Many people think of blockchain as the technology that powers Bitcoin while this was its original purpose, blockchain is capable of so much more despite the sound of the word there’s not just one blockchain. Blockchains can be completely public and open to everyone to view and access others can be closed to a select group of authorized users such as you company a group of banks or government agencies, and there are hybrid public-private blockchains too in some those with private access can see all the data. In contrast, the public can see only selections.
Understanding the technology
The ledger system
Unlike the age-old ledger method initially, a book then database files stored on a single system blockchain was designed to be decentralized and distributed across an extensive network of computers this decentralizing of information reduces the ability for data tampering and brings us to the second factor that makes blockchain unique it creates trust in the data before a block can be added to the chain a few things have to happen first a cryptographic puzzle must be solved thus creating the block the computer that solves the puzzle shares the solution to all of the computers on the network this is called proof of work the system will then verify this proof of work and if correct the block will be added to the chain the combination of these complex math puzzles and verification by man computers ensures that we can trust every block on the chain because the network does the trust-building for us we now have the opportunity to interact directly with our data in real-time.
Much like the rise of the Internet this technology will bring with it all kinds of complex policy questions around governance international security and economics here at the Center for international governance innovation we seek to bring trusted research that will equip policymakers with the information they need to advance blockchain innovations enabling economies to flourish in this new digital economy.