What is The Blockchain Anyway? 4 959

Everyone’s familiar with cryptocurrency by now. Bitcoin and Ethereum are starting to become part of our everyday vocabulary. And so is the word “blockchain.” Everyone’s heard of it, but exactly what is the blockchain anyway and how will it impact our lives?

The blockchain is a revolutionary technology that’s being described by many as “the new internet.” Its implications have repercussions on many (if not, all) industries and areas, thanks to several of its unique qualities.

Think of The Blockchain As a Spreadsheet

Rather like turning on a lightswitch or zapping through your television, you don’t necessarily need to know how the blockchain works to understand it. But, perhaps one of the easiest ways is by thinking of it as a spreadsheet. Let’s see:

It started with Microsoft Excel.

You created a new spreadsheet and then emailed it to your colleague, who then emailed it to the next collaborator. They would edit, update and send it back. Great.

Except that you could end up with countless versions of the same document and never know which one was the latest. Lots of emails, lots of confusion, plenty of room for improvement.

Enter Google Docs.

Google Docs allows many people to work on the same spreadsheet at the same time. This does away with the email chains and the countless updated versions. But what it doesn’t do is allow for widespread, simultaneous distribution.

That’s where the blockchain comes in.

Everyone can have access to the spreadsheet at once, whenever they want to; providing the ultimate in transparency and a few more things besides.

The Blockchain is Incorruptible

Co-Author of the Blockchain Revolution, Don Tapscott, describes the blockchain as “an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions, but virtually everything of value.” While the blockchain is first and foremost associated with cryptocurrency, its real power lies in its technology. All of the blockchain’s records are immutable because they are shared over all participating parties’ computers.

Consider the implications of this for one moment. If the blockchain was used to record events and transactions in the supply chain, corruption would be impossible. If the blockchain were applied to elections, forging votes would be a think of the past.

The Blockchain is Decentralized

We hear the word “decentralized” associated with the blockchain a lot. But what exactly are the implications of that? The fact that no data is located in any single location, or owned by any single person is another reason that its records are tamper-proof. If any changes are made at any point in the ledger, they happen across the entire network in real time, just like crypto transactions.

According to Block Geeks, “Decentralization means the network operates on a user-to-user (or peer-to-peer) basis. The forms of mass collaboration this makes possible are just beginning to be investigated.” The blockchain, then, could have a huge impact on many areas, from the sharing economy to identity management.

How is The Blockchain Currently Being Used?

The blockchain is currently being used in many industries and will start to leave its stamp on more and more. Take legal documents, for example. If these could all be managed with blockchain, we would no longer need hard copy passports, birth certificates, or anything else; everything could be digitized.

When it comes to banking, the decentralized nature of the blockchain would mean that your money would never be in one account only. Your finances would be safe should one institution go bankrupt, because the records would be distributed over many participating parties.

Sooner or later, most businesses will rely on the blockchain to make their transactions more efficient and secure. There will no no further concerns about data breaches or loss of information, and every record will be public. Blockchain technology is set to be as disruptive to businesses around the world as the internet, allowing us to achieve speed, efficiency and transparency. Are you ready?

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Christina is a technology and business communicator who has worked with high profile ICOs and blockchain influencers to break industry news.


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South Korea to Launch K-Voting: Elections by Blockchain 4 2341

South Korean officials are developing a blockchain based voting system, scheduled for completion by the end of the year. Naturally, it’s called K-Voting.

An election watchdog called the National Election Commission, along with the Ministry of Science and ICT, started developing the system in June in pursuit of a more reliable and secure online voting system. The ministry hopes the transparency of the blockchain will prevent any tampering with election results, because anyone, including the candidates, can see the data and vet the results themselves.

The launch will begin by testing the system with lower-stakes trial runs, like surveys. After assessing the results of the trial runs, the ministry and the NEC will launch the full version of K-voting, which will use the blockchain throughout the entire voting process, from voter authentication all the way through tallying election results.

“We expect the blockchain-based voting system to enhance reliability of voting,” said ministry official Kim Jeong-won. “The ministry will continue to support the application of blockchain technology to actively utilize it in areas that require reliability.”

It’s Not Korea’s First Dance With Blockchain Voting

This isn’t the first time South Korea has used blockchain for voting. Last March, citizens used a voting platform developed by Blocko to decide how to prioritize community projects in the local budget. The blockchain election took place in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea’s most populous province, which surrounds Seoul and is home to many federally administrative buildings including the Ministry of Science and ICT headquarters. With 9,000 participants, the vote was smaller in scale than what the ministry hopes to implement now. But the success of the project boosted confidence in the potential of the distributed ledger for regulating and securing online elections.

“Blockchains will change the world within a few years just as smart-phones did,” Gyeonggi-do Governor Nam Kyung-Pil said at the time. “We can complement the limits of representative democracy with some direct democracy systems by using blockchains, the technology of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

“Numerous institutions have contacted us to adopt a blockchain-based voting system after the voting in Gyeonggi-do,” said Blocko CEO Won-Beom Kim following the success of the project. “By using a blockchain technology in online voting, we can save expenses required to maintain a central management agency and time to collect vote results.”

Blockchain Voting in West Virginia

For this year’s midterm elections in the US, West Virginia introduced a blockchain-based app to replace absentee ballots. The app was specifically geared towards West Virginia residents serving overseas in the military.

Around 144 West Virginians in 30 different countries apped in their votes on the platform, which was developed by Boston-based startup Voatz. West Virginia reported the experiment as a success. “This is a first-in-the-nation project that allowed uniformed services members and overseas citizens to use a mobile application to cast a ballot secured by blockchain technology,” West Virginia Secretary of State Andrew “Mac” Warner said following the midterms.

Despite the professed success, Warner’s Deputy Chief of Staff Michael Queen told the Washington Post they have no plans to expand the project, and “will never advocate that this is a solution for mainstream voting.”

The Precedents Are Set for ‘Direct Democracy’

But West Virginia has set a precedent, and now blockchain voting has a foot in the door Stateside. A bolder election-by-blockchain enterprise like South Korea’s K-Voting could inspire change in the States where election reform is desperately needed. If K-Voting takes hold, it could change the face of democracy worldwide.

Pareto Network to Donate Portion of Proceeds to Clean Water Initiatives in Africa 7 2022

The Pareto Network, the financial intel network for traders and investors, announced today that a portion of proceeds from their upcoming PARETO Score sales will be going to various initiatives to equip underserved African communities with clean water.

“We’re excited to announce this project,” says Pareto Network CEO and co-founder Eric Lamison-White. “Providing basic essentials like water to communities in need has been a focus of our team, and we’re glad to have an opportunity to do our part.”

According to Lamison-White, the details of the upcoming Score sales and clean water initiatives will follow in the coming weeks. For more information about the Pareto Network and PARETO Score sales, visit www.pareto.network.

About the Pareto Network

The Pareto Network is a peer-to-peer content marketplace enabling users to submit real-time actionable intelligence to traders and investors. Users are then rewarded via Pareto Tokens based on the value of the content to the network. Founded by Eric Lamison-White and Ted Lanpher, the platform was created to address rampant misinformation in the blockchain community, in order to provide well-vetted and unbiased intel to the cryptocurrency community.

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