History of Blockchain Technology. Here’s What’s In.
A walk through the history of blockchain memory lane:
Blockchain technology creates a ripple effect on industries ranging from education to manufacturing to finance. It is one of the most remarkable innovations of the new era, starting right from the 1990s. It allows the recording and distributing the digital data without enabling editing or modification. This sets the path for developing immutable records or ledgers that cannot be tampered.
Let’s Understand The Meaning of Blockchain in Simple Terms ?
Let us first define Blockchain before we delve into the history and the uses of this reformative technology. In simple terms, Blockchain is a list of blocks or records that are linked to each other with cryptography.
Each block contains:
- A unique signature or cryptographic hash of its previous block
- Transaction data, and
Time-stamp is proof that there was transaction data when the block entered the hash. All the blocks contain information about the block previous to them, and thus, they form a continuous chain. This makes the blocks tamper-proof and immutable as the data can neither be changed nor modified nor altered once entered.
Practically managed on a peer-to-peer network, developers use Blockchain as a distributed ledger where the computer nodes communicate and also validate the addition of new blocks. The database created is available to the participants with complete transparency, entirely omitting the need for any arbitrator. Peer-to-Peer networks do comprehensive database management, with each block containing a reference to the previous one. Thus, the blocks form a blockchain that holds approved transactions.
History of Blockchain and it’s Evolution
For all the Blockchain enthusiasts, the history of Blockchain dates back to the early 1990s. However, its popularity rose to prime a few years back when a selected few applications started using this technology. It has begun heating the digital economy.
1991: W. Scott Stornetta and Stuart Haber envisioned Blockchain back in 1991 when they wanted to time-stamp some digital data to avoid it being tampered with or altered. Thus they worked on cryptography to develop secured blocks containing the time-stamped digital documents. A secure chain was formed by connecting all the blocks.
1992: Stuart Haber and Stornetta then upgraded their system in 1992 to enhance the efficiency of their technology by enabling the blocks to store more than one digital document. Merkle Trees then formed one legal corporation using a secured chain of blocks that can store multiple documents.
2004: This year, the patent came, resulting in the lapse of the previous technology. Hal Finney – a cryptographic activist – introduced “Reusable Proof of Work,” – A system that allowed individuals to retain the ownership of the tokens and thus solve the problem of double-spending. This was one big revolution in the world of cryptography and Blockchain.
Though the previous technology lapsed, thanks to the contributions of Satoshi Nakamoto, that blockchain technology still grabbed the limelight.
2008: Blockchain is known to be the brainchild of Satoshi Nakamoto. He was the first to conceptualize Blockchain, from where Blockchain penetrated the field of several applications other than cryptocurrencies. His first whitepaper came out in 2009. He described the decentralization aspect of blockchain technology that enhances digital trust by not placing the entire control with just one person. This system made Blockchain be Cryptography’s backbone.
Ever since Satoshi Nakamoto presented this technology, the developers have experimented with this digital ledger network and have gifted several special applications to the digital world.
Blockchain evolution from 2008-2013: The emergence of Bitcoin
Let us burst the bubble for those believing that bitcoin and Blockchain are the same. Bitcoin is the application, whereas Blockchain is the underlying framework/technology on which Bitcoin has been built. Bitcoin emerged in 2008 after Satoshi Nakamoto presented his whitepaper. After Bitcoin hit the news, several similar applications appeared that also leveraged the principles of the DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology).
Blockchain Evolution from 2013-2015:
Development of Ethereum
Vitalik Buterin – one revolutionary developer- felt that Bitcoin couldn’t leverage the potential of blockchain technology fully. Realizing the limitations of Blockchain, Buterin started experimenting with Blockchain having multiple functionalities. 2013 saw the emergence of Ethereum – a public blockchain network – that created history in the world of innovation.
Buterin enabled a feature in Ethereum wherein individuals could record other assets such as contracts. Ethereum arose like a phoenix with this feature, from merely a cryptocurrency platform to lay the foundation for developing decentralized applications. This attracted the interest of all the core developers who view it as creating a true ecosystem. Its ability to support decentralized apps and smart contracts makes it process the maximum number of transactions daily.
Blockchain Evolution from 2018-Future: Future of Blockchain or Blockchain is the future?
Blockchain’s evolution doesn’t come to a halt with Bitcoin and Ethereum. Recent years have witnessed a surge in the number of blockchain projects, some of which efficiently addressed the shortcomings of Blockchain. NEO – a blockchain application – is China’s first decentralized and open-source blockchain platform. Though China has banned cryptocurrencies, blockchain innovations continue to rock their economy. So NEO is primarily the Chinese Ethereum platform.
Some developers developed IOTA to accelerate IoT development. This cryptocurrency framework doesn’t involve any transaction fee and has a unique verification process. It even resolves scalability issues of the Blockchain 1.0 version.
Other than these blockchain platforms, several others like Monero Zcash and Dash also create a ripple effect. They provide further higher levels of transparency and security.
Enterprises predominantly invest in hiring experienced and proven professional blockchain development services to ride on this technology. Several big players like Microsoft etc., have already stepped in to leverage the disruptive capabilities of blockchain technology to scale their growth. When will you?