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what is blockchain technology
Content Developer Associate at almaBetter
Though its origins go back to the early 1980s, it was the digital boom that brought forward the phenomenon that blockchain is. Today, the technology is being leveraged by a string of industries, all working to make operations safer and more efficient. In this blog, we walk you through the fundamentals of blockchain technology and how it has transformed several sectors in the business space.
In simple terms, a blockchain is an ever-growing digital ledger shared among the nodes of a computer network. It streamlines recording transactions and tracking assets in a business network. Anything of value can be tracked and traded on a blockchain network, tangible or intangible. Blockchain is famous for its essential role in cryptocurrency systems such as Bitcoin.
The significant difference between a blockchain and a typical database is how the data is structured. A blockchain manages information together in blocks that carry sets of data. Blocks have limited capacities, and once loaded, it is locked and linked to the previous block, constructing a chain of data known as the blockchain.
Every business runs on information. If the data is accurate and received swiftly, it can be very beneficial for the company. Blockchain is perfect for supplying information as it provides immediate, shared, and thoroughly transparent data stored on an unchangeable ledger accessible only to exclusive network members. A blockchain network can track payments, accounts, production, orders, etc.
The primary goal of blockchain is to allow digital information to be recorded and distributed but not reworked. A blockchain is a foundation for a record of transactions that cannot be modified, deleted, or destroyed, and this is why they are also known as distributed ledger technology (DLT).
The first-ever prototype was proposed in 1982 by cryptographer David Chaum, further worked on by computer scientist Stuart Haber and physicist W Scott Stornetta in 1991, where they presented a cryptographically secured chain of blocks. In 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto introduced the first decentralized blockchain, which eventually led to the creation of Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency. The use of this technology exploded with the creation of several cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and smart contracts.
Blockchain is also a reliable method of storing data about other types of transactions and not just monetary transactions. Several companies have already incorporated this technology, including Walmart, AIG, Pfizer, Unilever, etc. Let’s have a look at different sectors where blockchain is being used:
Healthcare providers can leverage this technology to securely store their patients’ medical records. When a medical record is developed and signed, it can be easily written into the blockchain, providing patients with an assurance that the information cannot be altered. The personal medical data of several patients can be encoded and stored on the blockchain with a private key, thereby ensuring privacy.
Banking and Finance
Possibly no industry benefits from integrating blockchain into its business operations more than banking. By incorporating this technology into banks, customers can see their transactions processed in less than 10 minutes. Moreover, banks can also exchange funds between institutions quickly and securely with blockchain.
According to Forbes, the food industry is progressively embracing blockchain to track the path and safety of edibles throughout the journey. Suppliers can leverage this technology to record the origins of materials they purchase, allowing companies to affirm the authenticity of their products and standard labels.
With many functional applications for the technology already being enforced and explored, blockchain is finally making its way into different sectors, in no small part, because of bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Blockchain technology makes business and government operations more efficient, secure, and accurate with fewer intermediaries.
The world is ready to step into the third decade of this game-changing technology; legacy companies will likely catch on to blockchain technology. Today, we see an accumulation of NFTs and the tokenization of assets. The following decades will prove to be a crucial period of growth for blockchain.
AlmaBetter’s newest course launch: Full Stack Web Development with Web 3.0 course, covers all the essentials required to master blockchain technology. The curriculum includes the basics and the advanced concepts necessary to understand blockchain entirely. Enroll now and kickstart your journey as a software developer with AlmaBetter.