Blockchain

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Blockchain formation. The main chain (black) consists of the longest series of blocks from the genesis block (green) to the current block. Orphan blocks (purple) exist outside of the main chain.

A blockchain[1][2][3] – originally block chain[4][5] – is a distributed database that maintains a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, secured from tampering and revision. Each block contains a timestamp and a link to a previous block.[6] By design, blockchains are inherently resistant to modification of the data — once recorded, the data in a block cannot be altered retroactively. Through the use of a peer-to-peer network and a distributed timestamping server, a blockchain database is managed autonomously. Blockchains are "an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way. The ledger itself can also be programmed to trigger transactions automatically."[7]

Blockchains are secure by design and an example of a distributed computing system with high byzantine fault tolerance. Decentralized consensus can therefore be achieved with a blockchain.[8] This makes blockchains suitable for the recording of events, medical records,[9][10] and other records management activities, identity management,[11][12][13] transaction processing, and documenting provenance.

The first blockchain was conceptualised by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 and implemented the following year as a core component of the digital currency bitcoin, where it serves as the public ledger for all transactions.[1] The invention of the blockchain for bitcoin made it the first digital currency to solve the double spending problem, without the use of a trusted authority or central server. The bitcoin design has been the inspiration for other applications.[1][3]

History[edit]

Bitcoin transactions (January 2009 – September 2015)

The first work on a cryptographically secured chain of blocks was described in 1991 by Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta, followed by publications in 1996 by Ross J. Anderson, in 1997 by Michael Doyle[14][15][better source needed] and 1998 by Bruce Schneier and John Kelsey.[16] In parallel, Nick Szabo was working in 1998 on a mechanism for a decentralized digital currency that he called bit gold.[17] In 2000 Stefan Konst published a general theory for cryptographic secured chains and suggested a set of solutions for implementation.[16]

The first blockchain was then conceptualised by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 and implemented the following year as a core component of the digital currency bitcoin, where it serves as the public ledger for all transactions.[1] Through the use of a peer-to-peer network and a distributed timestamping server, a blockchain database is managed autonomously. The invention of the blockchain for bitcoin made it the first digital currency to solve the double spending problem without requiring a trusted administrator.[4] The bitcoin design has been the inspiration for other applications.[1][3]

The words block and chain were used separately in Satoshi Nakamoto's original paper in October 2008,[18] and when the term moved into wider use it was originally block chain,[4][5] before becoming a single word, blockchain, by 2016. In August 2014, the bitcoin blockchain file size reached 20 gigabytes.[19] In January 2015, the size had grown to almost 30 gigabytes, and from January 2016 to January 2017, the bitcoin blockchain grew from 50 gigabytes to 100 gigabytes in size.[20]

By 2014, "Blockchain 2.0" was a term referring to new applications of the distributed blockchain database.[21] The Economist described one implementation of this second-generation programmable blockchain as coming with "a programming language that allows users to write more sophisticated smart contracts, thus creating invoices that pay themselves when a shipment arrives or share certificates which automatically send their owners dividends if profits reach a certain level."[1] Blockchain 2.0 technologies go beyond transactions and "exchange of value without powerful intermediaries acting as arbiters of money and information". They are expected to enable excluded people to enter the global economy, enable the protection of privacy and people to "monetize their own information", and provide the capability to ensure creators are compensated for their intellectual property. Second-generation blockchain technology makes it possible to store an individual's "persistent digital ID and persona" and are providing an avenue to help solve the problem of social inequality by "[potentially changing] the way wealth is distributed."[22]:14–15 As of 2016, Blockchain 2.0 implementations continue to require an off-chain oracle to access any "external data or events based on time or market conditions [that need] to interact with the blockchain."[23]

In 2016, the central securities depository of the Russian Federation (NSD) announced a pilot project based on the Nxt Blockchain 2.0 platform that would explore the use of blockchain-based automated voting systems.[24] Various regulatory bodies in the music industry have started testing models that use blockchain technology for royalty collection and management of copyrights around the world.[25][better source needed] IBM opened a blockchain innovation research centre in Singapore in July 2016.[26] A working group for the World Economic Forum met in November 2016 to discuss the development of governance models related to blockchain.[27] According to Accenture, an application of the diffusion of innovations theory suggests that in 2016 blockchains attained a 13.5% adoption rate within financial services, therefore reaching the early adopters phase.[28] In 2016, industry trade groups joined to create the Global Blockchain Forum, an initiative of the Chamber of Digital Commerce.[29]

In early 2017, the Harvard Business Review suggested that blockchain is a foundational technology and thus "has the potential to create new foundations for our economic and social systems." It further observed that while foundational innovations can have enormous impact, "It will take decades for blockchain to seep into our economic and social infrastructure."[7]

Description[edit]

External video
A visual demonstration of the six key components in a blockchain

A blockchain facilitates secure online transactions.[30] A blockchain is a decentralized and distributed digital ledger that records transactions across many computers in such a way that the registered transactions cannot be altered retroactively.[31][1] This allows the participants to verify and audit transactions in an inexpensive manner.[32] They are authenticated by mass collaboration powered by collective self-interests.[33] The result is a robust workflow where participants' uncertainty regarding data security is marginal. The use of a blockchain removes the characteristic of infinite reproducibility from a digital asset. It confirms that each unit of value was transferred only once, solving the long-standing problem of double spending. Blockchains have been described as a value-exchange protocol.[21] This blockchain-based exchange of value can be completed more quickly, more safely and more cheaply than with traditional systems.[34] A blockchain can assign title rights because it provides a record that compels offer and acceptance.[1] From the technical point of view a blockchain is a hashchain inside another hashchain.[35]

A blockchain database consists of two kinds of records: transactions and blocks.[1] Blocks hold batches of valid transactions that are hashed and encoded into a Merkle tree.[1] Each block includes the hash of the prior block in the blockchain, linking the two. Variants of this format were used previously, for example in Git, and it is not by itself sufficient to qualify as a blockchain.[36] The linked blocks form a chain.[1] This iterative process confirms the integrity of the previous block, all the way back to the original genesis block.[37] Some blockchains create a new block as frequently as every five seconds.[38] As blockchains age they are said to grow in height.

