Ever since it first appeared, the blockchain technology has been tightly connected with cryptocurrencies and has become almost synonymous with Bitcoin. However, while this IS the purpose for which the blockchain was first created, this technology has evolved a lot and has reached tons of new appliances.
Through its development and evolution, the blockchain ended up being something completely new, secure, and different. It became a distributed database that is permanent and safe and has proved that it has the potential to change nearly every aspect of the modern world.
Considering that it can store any kind of data in the most secure way invented to date, it is extremely useful when it comes to recording sensitive information. The value of information varies, but that only means that it can sometimes be even more valuable than money. Holding it, and keeping it safe is of the utmost importance for a lot of people.
As soon as the right kind of technology appeared, the data storing firms were not far behind. While their protection of your data is very helpful, you still need to put your trust in them. Not only do you have to trust that they won't exploit your data, you also need to trust that they are actually capable of protecting it. This includes protection from the company itself, the government, or violent attempts to access it by hackers.
Now, however, the blockchain technology might be able to forever change that. There is no need to put the trust in the data-storing company anymore. Instead, you can keep your data safe across numerous servers that are all independent, and also divided into different portions, so that each of them only carries a fragment of data. Proper blockchains can also offer mathematical and cryptographical security, which would basically make brute force attacks useless against them.
So, while centralized cloud storage has been a great way to save data at the time, it still required a lot of trust from the user. Now that we have blockchain technology, with all of its advantages, centralized services might soon become obsolete. A shift in personal identity storage might bring similar changes as well, and what was once controlled by private corporations and governments, is now moving towards blockchain.
6 Blockchain Firms That Will Keep Your Data Safe
Of course, the proper blockchain needs to be developed in order to provide proper security. This is something that various blockchain startups have taken upon themselves to do, and we will now present you with the list of six best companies that can keep your data safe.
Cryptyk is a company that is extremely careful when it comes to storing data on the blockchain in its entirety. The company knows that this tech still needs development, and the stored data is often restricted by various factors, like the number of participating computers.
Their solution to this issue is the creation of a hybrid approach, where data is broken down into multiple parts, and stored on third-party servers. These may include Dropbox, Amazon's AWS, Google Drive, and alike. By using blockchain, these parts of data are tracked and reassembled when the need arises.
Additionally, the blockchain is also protecting these chunks of data, so that they won't be endangered even if the server is under attack from a hacker. All that they would be able to get away with would be useless data fragments.
They call this disassembling/reassembling system VAULT, and it's being kept in check by the so-called SENTRY, which encrypts it, and provides permission settings so that IT departments could control who can access the files.
Storj is another blockchain project that is open source, and it allows users to install and run their personal noded on the blockchain. The company realizes that this might be too technical for most people, which is why they also offer already prepared storage space.
The approach has several advantages. For example, the fact that it is open source allows businesses to join up on the company's network, which helps their service to expand and improve. Entities that are providing the storage space are called Farmers, while those who are renting it are Renters.
This is a good system which allows Renters to choose which Farmer's stability and up-time suits them the most. Additionally, the Farmers receive token rewards if the Renters submit favorable reviews of them. However, this is less about buying and selling storage, and more about buying and selling the trustworthiness, where the worthy participants end up with a more reliable system.
Since everyone wants to receive the best reviews, and thus rewards, everyone is doing their best to provide proper security, more up-time, or the better renting prices.
Next, we have Sia, which is also known as Siacoin. Sia has found that using the smart contracts is a very efficient way of properly handling the market of storage buyers and sellers. Other solutions to these problems often aggregate the existing storage capacity. Sia, on the other hand, allows those offering the extra room to make even more of it.
Storage space sellers are called Providers at Sia, while those who are buying it are called Clients. Providers can offer storage space with various options, like price change and penalties that may apply if there are server issues.
As for Clients, they have the ability to break their data into fragments and share them among multiple Providers. If the Providers increase their uptime, the Clients may choose to offer bonuses, and alike. Also, since both sides can set their own conditions that work best with what they need, they should be capable of creating individual solutions that can perfectly meet their needs.
Regular cloud storage solutions are stored in hidden server-filled warehouses that cannot guarantee safety, and if one of the people using them falls, all of them fall. Sia fixes that risk by making the relationship to the server much more individual, which eliminates the majority of such security issues, and allows you to fix the system and make it the way you want it.
Next, we have three more projects, and these ones are dedicated to returning control of digital identities back in the hands of the people, as opposed to the current system where such things are controlled by governments and various agencies.
The first of the three projects is SelfKey. This project wishes to create a single system for all of the personal identification needs. This means that everything, like the user's ID, passport, birth certificate, driver's license and alike, would all be stored in the same place. It would also bring SSID (Self-Sovereign Identification) into the hands of the people. Their identities would be owned by the users, and not by corporations or governments.
At first, this might not look as much else than repacking the identification processes that everyone already has to go through. However, there is an advantage to bringing this change. For example, you would not have to share or have your actual documents to prove your identity, as long as the organization that wants you to prove your identity works with SelfKey as well.
Such a system can be very useful for keeping private data private, and for preventing things like identity thefts, data leaks, and alike. The user would be in control over the use of their documents, and nothing can be done without their knowledge and approval. Additionally, the document continues to be completely private after the identity is confirmed.
TheKey is a project that wishes to be embedded in various businesses, governments, and similar organizations that might want to verify who the user is. It is trying to achieve something different than the previous project, and instead of the user being the one who will handle their identification documents, TheKey would create a new infrastructure. This would be the place that would connect directly those who are issuing the identification, with those who need the user's identification verified.
This is a China-based project which is trying to get integration with the services within the country's government. After getting into the system's network and getting properly verified, the user should be capable to easily provide identification, as well as to keep it updated without having to wait an rely on the government itself.
Finally, there is Civic. This is the project with a goal of making the user's personal identity as safe as it can possibly get, since the best way to prevent something from being stolen is to not have it at all.
Let us explain this. The user enters their identity into the Secure Identity App that Civic is offering, and a trusted third party verifies it. The third party does not keep any kind of copies of the users' identification information, but instead, they simply verify it on the spot.
Upon verification, the data gets hashed by the system, and is then turned into a code that is encrypted in order to make it safe and secure. The code is then stored on the blockchain, and the data basically doesn't exist, therefore it cannot be stolen.
In essence, the blockchain would store enough information to prove that the user does have a passport that is valid, or a health insurance, or some other type of ID. However, the actual document will be hashed, encrypted, turned to code, and stored on the blockchain, with no chance of being misused in any way.
Even when you have to prove your identity to some organization, you can only use the confirmation that you have some specific documents, but not the documents themselves. This will prevent the theft of information as well, since even the hacking attacks cannot get to the actual data.
It is the ultimate security for everyone's identity, and it never has to leave the security of the blockchain, nor does it have to be unlocked and unsecured. If you never show this data to anyone, nobody can use it against you, or copy it, trace it, or misuse it in any way.