THE TECHNOLOGY used by bitcoin will be as influential as the internet and has the potential to impact every single monetary transaction in the world, an expert has suggested.
Blockchain is a form of digital ledger technology based on the decentralised ideal of cryptocurrency.
The technology, used by bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, is a growing list of records – called blocks – which are linked using cryptography to create an almost incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Blockchain and cryptography expert Toni Nijm said: “What the internet did to data, Blockchain will do to assets.
“Every single thing that has assets or value transfer will be impacted in one way or another.”
He added: “The transfer of money is the one everyone talks about but honestly there are so many other things – housing, real estate, property, the internet of things.”
Mr Nijm, chief product and strategy officer at CPA Global, suggested online streaming platforms such as Spotify could also benefit from the technology in the future.
The technology’s digital ledger capabilities will make it easier to identify who created a given piece music and therefore where the royalties need to go, Mr Nijm explained.
The Blockchain buff claimed using the digital technology would help streamline the royalties process to help artists get paid for their work more efficiently.
He said: “Every time a song is played on the radio or through Spotify or TV you can divide that money out and actually pay out royalties straight away.
“Today it takes between six and nine months in general for the royalties to be paid out.”
Mr Nijm explained a number of mainstream companies were already starting to embrace and invest in Blockchain’s digital ledger technology.
He said: “Any company of any significant size has actually started to use this.
“Companies like Shell, BP, Microsoft, Google – every single one of them has ploughed hundreds of millions of dollars into projects like this.”
He added: “The technology itself is already being invested in – but it is not large scale yet.
“I think in the financial industry we are probably max three years away, in other industries two to four years is probably what we are talking about.”
Blockchain is a very safe way for transactions to be made because the technology is almost “un-hackable”, Mr Nijm argued.
He explained the huge amounts of money required to conduct a successful hack made it extremely unlikely.
“To hack into and try to change a historical payment on the bitcoin blockchain you would need to invest about half a billion dollars within a very short period of time to hack one transaction,” he said.
Treasury Committee chair Nicky Morgan has described the industry associated with Blockchain as the “wild west”.
She said: “Bitcoin and other crypto-assets exist in the wild west industry of crypto-assets.
“This unregulated industry leaves investors facing numerous risks.
“The Treasury committee strongly believes that regulation should be introduced.”
But asked about whether the Government would soon embrace cryptocurrency-related technology, Mr Nijm said: “I think a lot of them are under pressure now – I don’t see that they have much choice, to be honest.”