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What Is The Purpose Of The Blockchain?

What Is Blockchain Used For Besides Bitcoin?

What Is Blockchain Used For Besides Bitcoin?

What Is Blockchain Used For Besides Bitcoin? {{article.article.images.featured.caption}} Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. The author is a Forbes contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer. This story appears in the {{article.article.magazine.pretty_date}} issue of {{article.article.magazine.pubName}}. Subscribe What are the use cases of Blockchain outside of bitcoin? originally appeared on Quora : the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. Answer by Alyssa Satara , Masters of Law (LLM) Public International Law & Human Rights, City University London, on Quora : 4 Incredible Examples Of How Blockchain Is Changing The Future Of Human Rights Blockchain is best known for being the technology behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether (the currency of Ethereum), but blockchain is much more than an instrument of finance. Its an encrypted database of agreements, so to speak. This means once a deal is made, neither party can go back and rewrite the terms. Smart Contractsa blockchain based contract that holds both parties accountable by only completing the terms of the agreement once both parties have fulfilled their end of the bargainis a perfect example. Blockchain serves as a bookkeeping platform or ledger that is incorruptible, enforces transparency, and bypasses censorship. By tackling issues of financial, political and institutional corruption, this has the potential to create massive social changeand greatly protect the human rights of every individual. Were already seeing some of this amazing work unfold. This year, the UNWFP sent over 10,000 Syrian refugees cryptocurrency-based vouchers. Led by Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood, and blockchain big data firm Data Continue reading >>

Blockchain Is Useful For A Lot More Than Justbitcoin

Blockchain Is Useful For A Lot More Than Justbitcoin

Blockchain is useful for a lot more than justBitcoin The distributed nature of blockchain networks make them useful for many applications. Shutterstock Blockchain is useful for a lot more than justBitcoin Principal Researcher in Software Systems, Data61 Mark Staples is a Conjoint Associate Professor at UNSW. CSIRO provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation AU. Data61 provides funding as a member of The Conversation AU. Blockchain technology is not just useful for creating digital currencies such as Bitcoin or developing new financial technologies . Blockchains can be used for a wide variety of applications, such as tracking ownership or the provenance of documents, digital assets, physical assets or voting rights. Blockchain technology was popularised by the Bitcoin digital currency system. But, essentially, a blockchain is just a special kind of database. The Bitcoin blockchain stores cryptographically signed records of financial transfers, but blockchain systems can store any kind of data. Blockchains can also store and run computer code called smart contracts. What makes a blockchain system special is that it doesnt run on just one computer like a regular database. Rather, many distributed processing nodes collaborate to run it. There can be a full copy of the database on every node, and the system encourages all those nodes to establish a consensus about its contents. This boosts our confidence in the database and its contents. Its difficult, if not impossible, to meddle with the database without others finding out and correcting it. The global consensus among the nodes about the integrity and contents of the distributed database is why its often called a distributed ledger. In our society, we normally rely on trusted third parties, such as lawyers, Continue reading >>

Blockchain 2.0. The Purpose Of Blockchain

Blockchain 2.0. The Purpose Of Blockchain

Blockchain 2.0. The Purpose of Blockchain You remember our recent material about the basic principles of blockchain, dont you? If this is the first time you are reading about the subject and you want some basic knowledge about it, we advise you to close this gap by referring to it. Today we shall concern ourselves with why, when discussing the level of innovation, people venture to compare the arrival of blockchain with that of the internet, what Blockchain 2.0 is, and how these things are connected. The original use of blockchain for transfer of money demonstrates its potential as a means of transferring value; this is quite a niche already, but certainly not comparable to the invention of the internet, is it? Why so much noise then? In my opinion, we are looking at two critical avenues of blockchain development, which account for the focused attention and stormy responses from investors and visionaries: Evolution of blockchain as a platform(Blockchain 2.0); But what is Blockchain 2.0 anyway? Blockchain2.0 is in effect a mechanism allowing programmable transactions (transactions modified by a condition or a set of conditions). Sound simple enough, but in Ethereum network, for example, the language used to write such scripts is aTuring complete one that is, allowing to implement any computable function . This enables a number of interesting concepts, which are adding value to the platform and causing a stir across the IT community. As you have already guessed, blockchain uses are not limited to transactions: they enable plenty of brand new economic opportunities previously unavailable on the world web. These include: Creating and transferring digital assets; Smart contracts are scripts executed in blockchain environment; their codes are accessible to all and anyone can Continue reading >>

Blockchain: What Is It And What Does It Mean For Development?

