What is “Blockchain”?

Blockchain is a super-secure system for data storage and verification. It eliminates the need for storage in a central place. It isn’t ON the cloud, it IS the cloud—with a built-in system of checks and balances to verify and agree on changes to any piece of data (a title, contract, deed, etc) across the system as authentic. When a change is detected, the system asks “Is this change verified? Is it correct?” Other computers on the system either says, “Yes, my copy says so” or “No, I didn’t get any verification” and the change is rejected.
A hacker today only has to break into one (or a couple) server in order to steal, corrupt, or copy tens of millions of files (Equifax, anyone?). If that data were stored on a blockchain, the hacker would have to simultaneously hack into millions of computers to achieve the nefarious deed. This is precisely why crypto currency (Bitcoin and others) are based on this type of system.
An example of security in daily life that could be bettered with use of blockchain could be like this:
I’m at a grocery buying a bottle of wine for a dinner party. Even though I’m over 50 years old, I still have to scan my ID in order to check out. All the store needs to know is if I’m legally able to buy alcohol. Today, they get my name, address, date of birth, hair and eye color, height, weight, license number, even whether it is legal for me to drive a motorcycle and want to be an organ donor. THEY DON’T NEED ALL THAT! With blockchain, the store scans my QR Code (or something) and queries “Is he over 21?” They only get the information they need. Nothing more, nothing less.
The possibilities are endless.

Source: NAR 11/6/2017

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