Blockchain explained for the non-technical

in steemromania •  6 months ago

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In the biological evolution of life on our planet, there were a number of inflection points which were generated by a change that facilitates a new type of behavior. The first major change which lead the way to a more complex organizational structure was the shift from single-cell organism to pluricellular organisms, but a more appropriate example for this explanation would be the advent of vertebrate organisms. The addition of a spinal column to the biological structure of a being permitted a more complex organism which was able to serve many new functions.

The same holds true for the internet' since it's inception there were several inflection points that marked the evolution of this technology. The first significant leap was brought forward by the World Wide Web; adding and organizational layer in the form of links, web pages and browsers made wide-spread adoption possible. And the newest massive transformation which is unfolding on the internet is facilitated by blockchain technology.

Here is where the example in the first paragraph becomes useful because blockchain can be seen as the backbone of the internet. This new technology gives the internet the possibility of digitizing, automating and decentralizing trust in an open and transparent way.

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Digitization refers to the fact that trust now has a purely digital form that can run on processing and storage hardware. The benefit of the transition to this form of trust is in the lack of human error; because it's written in code that is not subject to interpretation.

Automatization represents the capability of writing in code a specific set of rules depending on the desired outcome. Blockchain is used to intermediate certain human interactions that can be quantified as transactions, and depending on these interactions and the specific outcome there will be a need for different rules. This capability of configuring trust offers a massive opening towards innovation.

Decentralization is a network structure choice that prevents the concentration of power in one central point that can be detoured, thus compromising the safety of the whole network. Access to the network is open to anyone that wants to contribute processing power and storage in order to secure the network, all the nodes in the network keep a complete copy of the blockchain and run the same set of rules in order to guarantee the integrity of the information written in the blockchain. This type of architecture can guarantee the accuracy of the stored information as well as make any future modification impossible.

Openness and transparency are two qualities which a blockchain must have in order to be considered as such. Openness refers to the facts participation in securing the network as well as the use of the service provided by the blockchain are completely open to all in a non-discriminatory way; concepts like ethnicity, sexual preference, citizenship, level of education, social status, sex or even identity become irrelevant because access is guaranteed to all if the rules are not broken. The transparency of how a blockchain works must be total; although some information cannot be decrypted by anyone else but the owner, the mechanism by which the blockchain functions must be totally audible in order to guarantee fairness.

The blockchain gives us the possibility of configuring parts of the internet in such a way that we don't need so-called "trusted third parties" which write rules to their own benefit. Humankind now has the possibility of writing sets of rules that are guaranteed in a decentralized way with the goal of creating a level and non-discriminatory playing field in which participation is voluntary. We now have the capacity of creating mutually beneficial systems that are above the control of any individual or organization and can facilitate the guarantee of fairness in some human interactions by a collaborative effort of securing the network. And the financial sector is just the first application.

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