Surely at some point you have heard the word “blockchain” and, almost always it comes hand in hand when talking about topics such as Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies, since blockchain is the technology on which they are based.
Blockchain technology is legit
Blockchain technology wants to break the centralized world in which we live, where everything that happens on the network and the data that is generated in, belongs to and is controlled by the providers of the services we consume.
Blockchain or “chain of blocks” is a type of DLT technology that, by definition, allows to chain blocks one after another adding new data in each block and the record of the transactions that have happened in the network.
Blockchain models are decentralized since all members of the network have a copy of the blockchain. They are immutable and the data in them cannot be modified once chained.
In the current centralized model, security breaches are possible and, in fact, occur regularly. The reason is that all the information is stored in the same system, which makes it more vulnerable.
When using blockchain technology, it would be impossible to modify a block of the chain that has been saved, since all the members of the network have the immutable chain and, therefore, they would reject any attempt to corrupt the chain. This is undoubtedly one of the main advantages that the decentralized model provides.
Companies operate based on information. The faster they get it and the more accurate it is. Blockchain is ideal for obtaining this information, since it provides immediate, shared and completely transparent data, stored in an unalterable distributed ledger to which only authorized members have access. A blockchain network can track orders, payments, accounts, production details, and much more. Additionally, because users share a single, trusted source of information, you can see all the details of a transaction from start to finish, building greater trust and efficiency, as well as more opportunities.
Companies like IBM already developed Blockchain processes that make logistics easier for retail stores and the food industry, not only that but a huge company like Walmart, is also one of the first corporations to apply blockchain technology for the intricate network of transactions.
Other companies like Microsoft and Amazon are focusing their efforts on applying Blockchain technology to their products. For instance, Microsoft Azure relies on the Blockchain for its public cloud computing platform and applies it on the Xbox Enterprise Blockchain platform to provide a financial system of record for royalty and gaming rights management.
Biogen and Pfizer employ blockchain technology to manage inventory of their products. Across the healthcare sector, blockchain technology is being incorporated. Even the CDC and FDA are developing platforms to encrypt the processing of sensitive data.
Why Blockchain Technology Works
The biggest benefit of Blockchain is to generate a network of trust between parties. Therefore, it makes more sense when different agents of the value chain are involved (customers, suppliers or even competitors). For example, Bitcoin generates a network of trust between individuals where they can see all the operations of the network and know what funds go from one account to another, without the need for a central authority.
Using the blockchain
As the name implies, the blockchain is a chain of blocks. The chain goes from the initial block (genesis) to the most recent block. Thus, a complete copy of the blockchain contains all the transactions carried out in a system throughout its history. From this information, it is possible to determine the value that corresponds to each address in the system at any point in history.
To implement this chaining, each new block contains a hash of the previous block, this guarantees a chronological order, since a new block requires knowing the previous block to determine its hash. Once a block is part of the chain, all subsequent blocks have a trace of that block, so if someone wanted to alter a block it would be very impractical computationally or even impossible, which creates a protection mechanism to avoid data alteration.
We may have our opinions on bitcoin and its viability, but it is a fact that blockchain technology works and is effective for its purpose. A blockchain can be used to digitally sign any type of sensitive information, without the need for a central authority. This for example can be applied in the management of contracts, security deposits, authentication, and so on.
How to get into the Bockchain
The first step is to choose an exchange. A cryptocurrency exchange works as an account to buy and sell crypto.
The second step is to add a funding source. You allow the exchange to access your bank account.
Fees vary widely. Credit cards are allowed, but you need to know that those transaction fees are even higher than bank fees.
The third step is placing an order. After the exchange account is set up, you can choose from Bitcoin, Ethereum, Binance, or any of the 4,000 cryptos in circulation. Not all of them will be worth in the future, so you need to invest carefully.
Now, cryptocurrencies work in a very similar way to digital payment systems like PayPal. In PayPal, your email address serves to uniquely identify you as a user of the system. That way, using your email you can receive payments, but also make them use someone else’s email.
In the case of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, instead of using your email, a special unique and unrepeatable address is used. These addresses have a key mathematically related to the private key that we generate when we start our wallet.
Every time you generate a new address, you can use it to receive payments, and, thanks to the password, you can manage your balance whenever you need it
Of the many avenues available for mass adoption of cryptocurrencies, including decentralized finance (DeFi), layer one protocols, non-fungible tokens, and stable coins, perhaps the simplest and most applicable avenue for the public is the possibility to use cryptocurrencies for everyday purchases with an integrated debit or credit card.
The year 2021 has seen a growing number of companies offering cryptocurrency-based credit cards that give holders the opportunity to tap into the value of their cryptocurrency holdings.
ClubSwan offers the easiest alternative in cards with low fee prices. It is a debit card that can be charged with cryptocurrencies, with the available balance in your ClubSwan.com account or with another credit card from a conventional bank.
These type of credit cards do not require an upfront conversion of the user’s cryptocurrency holdings to pay for transactions. They can be used directly in abroad and you won’t need any type of fiat conversion.
We are heading towards a world of automated learning (machine learning), in which computers can act without the need to be explicitly programmed. This world requires the ability to allocate resources quickly and efficiently, systems capable of self-organizing and carrying out transactions. The blockchain appears to be the key to achieving this.
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