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Oct 12, 2020

What is Blockchain?

You’ve heard this word everywhere lately, but what does it really mean? Simply put, it’s a way of structuring and storing data. Think of how you pack things up to move. Things are put in boxes, the boxes are labeled with the contents, and then it is stacked inside the moving truck or storage unit. That’s it, really.

So why is that revolutionary? Or special?

It’s not that special or revolutionary at all. How it is being used, is what the fuss is all about. It enables something called distributed ledger technology (or DLT), which is an important step in the evolution of how data is stored and shared. Until now, most companies had private databases. They just had no other means. If they allowed anyone to look at their databases, it would have created huge security risks. With blockchain technology, it can be owned by no one, added to by its users, and all the information can be seen publicly. This use of a public ledger creates transparency never before seen, which in turn enables a company (or government) to show what they are up to, be held accountable, and thus gain trust.

 

That’s a very simple way of understanding a blockchain. The great thing about it is its simplicity. It can be created very quickly. There are YouTube tutorials under 20 minutes long showing you how to code your own blockchain from scratch! A blockchain can also be written in JavaScript, one of the most widely used and easy to learn coding languages. Someone who has never coded before, EVER, could learn how to code a JavaScript blockchain in under a week, just following simple guides and tutorials.

 

Here are some real-world uses that are already applying blockchain technology:

  • Decentralized Internet
  • Smart Contracts
  • Decentralized Markets
  • Distributed Cloud Storage
  • Decentralized Social Networking Sites
  • Encrypted Messaging
  • Proof of Ownership
  • Authenticated Voting
  • Stock exchange
  • Real Estate
  • Shipping, Logistics, and Food Processing

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