Table of Contents
Chapter 1 – A History of Money, Cryptocurrency, and Blockchain11
How Did Cryptocurrencies Develop? ….14
Cryptocurrencies, Fiat Currencies, and Stocks….15
Chapter 2 – Blockchain Basics …17
Components of a Blockchain .18
Types of Blockchain22
Blockchain Technology Breakdown .24
Chapter 3 – The Business of Blockchain..27
Different Industries that Use Blockchain Technology28
Adding Value to Your Business…29
Growing Money ..31
The Cloud and Blockchain 32
Blockchain and Gaming ….33
Supply Chain Management and Blockchain …34
Blockchain Technology and Quality Assurance…34
Chapter 4 – Proof of Work vs. Proof of Stake35
Proof of Work 35
Proof of Stake ….38
Benefits of the Proof of Stake Model39
Proof of Stake Challenges 41
Chapter 5 – Benefits of Blockchain Technology42
Eliminating Third Parties …43
Control Over Data …43
Better Data Quality and Integrity .44
Durability and Reliability….44
The Integrity of Data Processing and Transfers…44
Transparency and Auditability45
Faster Transactions 45
Lower Transaction Costs ..46
Chapter 6 – Risks and Challenges of Blockchain Technology..47
Major Hurdles of Blockchain ..50
Risks of Blockchain Technology .51
Chapter 7 – Deciding if Blockchain Technology is Right for You ..53
Know Who Will Be Looking at Your Data…53
Writeable Data …54
Data Alteration …55
Data Restoration 55
Easy to Share56
Storage Limitations .56
Verification Process 57
Taking the Next Step….58
Chapter 8 – Blockchain Implementation Mistakes to Avoid .60
Having Unrealistic Expectations..60
Underestimating the Time Commitment62
Being Impatient ..62
Not Limiting Access.63
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Chapter 1 – A History of Money, Cryptocurrency, and Blockchain
The concept behind establishing a permanent, decentralized ledger, like blockchain, was first discussed in 1991. However, the first actual blockchain implementation was designed in 2008, by Satoshi Nakamoto. It was his initial design that was used as the underpinning technology that runs the digital currency known as bitcoin.
The blockchain that was engineered by Mr. Satoshi serves as the public ledger for all bitcoin transactions. Bitcoin, if you don’t already know, is a digital currency that is now worth roughly $16,000, that runs on blockchain technology. The most wellknown blockchain on the market today is that for Bitcoin, with the Ethereum blockchain coming in a close second.
The technology that allows bitcoin to serve as a digital currency, as a store of value, and as a medium of exchange is blockchain because bitcoin transactions are recorded in a blockchain ledge. This means blockchains are not limited to running bitcoin; rather blockchain application can span the entire gamut of trade, finance, healthcare, legal operations, records management, gaming, online exchanges, probability, and more.
Before you can get started understanding blockchain technology, you have to know how it fits in with our current currency and digital currency.
Money is nearly as old as humanity. Many books have been written on the subject. One that is worth checking out if you are interested in the matter is The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World by Niall Ferguson. Money, to work, has to be both a store of value as well as a means of exchange. In the past, we’ve used many different items for money, including gold, silver, cattle, beads, and salt. No matter the form it takes, money has to execute these two essential functions. Also, there has to be trust that these roles can be fulfilled by the money.
A cryptocurrency is a form of currency that has become popular over the last several years. Cryptocurrency is created by using the encryption techniques of computing and mathematics. These techniques allow us to transfer funds and verify that the transfer did, in fact, occur. Another essential aspect of cryptocurrency is that it is independent of governments and central banks, making them decentralized.
These days, many important banks are becoming increasingly involved with the same kind of technology that underlies cryptocurrency. However, it is essential to understand that any currency that arises from their endeavors won’t be true cryptocurrency because it will be controlled by the banks. The most reliable and most dedicated advocates of cryptocurrency are determined that it will not be centralized.
How Did Cryptocurrencies Develop?
