Blockchain has a nearly an endless amount of applications across almost each and every industry. The ledger tech can be applied to track fraud in finance, securely share patient medical records between healthcare professionals and even acts as a better way to track intellectual property in business and music.
It’s super secure and slightly hard to understand, but the idea of creating tamper-proof databases has captured everyone’s attention
History of Blockchain
Although blockchain has been a new technology, it already boasts a rich and interesting history. The following is a brief timeline of some of the most important and notable events in the development of blockchain.
Satoshi Nakamoto is the name used by the presumed pseudonymous person, who developed bitcoin, authored the bitcoin white paper, and created and deployed bitcoin’s original reference implementation. As part of the implementation, Nakamoto also devised the first block chain database
The first successful Bit coin (BTC) transaction occurs between computer scientist Hal Finney and the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto.
* Florida-based programmer Laszlo Hanycez completes the first ever purchase using Bit coin — two Papa John’s pizzas. Hanycez transferred 10,000 BTC’s, worth about $60 at the time. Today it’s worth $80 million.
* The market cap of Bitcoin officially exceeds $1 million.
* 1 BTC = $1USD, giving the crypto currency parity with the US dollar.
* Electronic Frontier Foundation, Wiki leaks and other organizations start accepting Bitcoin as donations.
* Blockchain and crypto currency are mentioned in popular television shows like The Good Wife, injecting block chain into pop culture.
* Bitcoin Magazine launched by early Bitcoin developer Vitalik Buterin.
* BTC market cap surpassed $1 billion.
* Bitcoin reached $100/BTC for first time.
* Buterin publishes ethepaper suggesting that blockchain has other possibilities besides Bitcoin (e.g., smart contracts)
Originally created as the ultra transparent ledger system for bit coin to operate on, blockchain has long been associated with crypto currency but the technology transparency and its security has seen adopting in a number of areas, much of which can be traced back to the development of the Ethereum blockchain.
* In late 2013, Russian, Canadian developer Vitalik Buterin proposed a platform combining traditional block chain functionality with one key difference: the execution of computer code. Thus, the Ethereum project was born.
* Ethereum blockchain lets developers create sophisticated programs that can communicate with one another on the blockchain.
* Gaming company Zynga, The D Las Vegas Hotel and Overstock all start accepting Bit coin as payment.
* Buterin’s Ethereum Project is crowd funded via an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) raising over $18 million in BTC and opening up new avenues for block chain.
* R3, a group of over 200 block chain firms, is formed to discover new ways blockchain can be implemented in technology.
* PayPal announces Bitcoin integration.
* Number of merchants accepting BTC exceeds 100,000.
* NASDAQ and San-Francisco block Chain Company Chain team up to test the technology for trading shares in private companies.
* Tech giant IBM announces a blockchain strategy for cloud-based business solutions.
*Government of Japan recognizes the legitimacy of blockchain and crypto currencies.
* Bit coin reaches $1,000/BTC for first time.
* Crypto currency market cap reaches $150 billion.
* JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon says he believes in blockchain as a future technology, giving the ledger system a vote-of-confidence from Wall Street.
* Bitcoin reaches its all-time high at $19,783.21/BTC.
* Dubai announces its government will be blockchain-powered by 2020.
* Facebook commits to starting a blockchain group and also hints at the possibility of create its own crypto currency.
* IBM develops a block chain-based banking platform with large banks like Citi and Barclays signing on.
Theoretically, it is possible for a hacker to take advantage of the majority rule in what is referred to as a 51% attack Here’s how it would happen. Let’s say that there are five million computers on the Bitcoin network, a gross understatement for sure but an easy enough number to divide. In order to achieve a majority on the network, a hacker would need to control at least 2.5 million and one of those computers. In doing so, an attacker or group of attackers could interfere with the process of recording new transactions. They could send a transaction—and then reverse it, making it appears as though they still had the coin they just spent. This vulnerability, known as double spending is the digital equivalent of a perfect counterfeit and would enable users to spend their bitcoins twice.
Such an attack is extremely difficult to execute for a blockchain of Bitcoin’s scale, as it would require an attacker to gain control of millions of computers. When Bitcoin was first founded in 2009 and its users numbered in the dozens, it would have been easier for an attacker to control a majority of computational power in the network. This defining characteristic of block chain has been flagged as one weakness for fledgling crypto currencies.
User fear of 51% attacks can actually limit monopolies from forming on the blockchain. In “Digital Gold, Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money,” New York Times journalist Nathaniel Popper writes of how a group of users, called bit fury pooled thousands of high-powered computers together to gain a competitive edge on the block chain. Their goal was to mine as many blocks as possible and earn bit coin, which at the time were valued at approximately $700 each.
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Central Bank Concerns
Several central banks, including the Federal Reserve the Bank of Canada and the Bank is India have launched investigations into digital currencies. A June 2020 paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said the creation of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) would put the Fed in direct competition with private banks. “Besides its potential role in eliminating physical cash, a CBDC will allow the central bank to engage in large-scale intermediation by competing with private financial institutions for deposits (and, likely, engaging in some form of lending of those deposits),” the paper said. “In other words, a CBDC amounts to giving consumers the possibility of holding a bank account with the central bank directly.”
The bitcoin price has been climbing steadily over the last decade making many early adopters overnight millionaires and causing millions more to ask: Who is bitcoin’s creator, someone known only as Satoshi Nakamoto?
The eccentric cyber security pioneer John McAfee claims to know the answer. But of course, he’s not telling.
McAfee, the antivirus software developer tuned into a curveball us presidential candidate, says he’s 99% sure he knows the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto—the author of the bitcoin white paper, thought to be a pseudonym.
Despite that, McAfee said he doesn’t want to reveal who exactly wrote bitcoin’s white paper, as he fears he could “end up destroying an innocent man’s life forever, and probably cause his death.”
“I have spoken to him on the phone, I was actually going to divulge who he was,” McAfee said, adding the author of bit coin’s white paper convinced him not to reveal it.
McAfee reportedly labelled the corona virus pandemic a government conspiracy while waving around an AK-47 rifle before making his comments about Satoshi Nakamoto’s true identity.