Blockchain Explained

Blockchain Basics 1 – Why Do We Need a Blockchain?

Introduction to Need Throughout history, civilizations have been built on two economic pillars: Scarcity and Supply/Demand. Scarcity will always exist because humans have unlimited wants yet limited resources. This causes the value of certain resources such as food, computers, or even the U.S. dollar, to increase or decrease in value according to the law of supply and demand. The consequence of these economic principles is a society built on ownership and value. These social standards govern the way we interact everyday and have lead to the rise of what we call Third Parties. Third Parties Today, in November of 2017, if I am trying to transfer money to a friend, I have to use a medium such as Venmo, Bank of America or Fidelity. Even if I would like to transfer this money as cash, we both need to trust the value of the United States Dollar and the buying power it holds. The need for so-called "third parties" makes sense. There has to be someone else, who both of the parties of a transaction must believe in, to make a trade or transaction safe and trustworthy. If I attempted to sell my house directly to a stranger, I could hand ...
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Blockchain Basics 2 – Breaking Down the Blockchain

Read Part 1 Yet? If Not Click Here First off, what is a blockchain? A blockchain can be defined as: An application of a decentralized system, in which many individuals share in an immutable distributed ledger to record an agreed-upon history of transactions. Yeah, that’s a lot... Luckily, this entire section is dedicated to breaking this definition down into three easily digestible segments that, when put back together, paint a clear and accurate description of what a goes into a blockchain. At the end of this section, you will have an understanding of what a blockchain really is, and will hopefully be ready to dive into the gritty details. Without further delay, let’s get started. 1. ‘An application of a Decentralized System’ This is the first key part of a blockchain that defines the type of organization that a blockchain takes the form as. You’ve probably heard of a centralized organization such as the military. The military has one chain of command where each lower-ranking Enlisted Private reports to one Corporal. Then that Corporal along with their equal Corporals all report to their superior Sergeant. This repeats to create a hierarchical centralized system. Centralized systems don’t necessarily have to follow ...
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Blockchain Basics 3 – A Snapshot History of Blockchain

If you haven’t read part two yet, Breaking Down the Blockchain, click here. The history of blockchain is an interesting story with many twists and turns that impact its identity as a living and dynamic technology that is changing our world. Although this post is not intended to be an one-stop encyclopedia of blockchains history, I hope to cover some of the key aspects that have helped shaped blockchain into what it is today. Let’s jump in! A need for a decentralized revolution To understand the origins of blockchain and how advanced the technology was for its time, we need a bit of context. The year was 2008. The emerging technology of the time included the release of Apple’s App Store as well as the first Android model smart phone. Services such as Hulu and Netflix were just starting out and the world was primed for the mobile and decentralized revolution. In parallel to all of the emerging mobile tech, the world was also experiencing an economic phenomena. The U.S. housing market was crashing at a head-spinning rate putting thousands out of work and challenging the trust that large financial institutions were supposed to stand for. The worst recession since ...
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Blockchain Basics 4 – A Brief Technical Explanation of a Blockchain

Have you read Post 3 - The history of Blockchain yet? If not click here! Introduction In this final section of the Blockchain Basics series, we plan to give a brief surface level analysis of the technology behind blockchain. This technical explanation of a blockchain will serve as a basis of many of the future articles in the Blockchain Explained Series and is crucial to understanding how a blockchain is applied to real world application. At the end of this explanation, we hope you will have a surface level understanding of how a blockchain functions under the hood and know the key terminology associated with blockchain technology. Let’s get started! Cryptography  At the heart of a blockchain is art that is as old as ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs themselves. Cryptography is the study of writing and solving codes. It has been used to transmit secret information for millennia and is used in almost everything we do today. Blockchain utilizes this same technology to create a secure and dependable ecosystem for the transmission and storage of data. Cryptography in relation to blockchain is the application of a mathematical algorithm to return a set of numbers and letters representing data. A letter, word, ...
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