What is Blockchain anyway

The area of Information Technology is filled with acronyms and we often adopt them without realizing what they really mean. Every time I hear a new term, I try to research and at least have a general idea of what it is about. Throughout my career I came across several of these terms and I was able to easily understand the meanings and possible outcomes.

However, the Blockchain concept is requiring more study and research on my part. After reading some articles, watching some explanatory videos I began to understand what it is and I will try to explain my perception within the next few lines.

First, I would like to remember the beginnings of computer networks, the OSI model and it’s 7 layers, the TCP-IP protocol and finally the World Wide Web, better known today as the Internet. The internet is intuitive and easy to understand, making it easy to integrate it into our lives quickly and exponentially. At the base of the internet, however, were these important component parts like the TCP-IP protocol. We could not glimpse the applications we have today before the simplification and transformation generated by the http (hypertext protocol), which actually popularized the adoption of the World Wide Web.

After these initial studies, I began to conclude that Blockchain is one of these initial component parts that will make a tremendous transformation with the construction of subsystems, higher layers, frameworks, and simplifications that popularize its use.

But what is Blockchain anyway? From what I’ve understood so far, it’s a platform made up of chain-linked protocols and distributed storage on countless computers in a public or private network. Each block has a hash (a “fingerprint”), which is stored in the next block, making a chain of blocks (Blockchain).

Blockchain’s goal is to reduce insecurity with digital transactions. I do not think it’s easy to hack a Blockchain transaction, because by changing a block, the hash would change and you would have to change the entire thread in the many points of the network. In case of hacking on a block / message, other copies of the same block would attest the opposite and the chain would be broken. In addition to that, everything is traceable, where it came from, where it went and by whom the transaction was started…

As a distributed, reliable and highly redundant architecture, it can be applied to any situation involving ownership, purchases, sales, registration of assets (money, real estate, properties) in addition to certificates, contracts and forms of identification. In the medium and long term, it may represent a disruptive technology that directly affects entities with centralized control such as banks and notary offices.

The Blockchain’s big bet is to break with central transaction authorization entities, thus allowing distributed and redundant validation.
The Blockchain in short is the technological foundation where several of these new applications will be built, as is already the case of the Bitcoin digital currency.

By Carlos Alberto Jayme

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