Sometimes separate blocks can be validated concurrently, creating a temporary fork. In addition to a secure hash based history, any blockchain has a specified algorithm for scoring different versions of the history so that one with a higher value can be selected over others. Blocks not selected for inclusion in the chain are called orphan blocks.[37] Peers supporting the database don't have exactly the same version of the history at all times, rather they keep the highest scoring version of the database that they currently know of. Whenever a peer receives a higher scoring version (usually the old version with a single new block added) they extend or overwrite their own database and retransmit the improvement to their peers. There is never an absolute guarantee that any particular entry will remain in the best version of the history forever, but because blockchains are typically built to add the score of new blocks onto old blocks and there are incentives to only work on extending with new blocks rather than overwriting old blocks, the probability of an entry becoming superseded goes down exponentially[39] as more blocks are built on top of it, eventually becoming very low.[1][40]:ch. 08[41] For example, in a blockchain using the proof-of-work system, the chain with the most cumulative proof-of-work is always considered the valid one by the network. In practice there are a number of methods that can demonstrate a sufficient level of computation. Within a blockchain the computation is carried out redundantly rather than in the traditional segregated and parallel manner.[42]

The blockchain is parsed by software to extract relevant information.[43]

Decentralization[edit]

By storing data across its network, the blockchain eliminates the risks that come with data being held centrally.[1] Decentralised blockchains may use ad-hoc message passing and distributed networking. Its network lacks centralized points of vulnerability that computer hackers can exploit or any central point of failure. Blockchain security methods include the use of public-key cryptography.[4]:5 A public key (a long, random-looking string of numbers) is an address on the blockchain. Value tokens sent across the network are recorded as belonging to that address. A private key is like a password that gives its owner access to their digital assets or otherwise interact with the various capabilities that blockchains now support. Data stored on the blockchain is generally considered incorruptible.[1]

Every node or miner in a decentralized system has a copy of the blockchain. Data quality is maintained by massive database replication[8] and computational trust. No centralized "official" copy exists and no user is "trusted" more than any other.[4] Transactions are broadcast to the network using software. Messages are delivered on a best effort basis. Mining nodes validate transactions,[37] add them to the block they’re creating, and then broadcast the completed block to other nodes.[40]:ch. 08 Blockchains use various time-stamping schemes, such as proof-of-work to serialize changes.[44] Alternate consensus methods include proof-of-stake and proof-of-burn.[37] Growth of a decentralized blockchain is accompanied by the risk of node centralization because computer resources required to operate bigger data become more expensive.[45]

Forks[edit]

If two groups of users disagree about a proposed change to a public (permissionless) blockchain protocol or algorithms, the two groups are free to each run their own versions of the blockchain software, which creates two descendant blockchains with their own separate histories from that point forward.[dubious ]

There are two types of forks: Soft forks and hard forks.

Soft forks[edit]

Soft forks are forward-compatible—meaning that nodes running software that only enforces the old consensus rules[dubious ] consider blocks mined by miners using the new consensus rules[dubious ] valid, whereas nodes that enforce the new consensus rules don't (necessarily) consider blocks mined by miners who only enforce the older consensus rules valid. This comes to be as is such a case, the consensus rules are expanded and the set of blocks considered valid by nodes that enforce the newer consensus rules therefore is a real subset of the set of blocks considered valid by the nodes only enforcing the older consensus rules.[46][better source needed]

Hard forks[edit]

Hard forks are not forward-compatible, meaning that nodes running software that enforces the old consensus rules don't (necessarily) consider the blocks mined by miners using the new consensus rules valid and vice versa. This causes a permanent divergence in the block chain.[47][better source needed]

For example, Ethereum has hard-forked multiple times. One of the first Ethereum hard forks was an ad-hoc fork to "make whole" the investors in The DAO, which had been hacked by exploiting a vulnerability in its code.[48]

In 2014 the Nxt community was asked to consider a hard fork that would have led to a rollback of the blockchain records to mitigate the effects of a theft of 50 million NXT from a major cryptocurrency exchange. The hard fork proposal was rejected, and the majority of the funds were recovered after negotiations.[49]

Openness[edit]

Blockchain data

Open blockchains are more user friendly than some traditional ownership records, which, while open to the public, still require physical access to view. Because all early blockchains were permissionless, controversy has arisen over the blockchain definition. An issue in this ongoing debate is whether a private system with verifiers tasked and authorized (permissioned) by a central authority should be considered a blockchain.[50][51][52][53][54] Proponents of permissioned or private chains argue that the term "blockchain" may be applied to any data structure that batches data into time-stamped blocks. These blockchains serve as a distributed version of multiversion concurrency control (MVCC) in databases.[55] Just as MVCC prevents two transactions from concurrently modifying a single object in a database, blockchains prevent two transactions from spending the same single output in a blockchain.[22]:30–31 Opponents say that permissioned systems resemble traditional corporate databases, not supporting decentralized data verification, and that such systems are not hardened against operator tampering and revision.[50][52] The Harvard Business Review defines blockchain as a distributed ledger or database open to anyone.[56] In 2016, Nikolai Hampton of Computerworld claimed that "much of [permissioned blockchain hype] is nothing more than snake oil and spin".[57]

Permissionless[edit]

The great advantage to an open, permissionless. or public, blockchain network is that guarding against bad actors is not required and no access control is needed.[39] This means that applications can be added to the edge of the network without the approval or trust of others, using the blockchain as a transport layer.[39] This openness allows researchers to examine real-time transaction data in a closed economic system.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies currently secure their blockchain by requiring new entries including a proof of work. To prolong the blockchain, bitcoin uses Hashcash puzzles developed by Adam Back in the 1990s.[58]

Financial companies have not prioritised decentralized blockchains.[59] In 2016, venture capital investment for blockchain related projects was weakening in the USA but increasing in China.[60] Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies use open (public) blockchains. As of September 2016, bitcoin has the highest market capitalization.

