What is Blockchain technology – In Layman’s Term?
If you’re familiar with Wikipedia or even a hardcover encyclopedia, you already have a working knowledge of Blockchain technology. In simpler terms, Blockchain can be defined as a collection of information, data, or records hosted in a computer system or software. ‘Blockchain,’ block of information or data that forms a chain in the system. Like Wikipedia, the information or collection of records are controlled, amended, and updated collectively by a community of individuals. No single individual has absolute control over the Blockchain.
The main characteristic that separates the Blockchain from Wikipedia is the difference in technology. Wikipedia’s technical infrastructure is the World Wide Web. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 20 years, you’ve used or heard of the World Wide Web (WWW). In fact, you’re using it now to read this article. The World Wide Web utilizes a client-server network model. Any user (client) who created an account on Wikipedia has permission to update or change (if created by the user) any records or entries on Wikipedia’s centralized server.
Full control of the database that hosts the data or information rested with the Wikipedia administrators who defined those permissions and control who has access to what. Think of Wikipedia like that bank account you created online with financial institutions like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, or your insurance companies. The owner of the account has the ability to access and update information, but deleting of records or information, management of updates, and protection against cyber-threats or hacking rest with the banks’ or insurance companies’ administrators.
The database created by Blockchain tech is what sets it apart. The Blockchain databases are distributed in nature. The distributed aspect of the blockchain is what makes it distinct from centralized databases.
Blockchain tech’s uniqueness is what makes already one of the greatest innovations, although it’s still in its infancy. Many would try to convince you that blockchain is new. It is, in fact, a new concept. However, it is constructed as a combination of old technologies patched together to create the chain. Blockchain technology is established using three particular technologies: the Internet, private key cryptography, and a protocol governing incentivization.
The protocol is the most unique part of the blockchain. The peer-to-peer (P2P) technology represents the Internet. A physical check/credit card constitutes the private key cryptography, and protocol is the platform.