As technology develops and its applications and features increasingly grow in the age of the internet, it is hard to imagine a new platform that could change it all. Currently, we live in a world built upon intermediaries for many of our industries. Originally created for the digital currency, Bitcoin, blockchain was developed as a way to bypass this system and directly connect consumers to their value. Similar to the platform of GoogleDocs, imagine this technology as a shared server where instead of saving a document in Word then sending it to another individual via email or fax, the document is already shared and updated with the other party.
Much like the invention of the internet, it is impossible to explain the ins and outs of this new technology to the general public without greater knowledge of the system’s capabilities, yet there are some key characteristics which may better help us understand its functions.
The system operates on a user to user basis. The people that maintain and check the transactions stored in each block are the very individuals that buy into the blockchain. A network of computing “nodes” make up the blockchain. Each node, or individual who invests in the system, gets a copy of the blockchain which gets downloaded automatically upon joining the blockchain network. Every node is an “administrator” of the blockchain and joins the network voluntarily.
The data is constantly updated and restored in the blockchain and can be reconstructed at any time by anyone.
The system is hosted by millions of computers simultaneously and its data is accessible to anyone on the internet. Each person that uses the blockchain is able to check and verify its veracity so there’s no need for third party trust checkers.
No central location
The blockchain database isn’t stored in any single location, meaning the records it keeps are truly public and easily verifiable.
Since there is no central location or intermediary company and all files are public, it is essentially impossible to hack into blockchain to steal information. To hack the system would destroy the value of itself and require an enormous amount of energy.
How could this technology be useful? There are endless possibilities for its applications. As of now, many see its greatest potential in e-commerce, banking, and contracts, but developers are working to apply this system to other areas of business. Now, there will be less need for people to use third-party companies like banks in the case of cryptocurrency. Being in control of checking our own transactions gives us the power to distrust others and still carry out our proceedings. So get ready for a new era. The era of blockchain technology.