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Identification of a research question with an understanding of the context, the challenges, uncertainties and risks.

In this essay you need to cover the following four areas:


1.Identification of a research question from a practical or theoretical perspective


a.Point out your research question (it may be a statement)
b.Review of existing responses and/or solutions to the research question
c.Analysis of its social/economic/technical context and impacts
d.Discussion of uncertainties and risks (ethical/social/technical) associated with the question and/or solutions

Written communication features:


a.Critical analysis and synthesis
b.Appropriate technical language. Clarity, precision and economy of writing
c.Well structured (presentation and organisation) and correct referencing
d.Correct referencing 

Blockchain Technology and Its Components

This essay aims to provide the discussion around the analysis of the potential of blockchain to prevent data tampering. The analysis of the social context and the impacts of the blockchain is briefly discussed in this essay. A comprehensive discussion of the risks and the uncertainties that are associated with this question is briefly discussed and elaborated. Lastly, an appropriate conclusion is offered for the essay.

Does Blockchain Technology Prevent from Data Tampering?

There has been several responses related to the discussion of the impact of blockchain in data tampering and the effectiveness of blockchain to prevent data tampering. It has been earlier discovered that this technology is particularly effective in implementation for data tampering prevention (Swan 2015). 

Formation of blockchain

Blockchain is the growing list of the records that are also referred as blocks that are linked with the help of cryptography. Each of the block comprises of one cryptographic hash of previous block, transaction data or the timestamp. The major elements are the digital keys of the users due to the fact that they permit the ownership features. The users in the blockchain are provided with two keys that are private and public (Yli-Huumo et al. 2016). The private key is utilised for mathematically deriving the public key that is then transformed with the hash function for producing the address that could be viewed by other people. The mining process is an important aspect that powers the decentralised blockchain. The miners are essentially interconnected and independent nodes that utilise the computing power for the verification of the transactions and then add them to public ledger (Cachin 2016). Without the influence of the miners, the decentralised blockchain network is not possible. The smart contracts are commonly based on the blockchain and these are the proposed contracts that could be completely or partially enforced or executed without any human interaction. The smart contracts are the self-executing code on blockchain structure that allows the straight through processing that means that none manual intervention is needed for the execution of the transactions. The major role of the smart contracts is the automated escrow. The Distributed ledger technology is the digital system to record the transaction of the assets where the details of the transactions are recorded in several places at similar time. This technology is majorly used in the blockchain that groups the transactions into the blocks that are combined together and then it is broadcasted to the nodes in network of the blockchain (Azaria et al. 2016). The consensus mechanism is the fault tolerant mechanism that is utilised in the blockchain and the computer systems for achieving the required agreements on any single data value or any single state of the network between the distributed processes or the multi-agent systems. The Proof Of Work or POW is the common consensus algorithm that is utilised by the popular cryptocurrency network like the Litecoin and Bitcoin (Pilkington 2016). 

Implications of Blockchain Technology

Impacts of blockchain

Blockchain is the distributed ledger technology that makes the bitcoin possible by providing the record of each of the transaction and then proving who possesses the material at a moment. The societal implications of the blockchain technology is presently considered as colossal. (Kosba et al. 2016).

The main discussion that is related to the blockchain technology is that how do blockchain helps in preventing the data tampering among the organisations. Even though blockchain technology is commonly described as the dispersed, decentralised ledger that is used for recording the trades across the multiple computers, it might also be regarded as the distributed database that maintains the developing list of the information transaction records (Back et al. 2014).

For ensuring the protection of the data being tampered, several financial services companies applies the technology of blockchain for computing the cryptographic hash or commonly referred as fingerprint, which is unique for each data file that is shopped by it. This hash is the algorithm that produces the similar output when provided with the exact similar input file that makes it significantly useful for the verification of the authenticity of the file (Zyskind and Nathan 2015). Due to the designing of the fingerprint for working in one particular direction, this is not possible for determining the original file inputs in output and making this process tamper proof. While the application of the blockchain technology for the protection against any kind of data tampering in real world, the common use case is majorly connected to the use of blockchain in the supply chain that involves the protection of the trade logs, and proving the occurrence of the legal records and the confirmation of the creative works that originated on any particular date (Vukoli? 2015). With the employing of the technology of the blockchain, nonetheless, it allows the individual to develop the backup that comprises of the electronic materials that might be copyrighted. As soon as the copyright has been done, the certificate with the cryptographic proof has been issued for helping the copyright maintain in the situation of infringement (Huh, Cho and Kim 2017). 

