Blockchain 101

CryptoRow

Where

Since blockchain isn’t something physical, or even an cryptocurrency where you need to know how to find it, we’re going to talk about a different type of ‘where’.

Where is blockchain technology going?

Cryptocurrencies are what is making blockchain technology heard of. But I like picturing cryptocurrencies like the man in the ticket booth at the circus. He’s the one grabbing everyone’s attention, making the money, and leading everyone into the big top. It’s in the big top where the magic really happens.

Blockchain technology has the ability to bring us so much more than virtual currency.

I originally described blockchain as acting like a ledger. The first thing that comes to mind when i say ‘ledger’ for me is money. But a ledger is nothing more than a record of transactions and most everyday things can be described as a transaction. A transaction is an exchange, whether it be of money, information or even physical property. The blockchain can record all of it. So here are a few future technologies in development that you can look forward to having in the future!

Smart Contracts

Smart contracts are already important in Ethereum blockchain technology. A smart contract can be composed just like any other traditional contract. Example: I do X and you give me Y. But the beauty of a smart contract is that you don’t have to hope i’ll do X after you give me Y, because the computers are the intermediary. If I never do X, you never give me Y. The computer has to verify that both aspects of the trade are tangible and completed before the trade is executed. Ethereum calls their smart contracts ‘self-executing contracts’.

Identity Privacy & Protection

We’ve all heard horror stories of identity theft taking place because of information stolen from the internet. Over 16.7 million people suffered from it last year. But why does it happen so often? Because it’s to easy. In the US we are given social security numbers at birth. That number holds our entire history, including purchases, medical records and other private information. You get someone’s SS number, you’ve got someone’s identity. If a hacker just so happens to be messing with a server your informations on, they have you.

Blockchain technology hopes to solve this issue in many ways. Since blockchain doesn’t have any central authority like a server, there’s no one place anyone could go looking for your information. But they also couldn’t if they wanted too. Hacking into a block after its been added to the chain is nearly impossible. The only person that can ever access a block is the person with the private key. Not even the miner who verified it could gain access. Some blockchain engineers are even exploring the possibilities of incorporating bio-metrics to make your documents more secure.

Electronic Media

Since the dawn of the internet people have been illegally downloading and pirating music, movies, books and whatever else they can find. Once a piece of media is downloaded, you can do whatever you want with it. You can send the file to your friends so they can watch the movie, or send the mp3 file to your brother so he can play it repeatedly. All of this without paying a cent. The artist(s) making no money and receiving no credit.

Blockchain tech aims to end this from happening. With blockchain technologies it’s possible to digitally sign one download, to one user. That download wouldn’t be susceptible to being stolen, torrented or redistributed. It would almost be the same as owning a physical copy of media like a book. You can’t just magically copy it and give one to all your friends. They’d have to buy their own.

 

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