Unless you have been hiding under a rock somewhere (or at least away from the internet), then you most likely would have heard or seen snippets of words like “Bitcoin” and “cryptocurrency”. To shed a little light on these terms, they basically all have to do with the probable future of how we trade or do transactions. What do we mean by this?
“Cryptocurrency” refers to virtual currency that is secured via cryptography which makes things going wrong in the middle (like with intermediaries and middle men such as banks) a less likely outcome due to these encrypted protective measures – “Bitcoin” is one of the most popular types of currency amongst the “virtual money” being traded around the world with hundreds more still popping up and growing in popularity with businesses. However with all these weird and wonderful words, what about the title of this article? What is “Blockchain”?
To explain this, we could use an example of buying fruit from the supermarket. We know that certain farmers will grow the fruit, it will get sent to the markets to then get bought by a customer who in turn gives money to the market who give a percentage back to the farmers (whether directly or through other means). Now technically, these markets are not necessarily needed, but because they are the means to which products can be bought all over the world (by strangers that they do not have to trust) then it is a means that farmers are willing to use.
This is the main issue, Trust. Blockchain can be likened to an open market whereby the hypothetical farmer could meet the customer and trade but with the confidence that the transaction will be secure; how?
Blockchain is constantly being updated so that anyone who looks up the transaction can see it and not be able to tamper or change it. Making it public, verifies its security that it actually happened and the fact that it is always encrypted with different algorithms. Not one person can constantly try to hack using the same method (as oppose to other methods where hackers are able to use software that can come up with algorithms to crack a pattern of encrypted codes).
Another important point about Blockchain is that it is decentralized. This means that no one business or part of the industry controls how things run ( like a bank or intermediary acting as the “middle man”) so everyone literally has access to view the trade occurring.
What does this mean for us? It might mean that we may no longer need our real coins, notes or even online banking to get what we need. It may mean that we can soon feel safer about how we purchase or trade products and it definitely means that as technology develops, hopefully so does the trust we have in these new projects constantly changing our future.