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Monday, May 28, 2018

A Bit About Blockchain

The “Bitcoin revolution” has taken the entire world by storm and has brought forward concepts that were previously little-known. Take for instance, blockchain technology – while the technology has been in the news since 2008 (on a concept that is in fact decades old), it is only because of the recent meteoric rise in Bitcoin rates that blockchain has come to the forefront. In fact, Bitcoin would never have gained the reputation it did if it wasn’t for blockchain!

Google search requests for “blockchain” have increased by a record 250% and has put it right beside some of the most famous personalities and celebrities out there. Major companies, retail chains, and even governments are considered incorporating the system in a way that profits them. Ironically, the way blockchain works is still a mystery to many.


Blockchain, block chain, technology, data

So what is blockchain after all? And why is there so much hype around it? This is what we want to explore this time around.

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain is defined by Investopedia as,
"a digitized, decentralized, public ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions."
As the name itself implies, blockchain consists of several "blocks" (each of which contains a record of new transactions - be it a cryptocurrency, or some kind of data), which is added one-by-one like chain, thereby creating a blockchain.

Put more simply, one can explain in it terms of the internet - just as the internet allows free flow of information from one person to another without the need of any third person, blockchain technology allows transfer of cryptocurrency from one person to another without any third party (like a bank).

What makes Blockchain so popular?

The thing that sets blockchain apart from any other means of the transaction is the fact that it offers transparency and security – both at the same time, and without the need for any financial middleman (such as a bank) and even entire governments. Blockchain and cryptocurrency allows every user to track any transaction that they ever made, since they’re all stored in the blocks.

The second thing that makes blockchain ideal is the fact that it is tamper-proof – data once written on a block cannot ever be erased or even manipulated, which allows for easy tracking and prevents malicious activities for gaining any ground.

Does Blockchain have a future?

This is a question that is there on the minds of many. While several banks and even governments claim blockchain and cryptocurrency to be a “passing fad,” it is actually anything but that. The transparency and tamper-proof nature of blockchain technology means that it has the power to disrupt practically any industry that needs to transfer data (monetary or not) from one point to the other. A lot can be stored on blocks – from medical records and confidential files to legal files and evidence, among others.

Last but certainly not least, blockchain is decentralized. This means it requires no “facilitator” to function and also means data is more secure. With data spread out in blockchains, it is harder for hackers to target and access specific bits of information. In short this is good news for anyone who would want a middleman-free transaction with more security. And, who wouldn’t? This may also be the security our society needs in a time of high-level cyber-attacks and hacking but, only time will tell.