Blockchain is one of the technologies to be monitored in the years to come. It could revolutionize several sectors of the economy, starting with banking and insurance.
The blockchain is the new buzzword in the world of technologies and online payment solutions. All sectors are beginning to work on concrete cases of use, but few actors can claim to have developed revolutionary solutions. Because: blockchain technology is still very complex to comprehend.
Definition of Blockchain
Blockchain is a new technology that allows information to be stored and transmitted in a transparent, secure, and non-central system. It looks like a large database that contains the history of all the exchanges between its users since its creation. Blockchain can be used in three ways: for the transfer of assets (currency, equities, shares, etc.), for better traceability of assets and products and for automatic execution of contracts (smart contracts).
The main feature of the blockchain is its decentralized architecture, ie it is not hosted by a single server but by a part of the users. There is no intermediary so that everyone can verify the validity of the chain. The information contained in the “blocks” (transactions, property titles, contracts, etc.) is protected by cryptographic methods which prevent users from modifying them a posteriori.
The Bitcoin blockchain
The Bitcoin is the best-known use of the blockchain. It was created in 2008 by an unknown whose pseudonym is Satoshi Nakamoto. It includes both a secure and anonymous payment protocol and a crypto-currency. Anyone can access this blockchain (it is public, so open to all) and therefore use bitcoins. To do this, simply create a virtual wallet, downloadable on apps stores. Crypto-money allows you to buy goods and services and can be exchanged for other currencies.
Some platforms offer the conversion of dollars, euros or yuan into bitcoins. The bitcoin has a very volatile exchange rate. It can increase or decrease by 20% in just two days. This volatility is linked to the strong speculation around this currency and the lack of a regulatory authority. In May 2017, the bitcoin price exceeded $ 2,000 for the first time, and its value almost doubled in five months. This is due to the legal recognition of the bitcoin as a means of payment by Japan on April 1, 2017. Its capitalization reached $ 28 billion at the beginning of 2017.
The Ethereum blockchain
The Blockchain Ethereum has become as popular as the Bitcoin. Created in 2014, Ethereum also uses its own crypto-currency: the ether. Its price is lower ($222 in May 2017) than that of the bitcoin but its capitalization reached $20 billion at the beginning of 2017.