Building on Blockchain
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What’s in a name:? Blockchain
A blockchain is a type of database. It is not only technology, but it is a different way of conducting transactions that takes a minute to get your head around.
As investopedia writes “One key difference between a typical database and a blockchain is the way the data is structured. A blockchain collects information together in groups, also known as blocks, that hold sets of information.
Blocks have certain storage capacities and, when filled, are chained onto the previously filled block, forming a chain of data known as the “blockchain.”
All new information that follows that freshly added block is compiled into a newly formed block that will then also be added to the chain once filled.” 1.
A database structures its data into tables whereas a blockchain, like its name implies, structures its data into chunks (blocks) that are chained together.
This makes it so that all blockchains are databases but not all databases are blockchains.
I know, I know, that one is a sit and think moment!
When a block is filled it is “set in stone” and becomes a part of this timeline. Each block in the chain is given an exact timestamp when it is added to the chain.
If one user tampers with these transactions, all other nodes would cross-reference each other and easily pinpoint the node with the incorrect information. This system helps to establish an exact and transparent order of events.
As investopia goes on to state …. “This system also inherently makes an irreversible timeline of data when implemented in a decentralized nature.”
Think of going to a meeting where everyone has a paper file on a topic – you dropped a page in your file on the way down the hall to the meeting – so when you get there and are missing that page of information, the others in the meeting can pull out their pages and concur that there is one missing in your file.
Using the analogy above, from an electronic standpoint the blockchain group would concur that the many blocks with the same info are correct and yours is wrong and would be updated.
In order to change how that system works, or the information stored within it, a majority of the decentralized network’s computing power would need to agree regarding the changes. This ensures that whatever modifications do occur, they are in the best interests of the majority. It’s like a voting structure of information with the majority having rule over the one.
Along the premise of blockchain is that what is good for the one is good for all. This is a completely different way of looking at information to be sure and certainly has different connotations when it comes to banking!
I have come across an organization called Global Women in Blockchain.
I will leave the link to their site below and encourage your perusal of it … it is as they say – “a mission to bring all resources for women under one umbrella to change the world.” 2.
The organization is Run by women for women all around the globe.
One of the main founding principles is cited as “Organizing and sustaining a community of women dedicated to advancing blockchain and STEM technologies to help develop and foster a support system in higher learning.
That of course is of great interest to me as we continue to grow the education side of this company and seek to create and foster a more thought provoking and open environment for women and girls interested with, and moving towards, a career in the STEM field.
Blockchain was invented to log crypto currencies – specifically BitCoin – in a decentralized manner. Instead of the one person or company holding all the currency information, it gathers it’s strength from the holistic whole which is, in this case, stronger because of the sum of its parts.
The premise of a global meshed network of people helping others along such a path in much the same way is to be encouraged. I see these models at the crossroads of technology and people – which then truly becoming a Venn diagram of use cases.
Everyone that listens to these podcasts knows how committed this organization is to helping with the education of technology – not to mention the growth of future women in tech.
I hope you have an opportunity to do your own research on ways to be involved in the industry – whether it be a path to a full time career or reading the tech blogs once a month – it is so important to understand the world around us and how all this tech works for you!
Join us next week when we discuss the first of a two part series on cloud technology – and what that buzz word really means.