Issues and challenges of blockchain

The implementation of the blockchain is done in large number of industries that ranges from the financial services to supply chain. Even though the distributed ledger technology is considered as the major technology in the recent times, it is considered that it might require significant time prior complete implementation. Some of the issues and challenges are:

  • Scalability: There is significant challenge when the blockchain is considered to be implemented in large scale is the scalability of the technology. The methods of scaling are required to be verified and then thoroughly verified prior implementation in the ledgers.
  • Legal issues: there are several issues of the blockchain while implementing in the bitcoins. There might be situations when the data and the document that has been secured using blockchain might have some legal concerns.
  • Efficiency and cost: The effectiveness and speed using which the blockchain networks could execute the peer-to-peer transactions creates high aggregate cost that is greater for several kinds of the blockchain.
  • Security concerns: The blockchain is network of the people. sometimes there could be situations when any person intentionally leak all the data and then sensitive data might be lost. It is required to observe the people for avoiding the misuse of the data and for ensuring the security of the blockchain.
  • Complexity: The technology is created using the complex structures that are difficult to apprehend and it could make immense problems for the people and the users to understand the working of the blockchain.
  • Initial cost for the setup: It has been observed that the blockchain requires significant initial investment for the setup of the technology. It is designed with the personalised features depending upon the organisation therefore it is expensive to purchase or develop in-house.
  • Integration with legacy system: As this technology majorly executes on the latest features, sometimes it might be difficult to integrate with the old systems or the requirement of the software might need to be modified for incorporating the modifications because of which, the overhead cost gets increased for meeting the requirements of the blockchain. 

Blockchain Technology for Preventing Data Tampering

Conclusion

Therefore it can be concluded from the above discussion that the implementation of the blockchain in the organisation could help in preventing any kind of data tampering and lead to implementation of the enhanced security measures. It uses the cryptographic methods of securing the data that is the hash functions on the elements. Blockchain is the distributed ledger technology that makes the bitcoin possible by providing the record of each of the transaction and then proving who possesses the material at a moment. The societal implications of the blockchain technology is presently considered as colossal. Bitcoin has presently provided the financial services to several people without the access to the banking using the ATMs, digital wallets or debit cards. The blockchain falls in two kinds that are the permissioned chains and the permissionless. The permissionless blockchains allows any of the parties without vetting for participating in network and even though the permissioned blockchains could be formed by any kind of administrator or any consortiums who could perform the evaluation of the participation of any entity on blockchain structure. 

References

Azaria, A., Ekblaw, A., Vieira, T. and Lippman, A., 2016, August. Medrec: Using blockchain for medical data access and permission management. In 2016 2nd International Conference on Open and Big Data (OBD) (pp. 25-30). IEEE.

Back, A., Corallo, M., Dashjr, L., Friedenbach, M., Maxwell, G., Miller, A., Poelstra, A., Timón, J. and Wuille, P., 2014. Enabling blockchain innovations with pegged sidechains. URL: https://www. opensciencereview. com/papers/123/enablingblockchain-innovations-with-pegged-sidechains.

Cachin, C., 2016, July. Architecture of the hyperledger blockchain fabric. In Workshop on distributed cryptocurrencies and consensus ledgers (Vol. 310).

Crosby, M., Pattanayak, P., Verma, S. and Kalyanaraman, V., 2016. Blockchain technology: Beyond bitcoin. Applied Innovation, 2(6-10), p.71.

Eyal, I., Gencer, A.E., Sirer, E.G. and Van Renesse, R., 2016. Bitcoin-ng: A scalable blockchain protocol. In 13th {USENIX} Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation ({NSDI} 16) (pp. 45-59).

Huh, S., Cho, S. and Kim, S., 2017, February. Managing IoT devices using blockchain platform. In 2017 19th international conference on advanced communication technology (ICACT)(pp. 464-467). IEEE.

Kosba, A., Miller, A., Shi, E., Wen, Z. and Papamanthou, C., 2016, May. Hawk: The blockchain model of cryptography and privacy-preserving smart contracts. In 2016 IEEE symposium on security and privacy (SP) (pp. 839-858). IEEE.

Pilkington, M., 2016. 11 Blockchain technology: principles and applications. Research handbook on digital transformations, 225.

Swan, M., 2015. Blockchain: Blueprint for a new economy. " O'Reilly Media, Inc.".

Vukoli?, M., 2015, October. The quest for scalable blockchain fabric: Proof-of-work vs. BFT replication. In International workshop on open problems in network security (pp. 112-125). Springer, Cham.

Yli-Huumo, J., Ko, D., Choi, S., Park, S. and Smolander, K., 2016. Where is current research on blockchain technology?—a systematic review. PloS one, 11(10), p.e0163477.

Zyskind, G. and Nathan, O., 2015, May. Decentralizing privacy: Using blockchain to protect personal data. In 2015 IEEE Security and Privacy Workshops (pp. 180-184). IEEE.

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