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What Is Bitcoin And Blockchain Technology?

How Does Bitcoin Work?

How Does Bitcoin Work?

This is a question that often causes confusion. Here's a quick explanation! As a new user, you can get started with Bitcoin without understanding the technical details. Once you have installed a Bitcoin wallet on your computer or mobile phone, it will generate your first Bitcoin address and you can create more whenever you need one. You can disclose your addresses to your friends so that they can pay you or vice versa. In fact, this is pretty similar to how email works, except that Bitcoin addresses should only be used once. The block chain is a shared public ledger on which the entire Bitcoin network relies. All confirmed transactions are included in the block chain. This way, Bitcoin wallets can calculate their spendable balance and new transactions can be verified to be spending bitcoins that are actually owned by the spender. The integrity and the chronological order of the block chain are enforced with cryptography . A transaction is a transfer of value between Bitcoin wallets that gets included in the block chain. Bitcoin wallets keep a secret piece of data called a private key or seed, which is used to sign transactions, providing a mathematical proof that they have come from the owner of the wallet. The signature also prevents the transaction from being altered by anybody once it has been issued. All transactions are broadcast between users and usually begin to be confirmed by the network in the following 10 minutes, through a process called mining . Mining is a distributed consensus system that is used to confirm waiting transactions by including them in the block chain. It enforces a chronological order in the block chain, protects the neutrality of the network, and allows different computers to agree on the state of the system. To be confirmed, transactions Continue reading >>

What Is Blockchain Technology?

What Is Blockchain Technology?

Few people understand what it is, but Wall Street banks, IT organizations, and consultants are buzzing about blockchain technology. It's hard to remove blockchain from Bitcoin, so we'll start with Bitcoin as we work tounderstandthis technology's potential. Bitcoin. Blockchain. Cryptocurrencies. Initial coin offerings. Everyones talking about them, but what do these terms really mean? As of this writing in mid-November 2017, the total market capitalization of cryptocurrencies hovers around $220B (with a single bitcoin trading for upwards of $8,000). Initial coin offerings (ICOs) have exploded in popularity, closing on $3B+ in funding in 2017 alone . Huge corporations like Walmart and Pfizer have completed successful blockchain pilots. This explainer will offer simple definitions and analogies for blockchain technology. It will also define Bitcoin, Ethereum, blockchain broadly, and initial coin offerings, and highlight promising use cases for the technology. Lastly, this report will make clear the distinctions between distributed ledger technology and blockchain, and highlight where these technologies have an application and where they do not. The 2008 financial crisis caused a lot of people to lose trust in banks as trusted third parties. Many questioned whether banks were the best guardians of the global financial system. Bad investment decisions by major banks had proved catastrophic, with rippling consequences. Bitcoin also proposed in 2008 presented something of an alternative. According to its whitepaper, Bitcoin was a peer-to-peer electronic cash system. It would allow for online payments [to move] from one party to another without going through a financial institution. In other words, Bitcoin made digital transactions possible without a trusted intermediary. The 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 >>

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 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 >>

Making Sense Of Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency, And Blockchain

Making Sense Of Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency, And Blockchain

Making sense of bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and blockchain Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, blockchain... So what does it all mean? Some of the noise is hype, but some of it points to important forces in the financial services industry. To help you make sense of it, weve pulled together a few short articles that explain why a lot of industry observers are paying close attention. We can help. Weve pulled together a few short articles that explain why a lot of industry observers are paying close attention. Let's start with some quick definitions. Blockchain is the technology that enables the existence of cryptocurrency (among other things). Bitcoin is the name of the best-known cryptocurrency, the one for which blockchain technology was invented. A cryptocurrency is a medium of exchange, such as the US dollar, but is digital and uses encryption techniques to control the creation of monetary units and to verify the transfer of funds. The blockchain is a decentralized ledger of all transactions across a pier to pier network. Using this technology, participants can confirm transactions without a need for a central clearing authority. Potential applications can include fund transfers, settling trades, voting, and many other issues. Blockchain also has potential applications far beyond bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Blockchain is, quite simply, adigital, decentralized ledgerthat keeps a record of all transactions that take place across a peer-to-peer network. The major innovation is that the technology allows market participants to transfer assets across the Internet without the need for a centralized third party. From a business perspective, its helpful to think of blockchain technology as a type of next-generation business process improvement software. Collaborative technology, such as b Continue reading >>

