Blockchain is the tech du jour at the moment, and for good reason. Blockchain technology presents opportunities across a variety of industries and is driving a revolution in how commercial assets are handled.
Transferring value, whether it be money, property or data, has always been an exchange of trust between inherently distrusting parties. Governments and banking institutions manage this distrust by attempting to regulate and secure our transactions and assets from duplicitous players in the market.
With new challenges and increased scepticism towards traditional intermediaries in the millennial age, a decentralised and digitally-native system for peer-to-peer transacting has emerged — blockchain.
Think of a blockchain as a distributed record — like a bank ledger — where all transfers of value between participants are electronically stored and verified. Unlike traditional models, a blockchain is decentralised and stored simultaneously across the network of its users. but there is no one, central ‘blockchain’. instead, blockchain refers to a cryptographic framework that can be built upon to create the applications certain communities’ desire — bitcoin is a prime example.
Most blockchain operate on a consensus model where the majority must agree to the validity of a transfer. Once verified, transactions are kept on a continuous and exhaustive record, which are then grouped into blocks and sealed with a unique code. This complex cryptography makes a blockchain difficult to change as it lacks one central point of weakness, meaning trust is fostered more easily between participants due to its supposed ‘unhackability’. Nevertheless – It’s best to think of a blockchain as resistant to fraudulent modification, and ‘tamper-evident’, rather than absolutely untouchable.