Blockchain is relatively new, but not so new that misconceptions about it would be as widely accepted as truth. It is quite surprising how many people think blockchain can only be used in cryptocurrency, even more, surprising how many people think blockchain IS cryptocurrency. Blockchain’s potential is not limited to its current use, if applied in certain industries it could very well change everything making a more secure world.
While certain experiments on the use of blockchain are currently being implemented, its full potential is currently not being realized, unfortunately, everyone is still too crazy over cryptocurrency to truly concentrate on studying the golden goose that laid it.
Most people have first heard and somewhat understood the concept of Blockchain when Bitcoin first came out, but the concept of blockchain is far older than bitcoin. The concept was first thought about in 1991 by a group of researchers; it was intended to timestamp digital documents to keep them from being backdated and tampered. This was unfortunately overlooked for more than a decade, as other ways of securing digital documents were “less complicated”. It was not until the creator of bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, used it for his digital currency that people took notice of it again. Unfortunately, most people weren’t very creative with it…
What Flavor of Crypto Would You Like?
In the 2010s the world took notice of a new way to pay for things, it was the start of the cryptocurrency boom. Just as any bubble (yes it was a bubble, and still is), many “experts” started to pop-out of nowhere, claiming to know more than they actually did. While I see the value of cryptocurrency, most people just saw blockchain as a quick way to make a considerable amount of money. It was like every day a new cryptocurrency was created, with some noble, but mostly ridiculous story and reason for its creation. Blockchain became synonymous with cryptocurrency, which a majority saw at best as a gamble investment, and at worst a scam.
What is Blockchain?
I doubt that experts and data scientists are reading this, so I won’t bore you with the technical side of it. Oversimplified, Blockchain is a ledger that makes sure that it takes note of every transaction and makes sure that each transaction is secure and valid. Each block contains data about the transaction, the Hash (the block’s ID), and the Hash of the previous block. Each transaction connects a block to another which will record it’s Hash, making information about the previous transaction available to view and use for validation, making a chain of blocks, thus blockchain. If a block is tampered its hash will change, and if a block’s hash does not correspond with the blockchain it will become invalid. Don’t worry though, everyone connected to the network has a copy of the blockchain, everyone’s copy will validate each other and correct discrepancies.
Where Are We Now With Blockchain?
Companies are currently experimenting and applying blockchain technology with a lot of things, some showing great promise. We are still far off from using the tech to its full potential, given that we haven’t really gotten off of the Cryptocraze Train yet.