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Blockchain Explained: What Is Blockchain? How Does it Work? A Guide for the Average Person

Blockchain — it’s one of the most talked-about topics in 2021. However, it’s not just another fad, over 90 percent of US banks have started to explore the possibilities of blockchain.

This might leave the common reader wondering about the uses of blockchain. You’re not alone; most people still need blockchain explained to them.

If you’re wondering “what is blockchain technology”, or even “what is a blockchain?” this is the right article for you. We’ll walk you through a brief guide.

Blockchain Explained

Blockchain was first developed in 2009, by an anonymous entity known as Satoshi Nakamoto. Nakamoto developed the concept alongside bitcoin, to make sure bitcoin transactions are carried out safely, which is why you commonly heard bitcoin and blockchain talked about in tandem.

Bitcoin started as a peer-to-peer currency that wouldn’t have to rely on banks, or the federal government, to keep it regulated. This is why bitcoin is largely supported by free-market capitalists and libertarians.

Blockchain regulated bitcoin through a series of cryptographs, carried out by people known as “bitcoin miners” to make sure each transaction with bitcoin is legal. That’s right — blockchain is essentially a process by which each transaction is put under scrutiny. Once that transaction, or “block”, of information, is proven legal and secure, it’s added to the “chain” of official transactions.

Blockchain Beyond Bitcoin

Bitcoin is growing more and more popular in contemporary society. Nowadays, there are even bitcoin ATMs. You can find one near you on this page.

But the uses of blockchain extend beyond bitcoin. Blockchain essentially functions as a “truth machine” where we can verify the honesty of all transactions. This has tons of uses for many industries, perhaps it even has uses for yours.

Take, for instance, a company that produces milk. Under bitcoin, every transaction, from the raising of the cattle to the milking, to the storage and refrigeration of the milk, to the transportation, to the selling at the supermarket, will be monitored.

Now, imagine someone goes shopping, grabs a bit of milk that has an expiration date three weeks from now, goes home, drinks the milk, and gets sick. Little does she know, that there was a refrigeration problem in one of the trucks that brought the milk.

Before blockchain, all of the milk by that company would have to be pulled from the shelves, causing daunting levels of lost productivity. Using blockchain, you can trace the chain back to the truck that had a refrigeration problem, and only pull the cartons of milk that came from that batch.

Understanding Blockchain

Blockchain has some complicated technology and math behind it. However, on a theoretical level, it’s not that hard to understand the implications it has on your life, once you have blockchain explained.

Now, you understand where blockchain came from, what it’s used for, how it differs from bitcoin, and why certain types of people like it. As a result, you’re far more likely to understand the world we’re rapidly moving into.

For more articles like this, check out our latest technology section.

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