If you’re interested in computer science, this post is especially for you! If you’re not into computer science, you still need to read on…
Blockchain, according to Wikipedia:
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. 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.
A lot in there, but to put it more generally:
“The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.”
Don & Alex Tapscott, authors Blockchain Revolution (2016)
Guess what? Some energy companies are using it to help with smart grids. So when people have excess renewable energy to share with their neighbors, or want to purchase a certain kind of energy, they can do so. Utilities are getting in on that action, too, to optimize legacy systems and integrate with new distributed grids. Here’s a longer Price Waterhouse Coopers blockchain-for-energy analysis (PDF). Besides energy, there are other applications as well, and undoubtedly more to come. Here’s more about the benefits and challenges of blockchain.
We’re going to be seeing a lot more of blockchain in the future. Want to learn more? Check Udemy, BlockGeeks or Coursera online learning platforms for some available courses (these may require payment or subscription; not affiliated with TheClimateEconomy.com).
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