FINTECH, BLOCKCHAIN, BIG DATA AND INTERNET-OF-THINGS
The internet, as we know it, is the product of years of subtle but significant ‘evolution’; Little ‘growth spurts’, mostly on the back-end, that ultimately led to what we refer to today as the internet.
The evolution of internet services has not only led to the popularity of mobile technology but also introduced improvements to a range of systems previously lacking significant technological advancement. These include finance, insurance, healthcare systems/delivery, agriculture, trade, and ICT.
In this article, we attempt to briefly highlight innovative concepts and systems that have shaped current trends and milestones within the evolving internet and technological eco-system. All of which have resulted in increased use, regulation, R&D, and security consequently increasing its popularity globally.
FinTech is the innovative use of technology in the design, use, and delivery of financial services. It facilitates cashless transactions while guaranteeing convenience and security for end users.
This innovation has revolutionized the banking industry, transforming how banking services are delivered. It has also enabled the introduction of new and improved products and services.
Prominent Fintech Start-ups in Nigeria are Paga, Paystack, FlutterWave, and Interswitch.
Blockchain put simply, is a decentralized system of storing information, utilizing a more secure, transparent, accountable and trustworthy model. A typical blockchain consists of ‘blocks’ (groups of related or aggregated data) of stored information which contain data that are ‘tied’ together, and each ‘block’ possesses a security key.
This means that the data in each ‘block’ cannot be tampered with or changed without affecting the data contained in the other linked/chained ‘block’ – hence the name ‘blockchain’.
Blockchain information is not stored on a single server, but on ‘nodes’ – multiple remote computers which act as servers, having access to view the files or data. This also ensures that control over data is not vested in one entity but distributed across participating nodes. However, when changes are made to data contained in a ‘block’, all other nodes are notified; if these changes are authorized, they become valid but if these changes were the result of any tampering, the node that was accessed would either have its data replaced with the correct data from another node or be removed from the chain or network of nodes.
It must also be understood that Blockchain is not BITCOIN – BITCOIN is only an example of how the Blockchain technology can be applied.
This technology can be applied in the Health, Agriculture, Mining and Maritime sectors, amongst others.
‘Big Data’ is a term used to describe the act of collecting structured and unstructured data sets that may be analyzed to reveal trends, habits, patterns associated with human behavior, weather/climate or consumer interactions. Normally, this data is too large to be analyzed using traditional methods of data analysis.
Data collection allows companies to make more efficient, effective and intelligent decisions, aimed at sustaining customer interests, increasing revenue, improved internal operations and make market projections.
The technology and skillset required to efficiently execute big data analysis have not been perfected yet, and we anticipate there would be more conversations in the near future.
Examples of data collecting
- Microsoft HDInsigh
- Apache SAMOA
‘Internet-Of-Things’ is a term used to describe the idea of everyday items, appliances, equipment, connected to the internet, sharing and exchanging information without any human input or interference.
This means that simple objects like ‘beds’ can become ‘smart beds’ and tell if one had enough sleep, by taking note of how many hours one spent in bed; or a smart car can notify an insurer right after there has been an accident, detailing driving patterns to help the Insurance company ascertain the cause of the accident.
These innovations have been envisioned to make business, trade and general living more convenient. However, the alternate school of thought believes that these ideas would also usher in a new age of security threats to users’ privacy and confidential business data.