The blockchain is an undeniably ingenious invention – the
brainchild of a person or
group of people known by the pseudonym, SatoshiNakamoto. But since
2008, it has evolved
into something greater, and the main question every single person is asking is:
What is the Blockchain?
A blockchain is, in the simplest of terms, a time-stamped series of immutable records of data that is managed by clusters of computers not owned by any single entity. Each of these blocks of data (i.e. block) are secured and bound to each other using cryptographic principles (i.e. chain).
So, what is so special about it and why are we saying that it has industry disrupting capabilities? Well, the blockchain network has no central authority — it is the very definition of a democratized system. Since it is a shared and immutable ledger, the information in it is open for anyone and everyone to see. Hence, anything that is built on the blockchain is by its very nature transparent and everyone involved is accountable for their actions.
What is Blockchain Used For?
Initially, used for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum, litecoin, stellar, and usd pax), blockchain has now found use cases in several industries including finance, real estate, health, data sharing/record keeping, digital voting, and IoT networks-- just to name a few.
While blockchain is far from perfect, it certainly has plenty of real-world applications that have yet to be discovered! Eventhough it has somewhat quietly revolutionized the status quo, there is still much progress to be made to fully tap into the potential of a cryptographic ledger.