Permissioned (private) blockchain[edit]

Permissioned blockchains are emerging as open source protocols where openness and collaboration are encouraged.[61] These always have the ability to restrict who can participate in the consensus processes as well as who can transact.[42] These private blockchains lack transparency.

The New York Times noted in both 2016 and 2017 that many corporations are using blockchain networks "with private blockchains, independent of the public system."[62][63]

In contrast to public blockchain networks, validators on private blockchain networks are vetted by the network owner. They do not rely on anonymous nodes to validate transactions nor do they benefit from the network effect.[64]

Disadvantages[edit]

Nikolai Hampton pointed out in Computerworld that "There is also no need for a ‘51 percent’ attack on a private blockchain, as the private blockchain (most likely) already controls 100 percent of all block creation resources. If you could attack or damage the blockchain creation tools on a private corporate server, you could effectively control 100 percent of their network and alter transactions however you wished."[57] This has a set of particularly profound adverse implications during a financial crisis or debt crisis like the financial crisis of 2007–08, where politically powerful actors may make decisions that favor some groups at the expense of others.[citation needed] and "the bitcoin blockchain is protected by the massive group mining effort. It's unlikely that any private blockchain will try to protect records using gigawatts of computing power — it's time consuming and expensive."[57] He also said, "Within a private blockchain there is also no ‘race’; there's no incentive to use more power or discover blocks faster than competitors. This means that many in-house blockchain solutions will be nothing more than cumbersome databases."[57]

Applications[edit]

Blockchain technology has a large potential to transform business operating models in the long term. Blockchain distributed ledger technology is more a foundational technology—with the potential to create new foundations for global economic and social systems—than a disruptive technology, which typically "attack a traditional business model with a lower-cost solution and overtake incumbent firms quickly."[7] Even so, there are a few operational products maturing from proof of concept by late 2016.[60] The use of blockchains promises to bring significant efficiencies to global supply chains, financial transactions, asset ledgers and decentralized social networking.[7]

As of 2016, some observers remain skeptical. Steve Wilson, of Constellation Research, believes the technology has been hyped with unrealistic claims.[65] To mitigate risk businesses are reluctant to place blockchain at the core of the business structure.[66]

Blockchains technology can be integrated into multiple areas. This means specific blockchain applications may be a disruptive innovation, because substantially lower-cost solutions can be instantiated, which can disrupt existing business models.[7] Blockchain protocols facilitate businesses to use new methods of processing digital transactions.[67] Examples include a payment system and digital currency, facilitating crowdsales, or implementing prediction markets and generic governance tools.[68] Blockchains are expected to disrupt the cloud computing industry although practical technical issues remain as obstacles.[69]

Blockchains can be thought of as an automatically notarised ledger. They alleviate the need for a trust service provider and are predicted to result in less capital being tied up in disputes. Blockchains have the potential to reduce systemic risk and financial fraud. They automate processes that were previously time-consuming and done manually, such as the incorporation of businesses.[70] In theory, it would be possible to collect taxes, conduct conveyancing and provide risk management with blockchains.

Major applications of blockchain include cryptocurrencies—including bitcoin, BlackCoin, Dash, and Nxt—and blockchain platforms such as Factom as a distributed registry, Gems for decentralized messaging, MaidSafe for decentralized applications, Storj for a distributed cloud, and Tezos for decentralized voting.[22]:94 Each cryptocurrency has its own features and particularities.[71] Frameworks and trials such as the one at the Sweden Land Registry aim to demonstrate the effectiveness of the blockchain at speeding land sale deals.[72] The Republic of Georgia is piloting a blockchain-based property registry.[73] The Ethical and Fair Creators Association uses blockchain to help startups protect their authentic ideas.[74]

New distribution methods are available for the insurance industry such as peer-to-peer insurance, parametric insurance and microinsurance following the adoption of blockchain.[67] Banks are interested in this technology because it has potential to speed up back office settlement systems.[75] The sharing economy and IoT are also set to benefit from blockchains because they involve many collaborating peers.[76] Online voting is another application of the blockchain.[77] Blockchains are being used to develop information systems for medical records, which increases interoperability. In theory, legacy disparate systems can be completely replaced by blockchains.[78] Blockchains are being developed for data storage, publishing texts and identifying the origin of digital art.

