To maintain the distributed ledger as a trustless and autonomous system, as with any digital platform there is a necessity for the ability of upgrades to be deployed without disrupting the blocks themselves. Blockchain technology relies upon a trustless system where the data itself holds a value and maintaining that value poses a challenge in itself.
In the decentralised network, a central question is how to address a potential issue arising between nodes that contain the ledger but are governed by math. As with any governance, even though the system itself may be as close to perfection as possible, it is still liable to human manipulation and exploits.
For the Blockchain to prosper, it needs to be a productive environment and continue to be constructive, especially as its concepts are aimed at problem solving. The consensus protocol is reached by the nodes themselves with the percentage of agreement in respect to the Blockchain protocol in concern.
It doesn’t just tackle the issue of transactions. The sustainability of the Blockchain as the supporting factor are the users who maintain the nodes who need to be incentivised for their efforts. The developers on the protocol is another crucial aspect that needs to be addressed and the distribution of wealth as a complex issue needs to be kept in mind.
Proof of Work
The Proof of Work protocol was developed by Bitcoin, the first Blockchain by offering an added degree of privacy and security as opposed to the banking system. The innovative technology where a computer algorithm using mathematical equations to solve problems which reached common ground on whether a transaction is valid or not was originally recognized by the digital community.
As the globalised labour market expanded, IT personal were motivated to upgrade their knowledge and their accumulation of wealth along with the need to gain digital assets attributed to Bitcoin’s rise to prominence.
The way Bitcoin solved the consensus protocol was by solving puzzles in which the answer required computing and compiling scripts. The point of the mathematical problems were to find a smaller hash while keeping security at bay for each next block. As blocks increased in height, the puzzles became increasingly difficult and developing a smaller header of the message was too much for computers at the time.
The system itself was designed in such a manner, keeping in mind the progression of computing power and the need for constant incentives through an undefined period of time. As a resort for the problem of Byzantine Fault Problems, the consensus protocol used nonces which represent a number that can be used only once.
While Blockchain has been adopted in some countries and found practical use, the Proof of Work protocol has seen wide adoption in the form of mining. However, Bitcoin became so popular that CPU’s were no longer enough, and a GPU which utilised significantly more electricity became the norm.
At present, only proprietary hardware is profitable as the amount of hashing necessary to reach gains while processing transactions in Bitcoin is ever expanding. With increased difficulty, people have found workarounds to stay in profit,however the consensus protocol has proven to have same technical liabilities
PROOF OF STAKE:
The Proof of Stake consensus protocol addressed the issue of its value and the profits of its users by increasing computational. Generating new blocks is based on the amount of coins a user owns or the length they’ve held on to them with a randomised algorithm.
While this might seem like an opportunity for “stakeholders” to profit on their coins, the randomisation efficiently distributes the gains as well as keeps the community active and maintains the backbone of the network.
In addition, one could claim that cryptocurrency owners in the Blockchain have a degree of trust in the system along with an incentive to contribute to its development. The problem that could arise is where there would be a lack of perceived value among the stakeholders,encouraging them to act out of personal interest in case there is a flaw in the system which could impair their decision making.
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Delegated Proof of Stake(DPoS)
The Delegated Proof of Stake approach to the consensus protocol is viewed upon as an indisputable system. Its characteristic can be compared to a democratic organisation where all participants have external motivation rather than simply incentivised to contribute to the smooth running of operations.
The token holders elect delegates, the number of which is agreed upon by the community. By integrating active social interaction, users can upgrade their status by contributing to the Blockchain. It strives for the consensus protocol to be as decentralised as possible. The delegates can be asked to deposit some of their funds in a locked account which can even be confiscated for malicious behavior.
While this system seems volatile, it allows for further development. The chosen delegates can withhold a transaction until they’re replaced, where the next delegate would reap the benefits of processing it. The concept of trust in their cryptocurrency is similar to that of the Delegated Proof of Stake, as the system is designed in a manner that a large surplus of coins can’t be generated and it indicates that sustenance is a priority.
As opposed to selling more coins, users are motivated to hold onto what they have and given the growth of the Blockchain itself, the same amount of coins will grow in value. A major plus of this consensus protocol is the speed of Block generation and transactions, adding to the real world use cases of the project.
