A decade ago, if you mentioned the word blockchain, no one would have any idea what you were talking about. But now the word is everywhere, and it’s time to ensure you are knowledgeable about what blockchain is, its history, and where the technology is headed in the future.
What is Blockchain
Blockchain is a certain type of record keeping technology which includes a database. It stores information digitally in blocks, and after a block of information is full, the next block will begin and be connected to the previous block. This keeps the data in chronological order. Once the data has been entered into one of these blocks, it is immutable and cannot be reversed. Think of blockchain as something similar to a spreadsheet, but it can be accessed and edited by multiple parties, and there is no delete button.
As previously mentioned, this technology is relatively new to society. It started just over a decade ago and was brought to prominence thanks to a digital currency known as Bitcoin.
Stage 1: Bitcoin and Digital Currencies
For years, computer scientists were toying with ideas which were similar to blockchain technology, but not yet usable on a large scale. This changed when Satoshi Nakamoto published the Bitcoin Whitepaper in 2008. This paper outlined a digital currency which would use a shared public ledger, or blockchain, to verify transactions.
Stage 2: Smart Contracts
Of course the technology employed by Bitcoin, and the other digital currencies which followed, was game-changing. It was the founders of other blockchains, such as Ethereum, who discovered the true potential of blockchain in the world of business by employing something known as dapps, or smart contracts. These smart contracts are designed to execute based on a specific input, which can revolutionize many aspects of running a business, such as supply chain control and loyalty programs. Most companies are still working on unlocking the full potential of these smart contracts, and thus this is the stage the world is currently in when it comes to blockchain technology.
Stage 3: The Future
The future of blockchain is difficult to predict. But one of the main issues facing the technology is its ability to scale. A number of different blockchains have tried various methods to solve the scalability issues, but none have truly solved the issue yet. New blockchain technology is being discovered and created every day, so it’s only a matter of time until this problem is solved and humanity can move forward to embracing a future filled with blockchain technology.
No matter what industry you are in, blockchain technology is here to stay. For more information about the future implications of blockchain technology, visit Stably’s website at Stably.io.
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