“Blockchain Technology”- a term, people who deal with cryptocurrencies, hear on a daily basis.
But where did this technology come from? Who coined the term?
Let’s get started from its discovery.
Satoshi Nakamoto, an anonymous group , of person or persons, came up with the concept of Blockchain Technology in the year 2008. This is common knowledge.
But did the Nakamoto group make everything from scratch? Were they the first to think of something that we call Blockchain now? No.
The first mention of an arrangement that was quite similar to today’s Blockchain technology was made in 1982 by David Chaum, a cryptographer, in his thesis named ” Computer System Established, Maintained”.
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This was not the only instance of previous mentions of something similar to Blockchain.
In the year 1991, two individuals, namely, Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta , came up with the description of series of blocks that were cryptographically protected . If implemented properly, this topology would record and protect the date and time of documents transferred using the system.
One year after that, in 1992, Stuart Haber, along with two other cryptographers, Stornetta, and Dave Bayer, further developed the existing system.
Till now, the chain could only protect the data once it was recorded , there was no means of verifying the data before recording it.
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So, this trio decided to improve the system by including a hash tree in it. This hash tree , also known as Merkle Tree, would verify whether the system was recording what the user claims to provide it with.
But we should remember that all the mentioned instances are of ‘blockchain-like technologies’ because the final drafting was done by the anonymous group , Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 , almost after 15years of the last mentioned instance.
But then, what was Nakamoto ‘s contribution? Because the reports make it seem like the group just took everything from the earlier researches.
Well, that is not completely true. Satoshi Nakamoto developed the topology further and even though the term is popularly referred to as “blockchain” , originally the term was made up of two words- ‘block’ and ‘chain’.
The group included in the technology a method that was similar to the one, usually referred to as hashcash. This method dismissed the need for the user to attest the document and instead introduced a boundary that would stabilise the rate with which the ledger recorded transactions.
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Though conceptualised in 2008, Blockchain technology was introduced completely as an integral segment of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin and was later used in other cryptocurrencies, namely, Ethereum, Litecoin, etc.
And since it’s discovery in 2008-’09, the technology have had a strong hold on the market. And with passing days , it’s hold has been spreading to the industries that are not even related to cryptocurrencies.
So now that we are aware of Blockchain’s history, let’s have a brief look at the structure that finally exists today, after several layouts that were almost the final one.
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To talk about the structure of the blockchain, it is a system that is not bound by any central authority, enabling it to conduct peer-to-peer transactions without the need of any mediator. The network that manages the functioning of the system , comprises of enumerable nodules, all of which have access to the records being stored.
However, just because every computer on the network has access to all the records, it does not mean that they can tamper with the information whenever they wish. This is because , in order to change a single record, every existing node on the network would have to change the same record and also the records related to it. Since executing this is a near impossible task, the instance of data tampering is negligible in the technology.
And lastly, unlike the age old transaction technologies, through blockchain we can carry out the same thing faster and with more ease. This happens because we are not required to make several entries of the same transactions at various steps, once entered in the system, it automatically gets distributed to all the nodules.
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So, with that we come to an end of the article and hopefully, from now we will always remember that Satoshi Nakamoto was just another developer and not the sole founder of the technology.