A lot of people in the global tech community are getting very excited about something called “the blockchain”, and see it as the real power behind the Bitcoin throne. If you don’t know what it is, you’re not alone, but know that its applications are predicted to be many and profound. In short, the blockchain is an ever-growing decentralised and permissionless public database ledger of each and every bitcoin transaction conducted since its inception.
With each computer, or “node” connected to the bitcoin network having a copy of the blockchain, it serves as permanent proof of what’s gone before it, detailing addresses and values. When a block – the current part of the chain – is completed, recording recent time-stamped batches of valid transactions, it is added in linear, chronological order (just like a chain, hence the name), after which a new block is created. Bitcoin’s star has significantly waned in recent years, and so financial and intellectual investors are increasingly looking at the engine underpinning it, namely blockchain as the real innovation story here, and the route to making big bucks.