Most people use blockchain and cryptocurrencies as interchangeable terms. And although one could not exist without the other, they are at their essence two separate terms that mean different things. It is true blockchain came from the first cryptocurrency Bitcoin, but this new technology has grown beyond the cryptocurrency and Bitcoin spectrum, providing us with a system that could change life as we know it.
Blockchain is the underlying technology for Bitcoin, which works as a digital platform to store data and transactions in a secure and efficient manner. Think of a ledger. When recording transactions and movements through a manual ledger, the owner must record everything in the book while trusting that no one will come and change the information entered.
The old way of record-keeping was based on a lot of trust. With blockchain, users are able to virtually do the same through an automated system that is alteration-proof and human-proof. This means that there is no need to trust a person that could make a mistake if all the transactions are done by an un-biased computer program.
In addition, the records in the blockchain are safely stored through cryptographic technology, and each piece of information or “block” is linked to the previous one, and consequently, to the future one. This link between all blocks doesn’t allow for alterations, because if you change one, then you would have to change the whole chain.
So, with the many of possibilities this technology brings, many companies are offering a platform where important information is stored in a safely and automated manner. Platforms such as Traxalt will offer a customizable blockchain protocol were entities can store important information such as employee identity, supply chain, and payroll. You can discover more about it at www.traxalt.com.
Another example of the use of blockchain is India. India has plans to use blockchain to increase votes in their elections. Just this past election (2019), 300 million eligible voters didn’t vote because they were not politically engaged or too far from their registered district.
With a vast migrant population, there are bout 450 million people who move for work, education, or marriage but only do so for short amounts of time, meaning they don’t bother changing their district. With a blockchain system for voting, these people could be able to vote remotely and safely (without multiple votes).
This is a perfect example of how blockchain allows the exchange and storage of information through a network of cryptographically protected blocks of information. The same way you could send or receive Bitcoin from your digital wallet.
In short, blockchain is the cogs and gears that cryptocurrencies—such as bitcoin—use to exist. With the raise in popularity of digital assets, cryptocurrencies are being adopted globally allowing people to buy things or pay for services with them. Just like any other currency, digital ones are dependent on the offer and demand of the market.
As long as people want them, then they will hold value in the real world. That being said, there are both enthusiast and detractors of these new currencies, but their value has shown to increase in the past years as traditional financial platforms and governments around the world slowly start to adopt blockchain technology.
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