Let me guess, you heard the word “blockchain” from somewhere and all the buzz surrounding it. You browsed Google and YouTube for info while holding a question in your mind: “What’s in it for me?”
I remember learning the word from a YouTube video about Bitcoins. Lots of people are optimistic about this new revolutionary technology, the same way the Internet changed the whole world.
For this reason, I put up this article so you can understand blockchain on a basic level.
To be honest, I cannot explain it simple enough for you to get it the first time. But rest assured, my guide will help enlighten you on the subject.
Just What is Blockchain Technology?
Blockchain was built on the core concept of decentralization, meaning the ability to eliminate the big boss such as government and banks. You see, there are times that these old systems can mess up.
For instance, how do you know that your vote in the election gets counted? How do you know that your $100 is still worth $100 when you take it out of the bank? How do you know if your house actually belongs to you?
All these aspects require that a middleman be involved in securing your records. However, can you really trust the big bosses to store and not tamper them?
You see, it’s all about trust. And more often, this trust gets compromised and nasty things happen.
With the help of blockchain, you can take away the control from the boss and spread it across a vast number of people. At the fundamental level, blockchain is a “decentralized public ledger used for storing information”.
Instead of a middleman keeping your records, blockchain is based on consensus. A transaction or activity cannot be published without verification by the majority that it is valid. This is possible because everyone in the blockchain holds the records, and not just stuck on a single place.
In short, people like you are the boss!
If you have 23 minutes to spare, the best video to watch on blockchain is this TED talk:
If you don’t, I suggest this 2-minute video instead:
Applications of Blockchain Technology
I learned the concept of blockchain if it wasn’t for Bitcoin. However, there are other exciting applications of blockchain technology that you might not know:
1. Cryptocurrencies (In General)
Bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrency that exists. There are many exciting cryptos out there like Ethereum, Litecoin, NEO, and Monero that have a unique set of features.
These tools were designed to provide some exchange of value without having to rely on the government and banks to regulate. Using the blockchain, you can perform faster transactions from all over the globe and save transaction fees that a middleman would usually charge.
2. Decentralized Cloud Storage
Blockchain relies on cryptography, a complex algorithm that makes it possible to encrypt important data because it’s strong and secure. Instead of the traditional cloud storage devices we benefit from, we can use blockchain to ensure our files are stored properly.
Storj is the leading company in providing decentralized cloud storage. Check it out if you’re interested.
3. Digital Voting
To ensure that the election is clean with no anomalies, we can use the blockchain so that the consensus will help eliminate any tampering of the vote count.
When this is implemented, we can therefore be confident of the election results because the blockchain will always tell the truth. People who have evil plans must first own 51% of the blockchain before they can alter the results.
4. Smart Properties
Instead of relying on the government to hold your important documents such as land and car titles, you let the blockchain take care of it. Basically anything that you can own such as house, cars, gadgets, licenses and shares of a company can be turned into smart property to help ensure its security.
That is, if you don’t trust the traditional systems in place.
Can Normal People Use Blockchain Right Now?
So we come to this point where you’re now aware of the possibilities of this new technology. Unfortunately, most people don’t know its true potential, that’s why blockchain has a hard time getting accepted by the society.
This leads us to the important question, “Can normal people use blockchain?”
Right now, only tech people are really playing the blockchain and cryptocurrency game. They download the entire blockchain file size into their computer (currently at 150 GB) and do spectacular things like mining or even creating a cryptocurrency!
But since blockchain is about decentralization, we can already participate in our own simple ways
Take Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that’s now hot in the market. Even if you haven’t invested in the coin back in 2010 (thinking you may have missed the opportunity), Bitcoin is so convenient that you can use it for online trade.
It’s very useful because you can move it very fast without any resistance. Furthermore, it’s a great way of diversifying your portfolio (think of investing in the long-term).
So can you tap into the blockchain right now? The answer is a big YES.
Grab Digital Coins specializes on one facet of blockchain, which is “cryptocurrency”. My content will help you understand how cryptos work in a way that is not too technical.
So be sure to check out my content for more info and useful tips
My Final Thoughts
As I wrap up this article, I’d like you to think over this blockchain technology and see if it’s worth taking the plunge.
In its 9 years of existence, I’m sure the blockchain will continue to improve and become more convenient to people who wish to tap into its power.
Should you pursue blockchain and dig deeper into its applications, or just forget everything you’ve learned as if nothing happened? I leave it up to you.
Thanks for reading my post on blockchain. I hope I’ve put you one step closer to realizing its true power. However, if you feel something nagging you, just leave a comment and I’d be glad to help you out.