Crypto-currency is the tag which is used to portray all sorts of networks and exchange mediums. Those networks and exchange mediums uses cryptography to store and carry secure transactions in a particular encrypted form for those it is intended/transactions are channeled through a centralized trusted entity. Crypto-currency offer cheaper and faster peer to peer payment options and provides access anytime, anywhere globally without any bank account and/or credit history. It is well-known that blockchain had been invented for the Bitcoin, one of the best know crypto-currency, in the past. In 2008 a group or individual named Satoshi Nakamoto published a paper entitled ‘Bitcoin-A peer to peer electronic cash system’. Soon a new program was released that began with the genesis block of 50 coins. A common man can install this program and become part of the Bitcoin peer to peer network.
Blockchain also referred as distributed ledger. It stores data in fixed structures called box. A block has two parts, a) header having metadata like unique block reference number, time when it was created and link for previous block and b) content which comprises list of digital assets and statements like transaction history which is validated too. The data can be verified and audited independently.
It will be interesting to see how a blockchain works as depicted in Figure 1 below1

Figure 1 Financial transaction using blockchain technology
Blockchain can be classified into various versions based on development phase. First version is about virtual currency like Bitcoin, alternative to real currency. Second version may involve automated transactions via digital instructions and the third one may encompass self-regulated decentralized autonomous version.
Blockchain’s disruptive potential seems to be equivalent to commercial internet in early days. The attractiveness of blockchain can be gauged by number of startups with an average valuation of $ 4.4 million2. Venture Capital funding for Bitcoin and blockchain startups reached $ 1 billion in 20153. became the first company to receive the approval from US Securities and Exchange Commission to issue shares using Bitcoin blockchain4.
Blockchain has several applications in financial services like digital content & trading, foreign exchange, peer to peer transactions. New York based clearing house Nasdaq has unveiled a blockchain based system. London stock exchange, CME group, Societe generale & UBS have formed a group to inspect how blockchain can be used to enhance clearing, settlements etc. Citigroup, Barclays, Deutsche bank are exploring how to integrate blockchain into their payment systems. Goldman Sachs has filed a patent for its virtual currency “SETLcoin” recently. In non-financial services also blockchain has various applications such as digital characteristics, possession testimony, commodities like gold, network infrastructure etc. Blockchain is the technology which lies beneath crypto-currency has the potential to disrupt a broad array of transactions beyond conventional disbursement structure. MedVault, prize winner at blockchain hackathon is a proof of concept that will enable patients use blockchain to store medical history securely while providing access control in emergency.
Blockchain will reduce the cost burden of cross-enterprise business processes thus freeing up capital and shall open the door for novel inventive digital transactions. It has potential to build a global transparent digital economy. It help countries to strengthen economic flexibility via cross border economic cooperation and to devise policy goals for financial inclusion, sustainable development etc. Majority of experts and executives in ICT sector predict that at least ten percent of global GDP to be stored on blockchain platforms by 2025.
2. List of blockchain startups,
3. Jose Pagliery, “Record $1 Billion Invested in Bitcoin Firms So Far,” CNN Money, Nov. 3, 2015,
4. “SEC Approves S-3 Filing to Issue Shares Using Bitcoin Blockchain”, Jacob Donnelly, Bitcoin Magazine, December 2015. See also:

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1 comment:

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