Chances are, during your time on campus, you have heard the word ‘blockchain’ mentioned several times. What is blockchain exactly?
“The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.”
–Don & Alex Tapscott, authors Blockchain Revolution (2016)
Blockchain is like a Google Docs spreadsheet owned by a network of computers. When someone makes a transaction with someone else, the amount can be verified with some or all of the computers. There is no ‘central’ copy of the ledger that can be manipulated by a central bank, and it is difficult to corrupt information because the information would have to be changed for all the blockchain users. Every computer is an “administrator” of the blockchain that joins the network voluntarily. Administrators can win bitcoins by solving algorithms, in a process known as ‘Bitcoin mining’. Blockchain cuts out the middlemen from transactions, which can potentially save on transaction fees.
Bitcoin is an encrypted digital currency that is becoming more popular nowadays due to it being less susceptible to fraud compared to debit/credit cards. There are around 700 Bitcoin-like cryptocurrencies available. The World Bank estimates that over $430 billion US was sent in 2015, with a high demand for blockchain developers.
To find out more about blockchain, visit http://blockgeeks.com/guides/what-is-blockchain-technology/.