What’s Blockchain ?— (Simply Explained)
Technology is an ever-changing territory. Just when you think you get the hang of it — Boom! You’re already behind on what was new. The thing is, technology isn’t “new”. Innovation has always been a part of humanity. In reality, technology is just a 2.0 version of the past. Evolution will always be ceaseless. A Prime example of this reconstructed field was the conception of “Relational Database” which, of course, 1970’s IBM parented. In a sense, the relational database has been mutated to the current trend in cross-markets; distributed ledger technology, a.k.a blockchain. Think — transactions as easy as sending an email or text message.
Now granted, I’m sure you’ve heard a lot of lingo (Anonymity, API, Big data, Bitcoin, Decentralized, Cryptocurrency etc) swirling around your office if you’re in the Industries of interest. Some of it has to do with a single source. Blockchain. That’s what I’m going to try and explain. The foundation question being, what is blockchain really? To put it simply, it’s a multifaceted digital ledger that deals with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies transactions, which is then public, forever. It gives you the opportunity to transfer various values (contracts, asset ownership, equity swap etc) easy and securely. The beauty of it is, it’s super transparent to all parties in the network.
You may be wondering, “How secure is it really?”. Well, your transaction in blockchain is eventually turned into a “Block” to get verified, and this block requires various Confirmations from miners in an array of independent locations. This is to ensure that the block is, in fact, a verified transaction. Once the block is confirmed, a hash is then created, and attached to the blockchain forever. This means that it can’t be altered once it’s been submitted. The transaction will now be a discrete public record perpetually. This allows ledgers to only verify back to the last block and not all the way back to a first transaction. An easy example of the transaction process would be as followed:
“Tom wants to send money to Sally. The transaction would be the “block”. This block (transaction) is now broadcasted to all network participants. The participants (miners) confirm that the block is valid. The block (transaction) is now added to all the other blocks that create a blockchain. You will now always see the transaction as will the public. The money moves from Tom to Sally”
Banking is only the start when it comes to blockchain and its versatility across platform industries. As the interest rises, blockchain meets its expectations. It’s my firm belief that all industries can reap the benefits it has to offer! Let’s take a small look at the potential it has to affect EVERYONE.
Targina, a content platform that originated in the Latin Americas in 2015, was essentially a revenue sharing program. Users would receive a compensation in bitcoins if they would publish content on the page, which in turn would bring about profit through advertisement. Push forward a year to the launch of Steemit.com, the spawn of the blockchain-based social network. Its use of in-house blockchain and cryptocurrency would benefit curators and publishers alike.
Peer to Peer trade.
By simply removing intermediaries, blockchain allows for transactions to happen securely between buyers and supplier and vice versa. This dramatically cuts down on an unnecessary expenditure of resources. This principle is applicable to all platforms that cater to relationships that deal with customers, suppliers, distributors etc. Sounds amazing. Again, I know.
We know of corporations such as Google, Facebook & Yahoo that utilize and analyze information to divulge any trends, patterns etc. Because they have such large banks of data that’s complex, they are forced to process it differently. Blockchain has responded to the necessary scalability needed in big data environments. This insures these corporations, who are very dependent on this big-data, more resources, and energy to better focus on analyzing the data to make better business decision moves for the future.
With the world constantly changing, growing and evolving, It’s no wonder we’re always looking for the next big thing. Personally and professionally, I’ve always been an avid believer in trying to be 2 steps ahead, just in case I fall 1 step behind. Technology is a part of us, always has been, as Innovation is like breathing, we need to it continue to move. The blockchain is exactly that, it’s the future, it’s the past, the old and the new. We can no longer look back at what used to be, but embrace what needs to be — blockchain will rightfully take its place on many platforms. Blockchain is the answer to smooth digital financial functionality, and similar to the sunrise, it will slowly cover the sky with unimaginable possibilities in all industries. Taking the extra step to be willing to get up, and go out and find it can only help your progressional insights.
Interested in finding out more? Here are some videos that I absolutely loved in terms of explaining what the heck blockchain is:
A technical explanation of blockchain/bitcoin
A less technical explanation of blockchain/bitcoin