Blockchain is an online mechanism that offers guarantees against attacks and fraud in business and administrative processes. It’s a collaborative principle. The Blockchain was born from the conception of Bitcoin but it has already transcended the field of cryptocurrency.
The emergence and growth of cryptocurrencies made possible the emergence of new alternatives to do business and put them in collective custody in order to avoid fraud, such is the case of Blockchain, the technology that made Bitcoin possible. Within the map of virtual operations offered by technological development, Blockchain is a shared and digitized record that cannot be modified once a transaction has been recorded and verified.
All the transaction parties, as well as an important number of third parties (the other participants of the block), keep a copy of the record. This means that it would be almost impossible to change each copy to fake a transaction. This makes it safer than other methods.
Blockchain was born as a secondary actor in the Bitcoin revolution, since it is the information coding system that is behind the virtual currency and that supports its entire structure.
But the efficacy and security it offered allowed, in a short time, to transcend the world of cryptocurrencies and financial transactions, and became a mechanism that strengthened business structures in different areas, such as public administration, the Internet of things and agriculture.
An easy way to understand its scope is to consider it a technology that keeps a master list of everyone who has ever interacted with it. It is as if it were a job done in Google Docs, to which many people can access these documents in order to make changes to them. The program keeps a list of all the changes that were made to the document and who made them.
Blockchain does this but in an even more secure way, in such a way that everyone who touches the document is trusted and all members of the chain get a copy of all the changes made, so there are never doubts about what happened in the process.
There are no multiple copies of a document or multiple versions: there is only one reliable document and one can keep track of everything that has happened in it.
Blockchain allows the transfer of digital data with a very sophisticated encryption and in a secure way. It would be like the book of accounting entries of a company where all the inflows and outflows of money are recorded; but in this case it is about digital events.
Each transfer does not require a centralized intermediary to identify and certify the information, but rather it is distributed in multiple nodes independent of each other that register and validate it without the need for trust between them. Once it has been entered, the information can´t be deleted. Conversely, only new records can be added, which won´t be legitimized unless most participants agree to do so.
Each block in the chain contains the transaction package and two codes, one indicating which is the block that precedes it (except the original one, of course), and another for the one that follows it, that is, they are interlaced or chained by what are called hash codes or pointers.
In the middle, the concept of mining carried out by the nodes comes into play, that is, the validation of the information. In this verification process, when there are two blocks that point to the same previous block, the first one to be decrypted by most of the nodes simply wins, that is, the majority of points in the network must agree to validate the information.
When a transaction occurs, a public record of it is placed in an encrypted block, which is connected to all the blocks that came before and after through a kind of fingerprint, or the cryptographic hash. If a block is tampered with, it will not correspond to those around it, which means that there was an attempt to scam or tamper with a transaction. A copy of each ledger is also kept on millions of computers around the world, somehow becoming millions of witnesses to a single contract.
Being a distributed technology, where each node of the network stores an exact copy of the chain, Blockchain guarantees the availability of information at all times. In case an attacker wants to eliminate it, he should delete all the nodes of the network, since it is enough that at least one is operational for the information to be available.
It is used for any type of information that needs to be preserved intact and that must remain available, it can be stored in the Blockchain in a safe and cheaper way than through intermediaries. In addition, by being encrypted, the information is guaranteed confidentiality.
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