BLOCKCHAIN is a data structure whose information is grouped into sets (blocks) to which meta-information related to another block of the previous chain is added in a timeline. In this way, thanks to cryptographic techniques, the information contained in a block can only be repudiated or edited by modifying all the previous blocks. This property allows its application in a distributed environment so that the BLOCKCHAIN data structure can act as a non-relational public database that contains an irrefutable history of information.
In practice, thanks to asymmetric cryptography and summary or hash functions, it has allowed the implementation of a distributed ledger that supports and guarantees the security of digital money. Following an appropriate protocol for all operations carried out on BLOCKCHAIN, it is possible to reach a consensus on the integrity of your data by all network participants without the need to resort to a trusted entity that centralizes the information.
For this reason, it is considered a technology in which the “truth” (reliable state of the system) is built, achieved and strengthened by the members themselves; even in an environment where there is a minority of nodes in the network with malicious behavior (sybil nodes) given that, in theory, to compromise the data, an attacker would require greater computing power and presence in the network than the resulting of the sum of all the remaining nodes combined.
For the above reasons, the BLOCKCHAIN technology is especially suitable for scenarios in which it is required to store increasingly ordered data over time, without the possibility of modification or review and whose trust is intended to be distributed instead of residing in a certifying entity. This approach has different aspects:
• Data storage: it is achieved through the replication of the information of the block chain
• Data transmission: it is achieved through peer networks.
• Data confirmation: it is achieved through a consensus process among the participating nodes.
The most widely used type of consensus algorithm is the proof-of-work consensus algorithm in which there is an open competitive and transparent process of validating new entries called mining.
The data stored in the blockchain is usually transactions (eg financial) that is why it is common to call the data transactions. However, they do not need to be. We could really consider that what is recorded are atomic changes in the state of the system. For example, a blockchain can be used to “mark” documents and secure them against tampering.
The first BLOCKCHAIN was conceptualized by a person (or group of people) known as Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008. Nakamoto improved the design significantly by using a Hashcash-like method of time-stamping blocks without requiring them to be signed by a party. confidence and introducing a difficulty parameter to stabilize the rate at which blocks are added to the chain. The design was implemented the following year by Nakamoto as a core component of the bitcoin cryptocurrency, where it serves as the public ledger for all transactions on the network.
The blockchain concept is used in the following fields:
• In the field of cryptocurrencies, the blockchain is used as a non-modifiable notary public of the entire transaction system in order to avoid the problem that a coin can be spent twice. For example, it is used in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and Litecoin, although each one has its own peculiarities.
• In the field of name registration databases, the blockchain is used to have a name registration notary system so that a name can only be used to identify the object that actually has it registered. It is an alternative to the traditional DNS system. For example, it is used in Namecoin.
• Use as a distributed notary in different types of transactions, making them safer, cheaper and more traceable. For example, it is used for payment systems, banking transactions (making money laundering difficult), sending remittances, loans, and in digital asset management systems it can be used for different purposes.
• It is used as a base for decentralized platforms (METAVERSES) that allow supporting the creation of smart contract agreements between peers. The goal of these platforms is to allow a network of peers to manage their own user-created smart contracts. A contract is first written using code and uploaded to the blockchain using a transaction. Once in the blockchain, the contract has an address from which it can be interacted with. Examples of this type of platform are Ethereum and Ripple.
• It is used in public contracting, where it can help increase transparency in tenders.
• And finally, highlight the implementation of the Bulletin Board cryptographic component used, among others, in electronic voting systems, record creation, auctions and discussion forums.
With this, we have seen the main aspects of this technology, which continues to grow and has become one of the most important in the new digital ecosystem and in the 21st century. See you next time!