A blockchain is a type of data structure that is used to create a digital ledger. For example, Bitcoin, the most popular and valuable cryptocurrency on the market, is the first application among many applications built on blockchain technology.
The Birth of Bitcoin and the First Blockchain
Currently, there are at least 1,000 blockchains across four types of blockchain networks. However, it all started with the birth of blockchain technology came from the implementation of a concept called “Bitcoin,” invented by Satoshi Nakamoto, a pseudonym, in 2008. It was originally published as a whitepaper detailing the invention and purpose of Bitcoin, along with a proposed system for its implementation.
On January 3, 2009, Nakamoto released Bitcoin version 0.1: the first ever public implementation of the system and concept.
The use of Bitcoin spread quickly through the internet, on forums, and mailing lists. By May 2010, payment processors began accepting payments in Bitcoin for goods and services on their platforms, such as online stores that accepted it as payment.
The Ethereum Blockchain and Beyond
Bitcoin was an early attempt at implementing a distributed, decentralized database. It gained traction for being one of the first decentralized applications but didn’t become widely adopted in a decentralized environment. Its value can be tracked at okx.com.
Later, Ethereum improved on the concept of decentralization and built on Bitcoin’s blockchain. Ethereum is a blockchain that allows developers to build apps and programs that run without any central control or supervision.
Ethereum introduced the concept of smart contracts, which allowed coders to build applications using a higher-level language, like Solidity (the Ethereum programming language). In addition, it included the concept of Ether, a unit of value used by users who want to do their Bitcoin transactions with Ethereum.
The Rise of Private Blockchains
Blockchains are powerful because they are a network of distributed databases that no one organization has control over. However, many organizations have been looking for ways to implement blockchain systems that don’t require the openness, transparency, and security of a public blockchain.
A private blockchain is a decentralized database that is controlled by an organization instead of distributed throughout the Internet. It keeps everything on the blockchain private and makes it so only authenticated users can access it.
The use of blockchain technology in the banking industry has exploded over recent years. Banks use it for everything from conducting transactions to recording information about mortgages. Major tech companies, like IBM, have also begun working with banks to make them more efficient through different types of private blockchains.
The Future of Blockchains: One, Many, or None?
The future of blockchain technology is bright. Many different potential use cases could be built on top of blockchain technologies.
It will most likely be a combination of public and private blockchains that seem as common as the internet today, with some companies using both for different purposes.
A blockchain doesn’t have to be public for it to provide value in a decentralized environment. Several organizations have made decisions to create their own private blockchains to make sure transactions are secure or have privacy when users aren’t sharing information publicly.
Blockchain technology is in its infancy. There will likely be a lot of changes to what many people know today as blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.
If you’re interested in the future of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, it’s a great time to watch the development space for new ideas or technologies. You might even have a chance to implement some of those technologies before anyone else does.