Автор: Nikhil Vadgama, Jiahua Xu
Серия: Future of Business and Finance
Формат: pdf (true), epub
Размер: 11.58 MB
This book shows how blockchain technology can transform the Internet, connecting global businesses in disruptive ways. It offers a comprehensive and multi-faceted examination of the potential of distributed ledger technology (DLT) from a new perspective: as an enabler of the Internet of Value (IoV).
The authors discuss applications of blockchain technology to the financial services domain, e.g. in real estate, insurance and the emerging Decentralised Finance (DeFi) movement. They also cover applications to the media and e-commerce domains. DLT’s impacts on the circular economy, marketplace, Internet of Things (IoT) and oracle business models are also investigated. In closing, the book provides outlooks on the evolution of DLT, as well as the systemic governance and privacy risks of the IoV.
The internet was conceived as a technology to enable communication via computers in the case of a partial network disruption, as might occur during a military conflict. It soon turned out that packet switching networks, in which data are flexibly routed via intermediary nodes, have numerous advantages over circuit switching, in which a dedicated communication channel is established prior to the start of a communication. The Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) emerged as a protocol suite that includes four distinct layers, namely link (sometimes split into physical and data link layers), network, transport and application. Those layers implement the functionality which is specified in the 7-layer Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model and form the basis of the modern Internet.
The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is part of the application layer and provides the foundation for the World Wide Web (WWW). Over the years, it has been proven to be a robust protocol capable of handling data requests. One of its significant shortcomings, however, is the fact that it is stateless. This refers to the fact that HTTP servers by default do not keep session information; each message sent is understood in isolation. A stateful protocol, in comparison, sees a single data packet as part of an overall communication. Simply put, such a protocol can answer questions such as “who is who?”, “who owns what?” and “who has the right to do what?”. Interestingly, the specification of HTTP includes a status code (402: “Payment required”) which is reserved for future use and indicates that the necessity of monetary transfers was recognised early by the protocol’s developers. However, for many years no technology existed to implement such a functionality.
The Bitcoin protocol, which was introduced in 2008 and implemented in 2009 by the pseudonymous author Satoshi Nakamoto, cleverly combined numerous existing technologies and, for the first time, solved the problem of online “double spending”. Bitcoin is a decentralised network that achieves consensus without a pre-specified governance structure. In other words, one specific Bitcoin (or an arbitrary part thereof) can be owned by only one particular address at any specific point in time.
No clear definition yet exists for the Internet of Value (IoV). At its core, it means that the Internet, a collection of protocols to transfer information in the form of bits and bytes over different physical media, can be used to transmit assets that can be expressed in monetary terms. In the context of blockchain, the term “Internet of Value” was mainly popularised by Ripple, a technology company developing the distributed system, the XRP Ledger, for settlement, currency exchange and remittance. The core feature of all definitions is the capability of blockchain to facilitate the exchange of digitised assets among peers. The Internet of Value is a kind of trusted protocol that could, amongst other things, provide a notarial function for all transactions carried out on the web, automated and transparent for all. Blockchain technology facilitates the transfer of these digital representations with the help of asymmetric cryptography. By generating a pair of keys, one of which is public and the other one private, users can create certificates to prove the ownership of a digital asset. They can easily transfer them to other addresses instantaneously. The moment the transaction is validated by the network and written into the blockchain, control over the asset has shifted to the new owner.
The book is intended for a broad readership, including students, researchers and industry practitioners.
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