Blockchain is a new technology designed to improve the reliability, scalability and security of any transaction through implementing a trusted model of sharing and distributing data.
Blockchain is a set of flexible components which can be used to augment or build on existing business applications and systems creating a decentralised model for sharing data in a secure and robust manner.
These components are typically from Open Source vendors creating a low cost method of building blockchain into your existing business processes. Due to the model that blockchain employs which is quite different from typical centralised databases and applications the distributed ledger enables you to re-imagine how transactions can be performed and re-invent business processes and this is where it's power and flexibility comes from.
A blockchain is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography (encryption). Each block contains a payload which includes a copy of the previous block, a timestamp and the transaction data. By design, a blockchain is inherently resistant to modification of the data.
For use as a distributed ledger, a blockchain is typically managed by a peer-to-peer network where all parties collectively adhere to a protocol for validating new blocks. Once recorded, the data in any given block cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks, which requires the authority of a majority of the network.
Blockchains are secure by design and exemplify a distributed computing system with high Byzantine fault tolerance (BFT). BFT refers to a state where machines in a distributed computer system may or may not have failed but exhibit symptoms which are likely to indicate that they are not reliable. Through consensus the remaining machines (nodes or users of our blockchain) can decide not to trust those potentially failed or corrupted machines without the blockchain being broken, this leads to very high availability and integrity of the blockchain.
These core attributes makes blockchains suitable for the recording of mission critical events, financial transactions, medical records, voting, validating provenance of an asset, identity management and many other use cases.
Blockchain is set to become the de facto way of business transactions across the internet and potentially a major disruptor of all business types, particularly those in the services sector, as it could remove the need for agents, brokers or intermediaries by linking organisations directly with their co