There’s an assumption when some newfangled, whizbang invention hits the market that we’re all onboard with it – hell, I’m still trying to work out what What’s App is.

So when someone actually pauses and takes the time to explain to us layman plebs, it is much appreciated:

A blockchain is essentially a distributed database. The technology first appeared in 2009 as the basis of the Bitcoin digital currency system, but it has potential for doing much, much more—including aiding in the development of platform cooperatives.

Traditionally, institutions use centralized databases. For example, when you transfer money using a bank account your bank updates its ledger to credit and debit accounts accordingly. In this example, there is one central database and the bank is a trusted intermediary who manages it.

With a blockchain, this record is shared among all participants in the network. To send bitcoin, for example, an owner publicly broadcasts a transaction to all participants in the network.

Participants collectively verify that the transaction indeed took place and update the database accordingly. This record is public, shared by all, and it cannot be amended.

This distributed database can be used for applications other than monetary transactions. With the rise of what some are calling “blockchain 2.0,” the accounting technology underpinning Bitcoin is now taking on non-monetary applications as diverse as electronic voting, file tracking, property title management, and the organization of worker cooperatives.

Very quickly, it seems, distributed ledger technologies have made their way into any project broadly related to social or political transformation for the left—“put a blockchain on it!”— until its mention, sooner or later, looks like the basis for a dangerous drinking game.

On the other side of things, poking fun at blockchain evangelism is now a nerdy pastime, more enjoyable even than ridiculing handlebar moustaches and fixie bicycles.

Thank you.

[H/T the boys]

9 comments for “Blockchain

  1. The Blocked Dwarf
    May 16, 2018 at 07:20

    Blockchain? I’m still trying to get my head, and my emotions,around my having been able yesterday afternoon to find, book and pay for all day parking in Belgravia whilst sitting in my living room some 200 miles, and as many years distant, in Norfuck. Been trying to imagine how it would have been in the 80s. I suspect it would have involved expensive phone calls to knowledgeable friends in London, letters and those quaint ‘cheque’ things. Now, hell, I could have done it all on my phone if I had wanted to change my reading glasses. I say ‘phone’ but ‘star trek communicator’ would be a more accurate term.

    So I ask, with the temerity of a neo-Luddite, does anyone *need* this ‘blockchain’ thing?

    • May 16, 2018 at 07:31

      Progress, young man – endless, unremitting, unrelenting mindless progress for the sake of progress.

      • The Blocked Dwarf
        May 16, 2018 at 07:46

        As someone who can recall himself grizzling, in the 80s, about ‘why don’t they make an A-Z that fits in your jeans’ back pocket?!’ and who, like everyone else, had the tube map pretty much committed to memory, this progress fills me full of wonder and yet at the same time terror.

  2. Bill
    May 16, 2018 at 08:58

    Tech is exactly the same as government. There can never be enough of either. The direction of travel has no relevance to anything but the continuing motion is everything.
    All the evidence this is so manifests when the two collide. They do not crash and burn but carry on shaken but still moving.

    • May 16, 2018 at 12:06

      Tech is the same as Government, eh? Hmmmm Well perhaps we can get rid of Government – cut out the middleman – which seems always to take us backward or into swamps that cost us a small fortune, and vote instead for the Board of Microscroff, Amassone, Farcebook et al, Internationally. If ‘One World Government’ can be avoided we can have distributed distributors instead. At least they make things that are useful and get less expensive by the day.

  3. Ken Craggs
    May 16, 2018 at 10:39

    Using blockchain to provide military, law enforcement, and intelligence communities with immediate access to a common, trust-worthy, verifiable source of fused intelligence, complete with provenance. @IBM

    Bitcoin undercuts the ability of countries and banks to control money flow. So why is the BBC & other MSM reporting about bitcoin? Answer is because the Rothschild’s are now the main players re blockchain & cryptocurrencies

    Envisioning Blockchain Tech at the Heart of Global Finance

    Rothschild owned IBM has launched a service to allow banks/businesses to build applications using blockchain code

    The Swiss City of Zug Is The 1st In The World To Issue Blockchain Passports
    Zug just happens to be the HQ of Rothschild Continuation Holdings and their auditing company KPMG

    Manna is a cryptocurrency that is distributed to people around the world as Universal Basic Income. Manna was formerly known as Grantcoin. @MannaCurrency

    Blockchain Tech Can Be Used For Cryptocurrencies; Identity Management; Protecting Intellectual Property; IoT Data Transfer; Data Management; Election Transparency; File storage; Supply Chain Auditing…….

  4. sackersonwp
    May 17, 2018 at 06:47

    “This record is public, shared by all, and it cannot be amended… the accounting technology underpinning Bitcoin is now taking on non-monetary applications as diverse as electronic voting…”

    No more secret votes?

  5. May 17, 2018 at 06:50

    I thank you for those, gentlemen. My aim in this sort of post is to learn.

  6. Lord T
    May 17, 2018 at 13:12

    I’m working on a blockchain app atm so know a bit about it and I’ll say this post doesn’t help anyone to understand it at all. It even has the words ‘update the database’ in it which is impossible as there is no DB in blockchain.

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