Blockchain is something that we all hear about but never fully understand. The topic is always related to bitcoin, ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. Let’s look into its history, characteristics, opportunities and risks. Here’s a Blockchain wiki:
Blockchain was described for the first time in the protocol released in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto.
Blockchain is made up of records (blocks), linked using cryptography, of all the transactions made with cryptocurrencies. Once a new transaction with cryptocurrencies is made, the record is added to the chain.
It’s a public autonomous database in constant growth thanks to all the transactions made with cryptocurrencies. It is like a book ledger, constantly updated and distributed to all its members. It registers each transaction with a particular code that cannot be modified by anybody.
One of the main characteristics of the Blockchain is that it’s decentralized. Transactions cannot be tracked and nobody can identify the payer and the payee except for the parties involved in the payment.
Once the transaction is made, the majority of the community (50% + 1) has to give consensus for its approval.
The peer-to-peer network that verifies and validates the system represents an alternative to the traditional system, based on a trusted centralized ledger, e.g. a bank or a platform like PayPal. Yet, even if it may undermine the role of traditional institutions such as banks, Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) registered numerous patents based on blockchain technology.
Blockchain-based transactions are cheaper (no intermediary costs) and faster.
Blockchain is also a safe tool since transactions cannot be modified and are marked with a Timestamp.
Untrackability of transactions makes blockchain appealing for illegal businesses.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies don’t look as stable as they should be mainly because of volatility and of the numerous hacks happening to digital wallets. Also, the absence of a central institution could make long-term investments unsafe.
Disclaimer: any advice on investing made in this article are mere opinions, we don’t take any responsability for any losses. Invest with moderation.