Blockchain is not only used for financial transactions. Due to the safe and transparent nature, the technology is different for the needs of more than one area of expertise. Energy, weapons, education and other sectors are using the benefits of blockchain every day.
Cryptocurrency: Blockchain vs Cryptocurrency
The most well-known (and perhaps controversial) use of blockchain is in cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies (or tokens), such as Bitcoin, Ethereum or Litecoin, that can be used to buy goods and services. As a form of digital currency, crypto can be used to buy everything from your lunch to the next house. Unlike money, crypto uses blockchain as both a public ledger and an enhanced cryptographic security system, so online transactions are always recorded.
For example, the term Bitcoin is used interchangeably to refer to blockchain and cryptocurrency, but they are still two separate entities. The first blockchain application appeared in 2009 under the name Bitcoin, a crypto system using distributed ledger technology.
He also presented Bitcoin as the first "blockchain". The blockchain aspect of this new digital currency is what brought the two companies together and quickly put them in the spotlight. The Bitcoin blockchain only describes the technology that underpins the money, while the Bitcoin cryptocurrency only describes the money itself.
As of today, there are more than 20,000 cryptocurrencies in the world with a total market capitalization of around $1 trillion, and Bitcoin holds most of the profits. These shows have become very popular in the past few years, the price of one Bitcoin fluctuates between several thousand dollars.
Here are some of the main reasons behind the recent popularity of cryptocurrency:
Blockchain security makes theft even more difficult since each cryptocurrency has an irrefutable number assigned to its owner. Crypto reduces the need for money and individual central banks. With blockchain, crypto can be sent anywhere and to anyone in the world without the need to exchange money or interference from a central bank.
Cryptocurrencies can make some people rich. Thinkers have boosted the value of crypto, especially Bitcoin, helping some early adopters become billionaires. Whether this is really a good thing remains to be seen, as some retractors believe that speculators do not have the long-term value of crypto in mind.
Many large companies are introducing the concept of blockchain-based digital currency for payments. In February 2021, Tesla announced that it will invest $1.5 billion in Bitcoin and accept it as payment for its cars.
Of course, there are many valid arguments against blockchain-based digital currencies. First, crypto is not a highly regulated market. Many governments have been quick to get into crypto, but a few have strong regulations about it. Additionally, crypto is highly volatile due to speculation.
The lack of consistency made some people rich, while the majority still lost thousands of dollars. Whether or not digital currency is the future remains to be seen. For now, it seems like the meteoric rise of blockchain is starting to be rooted more in reality than pure hype. Although this field is still very new and evolving, blockchain also holds promise beyond Bitcoin.
What is a Blockchain Platform?
While the blockchain network describes the distributed ledger infrastructure, the blockchain platform describes the process by which users can interact with the blockchain and its network. The Blockchain platform is designed to be scalable and work as an extension of existing blockchain infrastructure, allowing the exchange of information and services to be supported directly through the system.
Examples of blockchain platforms include Ethereum, a software platform that supports the cryptocurrency Etherium, or ether. With the Ethereum platform, users can also create event tokens and smart contracts that are built directly on the Ethereum blockchain infrastructure.
Beyond Bitcoin: Ethereum Blockchain
Originally created to power Bitcoin, blockchain has long been associated with cryptocurrency, but the understanding and security of the technology has seen widespread adoption, many of which began in development. of the Ethereum blockchain.
In late 2013, Russian-Canadian developer Vitalik Buterin published a white paper that proposed a platform that combines traditional blockchain services with one key difference: the elimination of computer code. Thus, the Ethereum project was born. Today, the Ethereum blockchain allows developers to create sophisticated programs that can communicate through the blockchain itself.
As with Bitcoin, it should be noted that the Ethereum blockchain and the Ethereum cryptocurrency are two separate entities.
Ethereum developers can create tokens to represent any type of digital asset, track its owner, and operate it according to the program's instructions.
A token can be a music file, a contract, a music ticket, or even a patient's medical record. Over the past two years, non-fungible tokens (NFT) have grown in popularity. NFTs are special tokens based on the blockchain that store digital media (such as video, music, or art). Each NFT has the right to verify the authenticity, history and exclusive rights of the digital media. NFTs have become very popular as they allow new digital creators to buy and sell their creations, while receiving the appropriate credit and share of the profits.
New uses of blockchain have expanded the potential of blockchain technology to complement other industries such as media, government, and identity security. Thousands of companies are currently researching and developing products in an environment that runs entirely on growing technologies.
Blockchain challenges the current innovation level by allowing companies to experiment with emerging technologies such as peer-to-peer sharing or decentralized models for news media. According to the definition of blockchain, the use of the journal system will only begin as the technology develops.
What is a smart contract? These are customized digital contracts that automatically create or record important events when the contract process is completed. Each contract is directly controlled by a line of code stored in the blockchain network. Therefore, once a contract is made, the contract transaction becomes ascertainable and cannot be changed. Although it is important for the Ethereum platform, smart contracts can be created and used in blockchain platforms such as Bitcoin, Cardano, EOS.IO and Tezos.
Blockchain Applications for Enterprises
As mentioned, blockchain technology is used far beyond its roots in cryptocurrency - almost every modern industry has been transformed by technology in one way or another. Along with banking and finance, blockchain is revolutionizing healthcare, record keeping, smart contracts, supply chains, and even voting. Although the power of this technology continues to grow, all the applications of blockchain have yet to be discovered.