CHEYENNE – Blockchain has been in the news for some time, with many related headlines pointing to the rollercoaster ride of blockchain-based cryptocurrencies.
But experts for some time have predicted that blockchain will create a business revolution similar in scale to the internet when it becomes widely adopted.
At 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Jan. 10, the Wyoming Business Council will host an informational webinar open to the public that will discuss that possible revolution and how business owners can prepare for it.
Or better yet, profit from it.
According to a release, Business Council board member Erin Moore will present during the webinar about blockchain technology and how businesses can use it. She’ll also cover its benefits and shortfalls during the two-hour meeting.
Aside from her role at the Business Council, Moore is also CEO of software development company Gannett Peak Technical Services in Cheyenne. She said she’s been paying attention to the blockchain revolution enough to be well-versed in it.
In a phone interview, Moore said that the webinar is primarily designed as a briefing for Business Council board members to give a base level of understanding to business leaders in a state now known to be friendly to blockchain technology. But beyond that, about 80 people are signed up to attend.
She added that Blockchain technology is beginning to take hold in facets like banking and other industries, leading to a lot of interest on the subject. Particularly when it comes to the repercussions for business and how individuals should be thinking about and approaching blockchain technology.
“I think there are technological advances happening all the time in our world – they’re seeping into our everyday and business lives,” Moore said. “It’s good to have an education on some level even if … you don’t need to be able to code blockchain.”
Though not necessarily geared toward equipping entrepreneurs with ammo to move into a new tech sector, she said that her presentation could spark ideas in the right kinds of people for new niches to tackle.
The webinar will likely allow time for audience questions.
David Pope, who helped usher in Wyoming’s blockhain-friendly laws as the executive director for the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition, is a certified public accountant in Cheyenne. In a 2017 interview, he indicated that sweeping changes are likely in both the private and public sector as blockchain technology throws down roots.
“I’m concerned with the change it will bring to government, accounting, businesses and the way all of us interact on a financial level,” Pope said. “It’ll change; it’s a matter of whether or not we’re on board with it.”
Blockchain technologies, Pope explained, use the power of a network to make a ledger more secure.
In a traditional database for accounting or anything else, a single server holds the master copy of data, which can then be accessed from authorized computers. The result is that if that one server is hacked or one employee is too loose with the login info, you have an Equifax breach on your hands. Or an Anthem. Or a Target.
But with blockchain technology, every computer, or node, that has a blockchain on it houses the entire database. The safety comes in numbers. Instead of any executive decision making vast changes to the database on demand, it takes majority approval of 51 percent from all computers on the chain.
While proponents say this makes blockchain technology immune to attack from hackers, the reality is that no system yet devised is unhackable. In fact hundreds of millions of dollars worth of bitcoin, the poster child for digital currency, has been stolen in hack attacks that have gotten more sophisticated as the value of bitcoin has increased.
Still, experts say the vulnerabilities of blockchain are mostly human errors, not errors in the technology itself.
To sign up for the free webinar Thursday at 2, click here and fill out the form.