Bitcoin has been the hype lately. Stocks going up significantly in a matter of days. This sudden increase in bitcoin stock value has everyone intrigued and on the lookout for news about bitcoin, especially investors who became millionaires through this huge increase.
But have you ever wondered what the hype is about? What makes Bitcoin special?
Chances are if you’ve done your research, you’ve already learned about the technology behind it, called Blockchain.
If you’re still wondering what it is, we’re here with an answer! So buckle up.
What is blockchain?
Well, oxford languages define it as a system in which a record of transactions made in bitcoin or another crypt currency is maintained across several computers that are linked in a peer-to-peer network.’
Even though this is not necessarily accurate, let’s dissect the definition and come up with our own conclusion, shall we?
A record of the transaction: so this means that it’s a way of storing information
Maintained across several computers: meaning that the information is not stored in only one place. What this means is that any information within the blockchain cannot be manipulated, as there are copies of it through the entire network of peers.
Which leads us to “linked in a peer-to-peer network.” It’s decentralized. Everyone on the same network can see any action that is taken, which means fraud cannot happen. Also, there is no one owner of the information. And in a time where data has become a worthy product, you can see why many people would not be thrilled for such a technology. Decentralized blockchains are immutable, which means that the data entered is irreversible
So in brief, Blockchain is a method or a technology for storing information that is decentralized and cannot be manipulated.
The name itself is an explanatory one. If we were to get a little technical, blockchain is a type of database where the info is stored in the form of blocks chained together, whereas any wrong change in one of the blocks will disrupt/break the chain.
As for those of you who are skeptical about having information lying around for a hacker to come along and change it. I’d tell you this is a long shot. Here’s why:
If a hacker wants to alter the Blockchain and steal your information or your Bitcoins, it won’t be an easy process. If they alter their own copy of the chain, it would no longer align with everyone else’s copy and it would be cast away as illegitimate. In order to succeed in changing the chain, the hacker would have to simultaneously alter 51% of the copies in order for his altered version to become the ‘agreed-upon chain. Such an attack would also require an immense amount of money and resources as they would need to redo all of the blocks because they would now have different timestamps and hash codes.
Blockchain applications: Remember when we said the above definition of blockchain was inaccurate? It is because it has concluded blockchain into one single form of implementation and use: crypto coin.
And while that is indeed a breakthrough in the fintech sector. There are endless uses for the Blockchain technology in various fields, including Secure sharing of medical data, music royalties tracking, like what Mediachain did, which was purchased by Spotify in 2017. In addition to cross-border payments, voting mechanisms,s and other uses that range as wide as your imagination.