The world of cryptocurrency is still relatively new and confusing for many people. When the value of Bitcoin surged from $100 to $10,000, many people thought it was the next big thing. Now that the cryptocurrency market has crashed and burned, many are asking if and when this could happen again. The truth is, blockchain is much more than just Bitcoin or some other digital token. It’s a fast-growing technology with the potential to disrupt many industries and improve the lives of millions of people. In this guide, we’ll explain what blockchain is and how it works. We’ll explore its current applications, potential use cases, and discuss its potential to survive the cryptocurrency market crash.
What is Blockchain?
When most people hear the term “blockchain,” they have a very specific image in their minds. They’re probably thinking about Bitcoin and its Byzantine-fault-tolerant blockchain, which certifies transactions as legitimate but doesn’t necessarily keep the currency itself secure. While it is used primarily for financial transactions (buying and selling Bitcoins), blockchain can be used for a wide range of applications, including digital IDs, voting, and land registration.
How Does Blockchain Work?
In order to understand how blockchain works, you need to first understand the distributed ledger, or blockchain, that it’s built on top of. A blockchain is essentially a database with a history of all transactions that have taken place on the network. It’s distributed in that it is not kept on a single computer but is distributed across multiple computers. This means that the blockchain is not controlled by any single entity, government, or organization. It is, rather, a record-keeping system managed by the network itself.
Uses of Blockchain
A blockchain’s history of all transactions is a transparent and immutable ledger. This transparency makes it a secure way to track assets. It prevents fraudulent transactions by recording them as “unfinalized” so that no one can modify or remove them. It also makes it exceedingly difficult—perhaps impossible—to tamper the ledger. Immutability adds to the security of the network because it makes it impossible for anyone to retroactively change or remove any records.
Potential Use Cases of Blockchain
Now that we’ve explored what blockchain is, let’s take a look at how it might be used in the future. This section will cover various industries and how blockchain could disrupt them.
Healthcare: Blockchain has the potential to revolutionize the medical industry. It could help verify the authenticity of medications and verify the identity of those administering them. It could even be used to store health data on a secure and transparent ledger accessible by physicians and patients.
Government: Governments could use blockchain to securely record and track various interactions, such as land titles and property deeds, government-issued IDs and benefits, and educational certifications.
Retail: Blockchain has the potential to revolutionize the supply chain for many industries. It could help minimize fraud and counterfeiting by recording the provenance of products from manufacturer to consumer.
Energy: The energy sector is ripe for blockchain disruption. Blockchain could be used to securely track energy transactions, from the production of energy to its consumption. This could help consumers make more informed decisions about their electricity usage by providing transparency into the energy production and consumption processes.
Blockchain may have seemed like a passing fad just a few years ago, but now it has the potential to change the world. Here’s why.
Transparency: The technology behind blockchain is based on the principals of transparency and trust. This means no one person or organization has complete control over the network, and records are publicly viewable.
Immutability: Immutability is a inherent property of blockchain technology. Once a record is on the blockchain, it’s extremely difficult—perhaps impossible—to modify.
Now that you’re familiar with what blockchain is, the next step is to pick up a blockchain-based project and get involved. This is a highly disruptive technology with the potential to completely change the world, so don’t hesitate.