Blockchain: What Is It And What Does It Mean For Development?

Blockchain: what is it and what does it mean for development? Around $1bn was invested into blockchain in 2016, but how can the technology most famous for Bitcoin be used in development and humanitarianism? As an emerging technology, blockchain enthusiasts are hopeful it could be the next big development disruptor.Photograph: althearab/GuardianWitness Blockchain: what is it and what does it mean for development? Around $1bn was invested into blockchain in 2016, but how can the technology most famous for Bitcoin be used in development and humanitarianism? Last modified on Friday 6 October 2017 08.13EDT Blockchain is a digital ledger that provides a secure way of making and recording transactions, agreements and contracts anything that needs to be recorded and verified as having taken place. However, uniquely, rather than being kept in one place like the more traditional ledger book, the database is shared across a network of computers. This network can encompass just a handful of users, or hundreds and thousands of people. The ledger becomes a long list of transactions that have taken place since the beginning of the network, getting bigger over time. Blockchain runs on specialised computer software that operates behind the scenes, automatically distributing information to the database as new transactions are made. Most individual users will not see a blockchain performing and this instantaneous nature means there is little to no window of time for someone to alter a transaction before it is recorded on to the ledger. Blockchain software is an area of experimentation and in June, a market assessment estimated that $1bn would be invested in blockchain technology in 2016 alone. A blockchain database consists of blocks and transactions. Blocks contain batches of transactio Continue reading >>

What Is Blockchain Technology? A Step-by-step Guide For Beginners

What Is Blockchain Technology? A Step-by-step Guide For Beginners

What is Blockchain Technology? A Step-by-Step Guide For Beginners Angel Investors, Startups & Blockchain developers... Is blockchain technology the new internet? The blockchain is an undeniably ingenious invention the brainchild of a person or group of people known by the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto . But since then, it has evolved into something greater, and themain question every single person is asking is: What is Blockchain? By allowing digital information to be distributed but not copied, blockchain technology created the backbone of a new type of internet. Originally devised for the digital currency , Bitcoin , the tech community is now finding other potential uses for the technology. Bitcoin has been called digital gold, and for a good reason. To date, the total value of the currency is close to $9 billion US. And blockchains can make other types of digital value. Like the internet (or your car), you dont need to know how the blockchain works to use it. However, having a basic knowledge of this new technology shows why its considered revolutionary. So, we hope you enjoy this, what is Blockchain guide. The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value. Picture a spreadsheet that is duplicated thousands of times across a network of computers. Then imagine that this network is designed to regularly update this spreadsheet and you have a basic understanding of the blockchain. Information held on a blockchain exists as a shared and continually reconciled database. This is a way of using the network that has obvious benefits. The blockchain database isnt stored in any single location, meaning the records it keeps are truly public and easily verif Continue reading >>

Blockchain - Wikipedia

Blockchain - Wikipedia

For other uses, see Block chain (disambiguation) . Blockchain formation. The main chain (black) consists of the longest series of blocks from the genesis block (green) to the current block. Orphan blocks (purple) exist outside of the main chain. A blockchain [1] [2] [3] originally block chain [4] [5] is a continuously growing list of records , called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography . [1] [6] Each block typically contains a hash pointer as a link to a previous block, [6] a timestamp and transaction data. [7] By design, blockchains are inherently resistant to modification of the data. Harvard Business Review defines it as "an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way." [8] For use as a distributed ledger, a blockchain is typically managed by a peer-to-peer network collectively adhering to a protocol for validating new blocks. Once recorded, the data in any given block cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks, which requires collusion of the network majority. Blockchains are secure by design and are an example of a distributed computing system with high Byzantine fault tolerance . Decentralized consensus has therefore been achieved with a blockchain. [9] This makes blockchains potentially suitable for the recording of events, medical records, [10] [11] and other records management activities, such as identity management , [12] [13] [14] transaction processing , documenting provenance , or food traceability . [15] The first blockchain was conceptualised in 2008 by an anonymous person or group known as Satoshi Nakamoto and implemented in 2009 as a core component of bitcoin where it serves as the public ledger for all transactions. Continue reading >>

What Is The Purpose Of A Blockchain?

What Is The Purpose Of A Blockchain?

