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Blockchain Basics

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A blockchain, originally block chain, is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. Each block typically contains a hash pointer as a link to a previous block, a timestamp and transaction data. By design, a blockchain is inherently resistant to modification of the data. It is “an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way”. For use as a distributed ledger, a blockchain is typically managed by a peer-to-peer network collectively adhering to a protocol for validating new blocks. Once recorded, the data in any given block cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks, which requires collusion of the network majority.

Blockchains are secure by design and are an example of a distributed computing system with high Byzantine fault tolerance. Decentralized consensus has therefore been achieved with a blockchain. This makes blockchains potentially suitable for the recording of events, medical records, and other records management activities, such as identity management, transaction processing, documenting provenance, food traceability or voting.

The first blockchain was conceptualized in 2008 by a person or group known as Satoshi Nakamoto and implemented in 2009 as a core component of bitcoin where it serves as the public ledger for all transactions. The invention of the blockchain for bitcoin made it the first digital currency to solve the double spending problem without the need of a trusted authority or central server. The bitcoin design has been the inspiration for other applications.

The first work on a cryptographically secured chain of blocks was described in 1991 by Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta. In 1992, Bayer, Haber and Stornetta incorporated Merkle trees to the design, which improved its efficiency by allowing several documents to be collected into one block.

The first blockchain was conceptualised by a person or group known as Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008. It was implemented the following year as a core component of the digital currency bitcoin, where it serves as the public ledger for all transactions on the network. By using a blockchain, bitcoin became the first digital currency to solve the double spending problem without requiring a trusted administrator and has been the inspiration for many additional applications.

In August 2014, the bitcoin blockchain file size, containing records of all transactions that have occurred on the network, reached 20GB (gigabytes). In January 2015, the size had grown to almost 30GB, and from January 2016 to January 2017, the bitcoin blockchain grew from 50GB to 100GB in size. The words block and chain were used separately in Satoshi Nakamoto’s original paper, but were eventually popularized as a single word, blockchain, by 2016.

The term blockchain 2.0 refers to new applications of the distributed blockchain database, first emerging in 2014. The Economist described one implementation of this second-generation programmable blockchain as coming with “a programming language that allows users to write more sophisticated smart contracts, thus creating invoices that pay themselves when a shipment arrives or share certificates which automatically send their owners dividends if profits reach a certain level”. Blockchain 2.0 technologies go beyond transactions and enable “exchange of value without powerful intermediaries acting as arbiters of money and information”. They are expected to enable excluded people to enter the global economy, protect the privacy of participants, allow people to “monetize their own information”, and provide the capability to ensure creators are compensated for their intellectual property. Second-generation blockchain technology makes it possible to store an individual’s “persistent digital ID and persona” and are providing an avenue to help solve the problem of social inequality by “potentially changing the way wealth is distributed”. As of 2016, blockchain 2.0 implementations continue to require an off-chain oracle to access any “external data or events based on time or market conditions [that need] to interact with the blockchain”.

In 2016, the central securities depository of the Russian Federation (NSD) announced a pilot project, based on the Nxt blockchain 2.0 platform, that would explore the use of blockchain-based automated voting systems. IBM opened a blockchain innovation research center in Singapore in July 2016. A working group for the World Economic Forum met in November 2016 to discuss the development of governance models related to blockchain. According to Accenture, an application of the diffusion of innovations theory suggests that blockchains attained a 13.5% adoption rate within financial services in 2016, therefore reaching the early adopters phase. Industry trade groups joined to create the Global Blockchain Forum in 2016, an initiative of the Chamber of Digital Commerce.

Structure

A blockchain is a decentralized, distributed and public digital ledger that is used to record transactions across many computers so that the record cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks and the collusion of the network. This allows the participants to verify and audit transactions inexpensively. A blockchain database is managed autonomously using a peer-to-peer network and a distributed timestamping server. They are authenticated by mass collaboration powered by collective self-interests. The result is a robust workflow where participants’ uncertainty regarding data security is marginal. The use of a blockchain removes the characteristic of infinite reproducibility from a digital asset. It confirms that each unit of value was transferred only once, solving the long-standing problem of double spending. Blockchains have been described as a value-exchange protocol. This blockchain-based exchange of value can be completed more quickly, more safely and more cheaply than with traditional systems. A blockchain can assign title rights because it provides a record that compels offer and acceptance.

Blocks

Blocks hold batches of valid transactions that are hashed and encoded into a Merkle tree. Each block includes the hash of the prior block in the blockchain, linking the two. The linked blocks form a chain. This iterative process confirms the integrity of the previous block, all the way back to the original genesis block.

