Throughout the advancement of technology, we humans always build ourselves on the pedestal of trust. The pillar of faith is what brings humanity to the epicenter of existence. Wherever we go, we always look forward to something we can trust. For instance, when we buy a product, we always look for a trusting vendor that is selling that product. Similarly, the digital realm possesses that required trusting-point. Data that embeds within the digital environment is the backbone of advancement and what every user wants is a trusting way to look after that data. Data is the initial core of the entire evolution that often cyber attackers or hackers target for a specific use or advantage. Due to that sole reason, the data is the most vulnerable point that requires utmost attention when it comes to safety. That is where blockchain comes into the picture.
What is Blockchain?
A blockchain is a cryptographic technology that aims to the unauthorized access prevention of the stored data. The central concerning point of blockchain technology is the transactional data that a business generates daily. In layman terms, blockchain is an ever rapidly growing list of data or records, which we also refer to as blocks, that are bound together using cryptographic techniques. These records form a kind of linked list structure where a specific block of data contains the cryptographic hash (of previous block specifically), timestamp, and the actual data, which is often of transactional type.
In terms of Harvard University Archive, "The blockchain is an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way."
If you are already somewhat aware of blockchain, you probably term it together with the most renowned currency, "Bitcoin." But that isn't the end of it. Despite all the definitions and explanations across the internet, most people haven't ever heard the words "block" and "chain" together as one.
Bitcoin came into existence during a financial crisis in 2008, which brought many to think about how unstable the financial system across the globe is. The main aim of bitcoin's creation was to eliminate all the middlemen that are often involved in monetary transactions like banks, government employees, etc. As stated earlier, trust is the backbone of civilization, and therefore, bitcoin gave freedom of trusting no institution governmental body to look after your funds and finance. Through the blockchain, an established network of thousands of computers replaced the middlemen. In other words, those networked computer systems, now called "A Blockchain," are now the sole trust body of monetary transactions involving bitcoin.
Now forwarding decades, we have upgraded our system and are using blockchains for much more than just bitcoin currencies. Everything storage worthy, ranging from health transactions to musical data, is now a part of the blockchain. Let's take an example. Considering the assumption of a food outbreak where everyone who is taking in a specific food item is getting sick, it is necessary to trace back to the source of that food item. As assumed, it would be a quite hectic and substantially long process because of the thousands of records requiring manual review or investigation. When it comes to blockchain involvement, this process would be impressively fast since every single step would be tracked and linked. For the confirmation of the same, Walmart tried comparing the tracking methods involving the source of contaminated mangoes. The result was 2.2 seconds for blockchain tracking, while the manual process took seven days.
We're at the moment where at the standpoint where it is significant to restore the division of power between builders and users. The purpose and concept behind the blockchain may be the approach or path to make that happen.