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Blockchain: Above and beyond Bitcoin

Updated: May 5, 2020

Ohh Blockchain! Don't you mean Bitcoin? Isn't it banned in India? Isn't it risky? No, No & Probably, but that is not what Blockchain is all about!

Blockchain can easily become the next big technological advancement. Read on!

Blockchain is way beyond Bitcoin. It's about revolutionising how the world does its business.

Let me first say if you thought Bitcoin and Blockchain are synonymous, then it would surprise you to know that Bitcoin is, what you call an implementation of Blockchain 1.0 and we are currently headstrong in Blockchain 3.0.

Bitcoin was the first adapter of Blockchain Technology(White-paper in 2008, First version in 2009) and it became famous since it provided an alternate way of doing payments anonymously without any Central Authority getting involved. As you can guess that did not sit well with the governing authorities. Bitcoin earned a bad reputation since the payments could never be traced and became a go-to mode of payment for many illegal activities.

On a side note, do you know about a major change that is going to happen to Bitcoin in May, 2020? If not find out here.

So how Noodles became Maggi and Photocopy became Xerox, similarly Blockchain became Bitcoin. Rather unfortunately.

What is a Blockchain?

In simple terms, Blockchain is a distributed, decentralised, immutable ledger. Yes, maybe that wasn’t so simple. Let me further break it down:

  1. Distributed: There is no single server. There is a pool of servers interconnected to each other doing a specific task.

  2. Decentralised: No single server has the authority to take a decision. The decision has to be made in a consensus.

  3. Immutable: Information once stored can never be deleted.

So basically a Blockchain stores data permanently which can never be altered. The data is stored as "Blocks" and they are joined together to form a "Chain". Voila! Blockchain!

The "How" part of it involves a lot of technical explanation that covers Consensus, Cryptography, Merkel roots and a few more topics. I will write a detailed post on these in the coming times.

A database system that can never be hacked. No data once entered, can be modified! Do you see the vast application of blockchain now?

Let me jot down a few applications that are possible because of this:

  • Digital Elections: Since any record on a Blockchain can never be modified so the votes cannot be altered. A person can log in with a valid ID card and vote. A smart contract can verify if the voter is unique by creating a key of the data that the user has entered and if valid allow the user to vote. This has already been implemented in Sierra Leone on March 7, 2019.

  • E- Governance: Won't it be wonderful if you can quickly find out if the licence that your cab driver is showing you is genuine or not? With E- Governance, the details of an ID can be updated on the Blockchain and one can quickly verify if the ID matches with the person or not. E- Governance is already implemented in the country of Estonia.

  • Insurance Claims: Blockchain can be used to automatically trigger certain actions in case a set of events occur. This can help in an automated disbursal of money in the times of emergency.

  • Validity of Products: How can you know if the sanitiser you bought today is genuine or not? Does the licence hold true? With a blockchain implemented solution you can quickly find that out since the data is immutable. If it's on the Chain it has passed a rigorous consensus algorithm and made its way on it. An example is "CryptoKicks by Nike".

The possibilities are absolutely endless and that is what truly makes blockchain one of the most exciting technologies of the modern age.

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