The Six Qualities of Blockchain

What-is-Blockchain
FinTech Trends

My first face-off with Blockchain was a year back when I in my hometown was keen to transfer my bank account to a new city. The banking officials mentioned the multi-step time-consuming process, which made me think why the same bank cannot be accessible from my new location. Isn’t just about data? Yes, cloud technology a centralized server could have helped me, but blockchain or distributed ledger technology had much more potential regarding trust, security, and transparency. Since then, the blockchain ride is on, and this post is a trip down the memory lane …

  • Beginning

As per wiki, the first work on a cryptographically secured chain of blocks was described in 1991 by Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta. However, the first blockchain was conceptualised by an anonymous person or group known as Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008, and following year as core component of cryptocurrency bitcoin. He published the white paper on digital currency with title Bitcoin-Peer to Peer Electronic Cash System. He claimed that the writing of the code started way back in 2007, and the release of first units of bitcoin in 2009.

Although he used to collaborate with individuals on the open-source team, he has never revealed anything about himself. As per public bitcoin transaction log, Nakamoto’s known addresses contain roughly one million bitcoins, which as of December 2017 is worth over 19 billion USD.

  • Bitcoin, Blockchain…

Many people often misinterpret Bitcoin and Blockchain as synonyms, however Bitcoin or any cryptocurrency is one of the use case of the Blockchain technology

Blockchain could be referred to as an open, transparent distributed ledger, and bitcoin is the cryptocurrency or digital currency based on Blockchain technology.

Or as Pwc defines

The blockchain is a decentralized ledger of all transactions across a peer-to-peer network. Using this technology, participants can confirm transactions without the need for a central certifying authority. Potential applications include fund transfers, settling trades, voting, and many other uses.

  • How Blockchain Works?


How-Blockchain-Works
How Blockchain Works 1

  • Six Qualities of Blockchain

So what makes blockchain unique?

  • Blockchain is distributed – When we say Blockchain is distributed it means it can run on any computer provided by volunteers across the globe. There is no central database, no authority to track it, that also says it cannot be shut down or hacked. Any digital transaction can happen directly between two parties, no intermediaries are required.
  • Blockchain is encrypted – Gone are the days of firewalls, each block of blockchain is heavily encrypted that involves public and private keys. The encryption helps to secure and to maintain the uniqueness of each block.
  • Blockchain is public – Well, to some extent blockchain is public in nature, as anyone in the network can view it. That makes the transactions transparent and open; there is no hiding of transactions.
  • Blockchain is, for the most part, inclusive – Could you imagine an international transaction happening without documents/legal channels? Well, Satoshi did imagine a simplified payment verification mode that could work on a mobile device and does not need legal documents.
  • Blockchain is immutable – Once a transaction has been initiated, verified and validated by others, it is added as a new block with the timestamp and linking to preceding block with a unique signature. It cannot be changed or altered and remains in the ledger permanently.
  • Blockchain is historical – You cannot steal a block or for that matter bitcoin. Just for example the units of bitcoin that are present if taken by someone, then he needs to rewrite its history entirely. That makes it impossible for someone to steal the bitcoins making them historical.
  • Blockchain Use Cases Across the World

While a lot of cryptocurrencies, banking, and payment use cases are in the limelight, but given the nature of blockchain, it could be used in any verticals. In fact, the innovators across the world are designing digital ledger that could store any data and help the individuals.

Be it to track the diamonds or birth and death certificates, be it about storing all government records or health records or maintain your digital identity, be it about the artist who crafted his masterpiece of the musician who composed the melodious tune. All and every form of data could be stored and managed via Blockchain. If you are keen on exploring the start-ups who are offering blockchain solutions, you can visit here.

  • And what the world says…

While many believe Blockchain has the potential equivalent of the Internet to disrupt the world, others just find it as a bubble that would burst out soon. A closer look at some of the famous quotes on blockchain by the known personality… does their view matter?

Adam Draper says – The blockchain does one thing: It replaces third-party trust with mathematical proof that something happened

Or as Anthony Scaramucci says – The blockchain concept was pioneered within the context of crypto-currency Bitcoin, but engineers have imagined many other ways for distributed ledger technology to streamline the world. Stock exchanges and big banks, for example, are looking at blockchain-type systems as trading settlement platforms

And Nassim Taleb Statistician, a former trader, and risk analyst quote – “Bitcoin is the beginning of something great: a currency without a government, something necessary and imperative. But I am not familiar with the specific product to assert whether it is the best potential setup. And we need a long time to establish confidence.”

And this one is my favorite…

Vitalik Buterin says – “Instead of putting the taxi driver out of a job, blockchain puts Uber out of a job and lets the taxi driver work with the customer directly.”

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satoshi_Nakamoto

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/19/bill-gates-in-2014-bitcoin-is-better-than-currency.html

https://medium.com/@MartinRosulek/14-bitcoin-quotes-by-famous-people-6e7a1a009281

https://www.pwc.com/us/en/financial-services/fintech/assets/blockchain-infographic.png

https://www.pwc.com/us/en/financial-services/publications/viewpoints/assets/qa-what-is-blockchain.pdf

http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Realizing_Potential_Blockchain.pdf

https://www.forbes.com/sites/perianneboring/2016/10/06/top-25-quotes-from-don-tapscott-and-alex-tapscotts-blockchain-revolution/#1c7f004164ae

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blockchain

https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/blockchain

 

Samiksha Seth Author
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