Banks such as UBS are opening new research labs dedicated to blockchain technology in order to explore how blockchain can be used in financial services to increase efficiency and reduce costs.[79][80]

The Big Four[edit]

Each of the Big Four accounting firms is testing blockchain technologies in various formats. Ernst and Young has provided digital wallets to all (Swiss) employees,[81] has installed a bitcoin ATM in their office in Switzerland, and accepts bitcoin as payment for all its consulting services.[82] Marcel Stalder, CEO of Ernst and Young Switzerland stated "We don’t only want to talk about digitalization, but also actively drive this process together with our employees and our clients. It is important to us that everybody gets on board and prepares themselves for the revolution set to take place in the business world through blockchains, [to] smart contracts and digital currencies."[82] PwC, Deloitte, and KPMG have taken a different path from Ernst & Young and are all testing private blockchains.[82]

Smart contracts[edit]

Blockchain-based smart contracts are contracts that can be partially or fully executed or enforced without human interaction.[83] One of the main objectives of a smart contract is automated escrow. The IMF believes blockchains could reduce moral hazards and optimize the use of contracts in general.[84] Due to the lack of widespread use their legal status is unclear.[84]

Some blockchain implementations could enable the coding of contracts that will execute when specified conditions are met. A blockchain smart contract would be enabled by extensible programming instructions that define and execute an agreement.[85] For example, Ethereum Solidity is an open source blockchain project that was built specifically to realize this possibility by implementing a Turing-complete programming language capability to implement such contracts.[22]:ch. 11

A January 2017 World Economic Forum report predicted that by 2025 ten percent of global GDP will be stored on blockchains or blockchain-related technology.[86]

Alternative blockchains[edit]

Alternative blockchains, also known as altchains, are based on bitcoin technology in concept and/or code.[6] The term encompasses all blockchains but bitcoin's main chain. Compared to bitcoin, these designs generally add functionality to the blockchain design. Altchains can provide solutions, including other digital currencies, though tokens in these designs are not always considered as such. Altchains target performance, anonymity, storage and applications such as smart contracts.[87] Starting with a strong focus on financial applications, blockchain technology is extending to activities including decentralized applications and collaborative organizations that eliminate a middleman.[88][non-primary source needed]

Notable non-cryptocurrency designs include:

For a list of cryptocurrencies, see List of cryptocurrencies.

Blockchain v Distributed Ledger systems[edit]

Simply put, a blockchain is a peer-to-peer network that timestamps records by hashing them into an ongoing chain of hash-based proof-of-work, forming a record that cannot be changed without redoing the proof-of-work. On the other hand, a distributed ledger is a peer-to-peer network that uses a defined consensus mechanism to prevent modification of an ordered series of time-stamped records. All blockchains are distributed ledgers, but not all distributed ledgers are blockchains.

Some of the blockchain and distributed ledger systems are: BigchainDB, Chain, Corda, Credits, Elements, Monax, Fabric, Ethereum, HydraChain, Hyperledger, Multichain, Openchain, Quorum, Sawtooth, Stellar.

Other uses[edit]

Blockchain technology can be used to create a permanent, public, transparent ledger system for compiling data on sales, storing rights data by authenticating copyright registration,[94] and tracking digital use and payments to content creators, such as musicians.[95] By developing blockchain technology in partnership with ASCAP and PRS for Music, IBM will unlock value to the benefit of music creators worldwide.[96] Imogen Heap's Mycelia[97] service, which allows managers to use a blockchain for tracking high-value parts moving through a supply chain, was launched as a concept in July 2016. Everledger, "building systems to record the movement of diamonds from mines to jewelry stores", is one of the inaugural clients of IBM's blockchain-based tracking service.[98]

CLS Group is using blockchain technology to expand the number of currency trade deals it can settle.[66] NETL is currently (December 2016) investigating the use of blockchain technology as a cybersecurity tool to maintain the robustness of integrated energy systems of the future.[99]

Commercial offerings[edit]

Distributed ledgers and other blockchain-inspired software are being developed by commercial organizations for various applications:

In August 2016 a research team at the Technical University of Munich published a research document about how blockchains may disrupt industries. They analyzed the venture funding that went into blockchain ventures. Their research shows that $1.55 billion went into startups with an industry focus on finance and insurance, information and communication, and professional services. High startup density was found in the USA, UK and Canada.[105]

ABN Amro announced a project in real estate to facilitate the sharing and recording of real estate transactions, and a second project in partnership with the Port of Rotterdam to develop logistics tools.[106]

National Currencies[edit]

  1. e-Dinar is Tunisia national currency which was the first state currency using blockchain technology in the world.[107]
  2. eCFA is Senegal blockchain-Based National Digital currency.[108]

Academic research[edit]

Blockchain panel discussion at the first IEEE Computer Society TechIgnite conference

Journals[edit]

In September 2015, the first peer-reviewed academic journal dedicated to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology research, Ledger, was announced. The inaugural issue was published in December 2016.[109][110] The journal covers aspects of mathematics, computer science, engineering, law, economics and philosophy that relates to cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.[111][112]

The journal encourages authors to digitally sign a file hash of submitted papers, which will then be timestamped into the bitcoin blockchain. Authors are also asked to include a personal bitcoin address in the first page of their papers.[113]

Projects[edit]

Non profit organization[edit]

  1. Level One Project from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation aims to use blockchain technology to help the two billion people worldwide who lack bank accounts.[114][115]
  2. Building Blocks project from The U.N.'s World Food Program aims to make WFP’s growing cash-based transfer operations faster, cheaper, and more secure. ‘Building Blocks’ commenced field pilots in Pakistan in January 2017 that will continue throughout Spring.[116][117]

Decentralized networks[edit]