Bitcoin is the most well-known cryptocurrency on the market. It has been the recipient of hype, fame, and publicity. The general public has been fascinated by its extraordinary increase in value over the last several years. They have been awe-struck by the tales of significant wealth that has been generated with bitcoin, for those who acquired it in its infancy, when it was cheap.
Despite its novelty, people quickly realize that bitcoin is genuine money. In addition to bitcoin, there are many other cryptocurrencies, who like bitcoin, have had massive increases in their dollar value. Legitimate government and businesses are pursuing an increasing involvement in cryptocurrency. Despite critics, the market for these currencies is thriving.
Cryptocurrencies, Fiat Currencies, and Stocks Fiat currencies are the currencies we use daily, like the dollar, yen, euro, and renminbi. Despite having the word currency in the word cryptocurrency, they are more similar to stocks and shares of the stock market than between fiat currencies and cryptocurrency. When you purchase cryptocurrency, you get some of the coins for that cryptocurrency, which acts like a technology stock and a digital entry into a ledger, known as a blockchain.
Blockchains are digital ledgers and can be formally defined as a continuously-growing list of records that are linked tougher and secured using advanced cryptography. In more simple terms, a blockchain is literally a chain of blocks. Each record in the list of a blockchain’s chain is called a block that contains specific types and pieces of information. Each block will usually include some sort of pointer as a link to the previous bock, transaction data, and a timestamp, which can take a variety of forms.
Another way to look at is that a blockchain is much like a database where each entry is linked to the previous and next entry. This means that the information contained within the blockchain can’t be changed, once a block with specific data is added to the chain. Depending on the chain that you are looking at, there are often useful tools for exploring that will allow you to scan the transaction data.
Blockchains are resistant to being modified because of their inherent design. This allows blockchains to record transactions between different parties efficiently. These transactions are not only verifiable but permanent as well. Once information is recorded in a blockchain, the data cannot be altered after-the-fact without altering the subsequent blocks by having the majority of nodes on the network agreeing to the change.
This inability to change the data within a blockchain make illegal or unfair actions almost impossible to carry out. If a hacker wished to alter information within a blockchain, they would have to gain control of every node. This security is one of the most useful characteristics of the blockchain.
Since blockchains are designed to be verifiable and permanent, they are especially suitable for recording events, maintaining medical records, drawing up agreements, fundraising, and keeping track of other documents.
Chapter 2 – Blockchain Basics
Whether you are aware of it or not, you conduct business every day, even if you don’t work. At some point, everyone gets online and initiates some kind of transaction. Whether it is purchasing something from Amazon or buying something from iTunes, you are engaging in the business of blockchain technology. Even though the term “blockchain” is relatively new, the technology has been around for about a decade. The digitized ledger that Satoshi Nakamoto created in 2008 was the basis for the spreadsheets that manage cryptocurrencies and other online trading transactions. The technology is used in cryptography, which is how text is coded on the Internet.
Cryptography is used in blockchain technology to create distributed trust networks. This, in turn, allows any contributor to the system to operate the transactions securely without having to obtain authorization from someone else in the digital ledger. These transactions are then verified, approved, and then recorded in an encrypted block. This block is saved intermittently and then connected to the previous block, which in turn creates a chain.
Components of a Blockchain Two main parts make up a blockchain. The first component is the decentralized network. The decentralized network is what facilitates and verifies the transactions that are made. Having blockchains on a decentralized network means that the software isn’t limited to one computer system. Instead, it can be controlled on multiple computer systems, and more importantly, it isn’t controlled by the government.
The second component is the indisputable ledger where the transactions are processed and recorded in a location that is secure. This security makes it almost impossible for someone who is not connected to the chain to make changes or steal information.
Since there can be numerous contributors involved in any blockchain, any of the contributors can control the information that is entered into the ledger. Since every transaction is processed securely, and given a permanent time-stamp, it can become challenging for another contributor to alter the ledger in any way.Other Details
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