Much of the technology that we use and take for granted on a daily basis was quite revolutionary in its time. Consider smartphones, for example. After only a decade, they have been seen as an innovation that has completely changed our way of life, to the point where we wondered how we ever managed to live without one.
Today we are in the middle of another big revolution that will, once again, revolutionizer the way we live our life: the blockchain. The blockchain is a widely distributed database that manages the exponentially increasing list of records, called “blocks”. In 2008, a scientist named Satoshi Nakamoto published a 9-page Whitepaper explaining the creation of what he called CryptoCurrency. Based on pure mathematics and flexible distributed architecture, he was able to procure a new financial market. Now, nearly 10 years later, blockchains and cryptocurrency have risen in influence throughout the world.;
Bitcoin was considered to be the major breakthrough in the digital currency experiment. The market value of Bitcoin fluctuates between $10–$20 billion dollars and is now being used by a numerous global companies.
Blockchain could be considered as the second innovation of the decade in the digital currency experiment. The main concept of blockchain was based on the fact that the technology responsible for operating Bitcoin could be separated from the common currency, and could be utilized for various inter-organizational cooperation. It’s predicted that within a year or 2, almost 40 % of the banks worldwide will start using block chain technology.
After the success of Bitcoin, Ethereum followed in it's footsteps, developing various little computer programs directly into the blockchain. Not only did these new programs implement a new cryptocurrency like Bitcoin did, but they also installed a program that could keep the records of financial instruments (like loan policies and different bonds) so that they can be represented further down the line. Ethereum smart platform market is estimated to be around a billion dollars and thanks to the Ethereum developers, a lot of projects in the market have been successfully initiated.
Current generation block chains are being completely secured by “proof of work,” creating the new phrase, “proof of stake.” The basic working principle that the blockchain developers abide by is granting more influence to the group that has more computing power. These groups are known as “miners”. What they essentially do is operate a quantities of data in exchange for Bitcoin payments. For a higher degree of security, data centers are usually replaced by sophisticated financial instruments, with the Proof of stake system expected to go live this year.
Another major innovation in the blockchain, which is on the cusp of distribution, is blockchain scaling. Since every computer in the network contains the data regarding every transaction, it's possible for the system to experience lag time. A scaled blockchain is expected to accelerate the process, by computing the numbers needed to record the data, and by dividing the work efficiently among them. To make this work without sacrificing the security and efficiency of the blockchain is a difficult feat, but not impossible.
This is just a rough picture of all the work done by the blockchain developers since it came to fruition. Once it's true potential is met, it’s bound to change our society in leaps and bounds. Currency transfers that would normally take days will take only an hour, and after that, perhaps minutes, and all with more reliability and security.