Part 1 — Blockchain 101
Never like in the few years we have come across this term, and it suscitates both curiosities (covered in a layer of mystery) and, to certain extents, concern for a technology that yet, many struggles to comprehend.
Although become mainstream in recent years, it is worth mentioning that the concept of Blockchain bases itself on the concept of a “LEDGER,” aka a book or collection of accounts in which account transactions are recorded.
Therefore is correct to state that blockchain is tied with the story of accounting.
With the progression of time and the further advancement of the technology during history, blockchain met with the already established and widely used “CRYPTOGRAPHY,” aka the practice and study of techniques for securing communication in the presence of adversarial behavior.
This method of securing messages was developed during ancient times and most notably was used during conflicts to create secure channels in which messages could travel across safely and with minimal risks even if they were to fall into the hands of the rival party/ies. (In modern times — militaries with their encrypted communication channels and encrypted messages).
CRYPTOGRAPHY is an evolution of an old tried-and-true technology
— a particular mention goes to Rose Greenhow, a spy for the Confederate Army during the American Civil war: she developed her own method to encrypt data and send those data to the confederate army to reveal the plans of the Union.
But it was in 2008, hence the Financial Crisis, looming on all of us, that a pioneering individual or group of individuals, named “Satoshi Nakamoto” released the White Paper (a document) where it was highlighting and envisioning a PEER-TO-PEER form of electronic cash, named “Bitcoin.”
Initially a niche for internet “punks” and visionaries that envisaged Satoshi’s vision, Bitcoin started its remarkable journey to become the global phenomenon nowadays.
_ a vision of peer-to-peer digital cash: welcome BITCOIN
It is important to note though, when we talk about Blockchain, we inevitably think about Bitcoin and so-called “Cryptocurrencies” (although is preferable to address them as “Crypto Assets”)
In the last two decades, we assisted at the evolution of the traditional ledgers: due to the modern era of interoperability, connection, and use of the internet, ledgers have evolved to become DECENTRALIZED, aka a ledger of any transactions or contracts supported by a decentralized network across different location and people.
To grasp this concept, it will help by making the example of a notebook:
imagine a notebook, where the BLOCKS are the pages of the note:
we fill up the pages with all sorts of data: recording financial transactions, voting records & results, medical records, music, etc… and all the pages are linked together.
Each BLOCK is filled with data is connected to the next via a complex cryptography