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The Cloud Helpers Blog Series - Blockchain 101

Welcome to our blog series, The Cloud Helpers. This series will focus on cloud computing topics and help you understand how the cloud can impact your business today and in the future. Today we are going to focus on one of the most buzzworthy things from 2017 and will impact businesses everywere in 2018 and beyond: Blockchain.

What is blockchain technology? The simplest blockchain definition? A reliable, difficult-to-hack record of transactions – and of who owns what. Blockchain is based on distributed ledger technology, which securely records information across a peer-to-peer network. Although it was originally created for trading Bitcoin, blockchain’s potential reaches far beyond cryptocurrency. Unlike Bitcoin, Blockchain is not a strictly financial tool. Although it is designed as a general ledger, in its simplest sense, it’s a way to move and store blocks of cryptographically validated data that users can’t corrupt. In other words, it creates a transparent paper trail that anyone can access, but no one can alter.

What is distributed ledger technology? A distributed ledger is a database of transactions that is shared and synchronized across multiple computers and locations – without centralized control. Each party owns an identical copy of the record, which is automatically updated as soon as any additions are made.

How does blockchain work? A blockchain records data across a peer-to-peer network. Every participant can see the data and verify or reject it using consensus algorithms. Approved data is entered into the ledger as a collection of “blocks” and stored in a chronological “chain” that cannot be altered.

What are smart contracts? Smart contracts – self-executing agreements based on blockchain technology – automatically trigger actions or payments once conditions are met. In the near future, they will use real-time information, such as asset GPS data, to trigger an event, such as a transfer of ownership and funds.

Benefits of Blockchain:

  • Fewer Intermediaries

  • Faster Processes

  • Transparency

  • ROI - Leaner Business Model

  • Security

  • Automation

This is just a basic overview of BlockChain. Look for more Blockchain posts coming in 2018. SAP provides a great overview of the benefits of Blockchain as well.

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