Bitcoin Blockchain Consumes A Lot Of Energy Engineers Changing That

Bitcoin Blockchain Consumes A Lot Of Energy Engineers Changing That

Innovators from top institutions such as M.I.T. and Cornell University and tech titans such as IBM and Intel are developing a number of "green" blockchain innovations to address demand by businesses for blockchain that streamlines transactions of all sorts. Blockchain can help automate transactions and records those transactions on a tamper-proof digital record available to all participants in a network. Energy efficiency allows blockchain to scale for business needs, developers said. That means processing significantly more transactions per second at minimal cost, while accommodating an ever-expanding user base. The potential reward has spurred a race to develop the winning blockchain solutions for companies and organizations. "The people who come out with the winning algorithms are going to capture a substantial portion of the many billions of dollars that go into back-end systems," Cornell's Sirer said. "We are in a phase where a thousand blockchains will bloom. And the markets will decide on a few winners." Bitcoin's cousin ethereum is trying to position itself to be one of those winners among the business community. Developers have created a new blockchain that would reduce its energy consumption to almost zero and allow it to scale as well as improve security, said Mike Goldin, a software engineer at ConsenSys, which builds applications on top of ethereum. "If we get to a place where ethereum scales 10,000 X, a million X, but it's using a million X energy ... game over," Goldin said. "We'd have to drain the power of the sun to power this blockchain. If we scale ethereum, but we don't also scale the power consumption, it's useless." The move will further set ethereum apart from bitcoin, with whom it currently shares a similar blockchain algorithm called proof-of-w Continue reading >>

What Is Bitcoin And Blockchain Technology, Beginner's Guide - Thestreet

What Is Bitcoin And Blockchain Technology, Beginner's Guide - Thestreet

One of the most intriguing things about bitcoin is that even if you've been hearing about it constantly for the past few years, you still may not be sure entirely what it is. Googling bitcoin gives you less of a concrete definition and more of a shouting match. "Bitcoin is thriving!" "Bitcoin is dead in the water!" "It's going to overtake the dollar!" "It's a Ponzi scheme!" But what is it that they're even arguing about? Cryptocurrency, aka digital assets that can function as a form of currency, is still very much in its infancy, which is why bitcoin's value is notoriously volatile. But bitcoin's astonishing success has made it something people want to know about. Bitcoin's success isn't just surprising in how much it's worth (though as of this writing it's in a bit of a downturn ) but also in how it has survived. There are thousands of articles written every month that say bitcoin is dead. Many of them have had good reason to think it. Yet so far, each time they've been proven wrong. This makes bitcoin a fascinating entity for people. What is this mysterious online currency that will not die? It has paved the way for other notable cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash, but is still far and away the most valuable digital currency. It has gone from an online punchline to a possible investment , from being fundamentally worthless to bitcoin's price being nearly $20,000 at its peak in Dec. 2017. That's why people want bitcoin explained: once you've learned the financial potential of the digital currency, you may as well learn what it is, too. Is bitcoin a currency? An investment? An asset? A stock? Well, yeah. It can be all of them. One individual bitcoin is a piece of digital currency. As a general concept, bitcoin is a system for securely buying, storing, and Continue reading >>

What Is Blockchain Technology?

What Is Blockchain Technology?

CoinDesk Launches 2017 Year in Review Opinion and Analysis Series "The practical consequence [is] for the first time, a way for one Internet user to transfer a unique piece of digital property to another Internet user, such that the transfer is guaranteed to be safe and secure, everyone knows that the transfer has taken place, and nobody can challenge the legitimacy of the transfer. The consequences of this breakthrough are hard to overstate." From a cruising altitude, a blockchain might not look that different from things you're familiar with, say Wikipedia. With a blockchain, many people can write entries into a record of information, and a community of users can control how the record of information is amended and updated. Likewise, Wikipedia entries are not the product of a single publisher. No one person controls the information. Descending to ground level, however, the differences that make blockchain technology unique become more clear. While both run on distributed networks (the internet), Wikipedia is built into the World Wide Web (WWW) using a client-server network model. A user (client) with permissions associated with its account is able to change Wikipedia entries stored on a centralized server. Whenever a user accesses the Wikipedia page, they will get the updated version of the 'master copy' of the Wikipedia entry. Control of the database remains with Wikipedia administrators allowing for access and permissions to be maintained by a central authority. Wikipedia's digital backbone is similar to the highly protected and centralized databases that governments or banks or insurance companies keep today. Control of centralized databases rests with their owners, including the management of updates, access and protecting against cyber-threats. The distributed d Continue reading >>