As we are deeply entrenched in the digital age and a large portion of our communication and work takes place online, we might not even be aware that we’re using cryptography. Whether it’s through encrypted communication or simple authentication and data transfer in our wireless routers, it has become a necessity for securing our digital assets
We will overview the two commonly used cryptographic methods of today:
- Symmetric cryptography
- Asymmetric cryptography
Cryptography is a technique for communication between two entities by encrypting the data at the point of the issuer and decrypting it at the destination points. In the I.O.T. world, this can be either individuals or computers. Granted the same algorithm is used, with or without a second layer of security, the data can be interpreted only by the recipients.
The mechanism uses the raw data from one participant, encrypts it by using a complex mathematical algorithm into what onlookers would see as garbled text, and decrypts it at the destination points revealing the original message. This is widely known as a cipher algorithm, while the approach falls under symmetric cryptography.
There are many encryption methods being used and sometimes the version itself can add to the security of communication. Online businesses sometime pay a hefty sum to be up to date with the latest encryption technology, as the ‘s’ after ‘http’ stands for secure.
Origins and evolution
The technique has its roots in the way that Julius Caesar kept his messages confidential, also known as the Caesar or shift cipher. By simply shifting the alphabet by three letters, the resulting text appeared to be the work of someone with an extreme form of dyslexia. Another early form was the keyword cypher where a word was placed before the actual alphabet and its letters were subtracted as the alphabet continued.
The technology has since evolved, especially due to its use in military and information concerning national security. Current standard encryption protocol AES, or Advanced Encryption Standard has been established by the U.S. National Institute for Standards and Technology and been widely adopted by the N.S.A., among others.
While the cipher could be subject to an attack, the fact that both endpoints would have to be subject to reverse technology at the same time in the timeframe it takes for transactions to be processed in the Blockchain, it’s safe to say that it’s not feasible to mount such an attack. The AES algorithm can be comprised of 128, 192 and 256 bits. Even a slight change bit throws off the validity of communication.
In Blockchain technology, the purpose of cryptography is creating a safe and secure network environment where the data can’t be subject to exploits while preserving the privacy of individuals and upholding standards of transparency.
In symmetric cryptography, all of the participants share a private key which upon being sent by the sender is transposed by the algorithm into an encrypted message. When the message is received by the recipients, the message is decrypted using the algorithm and the said key.
The primary reason why public key or asymmetric encryption is used in Blockchain technology is that it’s much faster and meets the degree of safety as well as the workflow of transactions. When a request is issued, the Blockchain network digests the issuer’s public key, combines it with the transaction parameters and creates a digital signature which serves as both a layer of security and the identifier of the transaction in the ledger.
The other participant in the transaction receives the message where the algorithm decrypts the data. If the transaction is confirmed by the recipient, the digital signature is added to the Blockchain along with a timestamp. The simplicity, security and innovation of Blockchain technology that this process brings to light is one of the primary reasons of the exponential rise to prominence and growing adoption.
Blockchain and the Investment Market
Blockchain technology as a decentralised transaction system, a distributed ledger, and a platform for contracts and applications can carve out an investment option with improved performance and reliability. Conceptually, it offers systematisation of processes and lower fees, providing a service enabling the growth of one’s funds available to a larger base of users as an asset in itself. By diversifying,it evens the odds in regards to traditional investing and trading.
The PLAAK Investment Solution
Investment markets are a subsidiary in regards to the financial sector. As Blockchain technology has been applied to the above level, we have developed a system that offers the capabilities of spread investments for risk reduction in our proprietary solution. This solution is fully integrated in the PLAAK eco-system and the benefits are higher when clients pair up the services we offer.
The cryptocurrency market is highly volatile and even Blockchain experts have faltered when making predictions on a certain coin. At PLAAK, our team of experts have done extensive research, with the conclusion that the market itself is not at risk. Different Blockchains offer creative and inventive ways to solve real world and digital solutions.
In comparison, this can be viewed as the progress of I.T. magnates such as Microsoft, Apple and solutions based on different Linux platforms. The aforementioned use their own approach to come into profit, and the timeline in which they achieved it depends on market demands and their strategies. What all of them have in common is success.
That’s why we offer an investment strategy based on a market Index allowing our clients to benefit according to their needs. The process of investing is easier for both organisations and individuals when combined with our entire infrastructure.
Benefits of PLAAK Investment over standard investing
- A more agile identification and enrollment process
- Reduced fees
- Speeding up the internal and external process of trading
- Secure and fully automatized communication between exchanges
- Voting by proxy
- Synching data
An investor or a trader using a broker must go through the process of manual valuation and validation of his/her identity.He/she must also pay for the time of brokerage, usually in accordance to the amount of funds deposited. The fees associated with the PLAAK Investment platform are much lower and equal for all investment amounts.
