Learning the Blockchain Ecosystem – Part 2
PART two of an eight-part blockchain education program provided free on Peak Prosperity.
This week we will discuss blockchain PLATFORMS.
Last week we covered the most commonly known use for blockchain technology – it was the original app. But data scientist learned they could take the concept much, much further. The need to verify and validate information is the killer app in practically all fields that can be scammed, lied, erased, defrauded, and corrupted. These include laws, court documents, and legal contracts that are the most basic element that creates the legal foundation for every business in the world.
The basic currency tokens simply provide proof that a token holder has the programmable proven right to sign messages from an address on the public ledger that everybody can see. One can simply say (Watch Address xyz and look for the hashed message “I am Here”). The person who is able to sign a message has the private key that allows this to happen. In essence, the person who holds the private key – own that address. That addresses can represent the digital token, or be assigned to a legal document such as the title to a home. You can run any document you like to be run through a hash function and return a unique fingerprint that cannot be reversed.
Anybody can do this. Go to http://onlinemd5.com/ and upload a document and retrieve its unique fingerprint. Everybody in the world can take that same exact document and run the same hash function anywhere in the world and the unique fingerprint will always be the same if the document has not been altered in any way. As the hash function comes in many flavors and complexity – the procedure can be preformed from any computer with the same results. You cannot run the process backwards in any realistic time-scale millennia for blockchain addresses.
With that concept under your belt, you can then create the computerized contract that stacks the results of these fingerprint proofs and runs them into programmable smart contracts. This allows the holding of digital asset funds in waiting inside the contract itself until the conditions are met for its release to the owner based on the logic and agreement of the contract This is known as ‘smart contract’.
Many platforms are emerging to allow this to happen with some gaining market acceptance (Ethereum) much faster and gaining broad support versus others that have come out after and are looking for their own niche to fill. Each platform runs their own blockchain ledger protocol database independent of any other. They often have another layer with special programs or apps that otherwise known as ‘tokens’ for which entire business models can be built taking advantage of the universal shared record their own platform provides. – The businesses can be grouped into consortiums for like-kind industry and create mini-ecosystems within the larger ones. Think of solar systems of a star inside a galaxy.
Finally, as we get a lot of different blockchains, there will be a need to allow data and value to pass from one to another. In this case we have ‘blockchains of blockchains’. Cosmos and Polkadot are two of these ‘bridging’ blockchains with many more to compete. The term “Oracles” can be contracts, hardware devices, or bridges to get real world data such as sports scores or temperature readings that collect and report the results to the smart contracts for evaluation of completeness for terms in the smart contracts.
The entire Platform subsection of the blockchain eco-system is just one category of eight that I will cover throughout the next several weeks. You can add this category to the previous week were we covered just the currency first use. We’ve only just begun with the first two categories only covered at a high level. There is much more to come. This represents the ‘Cambrian explosion’ of innovation and investment opportunities at the very ground floor, and in some cases below the floor as many haven’t come on line yet.
As these technologies continue to evolve, keep in mind that nothing of these existed three years ago. It is impossible to imagine what will exist in three years from now that we can’t even imagine yet as this is an emergent technology.