What is a Blockchain? Why is it so popular? How it can (revolutionise) the world?

What is a Blockchain?

What is a Blockchain?– A blockchain is basically like a distributed ledger which stores the database of assets and transactions done across a peer to peer network. You can think of a blockchain as an open infrastructure that can store various types of assets.

Let me take this to a simpler level that “What is a Blockchain?. Imagine you have to make a transaction of $10 from A to B. Now, in normal scenarios what happens is that transaction takes place through a third part app or payment processing system. First, A’s bank will identifying the details of B’s bank. Once that is done, then with the help of a payment processing service A’s bank will initiate a money transfer to B’s bank with a certain amount of deductions. Both banks will record transaction at their end. However a transaction fees is charged and B receives something like $9.95. The process is fully secure and have many checks in place to ensure that it stays secure and accurate, but even then there are some basic fundamental issues with the transaction process:

  • Delay in process
  • Dependency on a single intermediary whose effectiveness in never 100%
  • In case of any gap in the transaction, no one takes the responsibility and people keep on blaming each other.

What is a Blockchain? “Blockchain is a distributed database that maintains a continuously growing list of data records, chained together against revision and tampering.”

 

Blockchain first came into existence after Bitcoin was popularised that is in 2009. It was devised as a database for Bitcoin implementation.

Blockchain technology is a shared and distributed ledger of all kinds of assets, be it tangible or intangible. It is one big incorruptible database that records all the transactions virtually of value.

One block represents a record of the recent transaction. After one block is completed, it is added linearly to another block having other records. This process, when repeated over and over, forms a Blockchain.

How Blockchain eliminates these problems?

Consider if there is a system where you no longer have to worry about these problems faced. You just need perform a transaction and there are people who are sitting and validating your transaction every second.

The validation mechanism is called as Proof of block and this is done based on the public key provided for the encrypted data, and it is done by all listeners in the peer-to-peer network. And these are real people, not bots. Since there is not a single transaction validating authority, i.e. no centralized transaction service, the process is effectively decentralized.

Once again, few people are specified and aligned to validates the transaction. The transaction details are stored in the form of a block, and that block is added to the existing ‘blockchain’. Hence the name, blockchain.

Moreover, the blocks once validated and added are immutable. These blocks have a specific hash associated with every block. In a simple layman language, you can say that hashes are like hand fingerprints, which are unique to every block.

The persons validating the transaction process are called as miners. More the number of miners, better the efficiency of transaction.

A block in all contains of data, a hash and a hash of previous block. Since it includes the hash of previous block, hence in a blockchain all the blocks contain data for the previous blocks so it becomes almost impossible for a blockchain to be corrupt.

To know about What is a Blockchain?” via video, please use the below mentioned links:-

 

What is a Blockchain? Why do you need Blockchain? How Blockchain can ‘revolutionise’ the world?

  • It rules out the involvement of the third party so it is highly cost-effective and fast way of exchanging assets.
  • The system is decentralised hence there is no common point of failure in this system. This means malfunctioning at a single point will not affect others on the network.
  • The whole process is immutable, and no one can alter or delete the data once written.
  • Any changes made in the Blockchain will be visible to all its participants. This makes is highly transparent as well.

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What is a Blockchain?

There are many industries that have a scope of incorporating the Blockchain technology. I have listed some of them below for your understanding:

Music Industry:

The artists can really benefit from this technology by cutting the hefty cuts of financial brokers and creating a possibility of dealing directly with the consumers. It means a user can directly pay an artist upon downloading his song instead of indirectly paying it through the third party.

Elections:

This can ensure a secure environment for voting. Beginning from registering the candidates, to the counting of votes, everything can be verified and protected from tamper.

Healthcare:

This can create a secure platform for storing patient’s medical records. It can also prevent healthcare payment related frauds.

These were some of the many applications of Blockchain Technology, other than Bitcoin.

What is a Blockchain? Blockchain is a backlinked, decentralized and distributed-database of encrypted records

To sum it up, it’s worth mentioning that blockchain technology offers extensive business opportunities. The blockchain significantly reduces fees, eliminates counterparty risks, and can withstand malicious attacks.

Blockchain technology also ensures transparency and immutability, as well as empowers its participants by offering them control over their transactions and data.

What is a Blockchain? “Bitcoin is a remarkable cryptographic achievement and the ability to create something that is not duplicable in the digital world has enormous value”

Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google

IBM’s Blockchain Used by 400+ Companies

 

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Blockchain solutions have more than 400 corporate users that are currently managing various projects on the emerging technology. Among IBM’s customers are giants like Nestlé, Walmart, VISA, and HSBC, IBM told investors in a briefing.

