What is BlockChain and Why It’s Important?
The technology concept behind the blockchain is similar to that of a database, except that the way you interact with that database is different. For developers, the blockchain concept represents a paradigm shift in how software engineers will write software applications in the future, and it is one of the key concepts that needs to be well understood. This computing paradigm is important because it is a catalyst for the creation of decentralized applications, a next-step evolution from distributed computing architectural constructs.
A blockchain is like a place where you store any data semi-publicly in a linear container space (the block). Anyone can verify that you’ve placed that information because the container has your signature on it, but only you (or a program) can unlock what’s inside the container because only you hold the private keys to that data, securely. So, the blockchain behaves almost like a database, except that part of the information stored is public.
The data stored can be a token of value, or a crypto money balance. So, the blockchain acts as an alternative value transfer system that no central authority or potentially malicious third party can tamper with (because of the encryption process). It’s a bit like your home address. You can publish your home address publicly, but that doesn’t give any information about what your home looks like on the inside. You’ll need your private key to enter your private home, and since you have claimed that address as yours, no one else can claim the same address as theirs.
The blockchain can also be seen as a software design approach that binds a number of peer computers together that commonly obey the same “consensus” process for releasing or recording what information they hold, and where all related interactions are verified by cryptography. When you combine the concepts behind the blockchain, decentralized consensus, and smart contracts, you start to realize they are enabling the spread of resources and transactions laterally in a flat, peer-to-peer manner, and in doing that, they are enabling computers to trust one another at a deep level.
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