What is Blockchain Technology ? [Full Tutorial]
What is Blockchain?
Blockchain Technology (BCT) is a distributed database technology that was first introduced in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto. It is the backbone of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. BCT is a consensus network that enables transactions between users without the need for intermediaries. Blockchains are decentralized ledgers that record bitcoin transactions using cryptographic signatures. A blockchain is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, secured by cryptography. Each block contains a timestamp and transaction data and is linked to the previous block using a link field. The blockchain serves as a proof-of-work system where each block requires computational effort to secure the network. Once recorded, the block cannot be altered retroactively, making the ledger inherently resistant to tampering and revisionism.
The term “blockchain” was coined in 2008 by American cryptographer and computer scientist Nick Szabo who intended it to mean a digital ledger that chronicles trades and agreements. However, some people have since extended its meaning to describe any kind of public ledger of information.
In October 2014, the Bank of England estimated that around £200 billion ($290 billion) was stored in financial institutions on a blockchain at least once per day.
In 2009, the word “blockchain’ was added to Oxford Dictionaries Online. In 2010, the word “Bitcoin” entered the dictionary as well.
In 2011, the US Government Accountability Office referred to Bitcoin as a “distributed ledger”, noting that “the concept of a distributed ledger is not new; however, the application of the concept to the transfer of value may hold promise for improving efficiency and reducing costs”.
In 2012, the Financial Times wrote about the potential applications of blockchain technology: “Distributed databases could transform many processes including trade finance, supply-chains, capital markets, government services, healthcare, insurance, and even the internet of things.”
In 2013, the Economist noted that “a new breed of start-up companies is emerging that offer to digitize business processes and replace them with software running on computers connected to a shared online ledger known as a blockchain.”
In 2014, the New York Times described the technology behind Bitcoin as a “decentralized electronic cash system that relies on a peer-to-peer network rather than a central bank”.
In 2015, the BBC reported that “the tech industry is starting to take notice of the possibilities offered by blockchain technology.”
In 2016, the Wall Street Journal wrote that “the blockchain revolution is upon us.”
In 2017, the MIT Technology Review stated that “blockchain technology is poised to change almost everything.”
In 2018, the Washington Post wrote that “blockchain is changing the world.”
In 2019, the Harvard Business Review wrote that “blockchains are reshaping the way we think about money.”