While most people began to learn about the “blockchain” only because of bitcoin, its roots – and applications – are much deeper.
Blockchain is a technology in itself. It ensures the operation of bitcoins and is essentially the reason why * so many * new ICOs have flooded the market – to create an “ICO” is ridiculously simple (no barriers to entry).
The point of the system is to create a decentralized database – which essentially means that a network of computers (usually managed by individuals) rather than relying on ones like “Google” or “Microsoft” stores data. just like a big company.
To understand the implications of this (and thus where technology can take the industry) – you need to look at how the system works at a fundamental level.
Created in 2008 (1 year before bitcoin) and is an open source software solution. This means that its source code can be downloaded by anyone in the edit. However, it should be noted that the central “repository” can only be modified by an individual (so “developing” code is mostly not free).
The system works with the so-called merkel tree – a type of data graph that was created to provide version access to data to computer systems.
Merkel trees have been used very effectively in a number of other systems; especially “GIT” (source code management software). Without getting too technical, it basically keeps a “version” of the dataset. This version is numbered and thus can be downloaded at any time if the user wants to remember the old version. In the case of software development, this means that the source code set can be updated on multiple systems.
The way it works – it’s storing a huge “file” with central data set updates – it’s basically what provides similar “bitcoins” and all the other “crypto”. The term “crypto” simply means “cryptographic”, which is a technical term for “encryption”.
Regardless of the main activities, the real advantage of broader “chain” adoption is almost certainly the “paradigm” it gives to the industry.
The idea called “Industry 4.0” has been floating for decades. The idea, often confused with the “Internet of Things,” is that a new level of “stand-alone” technology can be introduced to create even more efficient methods of production, distribution, and delivery for businesses and consumers. Although it often occurred, but in fact it was never accepted.
Many experts now see technology as a way to facilitate these changes. The reason is that the most interesting thing about “cryptography” is that – as Ethereum-like ones especially suggest – the various systems built over it can actually be programmed to work with a layer of logic.
This logic is really lacking in IoT / Industry 4.0 so far – and why many are looking at a “blockchain” (or equivalent) to provide a baseline standard for new ideas moving forward. This standard will enable companies to create “decentralized” applications that allow intelligent mechanisms to create more flexible and efficient production processes.