Blockchain 101 — Past, Present, and Future

NFT, DAO, dApp, Web3, and Blockchain all these words have one thing in common they are the most used buzz words thrown around in almost every other tweet. But most people, don’t know the true meaning of these words, with an even smaller percent realizing its true potential. In this article I’m going to breakdown and show whats under the hood of what people are calling Blockchain.

Ground Zero

Alright for you to understand what I’m going to talk about in this article or just when people in general talk about blockchain you need to have a basic understanding of the terms and meanings. To start lets talk about the root where most other terms in this space comes form Blockchain.

Blockchain can be defined as a distributed ledger that cannot be changed once published.

That sounds extremely presumptuous and almost fictional, but in fact, something that can be achieved with some advanced math concepts and intuition to put it together.

Some other buzz words definitions are…

Examples of NFTs that currently exist

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) most people reading this article have probably already heard of that word going around in the media so to put its definition simply is a piece of digital content such as a piece of art linked to a public ledger (blockchain) giving entity ownership of said content.

Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAO) are when a group of people come together without a central leader or company dictating any of the decisions. Think of it as a company ledger without the conformities of a company.

A Decentralized Application (dApp) is a type of distributed open source software application that runs on a peer-to-peer (P2P) blockchain network. It essentially combines a smart contract and a frontend user interface. You can think of it as special software that uses blockchain technology.

Web 1: Read only static, Web 2: Read-write interactive and Web3: Read-write-trust verifiable

Last but not least is a concept thrown around which is Web3, but what does that actually mean when it comes to blockchain technology? Also known as the Decentralized Web, Web3 is the next generation of internet applications powered by distributed ledger technology (blockchain).

Now that you understand some concepts about blockchain we can talk about how it’s being used from past, present and future…

Timeline

Where did the concept of blockchain come from? It all began with two people in the year of 1991 Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta envisioned a future of complete security available to everyone. That future concept is now known as blockchain.

However, it was in 2008 that Blockchain began to gain attraction, thanks to the work of one person or group by the name Satoshi Nakamoto.

Satoshi Nakamoto is accredited as the main entity that pushed us toward the new ear of blockchain technology. Even though we know very little about Nakamoto as we still don’t know if they are an individual or group of people. The first application of the digital ledger technology was Bitcoin, which is why Nakamoto is given a lot of credit for the new revolution.

As they created the first blockchain in 2008 from where the technology began its journey, from then onward we say massive traction and milestones.

With the first transaction being in the afternoon of January 12, 2009, computer programmer Hal Finney received the world’s first bitcoin mining reward (10 BTC) for mining the block-70. After that came the first purchase with Bitcoin being on May 22, 2010, by exchanging 10,000 mined BTC for two pizzas delivered from a local pizza restaurant in Florida, marking May 22 as the Bitcoin Pizza Day for crypto-fans.

After that people began to use the coin for many purchases with the Bitcoin market capitalization reaching approximately one billion U.S. dollars in 2013. But with the surge in popularity in 2017 it has prospered to even more.

Becoming a very quickly growing market many other coins, one huge addition to blockchain history was the reveal of a new coin called Ethereum. This coin was released by Vitalik Buterin who felt Bitcoin was not near fully using the untapped potential of blockchain technology.

Being one of the first contributors to the Bitcoin codebase. So having much experience in the space Vitalik Buterin started working on what would be a malleable blockchain that can perform various functions in addition to being a peer-to-peer network.

Ethereum was born out as a new public blockchain in 2013 with added functionalities compared to Bitcoin, which will go down in blockchain history as a pivotal moment for the technology’s future.

Vitalik Buterin upgraded the preexisting Bitcoin Blockchain by enabling a function that allows people to record other assets such as slogans as well as contracts.With the start of the cryptocurrency space taking off many other applications started to evolve to more and more applications everyday…

Applications

Starting with some fun applications of blockchain are NFTs or Non-Fungible Tokens NFTs are tokens that we can use to represent ownership of unique items. Allowing us to tokenize things like art, collectibles, even real estate. They can only have one official owner at a time. Some of the milestones in NFT is with the first minted NFT which happened in May of 2014 and is regarded by many as the first-ever NFT. It was sold for $1.47m in June 2021 during Sotheby’s “Natively Digital” auction.

Another fun NFT was when the Nyan Cat was sold for 300 ETH in February 2021 after an unexpected bidding war took place. That was equivalent to about $690,000, shockingly the set the floor price started at 3 ETH!

Now some of it’s more impactful applications are around security and record keeping which might seem small but it can change many people lives. As trust and security in the age of internet has become more and more scarce but with blockchain technology it’s almost impossible to not have trust as it’s mathematically perfect for keeping track of records.

This means we can use it for things in medicine from tracking personal information like name, address, number but also medical records. Being very important as if they get lost or tampered with can have major ramifications not just on the person but the entire system. Another use in medicine are perceptions making it easier to track and authenticate it’s going to the right person.

It also has a lot of use in finance form making sure money laundering is partially impossible using the blockchain system. Another use is for day to day transactions that can now have even more security and lastly one big impact it can have in the fiance industry is insurance claims with a huge impact on fintech in general.

The Future

Even though blockchain is getting a ton of hype it should be used in precaution as many scams from fake cryptocurrencies to stealing private keys have happened. With more people going into space with no prior knowledge creating a perfect opportunity of exploitation. Also with hype many people and companies are trying to blockchain everything trying to apply blockchain to every problem instead of seeing what problems blockchain can impact.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Aryan Khimani

Aryan Khimani

I’m 15-years old who is very passionate about using Gene Editing and Machine Learning to disrupt the world of biomedicine, using my knowledge of Python, AI, ML