Answered Oct 18, 2017 Author has 62 answers and 144.4k answer views Last year, ICICI Bank announced that it successfully executed transactions in international trade finance and remittances using blockchain technology in partnership with a Dubai based bank Emirates NBD. In 2008, a cryptographer who goes by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto created a crypto-currency called bitcoin. Bitcoin is digital currency that allows you to perform peer-to-peer transactions without the help of a third party such as banks. A blockchain is an anonymous online ledger that uses data structure to simplify the way we transact. Blockchain allows users to manipulate the ledger in a secure way without the help of a third party. A bank's ledger is connected to a centralised network. However, a blockchain is anonymous, protecting the identities of the users. This makes blockchain a more secure way to carry out transactions. The algorithm used in blockchain reduces the dependence on people to verify the transactions. This technology used for recording various transactions has the potential to disrupt the financial system. Thanks For Reading Answer Ladies & Gentlemen Answered Oct 19, 2017 Author has 3.5k answers and 2.6m answer views Using a blockchain approach instead of a database for recording transactions would allow avoiding the possibility that a single culprit could change the data in unauthorized ways without being noticed. Generally a blockchain system will be structured so that multiple nodes must verify a pending transaction before it is recorded. A blockchain is especially effective when there is a chain of transactions such as for example the ownership records of a piece of real estate in which case each transfer of ownership links to a previous owner. This, all the way back to the ori Continue reading >>

The Essence Of The Blockchain

The Essence Of The Blockchain

Here we attempt a simple explanation of the blockchain for a not overly technical audience. The blockchain is a testament to the power of a single cryptographic primitive -- the hash function. Really nothing else is required, so if you can get your head around the hash function, you can understand the basics of the blockchain. A cryptographic hash function takes one input and calculates one output. For example for the input "We hold these truths to be self-evident", the well known hash function SHA256 produces the output 84ba74b2661c87470665a1a5f5ab526afcf266f8c5effb795bef2d2514a8afd3 For the slightly different input "we hold these truths to be self-evident'' (note the lower case w), the output is 246160c031a4ddd9d940e931721fdec7e72087c8eccf5ea5621bb15d22959c19 That tells us a few things about a hash function. The output bears no obvious relationship to the input, indeed it looks completely random. A tiny change to the input produces a completely different output. You will need to take my word for it that given just the output its impossible to determine the input. For this reason the hash function is often called a "one way'' hash function. Also its impossible to find two different inputs which give the same output. For the function SHA256, the 256 refers to the fact that the output is always the same length (actually 256 bits), independent of the length of the input. A basic hash chain looks something like figure 1. Here the T are "transactions'' of some sort. Examine this diagram for a while, and appreciate the power of the chaining. The value H3 is calculated by hashing the whole of block 3, which includes the hash of block 2, which in turn includes the hash of block 1 etc. Note that because of the one-wayness of the hash function, this chain can only be calculated Continue reading >>

What Is Ethereum: The All Purpose Blockchain?

What Is Ethereum: The All Purpose Blockchain?

Crypto and Blockchain Enthusiast, Entrepreneur, check out my website @ www.Crypt0Bits.com What is Ethereum: The All Purpose Blockchain? Many of the services we use today have one thing in common: they are governed by a central body. When we deposit money into our bank, we trust our bank to keep our money safe. When we purchase insurance, we trust insurance companies to deliver on our agreed terms. Similarly, with our Gmail accounts, we trust Google to store our personal information securely and to maintain our privacy. The centralized model has been a business standard for hundreds of years, but history has proven that it has many flaws. Governments have a mixed track record of influencing third party services for information (Remember when the US government tried to woo over Silicon Valley?). Centralized business models offer convenience, but having a single point of failure makes them vulnerable to attacks as we repeatedly see in security breaches like the Yahoo! hack and, most recently, with Equifax . Ethereum is an open-source, decentralized platform using blockchain technology that enables the development of decentralized applications and smart contracts. Decentralized applications have no middlemen and users interact all in a peer-to-peer fashion. Smart contracts are business logic coded into programs that are capable of automating, facilitating, executing and enforcing terms of agreements. Ethereums blockchain connects thousands of computers (known as nodes) around the world, forming a massive, many times mirrored world computer. Anyone can access it, upload programs, and execute programs on. Ethereum was designed to apply blockchain technology to applications beyond payments. Its platform improves upon Bitcoins as a programmable general purpose blockchain that Continue reading >>

What Is A Blockchain, And Why Is It Growing In Popularity?

