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Blockchain

Blockchain

A blockchain is an append-only digital ledger storing a set of time-ordered transactions grouped in blocks that are linked together using cryptographic hashes.

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The International Monetary FundInternational Monetary Fund (IMF) and Christine Lagarde have spoken publicly about the potential of cryptocurrency and the possibility for an IMF based coin.

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An Introduction to Blockchain Technology

Blockchain Expert

Web

August 08, 2019

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von latinski"A book on essential principles of blockchain"
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Blockchain in Action

Bina Ramamurthy







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Consensus emerges from independent verification of each transaction by each full node on the network. Blocks are added to blockchains through mining nodes at different intervals depending on the how the protocol determines validity of blocks, and the participants ability to create those new blocks. Nodes then verify the new blocks and construct the chain. Nodes then select which blockchain they prefer, typically based on cumulative proof-of-work demonstrated on the longest chain, and consensus emerges.

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What is Blockchain? A comprehensive Guide for Beginners

Akash Takyar



December 12, 2018

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What is Blockchain? A comprehensive Guide for Beginners





December 12, 2018

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The history of transactions on the blockchain, including all transactions made by each address, is permanently open and visible to everyone. However, the identity of person operating a particular node is pseudo-anonymous. New addresses can be easily created on the blockchain without necessarily linking to an individual’s name. For example, if the Bitcoin or Ethereum address of an individual is discovered it becomes trivial to find all transactions performed with that address with tools such as Bitcoin block explorer or EtherscanEtherscan.

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A blockchain is a type of digital ledger where transactions grouped into blocks are replicated across a network of participants. Blockchains can enable a decentralized ledger system of transactions which dodoes not rely on any central authority or trusted third parties for transaction validation. All participants in the peer-to-peer network are known as nodes, and maintain a full record of all transactions on the blockchain communicating directly following a protocol that forms a distributed consensus on the next valid block in the chain. 

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Early work on cryptographically secure chains with timestamps was done by Haber and Stornetta, including their 1991 paper “How to Time-Stamp a Digital Document". Building upon their previous work, Haber, Stornetta and Bayer published “Improving the Efficiency and Reliability of Digital Time-Stamping", which incorporated consideration of costs and benefits of three methods of digital timestamping including; linear linking, random witness, and merkle treesmerkle trees. Massias, Avila, and Quisquater extended this work to reduce the trust requirements for these digital timestamps.

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In 2004, Hal Finney created and implemented reusable proofs of work (RPOW) drawing inspiration from Adam Back's hashcash. Key innovations also came from Wei Dai's b-money. Nick Szabo’s utilizes these ideas for timestamped proof of work to create a string of distributed property title registry for Bit gold. In 2008, an individual or group of individuals, released the bitcoin whitepaper under the name Satoshi Nakamoto and Bitcoin became the first successful implementation of a secure decentralized blockchain solving the double spend problemdouble spend problem for a digital currency. 

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Blockchains are decentralized peer-to-peer networks with a shared append-only ledger maintaining a consensus through a protocol. The unique characteristics of blockchains make them potentially transformative for a variety of industries requiring secure online transactions. They have the potential to solve a fundamental problem of digital trust whereby two individuals can perform almost any arbitrary transaction without a centralized trusted authority approving their transaction. Financial transactions are a natural starting place for blockchain technology, however, with the development of smart contract technology numerous applications can be adopted such as voting, supply chain, electronic health records, estate and property records, and much more.

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Each full node on the network replicates a history of all transactions on the blockchain. In addition to full nodes, some blockchains allow for other type of nodes like lightweight or spv nodes — which may contain only specific portions of the blockchain. The size of the blockchain increases over time which increases the capacity requirements to run a full nodes. This an important parameter for decentralized blockchain networks as increasing blockchain size comes with increased cost of storage for each user. The implications of trade-offs between blockchain size and numerous other factors has been a topic of significant debate within the bitcoin and cryptocurrency communities.

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Currently, most blockchains utilize consensus protocols with proof-of-work. Proof-of-work requires nodes to compete for a financial reward by solving complex computational puzzles and win the privilege of mining the next block in the chain. The Proof-of-work protocol was originally developed to deter denial of service attacks, and is designed such that the majority of computation power or hashrate controls has control of the network. Adversarial nodes must compete against the totality of the hashrate of all non colludingnon-colluding nodes in order to defraud the system. An adversarial majority node would also potentially favor generating new coins over attempting to undermine the system and the validity of their proportion of the network.

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Consensus emerges from independent verification of each transaction by each full node on the network. Blocks are added to blockchains through mining nodes at different intervals depending on the how the protocol determines validity of blocks, and the participants ability to create those new blocks. Nodes then verify the new blocks and construct the chain. Nodes then select which blockchain they prefer, typically based on cumulative proof-of-work demonstrated on the longest chain, and consensus emerges.



Consensus emerges from independent verification of each transaction by each full node on the network. Blocks are added to blockchains through mining nodes at different intervals depending on the how the protocol determines validity of blocks, and the participants ability to create those new blocks. Nodes then verify the new blocks and construct the chain. Nodes then select which blockchain they prefer, typically based on cumulative proof of work demonstrated on the longest chain, and consensus emerges. Note, that there are many alternative consensus mechanisms under active development producing blockchains, or distributed ledgers, with vastly different properties. Some of these consensus mechanisms rely on differing protocols like proof-of-stake (dPoS, CasperCasper, Ourobouros, etc), proof-of-capacityproof-of-capacity, proof-of-coin age, proof-of-burnproof-of-burn, proof-of-authorityproof-of-authority, and many more.

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In September 2017 the Swiss city of Zug announced intent to release an app to secure its citizens personal identity on the blockchain and associate it with a crypto address. Citizens would register independently on the app and then would be verified by city officials. The linking of a traditional personal centralized identity with a decentralized crypto-address is one initiative intended to improve digital identity. It is intended as a digital passport on the blockchain that could be used for various services such as e-votinge-voting. Zug is part of what is known as crypto valley, a region in Switzerland known for attracting decentralized and crypto entrepreneurship due to its crypto-friendly legislation.

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Singapore

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Russia

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International Monetary Fund

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The first peer-reviewed journal focused on blockchain and cryptocurrency Ledger released its inaugural issue in 2016. It contained 10 articles ranging in topics likefrom game theorygame theory, scaling techniques, anonymous transactions, governance, probabilistic analysis, and more.

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Research examining the role of blockchain in healthcare, conservation, and other biological fields is increasing as shown by the increasing academic papers being released every year.