The world has heard a lot about cryptocurrencies over the past few years. Popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin use Blockchain as their underlying technology. Blockchain is a very important invention with applications outside of cryptocurrency and we will continue to use the technology for many decades to come.
Invented in 2008 by a man (or group of people) named Satoshi Nakamoto, Blockchain is in simple terms, just a ledger of information. Similar to an accounting ledger that you may have learned about in high school, Blockchain ledgers can contain transactions of data that can contain anything. Absolutely anything! Let’s digest this for a moment. As noted, many of today’s Blockchain transactions are built for cryptocurrency. But imagine a future where any kind of data can be stored in these ledgers; data that only you can access. Information about contracts, personal data, health data and of course financial data. Companies will be able to track the products they produce and sell, collecting information about their use, location or issues. Whatever may be needed to improve support, conduct repairs and track anything for the life of their product or services.
So now you may be asking, but where do we store these ledgers? Ah, here is where the beauty of this design lies. The Blockchain is fully decentralized and stored on multiple public computers on the internet. Since every computer stores every transaction, the system continues to run even if one or more computers go offline. Each transaction is secure and transactions within the ledger that are yours can be read by you and only you. Each and every transaction is permanently recorded on the ledger and encrypted with a set of keys that only the intended user can unlock.
I see a time in the future where our Database servers are gone and we begin to store all of our transactions and data in public Blockchain ledgers that can be accessed quickly and securely from any device, anywhere in the world.
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