What is the Blockchain?
Over the past year, I’ve increased my involvement in the Cryptocurrency space. I expect that involvement to increase exponentially over the next several years. I am no expert nor would I present myself as one. Since the best way to increase knowledge is to teach I thought publishing a series of posts on the subject could be of use.
I decided to take time and publish a few post on the Blockchain. My plan is to use a series of Medium posts and dig deeper into this space but do more than simply hash ;) through the buzzwords you’ve undoubtedly already encountered. Ideally, I’d like to use this as a means of dissecting some of the least referenced, but incredibly valuable supporting elements, and provide a primer.
Bitcoin is the first Blockchain invented! The Blockchain is an incorruptible protocol under which participants are able to generate consensus without the need to trust the other participants. Put another way, the Blockchain is a consensus mechanism under which participants can cryptographically agree on a historical record of activity. The largest current use cases for this consensus mechanism is economic activity. You probably know of it as Bitcoin.
It is worth noting Bitcoin isn’t the only cryptocurrency in existence and it definitely won’t be the last but it is by far the largest. It and all other Cryptocurrencies, known as Altcoins, act as a public ledger making up the Blockchain. These coins record the exchange of value across its network. Bitcoin itself is an open source technology. Users are able to participate in the development of the ecosystem without the involvement of a centralized third party, across national borders and without permission from any authority.
This technology is definitely revolutionary as it removes the need for a third party to digitally transact and be the author of trust. With blockchain technology, the user has all the power a bank has. However, an economic global public ledger is just one use-case for blockchain technology there are myriad potential use cases. Check out the image bellow for a quick snapshot of potential use cases.
There are other blockchains being developed that are looking to revolutionize not just finance, but governance, communication, and even the internet itself too. I plan to talk more about them in the coming months but this seemed like as great a place to start as any. If you are at all intrigued and would like to know more stay in touch. I’ll look to post more of these when able.