Unblocking The Blockchain: What Is It?

The amount of tech that is in existance is a huge amount. We consume it more than we do our three square meals a day, and the communication circle is widening its net with every passing day. We are getting much closer in proximity on this massive planet, that surely there is nothing left to unify the world of the internet? Are we out of tech? Far from it. The digital currency market is booming, and this is where a lot of people are (slowly) starting to make their living.

The most popular form of digital currency is bitcoin, and it was created nearly 10 years ago. As a digital currency, it is starting to be accepted on many online stores, and there is even a bitcoin ATM machine in Vancouver, Canada! The transactions are made between bitcoin software users (peer to peer), and bitcoins are created and issued as rewards to people who use their computing power to record the bitcoin transactions and to verify them, better known in bitcoin circles as mining, and these transactions need to be recorded. Enter the blockchain, and this is the method in which all transactions are recorded. It is, in essence, a digital Ledger. It is accessible to the public and is not run by any central authority. Much like a bank controls the currency of a particular country, the bitcoin community and the blockchain are run by a network of communicating “nodes” that run the bitcoin software.

The blockchain is a distributed database, and each network node has its own copy of the blockchain. With each group of transaction that is added, around 6 per hour, a block is created and added to the blockchain, which is then published to all nodes. As each node has the power to validate a transaction, this places the onus solely on the network, which means that the power of ownership bypasses the banking organizations. As a person who wants to get involved in bitcoin, there are ways to purchase the currency, and how to buy bitcoin links are popping up online, which for a cost you can get involved in the exchange. A lot of websites are now starting to use bitcoin as an accepted form of payment, and as the exchange rate is generally pretty good, it is becoming a go-to method of payment.

The software of bitcoin itself is easily downloadable, and once you have the software, you can choose your “wallet.” This is very much the same as your real life wallet, and as you wouldn’t have thousands of dollars in your wallet, the bitcoin protocol advises that you don’t have much currency in your bitcoin wallet. This is a great method to pay for small purchases online. The benefits of using bitcoin over your own native currency is many, from financial freedom online to the additional costs being bypassed. With the financial authorities showing some concern about this new and exciting currency, it is fast becoming the way forward to deal in goods and services.