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What the heck is a Blockchain?


Updated 5/28/2024

During my morning routine, I generally read the news while eating breakfast. On a mundane but memorable Saturday morning, while drinking my strawberry banana smoothie, I came across an article that almost had me rethinking my life decisions.


A 12-year-old artist named Nyla Hayes made upwards of $1.6 million from selling digital portraits on the NFT marketplace, OpenSea. “What is an NFT?” I pondered while reading with a heightened sense of interest. An NFT (or Non-fungible token) is operated using the same technology as cryptocurrency exchange/trading, more aptly known as Blockchain.

"What is an NFT?"

Blockchain technology consists of a network of computers used to store and manage data blocks. It was introduced in 2008 when Bitcoin cryptocurrency came on the scene. The goal was to resolve the double-spend problem, where digital currency could originally be spent more than once.


Here's how it works

Once a user adds something to the blockchain network, the user can no longer edit or delete it, hence the term “chain.” This way, no one entity can alter the data or claim it as their own.


Then, the user records changes by adding another block that notifies all other users with access to the database of the revisions made. Each user is assigned public and private keys to encrypt the sent data, increasing security from an authentication perspective.


Blockchain (BC) tracks every change while supporting digital currencies, trusted data movement, and value exchange. Many of the devices within a blockchain frequently back up the data and store it on a local copy, so if the data is ever compromised, multiple sources have access to the original information. This type of storage is known as Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), which means the data doesn’t sit on a centralized server.


To recap, here is the BC process:

  • A transaction is initiated.

  • A protocol verifies the transaction.

  • Ledgers are distributed to the parties involved.

  • Each computer within the network applies the same hashing function (numerical signature).

  • Signatures are then compared. If matched, the chain is trusted.

  • Once the transaction takes place, there is no recourse.


Cybercrime On The Rise

Some short-term concerns, such as transaction speed, verification, privacy, and security, are still being addressed. From a business perspective, ensure that your team deploys within a secured infrastructure regarding security. According to Businesswire, cybercrime is estimated to exceed $5 trillion by 2024 with an annual growth of 11%. So, ensuring secure data is a must to avoid vulnerabilities and expensive remediation costs.


To illustrate the severity of cybercrime, 2018 revenues reached $1.5 trillion. Fast-forward to today, and companies like Coinbase, Santander Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, Philips Health, and our own military are using blockchain technology to secure their data. Another helpful tactic for small businesses and enterprises is creating a blockchain security model to establish that all measures are in place to ensure your blockchain solutions.


Final Say

Bottom-line, companies can use blockchain technology as a foundation for a new generation of software that distributes code and enables transactions between users and machines without complex hierarchal server infrastructure. As we progress into this digital world, blockchain cybersecurity will become increasingly relevant in our day-to-day lives, so let’s get a head start before it’s too late.


Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must go set up my iPad and start creating my collection of NFTs to pay off my student loans.

 

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A special thank you to our guest blogger, Kendall Washington, M.S., who lives in Atlanta, GA. He is a Culture Changer, Networking Engineering Guru, and a Cybersecurity Sponge.


Initial date:12/12/2021 | Updated 4/21/2022

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