Sometimes separate blocks can be produced concurrently, creating a temporary fork. In addition to a secure hash-based history, any blockchain has a specified algorithm for scoring different versions of the history so that one with a higher value can be selected over others. Blocks not selected for inclusion in the chain are called orphan blocks. Peers supporting the database have different versions of the history from time to time. They only keep the highest-scoring version of the database known to them. Whenever a peer receives a higher-scoring version (usually the old version with a single new block added) they extend or overwrite their own database and retransmit the improvement to their peers. There is never an absolute guarantee that any particular entry will remain in the best version of the history forever. Because blockchains are typically built to add the score of new blocks onto old blocks and because there are incentives to work only on extending with new blocks rather than overwriting old blocks, the probability of an entry becoming superseded goes down exponentially as more blocks are built on top of it, eventually becoming very low. For example, in a blockchain using the proof-of-work system, the chain with the most cumulative proof-of-work is always considered the valid one by the network. There are a number of methods that can be used to demonstrate a sufficient level of computation. Within a blockchain the computation is carried out redundantly rather than in the traditional segregated and parallel manner.

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Major Mining Company BHP, Japanese Shipper NYK Deliver Biofuel Traced via Blockchain

Can this qualify as blockchain adoption at Multinational level?

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Shipping news magazine Dry Bulk on Tuesday, February 5th reports that international metal and oil mining giant BHP has successfully tested blockchain in a conjoint experiment with Japanese shipping company NYK.

BLOC — a developer of blockchain applications for the maritime industry — built the decentralized ecosystem for the trace and Sustainable biofuel company GoodFuels provided its product for the experiment.

For the testing was the GoodFuels biofuel was delivered to the BHP-chartered and NYK-owned bulk carrier Frontier Sky, while carbon dioxide (CO2) savings were verified via a blockchain fuels assurance platform.

As reported by cointelegraph Dry Bulk explained that, the sustainable biofuel used in the experiment serves as an alternative to traditional fossil-based marine gasoil, allowing for the reduction of CO2 greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to over 125,000 miles driven by a car.

According to the magazine, the joint delivery is an important step for BHP and NYK in terms of global decarbonization policy. Blockchain, in its turn, could help the industry to verify supply chains, making sure that only sustainable fuel is used during the shipping process and that the origin, emission reductions and fuel quality metrics are transparent and easy to trace.

it is no news that blockchain has gained a significant level of adoption in the maritime industry, with major ports and shipping companies using the technology to support supply chains and trace shipments.

 

Can this qualify as blockchain adoption at Multinational level? letshave your opinion on this. is blockchain adoption viable in the marine industry?

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Funding Has Arrived For Blockchain Start-Ups In Africa

Does Binance have what it takes to power blockchain Start-ups in Nigeria and is the Nigerian government in support?

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Binance labs, the self-acclaimed strongest network of Builders in blockchain is at it again and this time focuses on the continent with the most need for the blockchain. According to the platform, “Binance Labs is a social impact fund and an initiative to incubate, invest and empower blockchain and cryptocurrecny entrepreneurs, projects and communities”.

Its mission is to realize the full potential of Blockchain technology- and they has already actively involved the Nigeria, most populated nation in Africa.

Great news is that Binance Labs has made open her intention to fund African blockchain start-ups. In a recent post, Binance Labs made available the link to sign up form calling for applications from Blockchain startups in the ecosystem.

According to the Binance Lab Director, Lagos Nigeria, Yele Bademosi,

“Binance Labs is the best place for blockchain to build thier projects and c=achieve product-market fit. With the african blockchain ecosystem still in its nascent stage, this offers tremendous value to African projects as we are able to plug them into the top one percent of mentors, founders, investors and blockchain-focused service providers from the global Binance network”.

Thus it goes to say that at the end of the this incubation period, all projects successfully on-boarded would have access to over $120,000USD as support funds and a network of industry leaders associated with Binance within and outside the continent.

According to Binance labs, Public Blockchains, Decentralized Exchanges (DEX), Wallets & Payment, Stable Digital Currencies, ATS/Security Token Platforms and dApps are the investment focus in view for this 10 week-long Incubator program

For Entreprenuers, the support packages are Funding, Go-to-market strategy, Token Model and Distribution, Technical Review Listing Advice and Talent Recruiting.

 

Get more information from their twitter handle @BinanceLabs

Whats your take on this? do you think it would have a great effect on the adoption in Africa? Does Binance have what it takes to build a Blockchain system the Nigerian government would support?

