will reveal the manner of data storage on the blockchain. It will only store the information related to the transactions, but not any personal or sensitive data/information.
You can also learn how to write and store data on a Blockchain by looking at the type of file formats. The binary format synonymous with Blockchain data is designed to ease interaction with Blockchains. Users do not have to install any special software for interactions.
Another way of knowing how data is stored on Blockchains is learning about the bits used in each transaction. Each bit comes with over a million possible combinations, making it very difficult for someone to hack into your records as multiple transactions are recorded every second.
The length of time taken for blocks to be created is another way of decoding how data is created and stored on Blockchains. It takes about 10 to 30 minutes to create a block. Someone looking to hack into your blockchain data will have to mine one block within milliseconds.
How Blockchain Can Help The Shipping Industry
Smart Contracts Benefits
Speed is one of the most significant benefits of using smart contracts systems. The contract is executed immediately when the relevant set of conditions are satisfied. As the whole process is digitalized and automated, no paperwork is involved in the process. This also helps save valuable time. There is no chance of errors that often happen during the manual filling process.
This is of immense value to the shipping and logistics industry, as blockchain technology allows easy coordination of documents on a shared ledger. It makes physical paperwork largely unnecessary.
The shipping and logistics industry can use smart contracts to get customs clearances and approvals faster and more efficiently. It can also help minimize processing times at checkpoints.
Ensures Enhanced Trust
As encrypted records are shared across participants, and there is no third party involved in the transactions, blockchain data remains fully protected. Information, once stored, cannot be altered or compromised for malicious benefits.
Shipping companies rely on secure and updated data to make critical business decisions. Blockchain technology makes sharing trustworthy data across the entire transportation and logistics ecosystem possible. As the entire network plays a role in data validation, there is no chance of data getting compromised.
Boosts Security Levels
Blockchain transaction data is encrypted, making them nearly impossible to hack. Also, as each record is interlinked to other records on a distributed ledger, it is impossible to hack blockchain data without altering the entire data chain.
Blockchain technology provides end-to-end transparency, which is of immense value to shipping companies. It also helps monitor performance history, offers real-time visibility, and ensures compliance with safety standards across the supply chain.
Blockchain technology is being utilized across all industries today, but it brings greater value to industries where data management and utilization are at the core of all their business activities. Shipping and logistics enterprises are most likely to benefit from blockchain systems because of their superior efficiency and foolproof methods of writing and sharing data. You can use any methods mentioned to drive your business ahead using blockchain technology.