All of our solutions use theBlockchain base layer,validating a client automatically based on predefined criteria. Whichever PLAAK solution you’re using, whether it’s the PLAAK freelance, E-Commerce, Healthcare or Business platform, you only need to supply your credentials once and verification is complete for each and all applications.
The standard investment process itself is ineffective in terms of labour, which takes up to three days to complete. Smart Contracts are a proprietary Blockchain technology that is past developmental stages and applied to the investing platform. It can process transactions in a fully digital manner through a set of established principles, enabling the client to release their assets whenever they wish.
In practical terms, this applies to individuals as well as an organisation. Users of the Freelance or E-Commerce platform can invest their surplus assets and treat the platform in a common sense business manner. The gains can be reinvested and their capital can grow.
One of the first real world applications of Smart Contracts has been in voting and the implementation of digital signatures. In the case of a legal subject,in which voting by shareholders is required to approve a transaction, multiple digital signatures can be used for organisations and a group of individuals.
In the Investment Platform, some members of an organisation or a company could decide to invest the dividends, while others could opt out to receive incentives or a normal salary. This is an innovative approach to decentralising a company or an organisation by using a roundabout transformation from sole ownership to a group of stakeholders.
A group of people, for example, a marital couple, could use the same approach by investing the funds as a mutual asset for future family needs. The decision for the funds to be released can only be done when both parties agree as warranty to the commitment made at the contract creation. In a disaster scenario in which they are unable to use their digital signatures, mechanisms are in place where the issue can be solved in collaboration with our team.
Transfers of trades between international markets are also done by hand. Due to language and legislation barriers, this procedure is both sluggish and prone to errors with possibly high stakes at risk.Blockchain technology offers a mutual tier and due to its highly developed security and data transfer integrity, the market-to-market operations can be safer and faster altogether. An integral part of the Blockchain protocol is being KYC compliant covering legal issues.
At the time being, values between exchanges cannnot be done on a 24/7 basis. This limiting factor can be streamlined by using Blockchain technology. Its use of a decentralised network can transfer data in real time and preserve it, leaving fewer margins for error. The decentralised database has improved functionality as it can store a large quantity of information without compromising the integrity of data or allowing for data being corrupted.
PLAAK Healthcare Service
Healthcare has become one of the most complex systems to manage. Medical staff are being swamped with bureaucracy, resulting in less attention to a rising number of patients. Blunders have been made in safekeeping of sensitive data containing patient medical histories, as there is no unified method of sharing them. Patients have become the subject of a conflict of interests and different priorities between insurance companies, drug manufacturers and health organisations.
Seemingly, the state of healthcare needs restructuring and it’s difficult to find a starting point. Executives in the healthcare industry have picked up from financial entities and acknowledge Blockchain technology as a tool that could gradually improve the situation. Instead of rebuilding a defunct system, Blockchain technology offers a rock-solid infrastructure to integrate healthcare and its components into a more organised, automatised and secure manner.
Other health practices have proven to be more effective, having been granted certificates and legal status by governments. Alternative medical institutions have even been upgraded to research institutes.
How PLAAK uses Blockchain Technology to Improve Healthcare
Healthcare is comprised of government medical centers, often used as educational and research facilities as well. The private health sector is mostly oriented towards delivering a luxury health service, yet healthcare professionals are stricken by the same woes that medical centers in the government sector are facing.
The other side of the coin is that governments are adopting a B2C system, where businesses can form contracts as co-investors with government institutions. The most advanced applicative use would be to introduce the latest technology which is both legally compatible and can solve the problem of administration in public health care as well as the private sector, in the form of B2B relations.
That is why we’re developing a link for all parties involved in the form of a healthcare, business and freelance solution. It would pose as a direct link between all entities involved, be it individuals, companies, or in the domain of public healthcare. Our business solution makes managing and improving legal entities easier while offering the lowest prices for mediation between a company and a healthcare provider.
Part of the healthcare solution provided by PLAAK is the safekeeping of data on a decentralized ledger, allowing for a patient’s personal information to be available onlyto a hand-picked healthcare professional. It would guide all contributors in the domain of healthcare on best practices, as doctors would be subject to reviews.
The records would be stored in a decentralized database, which cannot be tampered with and is more reliable and cost effective than using proprietary organisational systems. Such systems are expensive due to licensing and the cost of upkeep in circumstances where the public and the private sector are competing, all to the patient’s demise.
