For some time now, there has been a lot of talk about the Blockchain without really understanding the ins and outs of this revolutionary and unprecedented technology. I will try in this article, to enlighten you on this famous technology.
The Blockchain is a peer-to-peer technology for storage and sharing, it can be defined as a database or simply as a decentralized « Large Ledger », public, anonymous, unfalsifiable and secured by cryptography, the data that compose it are therefore authentic and unalterable. Thanks to, cryptography that ensures the confidentiality, authenticity and integrity of data.
With the Blockchain technology, exchanges, transactions, data and information can be recorded, its specificity is that it’s accessible to everyone for free and is shared by its various users. Which allows everyone to check the validity of the chain at any time.
The first Blockchain appeared back in 2008, with the appearance of the Bitcoin, the first decentralized virtual currency using this technology.
The Blockchain has long been attached to the world of fintech. Today, however, this technology has been extended to various fields and non-financial sectors with the emergence of several start-ups in the great movement of collaborative (or participatory) economy that currently affects the whole society, where users are in direct contact, and interact without intermediaries.
Its fields of exploitation are therefore endless: banking / insurance, real estate, health, energy, transport, online voting, virtual identity, smart-contracts, supply chain, patents, social networking, cloud storage … etc as shown in this illustration below :
We can predict that in the near future, Blockchain could replace most « intermediaries » and « trusted third parties », thanks to its distributed and decentralized computer system.
Some entrepreneurs even present it as a technology that has the potential to « uberize Uber »! This may seem a bit pretentious, but we can see that day by day, these predictions are confirmed notably with the emergence of new decentralized carpool start-ups such as LaZooz and Arcade City, or Ethereum which allows to develop decentralized applications using Smart Contracts based on Blockchain technology.
How does the Blockchain works ?
We will try to illustrate this with a simple example:
Person A sends money (Bitcoin for example) to person B, this transaction is recorded in an online data block, miners (also called the nodes of the network) then check the conformity of this data, to ensure that person A has what it claims to have, in order to avoid falsification, fraud or duplication, this technique is called the « Proof-of-Work », And consists in solving algorithmic problems by using the force brought by computer processors.
The transaction between A and B is thus verified and validated by mathematical formulas without any fault or error. Once validated, the new block is added to the chain of previous blocks that make up the blockchain.
The history of this transaction will be recorded and dated, with the amount exchanged and the public addresses of A and B. The transaction is then visible to the receiver (person B) as well as the whole network and all users can consult freely and have a copy of this Blockchain.
« $ 480 million dollars were invested in this technology back in 2015. »
Why this success ?
We can explain the phenomenal success of this technology by several factors:
– Its potential to bring down costs drastically: $ 20 billion dollars of fees could be saved by banks through the use of this technology by 2022. (Source: Santander Bank)
– Its ability to improve the quality of services, without intermediaries that bring down the quality and value chain of the service.
– Its speed to record and validate transactions, this implies a valuable gain in terms of time.
– Its ability to exclude any risk of fraud and falsification thanks to its decentralized system and its « Proof-of-Work » technique.
– Its confidentiality and its ability to protect our personal data and our privacy, because the cryptography allows to encrypt our information on Internet and thus to protect us from hacking and malicious traceability.
Useful links :
You can view the mined blocks in real time and the transactions made on this block explorer: https://blockchain.info/en/blocks
This site also allows you to create a Wallet if you do not already have one, in order to start receiving and sending Bitcoins: https://blockchain.info/en/wallet
If you are interested in Bitcoin, here is a site that allows you to receive free fractions of this famous virtual currency: https://freebitco.in/?r=2336021