Seminar: Understanding Bitcoin, Blockchains And The Crypto Economy

Seminar: Understanding Bitcoin, Blockchains And The Crypto Economy

Seminar: Understanding Bitcoin, Blockchains and the Crypto Economy Since its launch in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin has emerged as the most successful cryptocurrency ever. It has become a global phenomenon, sparking the imagination of technology leaders, entrepreneurs and financial investors alike. Bitcoins market cap currently surpasses $190 Billion in a market of $570 Billion. Other cryptocurrencies have seen massive increases in value, too, albeit with a much smaller market capitalization. But what is bitcoin exactly, and how do cryptocurrencies work? Will the blockchain technology that underlies cryptocurrencies fundamentally transform the interactions across industries? On February 1, the Development Strategy and Policy Analysis Unit hosted a Development Policy Seminar on the Frontier Issue of Understanding Bitcoin, Blockchains and the Crypto Economy. The seminar featured Ferdinando Ametrano ( @Ferdinando1970 ), Adjunct Professor of Interest Rate Derivatives and Bitcoin and Blockchain Technology at the Universit Milano Bicocca and David Yermack , Chair of the Finance Department of New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business . Continue reading >>

What Is Blockchain? Here's Everything You Need To Know | Digital Trends

What Is Blockchain? Here's Everything You Need To Know | Digital Trends

What is a blockchain? Heres everything you need to know Without blockchain, bitcoin couldn't exist. Here's how it works Posted on April 16, 2018 - 3:00AM 4.16.18 - 3:00AM Blockchain technology is commonly associated with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but thats only the tip of the iceberg. Some people think blockchain could end up transforming a number of important industries, from health care to politics. This article is part of our series Blockchain beyond Bitcoin . Bitcoin is the beginning, but its far from the end. To help you wrap your head around why, were taking a deep dive into the world of blockchain. In this series, well go beyond cryptocurrency and hone in on blockchain applications that could reshape medical records, voting machines, video games, and more. Whether youre simply looking to invest in Bitcoin , trade some Ethereum , or are just intrigued about what the heck blockchain actually is, youve come to the right place. While blockchain technology isnt simple when you dig into the nitty-gritty, the basic idea isnt too hard to follow. Its effectively a database thats validated by a wider community, rather than a central authority. Its a collection of records that a crowd oversees and maintains, rather than relying on a single entity, like a bank or government, which most likely hosts data on a particular server.Of course, a physical database kept on paper could never be managed by tens of thousands of peers. Thats where computers, and the internet, come in. Each block represents a number of transactional records, and the chain componentlinks them all together with a hash function . As records are created, they are confirmed by a distributed network of computers and paired up with the previous entry in the chain, thereby creating a chain of blocks, o Continue reading >>

Blockchain Is Meaningless

Blockchain Is Meaningless

Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies have entered the mainstream discourse, but theyve also been joined by a concept that is widely circulated, but poorly understood: the blockchain or just blockchain. The idea of a blockchain, the cryptographically enhanced digital ledger that underpins Bitcoin and most cryptocurrencies, is now being used to describe everything from a system for inter-bank transactions to a new supply chain database for Walmart . The term has become so widespread that its quickly losing meaning. What is a blockchain? The word is a buzzword that is increasingly ill-defined, David Gerard, author of Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain: Bitcoin, Blockchain, Ethereum & Smart Contracts, said in an email. There are countless blockchain explainers in text, audio, and video around the web. Almost all of them are wrong because they start from a false premise. There is no universal definition of a blockchain, and there is widespread disagreement over which qualities are essential in order to call something a blockchain. There is no universal definition of a blockchain The Bitcoin system is considered the first blockchain the epiphany that launched the blockchain industry that proponents say will revolutionize money, government, and beyond. Bitcoin was designed to be public and allow anyone to join, and its blockchain was born out of the need to keep people honest in the absence of a central authority. The design sacrificed efficiency in order to ensure that theft wouldnt pay because rewriting the ledger would require so much computational power that it would be more costly than any potential upside. In order to achieve this effect, the Bitcoin blockchain consists of a digital ledger that records all transactions from the beginning of time to the present. C Continue reading >>