Another benefit would be that if the business solution is deemed adequate by medical companies, a financial communication level would be established, cutting costs to a higher degree and contributing to a higher degree of automatisation.
Sharing patient histories and retrieving them in a timely manner falls into the domain of Smart Contracts. In the case where a patient is unable to make decisions on his own, the technology is able to delegate access to whoever is responsible and appoint multiple parties to access personal data. A connection between the users and the data is established through an API, with visual display of the data in the Blockchainpermitting the user to view or add new content.
As Blockchain technology works on a distributed ledger, all data will be kept in a database that allows for transparency in regard to who created, changed or viewed patient data. Time stamps will allow for an accurate chronological health status of a patient.
Why Freelance in Healthcare
The same issues in the medical system are also affecting the workforce. We have developed a solution that is both secure and an improvement to working as a contractor based on cash payments, along with all the benefits that come from being employed. While the freelancers on the platform would act as individuals, that doesn’t restrict them from work in legal entities.
There is also the case of alternative medical practices which have proven efficient and have received permissions to work from the appropriate authorities. They too could work as part of the freelancing community and would benefit from the entire ecosystem developed by PLAAK, aimed at security and a better user experience overall.
Individual freelancers can earn in cryptocurrency and exchange it for health services. Without using the freelance platform, only the business service users could have access to improved healthcare. On the other hand, it’s healthcare professionals as individuals that would benefit from the freelance service as well. The bottom line is that only they know if they’re being overworked or their expertise is underused.
Freelance and the Blockchain
The role of freelance work
The job market is changing, and there’s a mutual link between employment and the growth of freelance work. It comes in the form of a full-time professional choice, or a source of extra income depending on one’s needs, skill and recognition. Our platform is enticing to people who want to develop a passive income as they’re paid in assets rather than cash as well as those who are in need of services themselves, as they can safely regain their investment in the form of a quality work trade-off.
Companies can offload their work to individuals as subcontractors that have lower living costs and charge less for their service.In turn, an employee can become his own boss and even choose his colleagues and clients, not to mention choosing one’s own working hours. Blockchain technology will advance the trend of switching to freelancing as a means of doing business as it offers solutions to the issues that plague this model of self-employment.
While automation applied in certain professions leads to fewer jobs in those fields, there are ways to mitigate the negative consequences. People have abilities that extend further than their current roles and the internet has vast resources for further improvement. Instead of experiencing a job crisis of sorts, higher quality work can become available to the wider public.
The current stake of freelancing in the job market applies mainly to services in the digital world. This drawback points to another issue in freelancing, where most of the work is done on a few global platforms. Companies that offer direct online mediation services between the client and the employer on a contractual basis are facing two major issues:
- An optional contract requires third-party legal and financial services
- Funds can’t be released prior to a predefined date
This has a large impact on freelancers as the costs of using the platform as a mediator can cut their earnings by up to 20%. Because they have to set a price that would be adequate for their service, their client will indirectly pay a higher fee. The surcharge basically evens the field when it comes to anything outside digital services, namely local or country-wide jobs.
Even digital freelancers turn to working as a virtual company as they look for higher paying clients. In turn, contract-based work in a saturated market demands a strong online presence. Safe to say this comes at a cost as your competitors aren’t other freelancers any more – you’re entering the business world as a sole proprietor
Inevitably, a freelancer ends up either struggling or grinding to get an influx of work while the chosen few get to reap the benefits of being able to choose between jobs. The state of freelancing today has become a monopoly of sorts, as gaining a reputation requires resources so one can invest in himself, networking and free contribution to renowned companies.
A solution is unfolding
Advancements in Blockchain technology have made it possible to tackle both of the aforementioned issues of a freelancing platform. At PLAAK, we have implemented the primary purpose of Blockchain technology, eliminating the need for a third-party subject, and its flexibility to expand the functionality of our freelancing platform.
The best answers are oftensimple, and the key lies in connecting the dots. Blockchain technology allows for a high degree of cost-cutting when it comes to transferring assets. When applied to a freelancing platform a better service is provided for everyone, improving functionality and expanding the target market.
The terms for managing funds between multiple parties involved is called a ‘multisig’, or a multi-signature. Smart Contracts, which are the second part of the equation,are safer, quicker, digital contracts.In this case, the employer and the employee are all benefactors and beneficiaries.
