What is Blockchain?

Lately, I’ve been promoting The Blockchain NZ 2017 conference, but have received a few questions on what blockchain actually is. It’s a revolutionary and somewhat complex concept at first, but here’s how I understand it!

In its most basic form, blockchain is “a global spreadsheet – an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value” – Don & Alex Tapscott, authors on the blockchain revolution. 

Originally devised to service the digital currency that is Bitcoin, blockchain is currently used predominantly for finances but the possibilities for its use are massive. Platforms like Ethereum now give software devs a way to fundamentally disrupt existing business models by replacing institutional businesses such as banks and lawyers with a “smart contract” code. Think: banking without banks, insurance without insurance companies, energy trading without energy retailers! Disrupting institutions to the point they may not be needed – how awesome is that! All on a platform that is unable to be hacked. 

Yes, that’s one of the major advantages of Blockchain. Think bit-torrent, but instead of small bits of movies being stored on computers throughout the world, it’s small packets of synced information. In order to get the information to hack it, you would need to break into hundreds of unknown computers spread throughout the world, all at the same time.

“Bitcoin [and blockchain] give us, for the first time, a way for one Internet user to transfer a unique piece of digital property to another Internet user, such that the transfer is guaranteed to be safe and secure, everyone knows that the transfer has taken place, and nobody can challenge the legitimacy of the transfer. The consequences of this breakthrough are hard to overstate.” – Marc Andreesen, inventor of the first browser, thought leader and top VC.

If you are interested to hear more and gain a bit more understanding of Blockchain and its wide range of uses – including how it’ll disrupt almost all industries – join me at The Blockchain NZ 2017! The team at TAG The Agency is excited to be sponsoring this fantastic event. The conference will take place from the 8-10 of May as part of the national Techweek. For more information on the event and ticketing, head to the website: The Blockchain NZ