What is Blockchain? Everything you need to know
– By 2025, ten percent of global GDP will be stored on blockchains or blockchain-related technology ( World Economic Forum )
– 369,098 – The highest number of confirmed Bitcoin transactions in one day (May 14th) over the past year ( Blockchain.info )
– eighty per cent of the world’s Bitcoin mining knots are located in China ( Cryptocoins News )
Blockchain: What’s fresh
23/08 – NEWS – IBM blockchain targets worldwide food safety – Computing titan teams up with some of the world’s fattest food companies to use its cloud-based blockchain to track any issues.
11/08 – FEATURE – Floyd DCosta/Block Armour – Harnessing blockchain technology for digital transformation – Could blockchain be the next big platform to drive enterprise digital transformation?
11/08 – NEWS – Microsoft unveils Coco Framework, aimed at boosting blockchain – Developed with Intel, the fresh service aims to improve spectacle, as well as governance and confidentiality.
03/08 – FEATURE – Phil Beckett/Alvarez and Marsal – Blockchain can be the good boy in the cyber wild west – This emerging technology has the potential to become the most significant anti-fraud mechanism known to business.
01/08 – NEWS – Blockchain indeed is the future of FinTech – Embracing digital cryptocurrencies will help financial services grow and prosper, Cognizant survey predicts.
01/08 – FEATURE – Antony Abell/TrustMe – Can Blockchain secure industrial processes? – Blockchain technology could be used as a means of promoting digital trusts inbetween organisations and their customers.
Nineteen/07 – NEWS: London Stock Exchange to begin using blockchain – London’s main Stock Exchange is set to begin using blockchain to improve transparency for shareholding information among unlisted businesses and draw more mature investors.
12/07 – FEATURE – Luis Carranza/London Fintech Week – Can London’s DNA of regulation, culture and tradition save its FinTech industry amidst its EU divorce? – Albeit uncertainty continuing to swirl surrounding Brexit, for a sector which contributes over £6bn to the UK economy and at this critical moment in our history, can we indeed afford to rely on our heritage alone?
22/06 – FEATURE – Gavin Fell/Exact – The entrepreneur’s guide to robots, IoT, VR and blockchain – As a contraption for every budding entrepreneur, we’ve assembled an overview of the most significant technologies to witness right now.
21/06 – FEATURE – David Blundell/BlockPool – Blockchain technology could be the key to better targeted advertising – The capability to trace and manage transactions that could make blockchain very disrupting in advertising – and here’s why.
09/06 – FEATURE – Shahar Namer/CryptoChip.io – Land-based casinos discovering cryptocurrency – As the telling goes, “if you can’t strike them, join them.” This is why offline casinos are switching and adapting to the fresh marketplace, with blockchain and cryptocurrencies being one of the top fresh methods.
What is Blockchain?
Like much of the technology world, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin still rely on some form of database that are able to track large volumes of transactions and keep them secure.The solution used by many of the world’s largest digital currencies is the blockchain.
Very first implemented in 2009, and revolutionised with ‘Blockchain Two.0’ in 2014, Blockchain technology consists of blocks that hold batches of timestamped transactions, each block is linked to the previous one through cryptography, thus forming a chain.
As the world becomes ever more smarter and inter-connected, cryptocurrencies have become an increasingly attractive proposition for growing markets that may not have traditional banking infrastructure. Several developing third-world nations have implemented blockchain-based national currencies, and the technology is also used by several major charity projects to help those without bank accounts.
Blockchain also offers the possibility of creating a fraud-proof system for transacting exchanges. It therefore has potential for use outside of the digital currency sphere and is attracting interest among traditional financial institutions and elsewhere.
- How does Blockchain work?
A blockchain system consists of two types of record, transactions and blocks. Transactions are simply the deeds carried out in a particular period, these are stored together in a block.
What makes blockchain more unique is that each block contains the cryptographic hash of the previous one, thus forming a chain. What a cryptographic hash does is take the data from the previous block and convert it into a compact string. Since these strings are unlikely to predict it means that any tampering with the chain is lightly detected.
This method means that blocks don’t need to have serial numbers, the hash permits them to be uniquely identified as well as verifying their integrity. Each block confirms the validity of the previous one right back to the so called ‘genesis block’ at the commence of the chain.
The linking of blocks isn’t the only thing that keeps the chain secure, however. It’s also decentralised, each computer with the software installed has a copy of the blockchain which is permanently updated with fresh blocks. There is no centralised server holding the transactions and because each fresh block must meet the requirements of the chain nobody is able to overwrite previous transactions.
Other transaction requirements can be added to define what constitutes a valid entry. In Bitcoin for example a valid transaction has to be digitally signed, it has to spend one or more unspent outputs of previous transactions, and the sum of transaction outputs cannot exceed the sum of input
- What are some of the thickest blockchain databases?
Blockchain has exploded in popularity over the last few years, gaining backers via the technology and financial sectors.
Away from Bitcoin, which remains the most well-known and arguably most widely-used network, this has led to a number of alternative blockchains coming to the fore in latest times.
This includes R3, which is developing blockchain-esque technology that can be used by major banking institutions, and in May two thousand seventeen raised $107 million in funding from backers such as Intel, HSBC and Bank of America.
Another major player is Hyperledger, an open-source cross-industry collaboration created by the Linux Foundation in order to popularise blockchain-based ledgers, with the very first generation of its technology released in July 2017.
All the so-called ‘big four’ accounting firms have also said they are testing blockchain technologies, albeit so far only Ernst and Youthfull have gone public with their technology, making a digital wallet available to all its Swiss employees.
IBM announced in March two thousand seventeen that it will be building its own ‘blockchain as a service’ suggesting based on Hyperledger, which will permit customers to build secure blockchain networks.
Earlier this year, the London Stock Exchange also exposed it was is set to commence using blockchain to improve transparency for shareholding information among unlisted businesses, showcasing the influence the technology has had.
Due to its advanced cryptographic protection systems, Blockchain in theory offers a far more secure practice than traditional banking.
The fact that the technology is decentralised, and cannot be retroactively altered or edited makes it ideal for financial transactions and the storing of significant information.
Blockchain also benefits from being able to preserve the privacy of the user – however this has unluckily made it increasingly popular as the payment method of choice for cyber criminals, as a Bitcoin network knot doesn’t have to expose the identity of the person making or receiving payments.
As Blockchain grew and evolved, companies began to think of fresh applications for the technology. In 2014, ‘Blockchain Two.0’ became popularised as the umbrella term for this fresh ecosystem, which spotted the technology being used for smarter and more advanced use cases that react to certain triggers.
For example invoices could be set to pay themselves automatically when goods are delivered, or clever contracts could trigger payments when parts of a project are finished.
Blockchain Two.0 has the potential to open up the technology for use in other industries beyond unspoiled finance. In the music business, for example, blockchain Two.0 could be used in managing copyrights and collecting royalties from digital streaming and downloads. It could be employed for asset registers, managing things like property, vehicles or machinery and introducing the capability to charge accurately based on usage.
Blockchain charts – real-time information on the current market price, block size, daily transactions and more
What is Blockchain Technology? A step-by-step guide to blockchain technology for beginners interested in using the system
IBM Blockchain – A repository of information on IBM’s work into blockchain technology