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SPRING LABS; A BLOCKCHAIN START UP PROPOSES LOAN SYSTEMS THAT WILL ELIMINATE CREDIT BUREAUS

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The year brings forth great news despite the currently trending news on price nose dive in the  crypto market. Amongst many, is the great research and recent discovery of new ways financial systems can best provide loans. In clearer terms, it would soon be very possible to carry out loan transactions with your bank directly without the banks having to deal with credit bureaus and any other third-party entity.

According to bloomberg, Spring labs is testing a decentralized peer-to-peer model built from partnership with 16 lenders and Fintech firms, some of which are SoFi, OnDeckCapital and Avant.

The present situation is that banks give out the data of their customers to credit bureaus for free and then have to buy it back as credit reports from these credit bureaus simply because they cannot carry out credit checks as stipulated under current regulatory and competition frameworks. Thus, banks definitely have to deal with third-parties such as Equifax Inc and Experian Plc to disburse loans.

In an interview, Adam Jiwan the CEO of Spring Labs said that the blockchain and its open ledger system would help run the verification processes which the credit bureaus once did. This statement was backed up by the unanimous decision of interest from the 16 lenders lenders who would love to see the peer-to-peer system, which cuts off all third-parties launch successfully.

It is no news that Blockchain can solve a lot of issues for corporate entities if and only if these corporations can identify the use case to which to apply the technology and most importantly if these corporate bodies are going to open their doors to possible partnership with experts in the field, though Spring labs have set the ball rolling.

The technology to be tested uses a “tripple-blind” method of information sharing where nothing relating to the identities of both parties (lender and customer) is made public and at the same time, Spring labs would have no form of access to the information being shared. “This would be made possible by the combined use of cryptography, blockchain and privacy enabling technology”, Jiwan said.

Some incentives in form of digital asset, would be made available to customers so as to get them to provide their information. In the CEO’s words; “ the goal is to pay customers for sharing their information with the native digital asset”.

Furthermore, spring labs intends to drastically reduce fraud with this new model. Also, crowd-sourcing would be the new method of building clientele for banks offering loans instead of just limited exchange between banks and the credit bureaus.

The tests are already ongoing and the launch date for the information sharing and anti-fraud services are slated to be due in the first half of 2019.

Spring labs, has its offices at Chicago and Los Angeles and is advised by former Goldman Sachs president Gary Cohn.

Do you think Spring Labs can pull this off against credit bureau giants like Equifax Inc? Would the Government be in support of this? Share your opinion with us in the comment section below.
Disclaimer:
The Information provided on the website is designed to provide helpful information regarding blockchain and cryptocurrency. The content is not meant to be used, nor should it be used as a basis, foundational knowledge or prerequisite for decision making regarding investment into cryptocurrency. We are not liable for any outcome based on any content found on the site.

 

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The Son of South Africa’s President Aims to Conserve Wildlife with Crypto

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Tumelo Ramaphosa, the youngest son of the President of South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa is creating innovations through the blockchain and cryptocurrency. Tumelo who has been in the blockchain space since 2010 aims to revolutionise the auction sector as well as conserve wildlife. With his company, StudEx Wildlife, Tumelo is digitizing animals by placing them on the blockchain where each animal can be bred, traded or sold and the value will be shared amongst investors.

StudEx Wildlife aims to turn endangered species to digital tokens. The company has had the plans in motion since 2016, and aims to utilise the funds raised from its Initial Coin Purchase (ICO) to fund a conservation where animals under threats of extinction will be tracked. South African Private Farmers can also reproduce endangered species and auction the animals. StudEx aims to take the auctions to a global level.

Tumelo explained, “In many ways, StudEx is trying to create and decentralize this monopoly that happens in South Africa. You have farms where farmers have their animals, with StudEx we’d be able to raise more funds through initial coin offers on the animals.” He also revealed that the firm aims to acquire industrial drones for the purpose of their conservative objectives. This would aid in tracking animals. He also revealed another aspect of the firm he says, “StudEx is a VR business. We have a VR application in development where you can immerse yourself in the world and see what the drone is seeing.” This would help investors in seeing what they are investing in or the animals they have invested in.”

Tumelo who has been in the crypto space for a while now aims to conserve wildlife and endangered species through its funding system.

 



 

What do you think about StudEx Wildlife? Share your opinion with us in the comment section below.
Image credit: pixabay,

Disclaimer:
The Information provided on the website is designed to provide helpful information regarding cryptocurrency subjects. The content is not meant to be used, nor should it be used as a basis, foundational knowledge or prerequisite for decision making regards trading. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. We are not liable for any outcome based on any content found on the site.

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