As you watch the world inexorably move to non-fossil fuel, driverless cars and instantaneous, inexhaustible 5G networks, you may find yourself wondering if human civilization is ready for the portents of all these changes. Regardless of whether or not humans are ready, these changes are happening. Perhaps the greatest current technological developments of all are not happening with cellphone networks or vehicles but with the way the internet stores and secures information. This is not just a reference to the cloud but also a discussion of what happens as the true potential of the cloud is recognized and actualized. Some interesting changes are afoot that will empower you to achieve previously unimaginable things—often with no more than your handheld mobile device. To grasp what is happening, here are some new ideas and definitions to consider.
Do You Adapt to the Cloud or Adapt in the Cloud?
By now virtually everyone knows what the cloud is: supercomputer mainframes and servers that retain any information you upload. The cloud also holds software and apps you can access from your computer, tablet or smartphone. The idea of uploading data via the internet to distant servers was originally for convenience and security. Once the cloud came along, it became possible for you to save any material you desired and immediately access it. From this perspective, the cloud was simply a much larger, more efficient computer hard drive to which users adapted. Now, a new generation of applications is emerging that could never have come into being before the cloud. These are cloud native developments that are adapted within the cloud. They promise to be to previous software apps what a Tesla is to a Model T.
Does Crypto Refer Just to Monetary Transactions?
Another new concept confronting you these days is “crypto,” a prefix of Greek origin that literally means “hidden.” Today it is used as a description of encrypted transactions on the internet. Commonly, crypto is used as a reference to encrypted monetary transactions. In reality, the advanced security utilized by cryptocurrencies had to exist prior to it being used to move money around. This means there are crypto networks out there that are highly secure and that have little to do with money. In fact, they can be used to secure and share any data in a highly secure fashion.
How Do Crypto Networks Compare to Cloud Networks?
Technically speaking, crypto networks are cloud networks. They are just impenetrably secure by design. This is not to say that other cloud networks are not secure. They are. Crypto networks are distinct because they use a form of security called blockchain. Think of it as a massive Lego structure. Every inquiry, action and transaction places a Lego—a block—in the structure. When someone wants to create a transaction, their new Lego must fit in with all the previous Legos—chain of blocks—or it is rejected. It is extremely effective security. Interestingly, whereas virtually all other cloud security is proprietary, blockchain systems are typically open-source. Bright minds are invited to continue developing and securing the network.
How Secure Is Crypto?
Probably another way to phrase the question would be for you to ask, “Can cryptocurrency be hacked?” There are several points to be made here. First, it has not been done. That does not mean, second, it is not theoretically possible. There is some thought that a hacker could defeat a blockchain network by taking over more than 50% of the individual users of the network. Once that suggestion was offered, developers immediately set to work to determine whether or not it could occur and to devise methods of preventing it. The open-source nature of blockchain makes new improvisation and continually enhanced protection a lasting feature of this virtually impenetrable form of internet fortification.
As the internet becomes more of an underlying foundation for the way you live, it must demonstrate that it is trustworthy. The newest forms of encryption go a long way toward proving they can keep your money and your data safe from incursion.