Blockchain — what? why? how?

Blockchain — what, why, how?

Blockchain, originally “block chain”, is the technology to store list of records on multiple computing nodes, such that:

  1. one cannot alter the records written in the past
  2. one can store new records even if some of the nodes are failing

Why do we need blockchain? Blockchain is the perfect technology for storing accumulating facts to be referenced by other applications. It ensures the records are intact, and always available. The most obvious and valuable use is therefore to store financial records.

Bitcoin is the most famous application of blockchain offering financial services to send and receive money, with transaction fees lower than current credit card systems. Besides benefits inherited from blockchain, the bitcoin system leverages peer-to-peer network of nodes to create a fully decentralized monetary system. They even introduce controlled supply to maintain value of bitcoins generated.

Bitcoin is no doubt the best application of blockchain created so far. People are wondering: are there more applications to be discovered? can they generate much value like bitcoins do? what is the next killer application? how could we find it?

I will try to answer this big “how” in the following articles, which include deep dives into bitcoin and blockchain technologies, as well as various potential applications other than financial services. Before we proceed to the next chapter, here is a bit of information you should know about me.

The name is Raymund Lin. I was/am:

  1. (was) IBM senior consultant of innovation
  2. (was) IBM research scientist of service science
  3. (am) IBM certified IT architect, master inventor, and member of Academy of Technology

I had a few pending patents related to blockchain, some “theoretic” lectures, and on my way to implement some cool blockchain applications. Hopefully my articles or applications may inspire you to create something cool and to make this world better.

Are you ready?