More than Bitcoin
The diagram above illustrates the connection between blockchain, bitcoin and ethereum. In reality however there are many blockchain protocols. Popular among them include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Hyperledger, Ripple, and Corda. To add to it there are new ones being dreamed of everyday.
A blockchain is a digitized, decentralized, public ledger of a series of transactions. Constantly growing as 'completed' blocks (the most recent transactions) are recorded and added to it in chronological order. This allows each market participant to keep track of and view the same transaction record, including digital currency transactions without central record keeping. Furthermore each node (a computer connected to the network) receives a copy of the blockchain, which is downloaded automatically. Blockchain as it is known today was originally developed as the accounting method for the virtual currency Bitcoin. Blockchain uses distributed ledger technology (DLT) and is appearing in a variety of commercial applications today.
Currently, the technology is primarily used to verify transactions. Within digital currencies though it is possible to digitize, code and insert practically any document into the blockchain.
Doing so creates an indelible record that cannot be changed; furthermore, the record's authenticity can be verified by the entire community using the blockchain instead of a single centralized authority.
We believe in the power of DLT. Some of the public DLT implementations are inefficient and lead to a lot of duplication. We support permissioned DLT's, which are not open to the public, but to the relevant stakeholders. Even within the DLT, we believe on sharing data on a need to know basis. The key objective is to reduce reconciliation effort and cost between systems. Additionally, certain key processes, like Know Your Customer (KYC) need not be conducted multiple times by multiple parties. The key concepts like non-repudiation, smart contracts, shared truth, cryptography, and consensus make DLT an ideal choice for new age financial system. The challenge for the industry is get past the rhetoric and hype of implementations like Bitcoin and focus on the true power of the technology.