Blockchain has the potential to revolutionize everything from voting to stock trader. And, given its clout, that could help it remain at the center of the web—even though blockchain advocates say the technology's way of decentralizing power could help other companies better compete with near-monopolies like Google and Facebook that maintain power from a centralized ecosystem of advertising.
Because blockchain is based on a distributed, peer-to-peer topology where data can be stored globally on thousands of servers - and anyone on the network can see everyone else's entries in real-time - it's virtually impossible for one entity to gain control of or game the network.
A block is the ‘current' part of a blockchain, which records some or all of the recent transactions. Transactions occur between blockchain addresses. The current focus in the media on the cryptocurrency element of blockchain has taken away a fair amount of attention away from the underlying technology.
Moreover, payments are made on the blockchain as well, in digital wallets. One could argue that most people aren't ready yet for decentralized digital ledgers, but looking at blockchain's progress thus far, it probably won't be long before non-adopters follow suit.
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Originally devised for the digital currency, Bitcoin, the tech community is now finding other potential uses for blocktalks blockchain the technology. Block Crafters is an accelerator made up of experts in not only blockchain technology but also finance and startups, who facilitate a healthy blockchain investing environment.
Putting democracy on a blockchain is complicated, but startups including Follow My Vote and Settlemint are already laying out frameworks centered around blockchain-based tokens serving as votes, dropped in digital wallets for each candidate. Such peer-to-peer networks are often referred to as distributed autonomous organizations (DAOs), and someday, they could transform our whole conception of companies.
Moreover, some blockchains (such as Ethereum or Quorum) allow the execution of Smart Contracts, thus paving the way to a very large plethora of new interesting applications of the technology in several fields, such as: Internet of Things, Cyber Physical Systems, Edge Computing, Supply Chain Management, Social Networks, and many others.
It's unclear which few will rise to the front of the pack, or which blockchains businesses will prefer. Moving ahead with our Blockchain tutorial, let us now look at one such example of IBM and Maersk, to understand how the Supply Chain Industry is disrupted by blockchain.
As a peer-to-peer network, combined with a distributed time-stamping server, blockchain ledgers can be managed autonomously to exchange information between disparate parties. The blocks are added through cryptography, ensuring that they remain meddle-proof: The data can be distributed, but not copied.
Here, you don't start with a preference for a blockchain. An approach called a payment channel has been proposed to address these types of situations and a few networks are in various stages of development within a few blockchain platforms. The blockchain story will fit in easily alongside the story of the early PC software manufacturers who sold software on floppy disks and created billion dollar markets.