What Is A Blockchain, And Why Is It Growing In Popularity?

What is a blockchain, and why is it growing in popularity? Bitcoin was the start, but as a wise man once said, you ain't seen nothing yet. by Alistair Dabbs - Nov 6, 2016 2:00 pm UTC Last year, Ripple Labs, creator of the virtual currency XRP, was fined $0.7 million (~540,000) by the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network for violating regulations concerning money laundering. Some observers cite this as the moment cryptocurrencies shaved off their startup hipster beards, put on a tie, and went mainstream. Being fined by a regulator means that youre part of the financial services industry at last. Given that the first and most famous cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was launched back in 2009, it has taken the wider industry a relatively long time to warm to it. But now suddenly everyone is talking about Bitcoins underlying blockchain technology as a disruptor of potentially massive proportions: Sweden is trialling a new land registry that uses a blockchain , dozens of startups spanning numerous sectors are poking around at possible uses, and importantlypolicy makers such as the European Parliament have voted in favour of a more hands-off approach towards blockchain tech regulation . So, whats the connection between Bitcoins and blockchains? And why the renewed interest in the latter? A blockchain is a ledger of records arranged in data batches called blocks that use cryptographic validation to link themselves together. Put simply, each block references and identifies the previous block by a hashing function, forming an unbroken chain, hence the name. Put like this, a blockchain just sounds like a kind of database with built-in validationwhich it is. However, the clever bit is that the ledger is not stored in a master location or managed by any particular body. Instead, it is s Continue reading >>

5 Blockchain Applications That Are Shaping Your Future

5 Blockchain Applications That Are Shaping Your Future

11/28/2016 10:15 am ETUpdatedDec 06, 2017 5 Blockchain Applications That Are Shaping Your Future You probably have heard of bitcoin and cryptocurrency by now. And as of late the term " Blockchain " has made huge splashes in the tech community. It's the technology that underpins digital currencies and ensures that all transactions are properly conducted and recorded. But what is stored on the blockchain need not be just a monetary unit - it can be put to all manner of other interesting uses. But, there is one underlying question most have. What are the blockchain applications of the future? As it turns out, more applications besides the currency can be developed to harness the technology. The following are five of the blockchain ideas that are in work in progress stage. Blockchain data storage will become a massive disruptor shortly. (3-5 years) Current cloud storage services are centralized -- thus you the users must place trust in a single storage provider. "They" control all of your online assets. On the other hand with the Blockchain, this can become decentralized. For instance, Storj is beta-testing cloud storage using a Blockchain-powered network to improve security and decrease dependency. Additionally, users (you) can rent out their excess storage capacity, Airbnb-style, creating new marketplaces. Anyone on the internet can store your data at a pre-agreed price. Hashing and having the data in multiple locations are the keys to securing it. Storj.io and factom are two start-ups exploring this idea. After encrypting your data, it is sent out to a network with easy to track basic metadata. Imagine never having to worry about your digital security every again. It's a massive problem in the world. Which is now estimated to cost the industry about $18.5 billion annual Continue reading >>

Blockchain Definition | Investopedia

Blockchain Definition | Investopedia

Blockchain: The Backbone of Finance's Entire Future A block is the current part of a blockchain, which records some or all of the recent transactions. Once completed, a block goes into the blockchain as a permanent database. Each time a block gets completed, a new one is generated. There is a countless number of such blocks in the blockchain, connected to each other (like links in a chain) in proper linear, chronological order. Every block contains a hash of the previous block. The blockchain has complete information about different user addresses and their balances right from the genesis block to the most recently completed block. The blockchain was designed so these transactions are immutable, meaning they cannot be deleted. The blocks are added through cryptography, ensuring that they remain meddle-proof: The data can be distributed, but not copied. However, the ever-growing size of the blockchain is considered by some to be a problem, creating issues of storage and synchronization. The blockchain is perhaps the main technological innovation of Bitcoin. Bitcoin isnt regulated by a central authority. Instead, its users dictate and validate transactions when one person pays another for goods or services, eliminating the need for a third party to process or store payments. The completed transaction is publicly recorded into blocks and eventually into theblockchain, where its verified and relayed by other Bitcoin users. On average, a new block is appended to the blockchain every 10 minutes, through mining . Based on the Bitcoin protocol, the blockchain database is shared by all nodes participating in a system. Upon joining the network, each connected computer receives a copy of the blockchain, which has records, and stands as proof of, every transaction ever executed. I Continue reading >>

