Blockchain is represents a new standard about the way information is shared.
With blockchain’s growing importance, global companies are focusing on figuring out how they can utilize the distributed ledger technology for their benefit and advantage. A significant number of companies worldwide have started to roll out distinctive pilot programs as well as real-world projects spanning a broad variety of industries, which includes healthcare, financial services, global shipping, and mobile payments.
Suffice it to say that blockchain is likely to become an integral part of at least business to begin with. This, in turn, makes it important for people to be familiar with the technology as well as certain terms that can help ensure that they aren’t caught unaware in a discussion centered on blockchain.
Here’s a list and explanation of a handful of important blockchain terms:
a. Bitcoin: Created in 2009, it is a widely popular cryptocurrency, based on the ideas described in a white paper by Satoshi Nakamoto. Unlike government-issued currencies, it is operated by a decentralized authority and offers lower transaction fees as compared to conventional online payment systems.
b. Addresses i.e. cryptocurrency addresses: Typically, a string of alphanumeric characters or a scannable QR code, these are used to receive and send transactions on the network.
c. Attestation Ledgers: They are distributed ledgers that offer an abiding record of commitments, statements, or agreements, thus delivering evidence i.e. attestation that these commitments, statements, or agreements were indeed made.
d. Block height: It alludes to the number of blocks linked together in the blockchain, e.g. Height 0, also referred to as the Genesis Block, will be the first block.</p
e. Cipher: It is the algorithm that is used to encrypt and/or decrypt information.
f. Distributed ledgers: They are a kind of database that span multiple countries, institutions, or sites wherein records are stored one after the other in a sustained ledger. Depending on who is given the permission to view it, distributed ledger data can be either permissioned or un-permissioned.
g. Node: It is essentially any computer that connects to the blockchain network. And a node that completely implements all the rules of the blockchain is called a full node.
h. Multi-signature addresses: They enable multiple parties to need more than just one key to authorize a transaction and proffer an enhanced resistance to theft. The requisite number of signatures is agreed upon during the creation of the address.
Blockchain: Use cases
Thanks to the ingenuity proffered by blockchain technology, people and companies across the world continue to seek novel ways to administer it to essentially any requirement that needs a reliable record. Blockchain has already changed a variety of things in the world. To begin with, it has practically empowered people with the power of cryptography. It has also become the center of much hype, which is most likely a result of possible unique applications of blockchain technology.
1. Smart Contracts: They are legally-binding digitized, programmable contracts entered on the blockchain. Developers administer legal contracts as variables and statements that can release of funds using the bitcoin network as a third party executor instead of relying on a single central authority.
2. Digital identity: The annual costs for digital security run in the billions, but blockchain technologies offer the scope to turn things around by making tracking and managing digital identities efficient as well as secure, thus reducing fraud.
3. Distributed Cloud Storage: Blockchain data storage is poised to become a major disruptor in a matter of years. With Blockchain, cloud storage can become decentralized, thus enhancing security and reducing dependency.