Olayinka Odeniran is a cybersecurity and cryptocurrency enthusiast, an experienced Chief Compliance Officer, with a pending Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity.
An old proverb says that the loudest voice tells the story. I think it is time for the #Blockchain community to start telling the true story of this revolutionary technology. Too often Blockchain Distributed Ledger Technology (#DLT) gets drowned out in the noise of cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin may be widely used as a synonym for Blockchain, but it’s only a tiny fraction of the true story of Blockchain.
Sure, Blockchain DLT is the technology that is driving a new wave of currencies (#cryptocurrency, i.e. #Bitcoins). But would you ever equate a flower to the soil that grows it? I’m not aware of anyone who has ever interchanged flower with soil. So let’s get this straight: Blockchain is not Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is how the world was introduced to Blockchain DLT, but Blockchain is the foundation of Bitcoin. Think of it this way, Bitcoin can never happen without Blockchain DLT. But Blockchain DLT is possible without Bitcoin.
The best way to characterize Blockchain DLT is to think of the paper that scrooge would hover over at his desk, tracking his money. Yes, that piece of paper is now possible through a #decentralized (free/public) #ledger that contains #information (this is important so pay attention- INFORMATION) that you can be share with anyone all over the world (peer to peer, or p2p).
So, let’s try two more analogies so you can get it. Analogy #1: The ledger that accountants pre-90s used to document #money coming in and going out is now virtual and can be shared amongst many.
Analogy #2: Remember when #checkbooks was a thing? Yeah, you probably have one you can dust off, so go get it. There’s a place either on the back or front that allows you to track your #transactions, yup that’s what a ledger is.
Now, imagine this transaction tracking (ledger or blocks) that contains all your money movement information (there is that word again) which allows you to share it (peer to peer) with anyone in the world. In a nutshell that is what a Blockchain is.
Blockchain DLT has a far greater impact than most can imagine or some care to give it credit for.
Let’s go back to that “important” word. Do you remember what it is? INFORMATION!! Yes, information is the crucial part of Blockchain DLT. The problem with those who compare Blockchain DLT to Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies is due to the assumption that the information within these ledgers (blocks) can only be money transactions. WRONG!
Information is data and data is information. Is it starting to make sense? Data or information can be anything you want it to be. It can be all your favorite toys since you were a baby. It could be your favorite music since you learned to appreciate music. It could be all your grades since kindergarten. It could be data about your ancestors. Data can be your DNA. Data or information can also be your personal identifiable information, like your social security, birth date, first and last name, etc.
So, as you can see there are no limits to the possibilities of Blockchain DLT. It is far greater than just money. Blockchain can store and share other types of data. Now, you see why I call it revolutionary? No, not yet?
You know around the first day of the year when you start your health-conscious kick. You’re paying attention to calorie intakes, you go to the grocery store and next thing you know, you look at the labels. The problem with this is labels don’t really tell you a lot about the item; like when was the true manufacture date, and the history of the item? Did the manufacturing plant have regulatory violations, recalls etc.? None of that information is readily accessible to you. Well, by implementing Blockchain DLT into the process, you can track grocery items from creation to the store. Better yet, the company could also track the purchaser and should there be a need for a recall they can pinpoint who to notify.
Blockchain is a great way of gathering information that relate to each other to tell a story. Like a story of how a fruit ends up in your local Trader Joes, or how your new cellphone ends up in the store for you to purchase it.
The possibility is endless because the data that we as humans collect, store, or create is endless. From Gene therapy to getting credits off a collaborative piece even if all you contribute is two or three words.
Blockchain DLT allows you to track data or information from beginning to current. I envision that one day Blockchain DLT will allow writers more insight into the reach of their paper. For instance, Blockchain DLT would allow you to see that this article began at 6PM Thursday January 25, 2018, on a word doc and completed at 8pm. It would also allow you to not only see the edits but also the various versions. Blockchain DLT will take you all the way to who I sent it to for review and edits, where I end up publishing the article, who read it, share, copy and paste; credits from other articles that refers to this article and the global reach. The information can go on for a long time; if the article is still relevant. (Check out https://po.et/ for an alpha of this.)
Let’s work towards a point where Blockchain is no longer synonymous with only Bitcoin, but with so many different and wonderful possibilities to come. Believe me, they are coming. So, get ready.
Now that you know what Blockchain DLT is, spread the word and do what you can to correct those who don’t know.
My name is Olayinka Odeniran supporter of Blockchain DLT. I’m a cybersecurity and cryptocurrency enthusiast. The opinions in this article are my own. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn and share this article.