  1. Bitnation is the world's first operational Decentralized Borderless Voluntary Nation, a Blockchain Powered Jurisdiction.
  2. The DAO (organization) was a digital decentralized autonomous organization and a form of investor-directed venture capital fund.
  3. Backfeed project develops a distributed governance system for blockchain-based applications allowing for the collaborative creation and distribution of value in spontaneously emerging networks of peers.[118][119]
  4. The Alexandria project is a blockchain-based Decentralized Library.[120][121]
  5. Tezos is a blockchain project that governs itself by voting of its token holders.[122][123][124]Bitcoin blockchain performs as a cryptocurrency and payment system. Ethereum blockchain added smart contract system on top of the bitcoin blockchain. Tezos blockchain will add an autonomy system - a decentralized code Development function on top of both Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains.[125]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Economist Staff (31 October 2015). "Blockchains: The great chain of being sure about things". The Economist. Retrieved 18 June 2016. The technology behind bitcoin lets people who do not know or trust each other build a dependable ledger. This has implications far beyond the crypto currency. 
  2. ^ Morris, David Z. (2016-05-15). "Leaderless, Blockchain-Based Venture Capital Fund Raises $100 Million, And Counting". Fortune. Retrieved 2016-05-23. 
  3. ^ a b c Popper, Nathan (2016-05-21). "A Venture Fund With Plenty of Virtual Capital, but No Capitalist". New York Times. Retrieved 2016-05-23. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Brito, Jerry; Castillo, Andrea (2013). Bitcoin: A Primer for Policymakers (PDF) (Report). Fairfax, VA: Mercatus Center, George Mason University. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Trottier, Leo (2016-06-18). "original-bitcoin" (self-published code collection). github. Retrieved 2016-06-18. This is a historical repository of Satoshi Nakamoto's original bit coin sourcecode 
  6. ^ a b "Blockchain". Investopedia. Retrieved 19 March 2016. Based on the Bitcoin protocol, the blockchain database is shared by all nodes participating in a system. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Iansiti, Marco; Lakhani, Karim R. (January 2017). "The Truth About Blockchain". Harvard Business Review. Harvard University. Retrieved 2017-01-17. With blockchain, we can imagine a world in which contracts are embedded in digital code and stored in transparent, shared databases, where they are protected from deletion, tampering, and revision. In this world every agreement, every process, every task, and every payment would have a digital record and signature that could be identified, validated, stored, and shared. Intermediaries like lawyers, brokers, and bankers might no longer be necessary. Individuals, organizations, machines, and algorithms would freely transact and interact with one another with little friction. This is the immense potential of blockchain. 
  8. ^ a b Raval, Siraj (2016). "What Is a Decentralized Application?". Decentralized Applications: Harnessing Bitcoin's Blockchain Technology. O'Reilly Media, Inc. pp. 12. ISBN 978-1-4919-2452-5. OCLC 968277125. Retrieved 6 November 2016 – via Google Books. 
  9. ^ Yuan, Ben; Lin, Wendy; McDonnell, Colin. "Blockchains and electronic health records" (PDF). mcdonnell.mit.edu. 
  10. ^ Ekblaw, Ariel; Azaria, Asaf (19 September 2016). "MedRec: Medical Data Management on the Blockchain". PubPub. 
  11. ^ Yurcan, Bryan (8 April 2016). "How Blockchain Fits into the Future of Digital Identity". American Banker. SourceMedia. 
  12. ^ Prisco, Giulio (3 June 2016). "Microsoft Building Open Blockchain-Based Identity System With Blockstack, ConsenSys". Bitcoin Magazine. BTC Media LLC. 
  13. ^ Prisco, Giulio (18 August 2016). "Department of Homeland Security Awards Blockchain Tech Development Grants for Identity Management and Privacy Protection". Bitcoin Magazine. BTC Media LLC. 
  14. ^ Doyle, Michael (1998-09-22). "Method and system for transient key digital time stamps". United States Patent and Trademark Office. U.S. Patent Office. Retrieved 3 May 2017. 
  15. ^ Doyle, Michael (1997-09-22). "Provisional Patent application: Transient-key digital time-stamps" (PDF). Obtained from uspto.gov. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved 3 May 2017. 
  16. ^ a b Konst, Stefan (2000-08-09). "Sichere Log-Dateien auf Grundlage kryptographisch verketteter Eintraege" (PDF). konst.de (in German). Retrieved 2016-11-29. 
  17. ^ Popper, Nathaniel (2015-05-15). "Decoding the Enigma of Satoshi Nakamoto and the Birth of Bitcoin". New York Times. Retrieved 2016-11-29. 
  18. ^ Nakamoto, Satoshi (2008-10-31). "Bitcoin P2P e-cash paper". The Cryptography Mailing List (Mailing list). Gmane. Archived from the original on 2016-12-13. Retrieved 2016-12-09. 
  19. ^ Nian, Lam Pak; Chuen, David LEE Kuo (2015). "A Light Touch of Regulation for Virtual Currencies". In Chuen, David LEE Kuo. Handbook of Digital Currency: Bitcoin, Innovation, Financial Instruments, and Big Data. Academic Press. p. 319. ISBN 978-0-12-802351-8. 
  20. ^ "Blockchain Size". Blockchain. Blockchain Luxembourg S.A. Archived from the original on 2017-03-03. 
