A Simple Introduction to Blockchain
- November 30, 2017
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Speaker 1: Thank you Andrew for joining us today. Today we’re talking about blockchain, and first I wanna start out with the basics like, what is blockchain? Can you explain it to us in simple terms? You can get complicated if you need to.
Andrew: In order to properly understand blockchain let’s talk about the sorts of problems it’s designed to solve. When you’re using a blockchain what you really wanna know is that the data, that you’re seeing you know where it comes from, you know it’s provenance, and you know that it’s not gonna suddenly, magically overnight change out from under you to some other value without a trail that tells you what does that. Blockchain has a way to implement that using shared ledger technologies meaning an open ledger that any participant can see, and understand what the current state is at that moment.
Speaker 1: When you say ledger, you mean almost like a book, like an audit trail?
Andrew: Exactly, except that this book, picture exists on the servers of every agreed upon participant in the chain so that you can’t just go in, and edit the book that’s setting on your desk. When you want to commit something to the chain the majority of people within the chain have to agree to that change, and then it gets committed. That avoids bad actors within chain being able to manipulate the data that’s there.
Speaker 1: You talked a little bit about why, or what kind of problems blockchain is solving. What kind of industries are we seeing blockchain pop up in, and who’s talking about it really?
Andrew: We’re really seeing across industry. There’s a lot of interest in finance, in government, in education, in the medical industry. Any place where you want to be able to allow people to own their own data, but also to control who has access to it, and how that data changes over time. A good way to think about problems that lend themselves to blockchain is anywhere you wanna have a chain of custody on the data.
Andrew: You can think about this in terms of actually if you’ve ever watched CSI, and as they’re going through the evidence, and some of the shots that they show, each CSI that wants to manipulate the evidence in any way has to open up the container, and then put their stamp on it indicating that they did that so that people know what happened. Similarly, in blockchain every participant that works on the blockchain we know how the chain looked before they were acting, and what it looked like after they were done.
Speaker 1: Well, thank you Andrew for explaining that to us. Now we’re just a little bit more knowledgeable about what blockchain is.
Andrew: You’re welcome.