What Is Blockchain? The Most Disruptive Tech In Decades

What Is Blockchain? The Most Disruptive Tech In Decades

Blockchain is poised to change IT in much the same way open-source software did a quarter of a century ago. And in the same way that Linux took more than a decade to become a cornerstone in modern application development, Blockchain will take years to become a lower cost, more efficient way to share information between open and private networks. But the hype around this seemingly new, secure electronic ledger is real. In essence, blockchain represents a new paradigm for the way information is shared and tech vendors and companies are rushing to figure out how they can use the distributed ledger technology to save time and admin costs. Numerous companies this year have been rolling out pilot programs and real-world projects across a variety of industries - everything from financial services to healthcare to mobile payments. It's unlikely to be a wholly disruptive technology that attacks traditional business models with a lower-cost solution that overtakes other networking technology quickly, according to Karim Lakhani, a professor of business administration at the Harvard Business School. Instead, Blockchain is a foundational technology, with the potential to create new foundations for economic and social systems, Lakhani said in The Truth About Blockchain , which he co-authored. [ Further reading: The top 5 problems with blockchain ] Blockchain adoption is expected be slow and steady, as the changes it brings gain momentum, according Lakhani, a principal investigator of the Crowd Innovation Lab and NASA Tournament Lab at the Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science. "Conceptionally, this is TCP/IP applied to the world of business and transactions," Lakhani said in an interview. "In the '70s and '80s, TCP/IP was not imaginable to be as robust and scalable as it Continue reading >>

What Are Private Blockchains And What Purposes Do They Serve?

What Are Private Blockchains And What Purposes Do They Serve?

These days, the market is filled with both public and private blockchains, yet due to their similarities, many people tend to confuse the two. In this article, we will attempt to eliminate the confusionsurroundingprivate blockchains and their purposes. Both public and private blockchain networks are decentralized and distributed P2P ledgers that safely record and store information through transactions. Additionally, both provide immutability guarantees and are kept in sync via consensus protocols. The main dissimilarity between the two relates to who can participate in the network, make transactions, maintain the ledger and see the records. Public blockchain networks are open to anyone and even have mechanisms meant to encourage more people to join the network, similar to bitcoin and other digital currencies. On the other hand, private blockchains offer limited access to authorized members only. When it comes to using the blockchain network for business purposes, the openness associated with public networks is detrimental to the privacy of the companies involved. Not only this, but public blockchains also require huge amounts of computing power to maintain. Most private blockchain networks are permissioned and have varying sets of rules. Consequently, the network restricts who can participate and who cannot, with access only provided via invitation. Once a new party joins a private/permissioned blockchain,it will instantly start playing a role in maintaining the network and its decentralized status, according to the initial rules put in place by the networks developers. Currently, there are numerous use cases for private blockchains. For instance, businesses have the opportunity to base their operations on a transparent and trustless foundation which can actively keep Continue reading >>

What Is Blockchain And How Does It Work?

What Is Blockchain And How Does It Work?

Bitcoin exploded on to the worlds stage in 2012 as a currency backed by everyone and controlled by no one. But what exactly makes it work from a technology standpoint? Use commas to separate multiple email addresses How to minimize the risks of phishing scams Blockchain technology backs up Bitcoin to this day, but theres been a recent groundswell of interest from a variety of industries in making distributed ledger technology work. A blockchain is the structure of data that represents a financial ledger entry, or a record of a transaction. Each transaction is digitally signed to ensure its authenticity and that no one tampers with it, so the ledger itself and the existing transactions within it are assumed to be of high integrity. The real magic comes, however, from these digital ledger entries being distributed among a deployment or infrastructure. These additional nodes and layers in the infrastructure serve the purpose of providing a consensus about the state of a transaction at any given second; they all have copies of the existing authenticated ledger distributed amongst them. When a new transaction or an edit to an existing transaction comes in, generally a majority of the nodes within a blockchain implementation must execute some algorithms and essentially evaluate and verify the history of the individual blockchain block that is proposed, and come to a consensus that the history and signature is valid, then the new transaction is accepted into the ledger and a new block is added to the chain of transactions. If a majority of nodes do not concede to the addition or modification of the ledger entry, then it is denied and not added to the chain. This distributed consensus model is what allows blockchain to run as a distributed ledger without the need for some cent Continue reading >>

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