  21. ^ a b Bheemaiah, Kariappa (January 2015). "Block Chain 2.0: The Renaissance of Money". Wired. Retrieved 13 November 2016. 
  22. ^ a b c d Tapscott, Don; Tapscott, Alex (May 2016). The Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business, and the World. ISBN 978-0-670-06997-2. 
  23. ^ Project Bletchley Whitepaper, Microsoft, 2016-09-19, accessed 2016-12-24.
  24. ^ Yakovlev, Alexander (2016-04-15). "НРД проголосовал за блокчейн" [NSD blockchain vote]. Bankir.ru (Interview) (in Russian). Interview with Kovlyagina, Tatiana. Retrieved 18 June 2016. "Национальный расчетный депозитарий запустил пилотный проект на основе технологии распределенного реестра. Создание прототипа системы электронного голосования владельцев облигаций на блокчейне анонсировал на Биржевом форуме председатель правления НРД Эдди Астанин [The National Settlement Depository started the pilot project based on the technology of the distributed register. Creation of the prototype system of electronic voting for owners of bonds based on blockchain was announced at the Exchange forum by the chairman of the board of NSD, Eddie Astanin.] 
  25. ^ Aitken, Roger (2016-01-23). "MUSE: Leveraging Blockchain Technology To Revolutionize Music Industry". Forbes. Retrieved 18 June 2016. 
  26. ^ Williams, Ann (12 July 2016). "IBM to open first blockchain innovation centre in Singapore, to create applications and grow new markets in finance and trade". The Straits Times. Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Retrieved 13 November 2016. 
  27. ^ Higgins, Stan (9 November 2016). "Former Estonian President to Lead World Economic Forum Blockchain Group". CoinDesk. Retrieved 13 November 2016. 
  28. ^ "The future of blockchain in 8 charts". Raconteur. Raconteur Media. 27 June 2016. Retrieved 3 December 2016. 
  29. ^ Coleman, Lestor (12 April 2016). "Global Blockchain Forum Launched to Coordinate Regulatory Interoperability and Best Practices". cryptoCoinNews. Retrieved 4 December 2016. 
  30. ^ iFour-Team (4 October 2016). "Blockchain - Secured way of transaction". iFour Technolab Pvt. Ltd. Retrieved 2016-11-15. 
  31. ^ Armstrong, Stephen (2016-11-07). "Move over Bitcoin, the blockchain is only just getting started". Wired (magazine). Retrieved 2016-11-09. 
  32. ^ Catalini, Christian; Gans, Joshua S. (2016-11-23). "Some Simple Economics of the Blockchain". Rochester, NY: Social Science Research Network. doi:10.2139/ssrn.2874598. SSRN 2874598Freely accessible. 
  33. ^ Tapscott, Don; Tapscott, Alex (8 May 2016). "Here's Why Blockchains Will Change the World". Fortune. Retrieved 16 November 2016. 
  34. ^ Tucci, Michele (29 November 2015). "Can blockchain help the cards and payments industry?". Tech in Asia. Retrieved 16 November 2016. 
  35. ^ Mazonka, Oleg. "Blockchain: Simple Explanation" (PDF). Journal of Reference. 
  36. ^ Linus Torvalds (2007-05-03). Google tech talk: Linus Torvalds on git. Event occurs at 02:30. Retrieved 2007-05-16. 
  37. ^ a b c d Bhaskar, Nirupama Devi; Chuen, David LEE Kuo (2015). "3 – Bitcoin Mining Technology". In Cheun, David Lee Kuo. Handbook of Digital Currency: Bitcoin, Innovation, Financial Instruments, and Big DataPaid subscription required. Academic Press. pp. 47–51. ISBN 978-0-12-802117-0. Retrieved 2 December 2016 – via ScienceDirect. 
  38. ^ Redman, Jamie (25 October 2016). "Disney Reveals Dragonchain, an Interoperable Ledger". Bitcoin.com. Retrieved 4 December 2016. 
  39. ^ a b c Antonopoulos, Andreas (20 February 2014). "Bitcoin security model: trust by computation". Radar. O'Reilly. Retrieved 19 November 2016. 
  40. ^ a b Antonopoulos, Andreas M. (2014). Mastering Bitcoin. Unlocking Digital Cryptocurrencies. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly Media. ISBN 1449374034. Retrieved 3 November 2015. 
  41. ^ Nakamoto, Satoshi (October 2008). "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System" (PDF). bitcoin.org. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  42. ^ a b "Permissioned Blockchains". Explainer. Monax. Retrieved 20 November 2016. 
  43. ^ Franco, Pedro (2014). Understanding Bitcoin: Cryptography, Engineering and Economics. John Wiley & Sons. p. 95. ISBN 978-1-119-01914-5. Retrieved 6 November 2016 – via Google Play. 
  44. ^ Kopstein, Joshua (2013-12-12). "The Mission to Decentralize the Internet". The New Yorker. Retrieved 30 December 2014. The network's 'nodes'—users running the bitcoin software on their computers—collectively check the integrity of other nodes to ensure that no one spends the same coins twice. All transactions are published on a shared public ledger, called the 'block chain.' 
  45. ^ Gervais, Arthur; Karame, Ghassan O.; Capkun, Vedran; Capkun, Srdjan. "Is Bitcoin a Decentralized Currency?". InfoQ. InfoQ & IEEE computer society. Retrieved 11 October 2016. 
  46. ^ "Glossary: Soft fork". Bitcoin.org. 
  47. ^ "Glossary: Hard fork". Bitcoin.org. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  48. ^ Coppola, Frances (21 July 2016). "A Painful Lesson For The Ethereum Community". Forbes. 
  49. ^ Gillespie, Clay Michael (15 August 2014). "Official NXT Decision: No Blockchain Rollback". Cryptocoin News. Retrieved 13 November 2016. 
  50. ^ a b Voorhees, Erik (2015-10-30). "It's All About the Blockchain". Money and State. Retrieved 2015-11-02. 
