A Little Background on Blockchain and Why It's Important
Technology is moving at a lightning-fast pace. And nowhere is that more apparent than in the world of cryptocurrency. Love them or hate them, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have the whole world buzzing. But, let’s back up for a moment, before we dive into just what cryptocurrency is, let’s talk about blockchain, the technology that cryptocurrencies everywhere are built upon.
Where Did Blockchain Come From?
Innovations in technology are nothing new. However, in the normal course of discovery when paired with capitalism, these technological wonders usually come as part and parcel of a new company. The rise of Blockchain, however, is a bit more mysterious. Blockchain technology was created by a person or group of persons who go by the name Satoshi Nakamoto. Though there has been much sleuthing and speculation and even a few well-publicized confessions, the world still isn’t quite sure just who or what Nakamoto may be. However, while the creator of Bitcoin and the blockchain is a mystery, the technology itself is an open book--literally.
Blockchain in a Nutshell
Blockchain technology was created as a database to store transactions of the cryptocurrency called Bitcoin. These transactions are placed into timed segments called “blocks,” which incorporate all transactions for that block as well as a cryptographic hash of the preceding blocks, transaction data, and a timestamp. While the data in these blocks are anonymized, and encrypted, for many blockchains, the ledger is still accessible and readable to anyone and everyone who wants to take a stroll through it. So, you can go all the back and see the first transactions and purchases made with the currency. (P.S. the first time Bitcoins were used to purchase something in the real world was two pizzas back in 2010). In essence, blockchain technology is an eternal and (hypothetically) unhackable database that is spread among multiple computers and networks ensuring that the data it contains can never be lost or corrupted.
The Future of Blockchain
Today, the uses of blockchain technology have evolved far past Bitcoin. There are over 1500 cryptocurrencies built on both private and public blockchains and the cryptocurrency market though sometimes roiled by shifting currents is holding firm. However, blockchain technology is about more than digital currency. It has the ability to disrupt multiple industries across the globe. Areas that may evolve as blockchain technology becomes more mainstream are banking and financial payments systems, insurance, cloud storage, healthcare, and supply chain management, just to name a few. In short, blockchain is a technology that’s propelling us into the future, and it’s exciting to imagine where it’ll go next.
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