The most popular examples of blockchain technology are Bitcoin and Ethereum, virtual currencies that exist outside the mainstream banking and financial system. However, blockchain technology has many other potential applications in a range of industries.
Blockchains, gaining prominence in recent times, are decentralized peer-to-peer systems that utilize nodes to retain a collective record or archive of network participants and activities. The decentralized and distributed nature of blockchains ensures that the ledger remains intact and that its integrity is maintained; network participants must reach a consensus as to the state of the blockchain.
Blockchain In Action
The first utilization of blockchain technology was in the crypto-currency market, with the popularization of the technology driven by Bitcoin and its success, defying financial experts and commentators.
Bitcoin, as an example of blockchain technology, maintains a ledger of financial transactions that take place on its network. The history of each transaction is recorded and grouped together to form a block, with other transactions then grouped together with these to make a blockchain.
Public blockchains such as Bitcoin’s have no restrictions as to who can participate on the network. However, private blockchains can restrict and control the network and who participates.