  51. ^ Reutzel, Bailey (2015-07-13). "A Very Public Conflict Over Private Blockchains". PaymentsSource. New York, NY: SourceMedia, Inc. Retrieved 18 June 2016. 
  52. ^ a b Casey, Michael J. (2015-04-15). "Moneybeat/BitBeat: Blockchains Without Coins Stir Tensions in Bitcoin Community". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 18 June 2016. 
  53. ^ dinbits Staff (2015-11-03). "The "Blockchain Technology" Bandwagon Has A Lesson Left To Learn". dinbits.com. Retrieved 2016-06-18. 
  54. ^ DeRose, Chris (2015-06-26). "Why the Bitcoin Blockchain Beats Out Competitors". American Banker. Retrieved 18 June 2016. 
  55. ^ Greenspan, Gideon (2015-07-19). "Ending the bitcoin vs blockchain debate". multichain.com. Retrieved 2016-06-18. 
  56. ^ Tapscott, Don (10 May 2016). "The Impact of the Blockchain Goes Beyond Financial Services". Harvard Business Review. Retrieved 16 May 2016. 
  57. ^ a b c d Hampton, Nikolai (2016-09-05). "Understanding the blockchain hype: Why much of it is nothing more than snake oil and spin". Computerworld. IDG. Retrieved 2016-09-05. 
  58. ^ Blocki, Jeremiah (2016-08-24). "Designing Proof of Human-work Puzzles for Cryptocurrency and Beyond∗" (PDF). International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR). Retrieved 2016-11-20. 
  59. ^ Buntinx, J.P. (1 May 2016). "The Road To Bitcoin Adoption Passes Through Many Stages". News BTC. Retrieved 4 December 2016. 
  60. ^ a b Ovenden, James. "Blockchain Top Trends In 2017". The Innovation Enterprise. Retrieved 4 December 2016. 
  61. ^ "Will Open Source Drive Blockchain Interoperability?". American Banker. SourceMedia. 23 November 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2016. 
  62. ^ Popper, Nathan (2016-03-27). "Ethereum, a Virtual Currency, Enables Transactions That Rival Bitcoin's". New York Times. Retrieved 2017-02-07. 
  63. ^ New York Times, 27 February 2017
  64. ^ Prisco, Giulio (25 August 2016). "Sandia National Laboratories Joins the War on Bitcoin Anonymity". Bitcoin Magazine. BTC Inc. Retrieved 21 November 2016. 
  65. ^ Wilson, Steve (3 May 2016). "Blockchain: Almost Everything You Read Is Wrong". Constellation Research Inc. Retrieved 13 November 2016. 
  66. ^ a b Katie Martin (27 September 2016). "CLS dips into blockchain to net new currencies". The Financial Times. Retrieved 7 November 2016. 
  67. ^ a b Wang, Kevin; Safavi, Ali (29 October 2016). "Blockchain is empowering the future of insurance". Tech Crunch. AOL Inc. Retrieved 7 November 2016. 
  68. ^ http://www.coindesk.com/ethereums-new-blockchain-consortium-run-experimental-tech/
  69. ^ McKendrick, Joe (22 July 2016). "Cloud Vendors, The Great Disruptors, Face Disruption From Blockchain". Forbes. Retrieved 13 November 2016. 
  70. ^ Prisco, Giulio (9 May 2016). "Delaware Blockchain Initiative to Streamline Record-Keeping for Private Companies". Bitcoin Magazine. BTC Inc. Retrieved 5 December 2016. 
  71. ^ "Overview of Blockchain Technologies". CoinFabrik Blog. Retrieved 2017-01-24. 
  72. ^ Chavez-Dreyfuss, Gertrude (16 June 2016). "Sweden tests blockchain technology for land registry". Reuters. Retrieved 7 November 2016. 
  73. ^ Shin, Laura (21 April 2016). "Republic Of Georgia To Pilot Land Titling On Blockchain With Economist Hernando De Soto, BitFury". Forbes. Retrieved 13 November 2016. 
  74. ^ "The Ethical and Fair Creators Association". Retrieved 2 December 2016. 
  75. ^ Arnold, Martin (23 September 2013). "IBM in blockchain project with China UnionPay". The Financial Times. Retrieved 7 November 2016. 
  76. ^ "Blockchain reaction: Tech companies plan for critical mass" (PDF). Ernst & Young. p. 5. Retrieved 13 November 2016. 
  77. ^ "Online Voting Platform FAQ's". Follow My Vote. Retrieved 7 December 2016. 
  78. ^ Bryant, Meg (5 May 2016). "Blockchain may be healthcare's answer to interoperability, data security". Health Care Dive. Industry Dive. Retrieved 4 December 2016. 
  79. ^ Reuters report on UBS. Accessed May 13th, 2017. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-banks-blockchain-ubs-idUSKCN10Z147
  80. ^ Capgemini report on Blockchain mentioning UBS Lab. Accessed May 13th, 2017. https://www.capgemini.com/beyond-the-buzz/cryptocurrency-blockchain
  81. ^ http://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/ey-news-release-switzerland-accepts-bitcoins-for-payment-of-its-services/$FILE/ey-news-release-switzerland-accepts-bitcoins-for-payment-of-its-services.pdf
  82. ^ a b c Young, Joesph (15 December 2016). "Ernst & Young Is Going Bitcoin While PwC, Deloitte and KPMG Push Permissioned Blockchains". CoinTelegraph.com. Retrieved 17 December 2016. 
  83. ^ Franco, Pedro (2014). Understanding Bitcoin: Cryptography, Engineering and Economics. John Wiley & Sons. p. 9. ISBN 978-1-119-01916-9. Retrieved 4 January 2017 – via Google Books. 
  84. ^ a b Virtual Currencies and Beyond: Initial Considerations. IMF Discussion Note. International Monetary Fund. 2016. p. 23. ISBN 978-1-5135-5297-2. Retrieved 12 November 2016 – via Google Play. 
  85. ^ Swan, Melanie (2015). Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy. O'Reilly Media, Inc. p. 16. ISBN 978-1-4919-2047-3. Retrieved 12 November 2016 – via Google Books. 
  86. ^ Marr, Bernard. "How Blockchain Technology Could Change The World". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-01-06. 
