After going through the material here, you would've learned a lot about Blockchain and What it is all about. Let's dive in 🚀.
A Blockchain is a decentralized distributed ledger network that is cryptographically secured.
Think of it as a database where different features can be built on such as coins, apps etc and no single entity has control over it. This allows for transparency, security and gives everyone full control of their assets.
We have 3 major types of networks in computing, they are:
Centralized, Decentralized and Distributed Networks.
In a centralized network, all the data and information is regulated by a single entity. Example Facebook, WhatsApp etc they are all centralized.
In a decentralized network, different nodes on the network have equally control and the source of Truth is checked on the network to ensure that everyone has a correct copy regardless of if any node tampers with It's copy.
In a distributed network, there are not only few nodes that have access to the data but the idea is stretched such that it is peer-to-peer and every participant in the network has equal access.
A Blockchain combines the features of a Decentralized & a Distributed network, to provide transparency, security and peer-to-peer interaction.
The idea of Blockchain Development is all about building on the Blockchain.
This can be anything from Cryptocurrencies, tokens, smart contracts or dApps. What do all these mean.
This is a digital currency that runs on the Blockchain Network. Similar to the way we have physical cash or fiat. Cryptocurrencies can be stored in a wallet and used as a viable means of exchange.
*A wallet can be an App or Device that stores the digital assets. And is accessible using a private key.
Tokens serve as digital assets on the blockchain. They are very similar to native Cryptocurrencies in the sense that they can be easily created by any entity for the purpose of generating funds, driving a product on the blockchain or providing incentives for the use of certain services provided on the blockchain. Tokens can equally be traded and fungible(divisible into smaller parts). Most tokens are usually distributed with an Initial Coin Offering (ICO)
A smart contract is a self-executing contract with the terms of the agreement between buyer and seller being directly written into lines of code. The code and the agreements contained therein exist across a distributed, decentralized blockchain network. The code controls the execution, and transactions are track-able and irreversible.
Smart contracts permit trusted transactions and agreements to be carried out among disparate, anonymous parties without the need for a central authority, legal system, or external enforcement mechanism.
In simple terms smart contracts are just pieces of code that enables transactions, entities, apps etc to interact with the Blockchain Network without a 3rd party.
These are digital assets that are not divisible as the name implies. Unlike Cryptocurrencies which can be exchange and look identical, NFTs are unique and have a metadata that ties them to the identity of it's owner.
NFTs are a revolution because it has created a means to define the authenticity of assets and can be tied to documents, real estate, arts etc.
Imagine writing a book and selling it as an NFT, this would mean that whosoever buys it has sole ownership of it and everybody would know that they own it. They can choose to sell it or transfer it at any perceived value.
Blockchain technology might become the defining technology of the future, specifically because it has unique building blocks that allow us to build trust enabling infrastructures. Where we go from here would be a defining moment that future generations would be grateful for and understanding how it all fits in would go a long way to enable everyone to be a part of this alternate possibility.