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”.