What Is Blockchain Technology?
Updated: Aug 13, 2022
As the world becomes increasingly obsessed with blockchain, have you stopped wondering how it works? Blockchain technology is changing the world as we know it right before our eyes, and it can be easy to get caught up in all the excitement.
But what is blockchain technology, exactly? If you're curious, read and let me guide you in the fantastic tech world.
What Is Blockchain Technology?
Blockchain technology is an electronic database to record information spread across many computer systems, also known as nodes. The report, held across many computer systems, is stored in sets or chunks of information forming blocks.
Each new block is then added to older blocks of information, creating a chain strung together. This information creates a historical timeline of transactions that can't be tampered with, essentially setting it in stone forever.
For blockchain, the goal is simple; record and distribute digital data but make it impossible to edit it. The part that makes blockchain so revolutionary is the stored records (also known as a distributed ledger technology (DLT)) that can't be manipulated, deleted, or changed.
Blockchain Equals Trust
This newfound trust is revolutionary because blockchain is a digital ledger for financial transactions, business deals, contracts, etc. The information is spread across many computer systems, in data sets across a vast network. Making this a fool-proof way to record data, no one can try and cheat, hack, or manipulate any records.
Historically information had always been recorded on pen and paper, and then sometime later came the computer. The problem has always been that records were kept in one place and looked after by one person, meaning there was a chance of human error or committing fraud.
This change means that blockchain guarantees security and trust for all recorded information without needing a third party. This new confidence for the average person is a breath of fresh air, but things could get tricky for large corporations positioned as critical third parties.
The Creators of Blockchain
The first creators developed the first generation of blockchain in 1991, making this technology just over 30 years old. Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta were two mathematicians in 1991 looking to create a new system to store tamper-proof documents.
By the time the late 1990s rolled around, the idea of blockchain had begun gaining some traction. With a "cyberpunk" named Nick Szabo proposing to use blockchain to secure payments, known as "bit gold,"; this idea seemed ahead of its time and never took off. Eventually, Bitcoin appeared on the scene in 2009, and the world hasn't looked back.
The Future of Blockchain
Fast forward to the present, blockchain technology's popularity has exploded. The possibilities are endless between cryptocurrencies, decentralized finance (Defi) applications, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and smart contracts.
At age 30, blockchain is finally making a name for itself. Who says life ends after 30? Not blockchain! With so many different practical uses, this technology will change life as we know it. Blockchain is no longer just a "buzzword" and has the potential to create wealth and prosperity for many people worldwide. We'll have to wait and see what the future holds.
Hungry for more? Join me each week, where I'll break down complex topics and dissect the latest news within the cybersecurity industry and blockchain ecosystem, simplifying the world of tech.
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