What is Blockchain Technology?
Simply put: It is a digital ledger of transactions that is duplicated and distributed across an entire Blockchain network.
Up until the cryptocurrency era, information flowing across the Internet has been based on trust whereas someone (a human) guarantees that our data gets to where it is going, or that is has reached its destination. Common examples would be banking transactions guaranteeing that your deposit has been made into your account, or that our currency reaches a third party when paying online.
As you are aware by now, our entire economy including the virtual Internet World we live in is based on a sophisticated “Web of Trust” The trust lies on either end of the transactions with the person we are communicating with. The reality remains, however, that these third parties from end to end can be compromised or hacked at any time. This creates the issues we see today with money being stolen, identities being hacked, votes being manipulated, and even the ability to control your social media, track your search engine results, and hack your personal data.
Blockchain technology puts an end to data compromises and manipulations because It does not involve hands-on by the actual third parties on either end of the transaction. It operates seamlessly without compromising the digital assets or having the third parties do anything other than confirm the data on both ends as it was sent or received.
How Does it work?
In blockchain, records are organized in batches called “Blocks” . The records within these blocks cannot be altered. These blocks are continuously growing and are grouped in blocks of transactions every 10 minutes. The blockchain database automatically updates itself after any changes are made.
With Blockchain technology, every transaction is confirmed by an agreement by larger part within that framework. Each transaction creates a Hash (or unique number/letter sequence) as an identifier of that transaction.
Each new block can only be generated in chronological order because it must contain the Hash of the previous block. If not, then the network will reject the block as it is unknown to the network.
Why So Valuable?
- Secure – All transactions are individually encrypted
- Anonymous- The identity of partners is anonymous or pseudo anonymous
- Unanimous- All participants agree to the validity of each of the records
- Time-Stamped– All transactions are time stamped and recorded on a block
- Immutable- Validated records are irreversible and cannot be altered or changed
- Distributed– All network participants have a copy of ledger for complete verification and transparency
Blockchain Today for the Consumer
With all the Big Tech business models primary being centered around collecting your data, your habits, and then selling it back to us in the form of advertising and agenda push by the highest bidder, Blockchain can easily alleviate this issue as users are becoming more aware, and change their online habits to fight back against Big Tech.
One such fighter is Brave. It’s an alternate Browser/Search Engine instead of Google Chrome, Safari, etc. It uses Blockchain Technology, it’s fast, free, and has a different business model than the rest. For revenue, it uses optional “opt-In” ads where users earn Basic Attention Tokens (BAT) to earn gift cards and crypto in exchange for their time viewing ads. It works on more the more current computer operating systems and it is available for a free at Brave.com .
Our Future with Blockchain
Since all cryptocurrencies operate using Blockchain, there does not seem to be an ending in site. As cyberattacks multiply with hacking into banking systems, personal accounts, voter systems, search engine results and many other impact-able facets of our societies, it’s possible that we could see Blockchain become a standard technology practice in our lifetime and have a universal agreement consortium like W3.org endorse it. It’s still early in the game so we’ll wait and see how new startup development companies and projects emerge moving forward in our everyday Internet use.
Blockchain: A Guide to Understanding Blockchain – Sean Bennett