What Is The Blockchain?


Blockchain technology was invented in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto, which is the pseudonym for a real person or group as yet unidentified. Bitcoin was the first platform built using this technology, as a new peer-to-peer electronic money system that was decentralized, tamper-proof, and trustless. In fact, it was launched in the middle of the “Great Recession” which saw taxpayer bailouts of reckless “too-big-to-fail” banks and institutions. It was specifically designed as a way for individuals and groups to transact outside of any authority or middleman.

Blockchain technology is the underlying basis for almost all crypto assets. (NOTE: There are some new non-blockchain technologies being developed that may become viable alternatives to blockchain in the future.)

There are several main features:

  • Transparency: EVERY single transaction is able to be reviewed by ANY user of the system.
  • Decentralization: the history of EVERY transaction ever made on the blockchain is stored on hard disks scattered throughout the world, not on any servers where it can be controlled or hacked.
  • Security: the recorded data is immutable once added to the blockchain, which of course supports transparency.
  • Equality: all parties have the same status and rights; there are no custodians or controlling  authorities. Also, since the system is open-source, anyone can have access to the code and contribute to its development.
  • Anonymity: transactions can be made between parties without revealing either side’s identity; thus it is “trustless”.

Here are some real-world examples of the use of cryptoassets and the underlying blockchain technology:

  • “Smart contracts” on the Ethereum (or other) network that allows individuals or groups to engage in a transaction that only completes when a specific condition is met. There is no need for a middleman or verifying authority, which would take a fee.
  • Title searches: once a title to an asset is verified, anyone who subsequently buys that asset will not have to pay the exorbitant fees for a new title search; it will be recorded on the blockchain the first time for all time.
  • Global currency transactions: anyone who has ever wired funds internationally realizes the ridiculous cost and time (a few days!) to complete the transfer. That is because of the entrenched middlemen (bankers and exchanges) that each take a cut. Blockchain technology eliminates this, allowing instantaneous settling for fractions of the price. Billions of costs could be saved on the trillions traded globally.
  • Being able to sell your personal data or unused computer power on your devices to organizations willing to pay top dollar for it. There are crypto assets that have the platforms to accomplish these things.
  • You will be able to keep all your healthcare records in one spot, always private, always accessible as needed. Think about every office visit that requires you to fill out new multipage forms and provide ID and insurance cards. With blockchain, you won’t have that problem. Also, healthcare providers know that electronic medical records are a boondoggle – very expensive, time-consuming, inefficient, and with no underlying standard protocol, causing not-infrequent obsolescence and further costs, time, and effort to implement a whole new system. Again, blockchain provides a solution.
  • How about a crypto asset that allows any individual or group to access the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI) in a cloud computing platform? Normally, this expensive technology would be out-of-reach for the individual or a small business, but this project is presently being developed.
  • These are just some of the many projects existing now and in development with blockchain technology. Just like the earliest stages of the Internet, we are only on the cusp of what is possible and what will eventually be achieved!

Top 10 Cryptos by Market Cap (Updated Daily)

Name Price24H (%)
Bitcoin (BTC)
Ethereum (ETH)
Binance Coin (BNB)
Tether (USDT)
Litecoin (LTC)
Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Tezos (XTZ)
Bitcoin SV (BSV)