At inception, the now ‘Blockchain’ was termed as two separate words ‘block chain’. It was invented in 2008 and Its inventor was said to be Satoshi Nakamoto, (an unconfirmed person or group of people) whose identity is unknown. Blockchain is a list of growing records called blocks linked by cryptography and was designed to be resistant to data modification. Blockchain technology has become a big innovation in the 21st century with massive effect it is having on various sectors, from financial to manufacturing as well as education.
Uncommon knowledge has it that Blockchain history dates back to the early 1990’s. A team of two, W. Scott Stornetta and Stuart Haber envisaged what many have come to know as blockchain, in 1991. Their first work involved working on a cryptographically secured chain of blocks whereby no one could tamper with timestamps of documents. In 1992, they upgraded their system to incorporate Merkle trees (A tree in which if leaf node is labelled with a hash of data block) that enhanced efficiency thereby enabling the collection of more documents on a single block. However, it is in 2008 that Blockchain History starts to gain relevance, thanks to the work of Satoshi Nakamoto.
The need for businesses to increase ROI (Return on Investment), grow revenue and improve financial liquidity has been constant and Technology like blockchain has sufficed as a means of meeting these needs. In ‘granny’ or ‘business’ terms, blockchain is a platform where people are allowed to carry out transactions of all sorts without the need for a central or trusted arbitrator. Blockchain was intended as a transaction ledger of cryptocurrency for the public but over time, private blockchains have been proposed for business use.
Blockchains are arguably secure and they embody a computing system of high tolerance for byzantine faults. It is secure in nature owing to the fact that access to transaction ledgers is only by authorised persons in a transparent manner and its high tolerance to fault attributes from the fact that its records are unalterable. The blocks that form a blockchain hold batches of transactions approved by participants in a network. Management of the database is done autonomously using peer-to-peer networks and a time stamping server and each block in a blockchain is arranged in such a way that it references the content of the previous block. There is no wonder of the bright sides to this unique emergence.
The United Nations, The City of Dubai, The Australian government are fast adopting initiatives for the use of blockchain. The knowledge of this technology has spread across Africa as well and even recently south Africa’s cryptocurrency (also a digital asset built of the technology of blockchain) options are on the rise. Blockchain is definitely gaining momentum and has come to stay.
In 2008 Satoshi Nakamoto published an online document that spells out directives on how to build the e-cash system, bitcoin. Satoshi Launched Bitcoin the following year and interests started to build about his new invention. By 2010, Bitcoin market, the world’s first cryptocurrency exchange was set up. Payments were being made in bitcoins and the value product/services exchanged in bitcoins grew rapidly. The price of 1 Bitcoin equalled 1 dollar then, searches for ‘blockchain’ started appearing on search engines and even more people started mining bitcoin.
The brain behind the scenes, Satoshi handed over the maintenance of the Bitcoin code in 2011 and vanished. It was soon after, that the public began to investigate the underlying technology of bitcoin, Blockchain.
The positive interests in this technology were fast rising; tax payment in bitcoin, adaptations like Tether and Open coin (now Ripple) were born, website hosts and homeless shelters accepting bitcoin. On the other hand, news of illegal trading, hacking of cryptocurrency exchange causing losses, China ban on its banks from trading bitcoins etc. were bad press for the cryptocurrency. It is notable that in 2013, a spike in price caused bitcoin to hit 1000 dollars but it fell immediately and didn’t get that high till four years after.
Between 2013 and 2015 a form of ‘Blockchain 2.0’ called Ethereum was developed. Innovation developers like Vitalik Buterin felt Bitcoin had not yet reached there, when it came to leveraging the full capabilities of blockchain technology, as one of the first contributors to Bitcoin codebase.
Just like any other creation, Bitcoin had limitations. Buterin then began working on his own idea of a malleable blockchain that can perform more functions other than being a peer-to-peer network. Buterin fashioned his ‘Ethereum’ to be different from Bitcoin Blockchain by enabling a function that allows people to record other assets such as slogans as well as contracts. This new feature expanded Ethereum functionalities from being a cryptocurrency to being a platform for developing decentralized applications as well. Ethereum blockchain processes large or even the most numbers of daily transactions as a result of its ability to support smart contracts and decentralized applications. Ethereum became a new public blockchain with added functionalities compared to Bitcoin.
Officially launched in 2015, Ethereum blockchain has evolved to become one of the biggest applications of blockchain technology. Ethereum blockchain platform has also succeeded in gathering an active developer community that has seen it establish a true ecosystem. This development has resulted to be a pivotal moment in Blockchain history.
Advocates expect the blockchain technology to help in task automation handled by professionals in a wide spread of sectors. The technology is already of great use in supply management as well as in the cloud computing business. The technology should also find its way into basic items such as search engine on the internet in future. The future of Blockchain technology is bleak drawn from the fact that different governments, businesses and even individuals are adopting it and investing amongst other reasons.One can say that in eventuality there will be a public blockchain that anyone can use.
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