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What is Blockchain?

 

A Blockchain is a ….

public,

(open or permission less blockchains like Bitcoin or Ethereum are accessible to everyone, meaning the database is all public information, the opposite are private or permission blockchains used by enterprises)

permanent,

(the data in a blockchain cannot be changed. It’s near to impossible for bad actors the tamper with data encode in a blockchain meaning that the data stored in a blockchain is very secure)

append-only

(old transactions cannot by changed, only new transactions can be added)

distributed

(no single entity or small group of people owns or controls a public blockchain. A network of computers maintains and secures the database, and each participant (called “node”) stores a copy of the entire database meaning that the data is decentralized)

ledger.

(Bitcoin, the original blockchain, is for tracking currency balances. But the same method is working for all kinds of digital assets)

 

 Source: Mike Orcutt, MIT Technology Review, Vol. 121, No. 3

 

Why is it useful?

Blockchain technology is useful because it’s mathematical structure for storing data in a way that is nearly impossible to fake. So, it can be used for all kinds of valuable data like:

  • currency balance
  • health data
  • land and company registries
  • trademark and patent registries
  • copyright data
  • supply chain data