63 companies are collaborating in IBM-led consortiums with various themes. Thus, 25 companies testing IBM’s blockchain operate in global trade, 14 are in global payments, and 15 deal with food supply chain management.

IBM primarily operates the so-called permissioned networks, which have two sets of data: one available to the public and another hidden behind passwords and crypto mechanisms.

IBM is successfully promoting the technology to established corporations that seems to be interested in its potential. The main reasons blockchain has got big companies excited are the opportunities it offers for transparency, security, low-cost, and lack or reduction of intermediaries in the tracking process. In mid-January, IBM and Maersk started a blockchain platform to boost trade processing and cut costs.The US tech giant is also working with payment providers like VISA, BBVA, CIBC, EarthPort, and Polynesian payments platform KlickEx.

 

Blockchain can prevent delays in payment to SMEs and can radically transform Digital Marketing, how?

How can blockchain radically transform Digital Marketing?

  • Transparency Throughout the Customer Journey

Sellers of goods and services can irrevocably prove their trustworthiness to customers by making their manufacturing and supply chain processes radically transparent. In a groundbreaking instance, retailer Walmart used blockchain technology based on IBM’s Watson AI to create a digital route for how their pork products originated in China and ended up on shelves in the US.

  • Customer is the key

What is certain though is that the disruption is coming. Therefore, marketers had better be prepared to prove the value of their brands and products to their customers and find innovative ways of engaging with them.

  • Consumers and vendors alike expressed greater confidence in Walmart as a result.

“Blockchain ledgers establish a shared, secure record of supply chain information flows – a single version of the truth across networks for supply chain transactions, processes, and partners,” says Shari Diaz, Ecosystem and Innovation Leader at IBM Watson Supply Chain.Customers also got access to the backstory of how that clothing item was made and who modeled it previously, resulting in a personal connection with the brand.In another instance, fashion brand Babyghost teamed up with Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) provider VeChain and used a heady mix of emerging technologies such as blockchain, Near Field Communications (NFC) and Augmented Reality (AR) to enable customers to scan clothing tags to check if they were genuine or not.

  • Elimination of Middlemen via Direct Media Buying

As digital media becomes more and more addressable, the behemoth demand-side platforms (DSPs) like Google and Facebook will eventually start to feel the heat. Why is that? Because blockchain enables advertisers to communicate directly with ad publishers by establishing the veracity of users via click-through data. It also builds trust between the parties with a transaction-dependent payment system.

This eliminates the need for platforms like Google to verify the number of ad impressions or genuineness of user clicks, and also significantly reduces the amount of money lost to ad fraud, which is projected by the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) to reach $150 billion by 2025. These funds will be available for advertisers to be re-channeled into more campaigns.

  • Full Control of Privacy in Users’ Hands

Marketers can appease their privacy concerns simply by showing respect and explicitly asking for permission to show branded messaging. Blockchain technology can come to the rescue here.

Marketers can use it to negotiate approval with shoppers, website visitors or app users, who can be sure that only the data for which they’ve explicitly granted permission is being collected and used.

What’s more, organizations can easily and securely store the large volumes of customer data they gather, without fear of it being hacked – blockchain-encrypted and decentralized data is far more difficult to break into than traditional storage methods.

Other regions may well follow suit and compel companies to do the same.services like MetaMask allows users to micro-control their online identity with access to their full browsing and transaction histories.

Users simply install the extension on their browser and create an “identity” that is authorized by the underlying blockchain technology and stored locally in the browser itself. Any transaction that attempts to copy information from this identity can be approved or rejected by the user, who in turn can use multiple such identities to browse publishers’ pages and purchase products in the guise of just an account number. While this wouldn’t be the same as a verified customer, the site or retailer can actually track browsing behavior and even issue loyalty points to the account in question.

What is a Blockchain?

What is a Blockchain?

Who offers the best blockchain training course?

There aren’t many certification courses for Blockchain, yet. There are some online courses available on Udemy and Coursera, but aren’t holistic.

If it is the business side of Blockchain that you’d want to get certified in then the Said Business School at Oxford has an elaborate program on Fintech that covers Blockchain as well. At appx 2500 pounds, it might be a little expensive for anyone, when compared to what you can achieve with self learning, through blogs, videos, etc

There have been some organisations that are working on curating content for a well rounded course.

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However if you do TL:DR; Learn C++, Node.js, Web3 and Solidity and you will be good to go.

 

Also look for my other Posts on cryprocurrency:-

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