After arriving home from IIEX in Bangkok on Friday (which was fantastic BTW!)- I spent the weekend riding my motorcycle around Austin while noodling over blockchain and how it has the potential to solve many of the current problems around data privacy and potentially revolutionize our industry. 

The crux of the problem we're facing is increasing compliance requirements around how we receive, access and manage people's data. We need a solution that makes it easier to adhere to GDPR, CCPA and all the other acronymed laws out there. 

So, how can blockchain help us (and help research participants)? 

Here's my 5 top-of-mind thoughts based on what I know about blockchain (and surely there's a lot I DON'T know- so keep that in mind plz!)

1. Decentralized data storage: This allows the data to be stored across  a secured network of computers, making it less vulnerable to hacking and data breaches. 

2. Better encryption: Because of decentralization, blockchain encryption is stronger. Unlike traditional encryption, which relies on a single central authority to secure and manage encryption keys, blockchain encryption is stored across a network (or nodes) making it infinitely more difficult for hackers to do their dastardly deeds. 

3. Immutable records: You can't alter or delete data on the blockchain. It's permanent and tamper-proof. 

4. Greater transparency: With blockchain encryption, it's possible to track and verify the authenticity of the data, which equates to better transparency and accountability for everyone. See ya later bots!! 

5. Power to the people: Our respondents (I'm starting to despise that word a bit because they're HUMANS), will have greater control over their data and can choose to share it only with companies they trust. They can choose to share what they want with who they want and even set their own price for access. The consent based data sharing capabilities with blockchain technology returns the power to the people, which I am 100% here for. 

There's a lot more to learn here as most of us are just starting to wrap our heads around it. 

The good news is that as this technology continues to become more accessible to companies (check out this Forbes article on how Mastercard is using it), mass adoption will happen because it will be seamlessly integrated into our everyday lives through the applications we use. Most people won't even know blockchain is the underlying technology, nor will they care! 

As with all new technologies, it’s worth noting that there have been several failed experiments (aka “block bombs”) with blockchain and I suspect the trial and error will continue as the tech develops and improves. 

It will be fascinating to see it evolve nonetheless so I’ll continue watching it and keep my eyes on the road ahead (especially while on my motorcycle!)

Food for thought here and would welcome your thoughts and ideas on how we can best leverage blockchain to take our industry to the next level. 

Jay Tye | Chief Operating Officer