Popular science | 9012 is about to pass, do you understand the blockchain?

After General Secretary Xi Jinping mentioned the blockchain in the eighteenth collective study of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee, the word became a national buzzword. Everyone is talking about blockchain, whether it's the auntie on the subway, or the 00 sitting at your next table during dinner. 9012 is going to pass. Do you understand the blockchain?


What is a blockchain? A sentence you often hear is that blockchain is a peer-to-peer bookkeeping technology with decentralization and immutability. After listening, you may be more confused. What is bookkeeping? What is decentralization? What is immutable?

Let's start with accounting. The history of human accounting has a long history. From the earliest Stone Age, the transactions generated by the exchange of recorded objects on stones, to the paper and pen recording of economic activities after the invention of papermaking, until today, we record on the Internet through servers ownership.

Your deposit is recorded in the bank database. After you buy a car or a house, you need to register it. Your transactions on Alipay and WeChat are recorded by the corresponding institutions. These activities are all bookkeeping.

However, the existing bookkeeping methods have a lot of hidden dangers. First, there are many assets other than wealth that cannot be included in the bookkeeping system. Today, the Internet is extremely developed, but piracy is difficult to eradicate, and the rights of creators such as music and movies still cannot be guaranteed. In addition, there is a risk of data being leaked or misappropriated when accounting is performed on a centrally managed Internet server. Behind every data breach is a huge economic loss and privacy crisis.

The advent of the blockchain has brought a whole new way of accounting. The blockchain is composed of one block after another, and each block contains specific data, which can be a financial transaction or any other information. The blockchain network consists of a computer, and everyone can join this network using a computer. Each computer records all the information of the blockchain and updates and synchronizes in real time.

Blockchain Network Architektur mit Ketten und Würfel Darstellung

(Blockchain consists of one block after another)

This kind of behavior in which everyone can participate in accounting keeps away from the center of the traditional accounting model. When you deposit money in a bank, the bank is the bookkeeping center; when you register vehicle information, the vehicle management office is the bookkeeping center. In the blockchain network, there is no center, which is the so-called decentralization. Choosing a system with a single billing center means that you need to trust it unconditionally, but this type of system is prone to errors and prone to cheating and a crisis of trust.

For example, Bob sold a car to Alice, and they recorded the transaction on the blockchain. If Bob makes a fool of saying that he didn't receive Alice's money, he only needs to check the information on the blockchain to know that he is lying. It is this mechanism of keeping accounts for everyone that prevents cheating.

So why is the blockchain immutable? Every computer in the network records and synchronizes all the information on the blockchain. If someone wants to modify the data, they need to invade all the computers in the network, which is an almost impossible task.

Having said all this, what does the blockchain have to do with us?

In the future, we can record identity information on the blockchain. In this way, you don't have to worry about identity theft, and at the same time you can ensure that your identity information is completely correct, and you never have to encounter the embarrassment of proving "my mother is my mother".

Our medical information can also be placed on the blockchain, and each hospital can see your medical information without the need to repeatedly see a doctor, which is a waste of time and resources.

With the blockchain, food safety can also be guaranteed. A pig's processing, transportation, and other processes from birth to pork are clearly recorded on the blockchain. Due to the non-tamperable nature of the blockchain, the source of pork can be guaranteed to be authentic and reliable, completely eliminating sick and bad pigs. .

There is also the copyright issue we mentioned earlier. As long as the copyright information is recorded on the blockchain, it cannot be arbitrarily tampered with and misappropriated.

In addition, blockchain can be of great use in various fields such as education, insurance and voting.

As a new technology, blockchain is still in the early stages of development and there is a lot of hype. While we understand this technology, we must also avoid listening to rumors and falling into scams. Learning new knowledge rationally starts with me.