Blockchain technology has progressed very quickly in the fast few years. Before 2009, until the launch of Bitcoin, many of us hadn’t even heard of the term and now blockchain is on its way to becoming mainstream. One of the reasons this technology became so famous so quickly is its high-level encryption that has the potential to become the next big thing in the world of web security.
Now, on the subject of WordPress, it is the largest host of web applications on the internet. The security had always been a big issue for the developers of the WordPress. While the platform already integrates a very strong security strategy for the websites hosted upon it, developers are always looking for better encryption technologies. This is where blockchain comes in. It is therefore natural to wonder if and how this new form of encryption can enhance the security of the WordPress platform. If you are wondering the same thing as I am, feel free to be a part of this blog discussion.
What is Blockchain all about?
Before the definition, one thing you should know is that the application of blockchain technology is not limited to just the Bitcoin (for payment processing). In addition to providing the base for many existing and new cryptocurrencies, the blockchain can do much more, as we will find in this blog. But first thing first.
Definition: In simple words, a blockchain is a network of nodes or a chain of blocks that can be used for storing and transmitting digital data and information.
A block is a digital ledger that records all the transactions that are performed on the particular blockchain, a copy of which is maintained by each of the decentralized nodes (computers) in the network. The blockchain is made up of thousands of such nodes which are located around the world. The lack of a centralized database is what makes this a very secure technology for data storage and digital transactions.
All the transactions on a blockchain are fully encrypted before they are added to blocks. All the blocks in a blockchain are connected by a chain of cryptographic hash functions which make it impossible to alter the data on a particular block without affecting the entire chain.
One of the major benefits of blockchain is that it is publicly accessible, which makes it possible for multiple users to simultaneously use the network for storing and sharing of data at anytime and from anywhere. However, the encryption tech allows only the users with the right private/public keys to access the actual details of a transaction.
The applications of blockchain
Blockchain technology was originally created to provide the base for the development and working of the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. Eventually, it was being used by many other emerging cryptocurrencies.
As of present, it has become mainstream for new cryptocurrencies to use the blockchain technology. In fact, the actual definition of a cryptocurrency is – an encrypted digital currency developed upon a blockchain.
Besides cryptocurrencies, blockchain may have several uses in almost every industry where secure payments and transaction of digital data is a concern, such as WordPress. The blockchain encryption tech can effectively become the solution that WordPress developers seek to secure sensitive financial and other data of the millions of platform users.
Blockchain for WordPress: How it goes
Blockchain can help the WordPress platform improve in a range of areas, as explained below:
Digital Identity Verification
Even though WordPress provides all the encryption and security features for the users, the poor password choices made by the platform users often lead their websites to hack and spam. The blockchain based encrypted digital identity verification system can provide an effective solution to this problem by enabling users to access their applications and share data in a controlled environment. Lynked.World and IBM have been working on such applications.
Blockchain can present a secure, cost-effective and reliable alternative to the traditional cloud storage used by WordPress websites. Some examples of such solutions are Filecoin and Storj.
A smart contract is a blockchain based encrypted digital contract that is written in programming code with the ability to execute itself without the need for a third-party. However, the reliability of these contracts is still under question, so need to be careful there.
The integration of cryptocurrency with WordPress has already been tested and processed by many developers. As for the benefits of this new technology, there are many.
WordPress websites, just like any other web application, are prone to hack, no matter how many security measures are implemented to protect the platform. This is even more true in the case of e-commerce websites, which regularly have to interact with third-party applications like payment gateways, making the customer data and account details vulnerable to attack.
A blockchain-based secure payment gateway along with a decentralized cloud storage for data can help improve the security of this multi-user platform. Here are a few benefits that blockchain can offer to WordPress.
Bitcoin payments are almost impossible to hack, at least not as easy as traditional payment gateways such as banks and credit/debit cards. Even if a blockchain payment is hacked somehow, hackers will not be able to access the user data.
Blockchain technology removes the concept of agents and intermediaries, therefore, the fees associated with such payments is purely transactional and doesn’t involve any gateway charges.
Blockchain based payments are much quicker as the transactions are verified automatically and the money is credited to the beneficiary account almost instantly.
Cryptocurrencies are global and so are the payment gateways utilising them. So, you can accept payments from your customers located anywhere in the world.
The inflation effect
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not affected by the change in normal inflation, but they trade on their own crypto exchanges where the prices go down and up very frequently.
If you are thinking of enabling Cryptocurrency payments in your WordPress site, there are some applications and plugins that can help. The examples include Digital Paybox plugin, BitBay payment gateway, and Mollie payments integration.
So, yes, blockchain actually has the ability to improve the way WordPress works. Besides the benefits and applications mentioned above, it is super easy to integrate blockchain technology in the existing and new sites by using WordPress plugins.