Blockchain, a brief explanation.
One way or another, you most probably have heard or been in touch with this practical approach.
Whether it’s through “Bitcoin” memes, the lectures on “Hash trees” you might have taken in a computer science major, or other means.
In 2017 cryptocurrency had an immense growth in market, and the mainstream media popularity wise .
However, if you’re completely new to the concept- and the text above sounded like absolute gibberish- you’re in the right place to learn all about it, so buckle up.
What is it?
As the name itself suggests, in the most simple interpretation, it is literally a chain of blocks.
Well, the blocks being digital information stored in a public database (the chain), that is.
Imagine a growing list of records (the previously mentioned blocks), which are linked using cryptography, the practice of securing communication. Each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous one, a timestamp, and transaction data (generally represented as a merkle tree root hash).
When you become a blockchain member, you get two keys: a private one and a public one. As for the receiver’s key, it’s randomly generated for each message/file/transaction.
With the help of those keys and asymmetric cryptography, the system is able to know if it’s you making changes or sending messages.
The beauty of Blockchain
No location, truly public, so anyone on the internet can access its data.
The goal of blockchain is to allow digital information to be recorded and distributed, but not edited.
This is a way of using the network that has obvious benefits. With the database not stored in any single location, the records it keeps are easily verifiable and accessible. No centralized version of this information exists for a hacker to corrupt.
Hosted by millions of computers simultaneously, it challenges boundaries with its obvious transparicy.
What does The Merkle tree have to do with it?
It is a fundamental component of the blockchain technology.
In cryptography and computer science, a hash tree or Merkle tree is a tree in which every leaf node is labelled with the hash of a data block, and every non-leaf node is labelled with the cryptographic hash of the labels of its child nodes. Hash trees allow efficient and secure verification of the contents of large data structures- psttt i.e Bitcoin.
Who is Satoshi Nakamoto? The mysterious inventor of Blockchain.
With an identity still remaining unknown, he published the famous white paper, that led to the groundwork for the bitcoin protocol, in November 2008. Satoshi was active in the development of bitcoin up until December 2010.
Enthusiast have been on a quest to find his identity, and some clues have come to the surface. One of the most popular ones is that he in fact might be British, not Japanese. The occasional use of British English in the code and comments, as well as the perfect use of the language in his posts and publication, have backed the conspiracy up.
Where else is it used?
In far more industries than you might think.
From green energy, to digital identity, organizational governance and much more. Blockchain serves as a bookkeeping platform or ledger that is incorruptible, with no danger of your data being stolen.