Forget Bitcoin, It's All About The Blockchain

Forget Bitcoin, It's All About The Blockchain

Forget Bitcoin, It's All About The Blockchain I highlight women in blockchain, their work and social innovations. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Photo courtesy of Gerd Altmann via Pixabay. Bitcoin gets headlines. I see them too. I admit it grabs attention, but the substance is blockchain technology. That's why it's critical to get familiar with blockchain technology. To do so, start here: Blockchain is a public distributed ledger. Throughout most of history, weve been living in a centralized world. We have governments, financial institutions, big tech companies, and credit bureaus as trusted third parties enabling us to transact and interact. These intermediaries control and have access to our money and data and are occasionally hacked. Blockchain technology allows for decentralization. It is essentially a database managed by a peer-to-peer network of computers. Blockchain facilitates the transfer and payment of digital money without the need for a trusted entity, such as a bank. The data it holds is public and immutable. Blockchain is not bitcoin. Bitcoin is digital money, a virtual currency that was the first successful blockchain product. Blockchain is the technology that enables cryptocurrency like bitcoin. While they go hand-in-hand, there are other use cases for blockchain besides bitcoin. Blockchain can ensure that the terms of programmable autonomous contracts, known as smart contracts, are met. It can be used for online voting to address voter fraud. It can be used to secure identity and many other situations where transparency and security is lacking. There is a consensus mechanism.Establishing consensus is the basis of blockchain technology. Different blockchains have different protocols for establishing consensus. With blockchain, Continue reading >>

What Is Blockchain Technology? Crypto & Blockchain Explained - Business Insider

What Is Blockchain Technology? Crypto & Blockchain Explained - Business Insider

For the past several weeks, you've likely heard some of the following terms if you've paid attention to the world of finance: Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum. But what do they mean? And why is cryptocurrency suddenly so hot? First, we'll explain the blockchain basics. As societybecome increasinglydigital, financial services providers are looking to offercustomers the same services to which they're accustomed, but in a more efficient, secure, and cost effective way. The origins of blockchain are a bit nebulous. A person or group of people known by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakomoto invented and released the tech in 2009 as a way to digitally and anonymously send payments between two partieswithout needing a third party to verify the transaction.It wasinitially designed to facilitate, authorize, and log the transfer of bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. Blockchain tech is actually rather easy to understand at its core. Essentially, it's a shared database populated with entries that must be confirmed and encrypted. Think of it as a kind of highly encrypted and verified shared Google Document, in which each entry in the sheet depends on a logical relationship to all its predecessors. Blockchain tech offers a way tosecurely and efficiently create a tamper-prooflog of sensitive activity (anything from international money transfers to shareholder records). Blockchain's conceptual framework and underlying code is useful for a variety of financial processes because of the potential it has to give companiesa secure, digital alternative to banking processes that are typically bureaucratic, time-consuming, paper-heavy, and expensive. FILE PHOTO: An illustration photo of Bitcoin (virtual currency) coins are seen at La Maison du Bitcoin in ParisThomson Continue reading >>

Demystifying The 'blockchain' Technology Behind Bitcoin, Other Cryptocurrencies

Demystifying The 'blockchain' Technology Behind Bitcoin, Other Cryptocurrencies

Demystifying the 'blockchain' technology behind Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies Ken Colburn, Special for The Republic Published 4:07 p.m. MT Feb. 24, 2018 CONNECT TWEET LINKEDIN 1 COMMENTEMAILMORE Question: Can you give me a laymans explanation of what exactly "blockchain" is? Answer: With the hype surrounding cryptocurrencies continuing to grow, more people are hearing about the underlying technology known as blockchain. At the core of blockchain technology is a publicly shared "immutable digital ledger"meaning that its essentially a tamperproof record-keeping technology. Ledgers have been part of how humans trade since nearly the beginning of our species and continues to be how we record transactions. Until blockchain, ledgers were generally controlled by a single entity and could be manipulated without others knowing. Us old-timers also remember the time-consuming, error ridden manual record-keeping on green ledger paper for sales transactions or inventory tracking which is why VisiCalc, the first electronic spreadsheet was such a game changer. With only one copy of any ledger, its easy to manipulate the data when "no one is watching." Todays private ledgers, whether its in banking, real estate, taxes or health care, requires us to "trust"the organization that controls it. This middle-man model is also how so many global organizations have become so powerful were required to use them in order to execute a transaction. This network of privately controlled ledgers that dont talk to each other is also why so many transactions take so long to execute. This stranglehold on so many data sets is what prompted the creator of blockchain to develop this publicly visible, distributed ledger platform. Imagine a ledger that is shared in real-time with millions of others that sho Continue reading >>

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