Some of the freelance advantages of using Blockchain technology developed by PLAAK are as follows:
- Quality of service based on ongoing evaluation
- Providing a better service to the whole community
- Lower administrative fees
- A secure, self-sustainable platform
- Fasterasset-based transactions
- A better environment for both parties in resolving potential disputes
Benefits for freelancers
When freelancers earn a higher percentage of agross transaction, the opportunity for real-world application grows proportionally. Coupled with the fact that the Blockchain technology used in PLAAK has the capability to automate contracts and keep a continuous record of every step in the process, this unlocks the full capacity of a freelancing platform.
Freelancers can focus on work, rather than self-promotion. Their rating will grow organically and clients can pick a freelancer that suits their needs, rather than their pay grade. We firmly believe that this will result in a more satisfied client base and workforce. It’s the main motivating factor for developing our platform and the accompanying services.
Along with the freelancing platform, PLAAK has developed accompanying tools which offer solutions to other downsides on working in a contractual environment. We offer access to business management tools and we’re involved in a service for the health industry. By using our platform, you’re also contributing to better standards of living and more affordable health insurance. We don’t think we need to stress how upgrading those essential services will contribute to the freelance community.
IoT has made it a requirement for a reputable business to have a website. Companies offering products through third-party resellers have opted out to keep their website for end-user support. Up till recent times the E-Commerce market has been reserved for a select few resellers that had the means to distribute their products.
In turn, that contributed to logistics, distribution, and even production becoming a service. At this point, packaging, sourcing white labeled products and ingredients has become an industry in its own right. Many individuals have embraced the entrepreneurial spirit and started their own journey in building a business or additional income.
At Plaak, we believe that Blockchain technology will be a vehicle that takes E-Commerce to the next level. Therefore, we have developed our solution based on Blockchain which should encourage free trade among individuals. Along with our Exchange and Investment platform, we see it as a resource that tackles issues of everyone with a degree of orientation in the digital world.
Drawbacks of E-Commerce in the World Wide Web
There are two types of E-Commerce platforms based on the classic model of the Internet; self-hosted and mediators. Hosting a website might be relatively cheap and there have been templates developed especially for E-Commerce
However, owning a website doesn’t sell a product and one needs to drive traffic, create content and develop a social media presence. That takes a lot of time and effort as the market is already saturated with products and creating a story where the shopper would actually buy a product requires a specific skillset. An E-Commerce website also needs returning customers and the investment in advertising and dedication is beyond the ability of a sole entrepreneur.
Mediator websites such as E-Bay or Amazon have a large presence on the Internet and they’re the popular choice for someone that wants to get free traffic to their product. The option of selling used goods are also enticing to people and some have become successful in establishing full-blown shops, especially due to the reliable payment and easy to use shipping methods. To become a reliable seller on an E-Commerce mediator site, one has to put in work in order to get good reviews.
There are a number of drawbacks to both platforms:
- Payment methods aren’t available worldwide
- Shipping options are predefined and costly
- High fees on sales
- It’s very difficult to become a reputable seller
What makes the Plaak E-Commerce platform a competitive alternative
The Plaak E-Commerce service utilizes the latest developments in Blockchain technology. For people unfamiliar with Blockchain, a feature of it is that one can self-host their own E-Commerce shop. To be able to become a member of Plaak services, an individual has to provide a biometric id. That establishes integrity which is a key component in gaining the confidence of potential buyers.
The users of the service can define their own shipping methods and aren’t required to specify details on what they’re selling, as long as it isn’t illegal goods. We don’t collect or distribute information on what is being sold unless there is suspicion of fraudulent behavior. Mediator websites are held responsible to international company-specific regulations which aren’t transparent.
Anyone can buy cryptocurrency or exchange it for fiat on the Plaak exchange which implies that every user can send and receive payments. Widely used payment methods such as PayPal have a restrictive policy in some countries where users can only send payments. Besides rendering them unable to become sellers, in case of a dispute the procedures for retrieving funds are very complicated.
By using Smart Contracts, a buyer can release a payment once a product has been received. That part of the bargain is left for the seller and the buyer to negotiate. In case of a dispute, Plaakcan review the case and undertake every legal action to make sure the dispute is resolved.
By using cryptocurrency, users pay a minimum fee which is equal to the processing power to conduct the transaction. In any case, that is a much lower fee than using any other payment option. Users are encouraged to communicate and come up with a shipping method by themselves, thus providing an option for cheaper means of transport.
The fact that Plaak E-Commerce is a part of a wider ecosystem, with a number of products and services will draw attention to the E-Commerce service. It’s a practical and convenient way to sell and buy:
- Used goods
- Designer merchandise
- Sell items listed on third-party websites in cryptocurrency
- Handmade items