Blockchain may have been mentioned in your news feed. Blockchain is still a relatively new concept for many people, but this doesn’t mean you should be afraid. This is because the idea itself is not new. It’s actually been around for years. What is it all about?
The main aim of the Blockchain concept is the implementation of distributed ledger technology (DLT). What does this all mean? It simply refers, in simple terms, to the most current financial transaction and record technology that uses peerto-peer tech to allow for real-time transactions. The concept actually originated from the Internet but it has now spread into other areas including finance, software development, electronic money transfer and real estate.
As explained by Vitalik Buterin, one of the founders of the Blockchain project, this is basically a new digital ledger that works like the original internet but is less fragile than the webbed Internet. The distributed ledger keeps track of transactions and ensures that everyone involved has the most recent information. Transactions are safe and can’t be reversed, hence the need for the distributed ledger.
The Blockchain includes smart contracts. These are a type of virtual machine or computer program that can be programmed for certain tasks. For instance, theICO platform allows its users to create smart contracts that perform the function of collateral exchange, settlement management and other such transactions. Blockchains work by creating a virtual machine that allows for the transfer of currencies or other monetary values. The concept isn’t limited to currencies. Blockchain technology is used to transfer and record financial instruments such as bonds, stocks, and commodities.
Without consent, individuals and organizations cannot have access to their personal information or data. This is the very essence of privacy and an essential feature of the Blockchain technology. Transactions on the Blockchain are encrypted and the identity of the transactional user is masked. Hence the transactions run virtually risk free and are safe from any unauthorized access.
Blockchain transactions are independent of any third party, unlike public ledgers. Hence there is no chance of any unwanted transaction and no possibility of any theft. However, hackers can access the public ledgers and they could be used to steal your financial data. Blockchain transactions can be transparently managed by a network, which is vulnerable to malware. Hence the chances of hacking and phishing are very much reduced and if your digital ledger is hosted by a renowned institution, then you can be rest assured that your data is absolutely safe and secure.
As people begin to realize the immense benefits of Blockchain technology and its potential, the popularity has increased exponentially. A lot of financial institutions have started to use the technologies for their internal applications. Financial institutions such banks, hedge funds or asset managers, as well as other financial institutions, are integrating the Blockchain technology into their systems. Some well-known corporations like PayPal, MasterCard and Visa have already adopted the Cryptocurrency concept to their internal use. As more people recognize the benefits of Blockchain, and the growing need for it, it is evident that Blockchain usage is on the rise.
Experts in Computer Science and Math are slowly embracing the idea of the cryptocurency. Many renowned universities are also researching the implications of public blockchain technology for academic purposes. The developers are working on prototypes for the next generation of cryptocurrencies, such as the Maidsafe or the Counterpart, in response to the increasing demand for the Cryptocurrency. As more people participate in the concept, and as the competition between cryptospace participants grows stronger, the future looks bright.
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