  87. ^ "Why Bitcoin may herald a new era in finance". www.economistinsights.com. The Economist Group. Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  88. ^ De Filippi, Primavera. From competition to cooperation. TEDxCambridge. Retrieved 8 October 2015. 
  89. ^ Coppola, Gabrielle & Benmeleh, Yaacov. "This Israeli Ride-Sharing App Is the Utopian, Hippie Uber". Bloomberg. Retrieved 27 January 2016. 
  90. ^ Ayral, Sandrine. "Bitcoin 2.0 Crowdfunding Is Real Crowdfunding". Techcrunch. Retrieved 27 January 2016. 
  91. ^ Miller, Carl. "In 2015 social media companies strengthened their rule. In 2016 they will face rebellion". The Telegraph. Retrieved 27 January 2016. 
  92. ^ "Why J.P. Morgan Chase Is Building a Blockchain on Ethereum". Fortune. Retrieved 2017-01-24. 
  93. ^ Malahov, Yanislav (2017). Æternity blockchain - The trustless, decentralized and purely functional oracle machine. 
  94. ^ Jean-Pierre Buntinx (4 August 2015). "Future Use Cases for Blockchain Technology: Copyright Registration". bitcoin.com. Saint Bitts. Retrieved 5 November 2016. 
  95. ^ "Blockchain Could Be Music's Next Disruptor". 22 September 2016. 
  96. ^ "ASCAP, PRS AND SACEM JOIN FORCES FOR BLOCKCHAIN COPYRIGHT SYSTEM". Music Business Worldwide. April 9, 2017. 
  97. ^ Bartlett, Jamie (6 September 2015). "Imogen Heap: saviour of the music industry?". theguardian.com. Retrieved 18 June 2016. 
  98. ^ Nash, Kim S. (2016-07-14). "IBM Pushes Blockchain into the Supply Chain". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2016-07-24. 
  99. ^ Credle, Sydni (12 December 2016). "Realizing Power Plants of the Future through Instrumentation and Controls". POWER ENGINEERING. 
  100. ^ Allison, Ian (2016-05-03). "Deloitte to build Ethereum-based 'digital bank' with New York City's ConsenSys". International Business Times. 
  101. ^ Allison, Ian (2016-01-20). "R3 completes trial of five cloud-based blockchain technologies at 40 banks". International Business Times. 
  102. ^ "Hyperledger blockchain code almost comes together for IoT". rethink-iot.com. 1 April 2016. Retrieved 18 June 2016. 
  103. ^ "SafeShare Releases First Blockchain Insurance Solution For Sharing Economy". EconoTimes. 2016-03-18. Retrieved 2016-06-15. 
  104. ^ Andrew Quentson (11 September 2016). Swiss Industry Consortium to Use Ethereum's Blockchain. cryptocoins news. Retrieved 6 November 2016.
  105. ^ Friedlmaier, Maximilian; Tumasjan, Andranik; Welpe, Isabell (2016-08-26). "Disrupting industries with blockchain: The industry, venture capital funding, and regional distribution of blockchain ventures". Retrieved 2016-11-29. 
  106. ^ Higgins, Stan (2016-12-16). "ABN Amro Tests Blockchain for Real Estate Transactions". Coindesk.com. Retrieved 2016-12-18. 
  107. ^ "Tunisia To Replace eDinar With Blockchain-Based Currency". EconoTimes. January 11, 2016. 
  108. ^ "Senegal To Introduce A New Blockchain-Based National Digital Currency, The Second Such Currency In The World". iAfrikan News. November 24, 2016. 
  109. ^ Extance, Andy (30 September 2015). "The future of cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin and beyond". Nature. 526 (7571): 21–23. doi:10.1038/526021aFreely accessible. ISSN 0028-0836. OCLC 421716612. 
  110. ^ del Castillo, Michael (22 December 2016). "Ledger Publishes First Volume of Peer-Reviewed Blockchain Research". CoinDesk. Archived from the original on 10 January 2017. Retrieved 10 January 2017. 
  111. ^ "Ledger (eJournal / eMagazine, 2015)". OCLC WorldCat. OCLC. Archived from the original on 11 January 2017. Retrieved 11 January 2017. 
  112. ^ Hertig, Alyssa (15 September 2015). "Introducing Ledger, the First Bitcoin-Only Academic Journal". Motherboard. Vice Media. Archived from the original on 10 January 2017. Retrieved 10 January 2017. 
  113. ^ Rizun, Peter R.; Wilmer, Christopher E.; Burley, Richard Ford; Miller, Andrew (2015). "How to Write and Format an Article for Ledger" (PDF). Ledger. 1 (1): 1–12. doi:10.5195/LEDGER.2015.1 (inactive 13 March 2017). ISSN 2379-5980. OCLC 910895894. Retrieved 11 January 2017.  open access publication – free to read
  114. ^ "Level One Project". Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 
  115. ^ Woyke, Elizabeth (April 18, 2017). "How Blockchain Can Bring Financial Services to the Poor". MIT Technology Review. 
  116. ^ "Building Blocks". World Food Program. January 1, 2017. 
  117. ^ "What is 'Blockchain' and How is it Connected to Fighting Hunger?". World Food Programme. March 6, 2017. 
  118. ^ "Backfeed". Backfeed. 
  119. ^ Pazaitis, Alex (January 1, 2017). "Blockchain and Value Systems in the Sharing Economy: The Illustrative Case of Backfeed" (PDF). Technology governance. 
  120. ^ "Alexandria". Alexandria. 
  121. ^ PORUP, J.M. (June 29, 2015). "Could Cyberwar Cause a Library of Alexandria Event?". Vice (magazine). 
  122. ^ "Tezos: The self-amending cryptographic ledger" (PDF). Tezos. 
  123. ^ "A self-amending cryptographic ledger". GitHub. 
  124. ^ METZ, CADE (March 29, 2017). "A Plan to Save Blockchain Democracy From Bitcoin's Civil War". Wired (magazine). 
  125. ^ Madore, P. H. (May 12, 2017). "ICO Analysis: Tezos". Hacked. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Ledger, a peer-reviewed scholarly journal.