What is Blockchain?

Vivek Shukla, blockchain

You’ve probably heard about Bitcoin before, it is one of the first protocols to use this revolutionary technology called Blockchain. The Bitcoin Whitepaper was released by pseudo-anonymous Satoshi Nakamoto and it outlined how Bitcoin could be used to make peer-to-peer transactions in a decentralized network. This Network is powered by cryptography and allows people to engage in censorship resistance finance in a decentralized manner. Due to the features of Bitcoin, a lot of people took it to be a superior store of value over other assets like say gold and that’s why it's commonly referred to as digital gold. Similar to Gold, there is a scarcity and set amount of it on the planet and people use it to buy and sell similar to other assets. You can read about the original vision in the white paper. This was a fantastic breakthrough. Some people took this and saw this technology and thought they could do even more.

A few years later, a man named Vitalik Buterin (@VitalikButerin) released a new white paper describing a new protocol called Ethereum which used this same Blockchain Infrastructure but with an additional feature. In 2015, they released the Ethereum Project. He and his Co-Founders took this blockchain technology and applied it in ways that people can make entirely Decentralized Applications(dApps), Decentralized Organizations(DAOs) and build smart contracts and engage in agreements without a third-party intermediary or centralized governing force. Their idea was to take the same pieces that made bitcoin great and add smart contracts to it. In fact, This technically wasn't even a new idea. Back in 1994, A man named Nick Szabo proposed a technology called Smart Contracts. A Smart Contract is a self-executing set of instructions that is executed without a third party Intermediary and they come to life on a Blockchain. Smart Contracts are similar to regular traditional contracts that people make between each other, but instead of writing these contracts down on pen and paper or typing that down on the computer, it's entirely written in code. The terms of the agreement are written in code and automatically executed by the Decentralized Blockchain Network, instead of written down on pen and paper and executed by two or three parties or however many parties are involved. This is the main difference between the Ethereum Protocol and the Bitcoin Protocol. Now Technically Bitcoin does also have smart contracts, however, they don’t have a full range of capabilities as compared to Ethereum. This was an intentional move by bitcoin developers, they view the bitcoin network as an asset whereas Ethereum and Ethereum developers viewed it as an asset and also a utility for people to build these smart contracts.

Taught By @PatrickAlphaC and written by me.

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