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Blockchain Technology

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What is blockchain?

? Blockchain is a specific kind of database. A database is a compilation of data typically collected in a computer system. Blockchain is different from normal databases because they store information. Unlike other databases, blockchains store data in blocks chained to one another, hence the name. New data is automatically entered into a new block. As soon as the block is filled with data, it is directly chained into the previous block. As a result, the data are chained together in chronological order. Although blockchains seem quite complicated, the key concept is relatively simple to comprehend. In the case of spreadsheets, they are designed to allow a group of people, either large or small, to access and store a set of information. Large databases allow people to store, access and manipulate data very fast by leveraging powerful computers.

In many cases, the servers are built with many computer systems that enable them to have the strong computational power and massive storage capabilities. Although spreadsheets are accessible by several people, they are usually owned by an organization. A person is appointed to monitor how people access it and all the data in it.

There are some outstanding differences between the blockchain and typical databases. One of the most conspicuous differences is in the way data is regulated. In the blockchain, information is gathered in groups identified as blocks. Blocks hold sets of data within the blockchain. Each block has a storage capacity. On the other hand, databases structure information in spreadsheets.

Blockchain technology is a platform of peer-to-peer servers that keeps transactional data, otherwise referred to as blocks. This kind of storage is at times called a “digital ledger. All transactions are registered with the host’s signature, which authenticates them and safeguards them from exploit. Consequently, the information in the digital ledger is perfectly secure. To look at it another way, the digital ledger is like a Google worksheet that is distributed beyond numerous computers in a network and keeps transactional data depending on real acquisitions.

What Makes Blockchain So Popular?

Blockchain is a digital ledger that has lately acquired considerable interest and recognition in the modern era. And why has it gained such a large following? We’ll dive deep to comprehend the notion. Data and transaction records are important players in the industry. This data is common via a third entity such as agents, financiers, or attorneys, which increases time and expense to the firm. Thankfully, Blockchain removes this lengthy procedure and enables quicker transaction processing, reducing cost and time wastage. 

Many individuals accept that Blockchain and Bitcoin are equivalent terms; however, this is not the truth. Blockchain is a technology able to support various platforms in numerous sectors, such as production and so forth. However, Bitcoin is money that is due to Blockchain technology.

Advantages of Blockchain Technology

Blockchain is a new innovation that offers several benefits in an evolving digital society. It is, for example, quite safe. It employs a digital signature technology to execute scam-free operations, enabling it to be hard for other consumers to contaminate or alter a person’s info without a distinct digital signature. A decentralized system is also included. Generally, transactions need the consent of controlling agencies like a financial institution; but, with Blockchain Blockchain, transactions are completed by user approval, leading to simpler, safer, and quicker transactions. Another benefit of Blockchain Blockchain is its capacity to automate. It’s computerized, and when the trigger’s needs are satisfied, it may instantly produce a sequence of events, occurrences, and transactions.

How Does Blockchain Technology Work?

Blockchain is made up of 3 key systems: (1) cryptographic keys, (2) a peer-to-peer network with a distributed ledger, and (3) a computer system to keep the platform’s operations and data. Two keys are applied in cryptography: a private and a public key. Those keys help in the efficient finalization of transactions among different entities. They are different for every individual and are applied in establishing a safe digital identity credential. The most crucial aspect of Blockchain is the protected recognition. This recognition is referred to as a “digital signature” in the bitcoin field, and it is utilized in verifying and controlling operations.

The peer-to-peer network is attached with the digital signature; a great deal of individuals behaving as officials use the digital signature to attain a consensus on operations and other challenges. When they accept a transaction, it is confirmed arithmetically, leading to a properly protected operation among the networked entities. In summary, Blockchain consumers use cryptographic keys to carry out several kinds of digital transactions across a peer-to-peer network.

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Blockchain And Cryptocurrencies

crypto

Recently, blockchain technology has gained notable attention. Burns (2019), serving as an immutable ledger, Blockchain enables transactions to occur in a distributed manner. Other than a currency, blockchain technology has been in other fields such as trade finance, insurance and healthcare. Narayanan, Bonneau, Felten, Miller and Goldfeder (2016) defines cryptocurrency as a digital currency that is in the form of tokens. Cryptography is used in cryptocurrencies to create and process digital currencies and their associated transactions across distributed systems. Cryptocurrencies are designed in a manner that cannot be controlled or manipulated by the government despite their popularity. However, there are tradeoffs. For example, greater risk due to lower levels of liquidity. Although Blockchain is mostly associated with cryptocurrency Bitcoin, there are numerous other uses of Blockchain which include Ether, Tether, Litecoin, Monero, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Zcash and Stellar Lumen. This discussion major on various cryptocurrencies with applicable examples by expounding on some differences and similarities

Types of cryptocurrencies

Ethereum (ETH)

Ethereum is one of the first Bitcoin alternatives. It was introduced in 2015. It is a decentralized application platform that enables creation and establishment of Decentralized Applications as well as Smart Contracts that are run without interruption from a third party, fraud or downtime. Ethereum applications are run on a cryptographic token called ether. This cryptographic token acts as a vehicle that moves across the Ethereum platform. Developers who are looking to build an application that Ethereum platform or investors that consider making purchases of other digital currencies use ether. Ethereum acts as a platform whereby two parties enter into an agreement on price without the need for a third party. Bitcoin and ether tokens are known as cryptocurrencies since they can only be sold or purchased in digital form they are not controlled by financial institutions and other government bodies that regulate currencies (” Ethereum.org”, 2020)Even though Ethereum is the second-largest digital currency after bitcoin, there is a significant margin behind the dominant cryptocurrency.

Litecoin (LTC)

Litecoin is a global open-source network of payment. It was launched in 2011.  It is often referred to as bitcoin’s gold because it follows some of the bitcoin footpaths. Litecoin is not controlled by any financial institution or governmental agency (“Litecoin – Open source P2P digital currency”, 2020). Litecoin uses “scrypt” as evidence of work. Litecoin is similar to Bitcoin in many ways. However, its rate of block generation is higher than that of bitcoin. Litecoin provides faster confirmation time for transactions when compared to bitcoin. Besides, it offers advanced storage efficiency and has the Blockchain can handle a large volume of transaction than Bitcoin.  Due to substantial industry support and liquidity, the number of merchants that accept Litecoin has increased. As a result, Litecoin a recognized medium of commerce that complements Bitcoin. Wallet encryption feature in Litecoin provides security and prevents Trojans and viruses from stealing Litecoin wallets. Litecoin is the sixth-largest form of cryptocurrency around the globe.

Ripple (XRP)

Ripple was launched in the year 2012. It is a real-time global settlement system that offers specific, affordable and instant payments. The currencies traded in the triple are XRP and transfer times are instant and can be exchanged with other currencies. The ripple unique selling proposition is to evade charges associated with banks and other financial institutions. Rather than Blockchain, ripple is made up of a Hash Tree. Besides, ripple currency cannot be mined since there is a limited number of coins (100 billion). XRP token isn’t an essential prerequisite in every transaction. Therefore, there is less computing power and minimal network latency in ripple. As a result, ripple it differentiates itself from Bitcoin and other altcoins. Ripple has revolutionized cross-border payments has become one of the most popular and attractive digital coins among the banks and institutions (“Instantly Move Money to All Corners of the World | Ripple”, 2020). It is the third-largest cryptocurrency around the globe.