Do you often hear people talk about blockchain and cryptocurrency a lot? Or do you see it on every website you visit? And now you want to know what it is all about? Let us dive into this crypto-world and see what it is all about.
What is Cryptocurrency?
First, the idea of cryptocurrencies did not start today. It has been there for a long time now. The first cryptocurrency appeared around 1998, written by a man named Wei Dai. The anonymous digital money was called “B-money“. Another digital currency, but decentralized, was discovered not long after by another developer named Nick Szabo which title it “Bit Gold” but was never implemented.
But the first decentralized cryptocurrency was launched not until 2009. It was developed by the famous fictitious Satoshi Nakamoto. His digital form of currency was in a class of his own. The first of its kind. Most importantly, he released the whole code up as open source so everybody could see and work on in 2009. He called this type of digital currency “Bitcoin“. A peer-to-peer Electronic cash system.
As of 2018, though Bitcoin remains the largest blockchain network, more than 1000 cryptocurrencies were made available all over the internet.
But we are not here to talk all about Satoshi Nakamoto and the inventions of cryptocurrencies. But how these currencies blockchain works.
What actually is blockchain? Here we say it is “a digital ledger in which transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency are recorded chronologically and publicly”. Blockchain can also be said to be an incorruptible digital ledger that is programmed to keep hold of a continuously growing list of transactions record, called blocks which once recorded cannot be altered or edited permanently. Its data is accessible to anyone on the internet, cause its blockchain database is not stored in any single location, so are kept public for anyone access.
Note that the blockchain cannot:
- be controlled by any single entity (decentralized),
- And has no single point of error or failure.
Blockchain was actually invented by the same famous anonymous Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 which was implemented the following year. He invented it for the use of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, as its public transaction ledger. This helped to solve the double-spending problem without the need of a trusted authority or a central server. Although it was created to manage Bitcoins, other currencies can be used.
Blockchain could also be used to record events, medical records and other records management activities such as votings.
Since blockchain is the collection of records called blocks. Block is seen as a file that maintains the record of transactions carried out in a given time. Each time a block is completed,gives way for a new block. Just like flipping to a new page in a book.
The block time is an average time. It is a measure of how long it will take the hashing power of the network to find a solution to the block hash. This typically the amount of a network takes up in generating one extra block in the blockchain. In more simple words, is the amount of time you take in flipping to another page in a book.
Is blockchain complicated? Maybe yes. But as a concept? I would say no. Take it as a receipt or teller you get as an evidence or proof of any transaction you make or have made that cannot be edited or altered. And that is made public for easy accessibility and verifiability.