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Bitcoin. Litecoin. Ethereum. Ripple. Dash.These are simply a few cryptocurrencies that have been making quite a bit of noise of late. And let me tell you, it is loud! To be honest, one does regret not investing in the same before the boom. Sigh.But, amidst the hula, a term that surprisingly does not really pop up all that often is ‘blockchain’.To begin with, let us simply address the most obvious question – “What is a blockchain?”Google defines it as ‘a digital ledger in which transactions made in a cryptocurrency are recorded chronologically and publicly.’The more one starts to delve into the same, the more it seems like gibberish but, it is relatively simple. The technology is essentially a shared database of any transaction, between a set of participating users. The verifiable record stores the information of any digital event, which cannot be erased. This not only allows the users to keep a track but, also breaks free from a centralized version of economy to a relatively more democratic one.In fact, unlike its perception, Blockchain is not really a modern day introduction. Over the years, it has enabled a smooth tracking record in both financial as well as non-financial sectors; making it one of the few marvels that are as important as the innovation of internet.What truly sets it apart from the conventional economy is that when it comes to the latter, we end up relying on a third party, which can or rather ‘has been’ hacked and manipulated. While the former does the very same without compromising the privacy of its users, and can be verified at any given point in the future.To a point that even a few of the leading banks in the world are opening up to the concept of a blockchain and no longer deem it to be a threat.More so, it’s application is not restricted to only financial institutions. Be it a hospital’s medical records or legal documents, marriage certificates or even finger print data; just about any digital asset can be stored in a blockchain, achieving its primary objective of safe anonymity.If you are wondering how a blockchain essentially works, then the following points should resolve your query with ease.- A wants to send data/money to B.- The transaction is represented online as a ‘block’.- The block is then broadcasted to every part in the network.- The users in the network approve the transaction.- The block is then added to the chain, making it transparent.- The data/money is sent from A to B.To put it forth simply, the mere concept of a blockchain has the potential to eradicate any third parties. But, mind you it still is in its infant stage for, its usage is still limited. That does not deter the fact that in the years to come, I can only see it growing to an infinitesimal level; rightly justifying the age old (read cheesy) statement that, the sky is the limit.Cheers.

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