What is it? - A Blockchain
Blockchain in layman’s terms.
Often, this technology is compared to a conventional notebook.
Imagine that you ran out of money and your salary will be paid next week. You work in a company on the 4th floor with 20 other employees. You borrow $20 from each and, of course, put them in your notebook. Also, you ask each of the employees to prepare a list of the amount of money you took from the employees and from whom. As a result, it turns out that all the employees have identical list.
A week later, you are paid your salary and you are ready to clear your debt. You pay back Peter, note it down in your notebook and again ask everyone (and Peter) to write it down. This is repeated until you pay everyone. A certain Bob, wanting more money, deliberately erased in his notebook that you paid him and turned to you. But on your list, it is written that you have repaid the debt!
What do you do? Easy! Ask the other workers whether you gave the debt to Bob or not. After that, Bob would no longer ask for more money.
This is because the data was stored not only by you but by the rest of the staff. This means that Bob would have to erase the records from everyone. Thanks to this distributed storage of information, you and other employees are protected from scammers.
Scientifically, what is Blockchain?
The Blockchain is a continuous sequential chain of blocks containing information and built according to specific rules.
What are these blocks and what is the chain? Blocks are data about transactions and contracts within the system, presented in a cryptographic form. All blocks are lined up, that is, connected. To record a new block, you need to read information about the old blocks consistently.
All the data in the Blockchain are accumulated from a regularly updated database. From this database, nothing can be removed or changed. And it is "limitless" - there could be an infinite number of transactions.
A bit of history
The emergence of the Blockсhain is directly related to the development of the Internet and electronic money. Since the early 1990s, researchers have been looking for the answer to the question: Is it possible to create such a decentralized payment system that will allow users to send each other funds in an atmosphere of complete distrust? The ideas embedded in modern Blockсhain platforms were first formulated by a crypto enthusiast, Nick Szabo back in 1998. In his E-mail newsletter, he described the theory of the operation of the bit-gold protocol, the main idea, which later migrated to Bitcoin.
However, at that time, the vast majority of users did not have high-speed Internet access and enough storage capacity, so these ideas did not find much support. Their implementation was postponed until 2008 when an unknown user, under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto, published a technical description of his "digital cash" protocol. On January 3, 2009, the first blocks were generated in the new network named Bitcoin.
** In fact, under this pseudonym, not one person may be hiding, but a group of creators. After all, it took thousands of hours to create the first cryptocurrency and Blockсhain system.
Blockchain in our lives:
Since Blockсhain is just a way of storing and protecting information, almost any data can be written into it. It can be associated not only with the transfer of funds but also with any other areas that require guaranteed data security.
Here are some areas of our life Blockсhain is already actively used:
The "Clouds" that we connect to via the Internet is physically located in some data center. And this center must be protected from hacker attacks. The use of Blockchain technology implies the storage of data in the P2P network. Data is stored not only on one server but in several blocks. Thanks to this, hacking the repository will be much more difficult (example: Storj).
Many people are already fed up with checking their documents all the time to confirm their identity, especially when it concerns to various kinds of transactions, registration of acts of civil status, crossing the border, etc.
The Blockсhain technology is ideally suited for the idea of digital ID because it allows us to organize reliable, secure and simultaneously open storage of personal data (examples: 2WAY.IO, ShoCard, Guardtime, BlockVerify, HYPR, Onename).
Everyone knows about the multiple voting, the substitution of ballots, and other falsifications of data during voting in elections. BlockChain can eliminate all the juggling because the data in online voting will be unchanged and transparent. So in one of the universities in Virginia, they plan to launch voting technology on the blockchain, to reduce the possibility of falsification of votes (as well as Democracy Earth and Follow My Vote).
Author's right. Content
At the moment, several services are actively used by scientists, writers, journalists, advertisers, and designers to register, preserve, protect, prove copyright ownership, and law.
The Blockchain technology allows you to create electronic copies of works, to identify the uniqueness of signs and symbols, to receive certificates of authenticity in digital form, etc. It creates safe conditions for the sale of property rights and ownership from the author to the new owner, which is actively used among collectors, as the clarity and clarity of legal transactions are preserved (examples are Venisart, ProofofExistence, Ascribe, Copyrightcrypto).
Management and jurisprudence
The public sector is a complex and inert mechanism while remaining a centralized system. If we consider the possibilities of the blockchain, we can create a system in which all the reports of the authorities (both local and state) will be stored. Also, data on budget funds will be very accessible. Today, some projects combine legal and economic services with the help of the Blockchain technology (example: Borderless).
The lost card in the registry is a classic everyday life at our clinics. And this is when even a lost reference strikes out a whole chunk of their medical history. It would be quite another issue to discuss if medical institutions were able to exchange data safely. Precisely and on time came the results of the tests - that's already increasing the chances of coming up with the right diagnosis in order to develop a more effective treatment. In this case, the data should be stored securely and the integrity of the data maintained - and BlockChain will help with this (examples are Gem and Tierion).
Of course, the BlockChain can help humanity in this area. After all, with this technology, it will be very convenient to store all the information about donations of funds, as well as report on the spending of these same funds. This will significantly reduce fraud, which is now common with charitable foundations (Helperbit, Alice, Start Network, as well as a platform called GiveTrack).
The use of a technology based on the BlockChain allows you to turn your assets into commodity fractions. Thanks to this, the real estate market will become truly global and open - everyone will be able to identify and purchase real estate anywhere in the world without problems.
The Blockсchain technology can help in all areas of our lives. The most important thing is to find the right application and use it smart. It has a great potential and can change the world for the better.