If you are interested in cryptocurrencies, you’ve probably heard about blockchain before. The concept is not new at all: Satoshi Nakamoto introduced it more than ten years ago (it’s not his real name, by the way) when he published the written framework for bitcoin, the borderless and blockchain-based digital currency. From less than a dollar, each coin values today nearly $20,000. But yes, we are talking about 2008/2009 technology, so why is the world still so fascinated about blockchain?
Also known as Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), blockchain makes the history of any digital asset transparent and unalterable through the use of decentralized, distributed ledger that records the source of it. Needed to read the definition twice? Well, think of it as a Google Doc. When you create a Google Doc and you give equal access to everyone with the link to it, the document is distributed instead of copied or transferred, which means everyone has access to it simultaneously and modifications are done in real-time. This makes the whole process decentralized (no one owns it) and transparent. Cool, right? So let’s move on from the Google Docs to actual blocks. Every time a transaction is done, it must be then verified. With blockchain, that job is done by a network of computers. Then, the transaction must be stored in a block and given a unique, identifying code, called a hash. Once hashed, the block is added to the blockchain and now all the information regarding that transaction is available for everyone to see.
Because blocks are hashed chronologically, edit it would mean getting a different code, and that is why blockchain is so secure: if a hacker changes something in a transaction you made, then he had to change all the blocks which came afterward, to keep the original order.
Another very important feature: it’s free. Blockchain can transfer and store money but it has the potential to do so much more than that: it can replace all business models based on charging a small fee for a safe transaction. Which means that companies like Amazon, Airbnb, and Uber are threatened by blockchain. And what about banks? The whole financial system is built on taking a small part of your money to facilitate a transaction – but you don’t need it anymore. You can do transactions and store money for free.
But companies can also benefit from using blockchain. By decentralizing their data storage, it cannot be hacked or lost. Also, the fact that files aren’t in only one place allows them to transfer it much faster. Moreover, transparency allows companies to prove the stories they tell about the origin of their products. Do companies use organic components for their products? Do they promote fair trade? With blockchain, we can tell for sure.
In what other ways can the transparency of this technology be used? By the governments, during the elections, making the results fully accessible and transparent. What if all public transactions were made through blockchain? Could it mean the end of corruption?
Now that you understood how amazing this technology is, we will give you one extra reason to participate in our challenges: our platform uses blockchain technology! This means all votes and transactions done during our events are transparent and done through real-time competition leaderboards, innovators, and juris rankings! We hope you are excited because we have a brand new challenge available for you, check it here.