The blockchain technology lies at the core of the cryptocurrencies’ world; it all started with it. The blockchain is a distributed, decentralized network (or chain) of blocks. The blocks contain codes and information. They are supported by a certain node – the device, usually, a computer, which developpes the blocks, validates transactions, solves problems and writes algorithms.
To be decentralized means that the blockchain is non-hierarchical, it is not based on a vertical, top-down structure but on a horizontal one – every node has equal importance and role. This egalitarian setting removes the need of authorization, respectively the demand of approval of an institution, organization or any kind of ruling party. Imagine what this means: no useless and endless papers, no fees, faster processes, no errors, no exploitation of human rights. Every step of the blockchain process is digital: it is programmed to work in a certain way, which makes faster and automated.
Blockchain does not equal cryptocurrency but has many other uses in life. It is essentially a refined infrastructure for transferring value. The value could mean many things: money, of course, but also important documents, pieces of information, digital products and services. Everything that can be digitalized, can be transferred with the blockchain. Lately, this occurs to be a lot: money, information, reports, taxes, fees, commissions, even votes. Apparently, the blockchain is a total game-changer for our everyday lives.
Is the blockchain the new Internet?
Well, it is not the same thing but the blockchain will certainly revision the way the online space works. At the moment, the Internet is still quite centralized – someone keeps a record of personal data, online data, servers with information, and manipulates it. If we switch to a decentralized web manner, which is said to be the Web 3.0, we would retain personal information and activity. In this way, the Internet would be genuinely a space for equality and community sharing.
If you still don’t get, do play this video. It is short and explains nicely, and the cool British accent is a super extra!
*Video content posted on CryptoFrog is under the Creative Commons License. Credit goes to World Economic Forum.