Blockchain in a Nutshell

Simply put, blockchain is a way to store data in an unalterable, secure fashion without the need for a central authority.  With blockchain, we are primarily talking about three things as far as storing data:

  1. Immutability
  2. Decentralized
  3. Distributed

“Immutable” means unalterable. This covers the “unalterable” and “secure” terms in the definition above. For a detailed description how this is done, please see the “ How Blockchain Works” article in the “Research” section of this blog.

“Decentralized” means the data does not belong to anyone. There is no need for a central authority, such as a bank, government, or any other 3rd party institution of store and keep the data.

“Distributed” means the data is distributed among several nodes or networks. This is an additional way to keep the data both immutable and decentralized.

The type of data that may be stored in blockchain, is simply any data that we want to be permanent and belong to everyone (note there may be private blockchains as well to keep permanent data accessible only to the owners of the private blockchain). Blockchain was invented as a way to keep the financial transaction of electronic currency. However it has grown to be so much more. What kinds of data do you think would benefit from this kind of storage? Here are a few:

  • Financial transaction (the reason blockchain was invented)
  • Policies, rules & procedures
  • Copyrights
  • Scientific data
  • Production data
  • Contract or agreements between people
  • Sports scores and stats
  • Art “signatures” to verify authenticity of artworks
  • Computer programs (known as smart contracts)
  • Votes

What other kinds of data do you think would benefit from being stored in blockchain. Please comment below.

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