If you spend any time using technology, you probably have a long list of passwords. Remembering usernames and complicated passwords is one of the most annoying aspects of the technological age. You might have also heard news reports about hackers who steal passwords and financial information. Companies spend millions of dollars keeping information safe and away from hackers. A solution was invented in 2008 by someone using the name Satoshi Nakamoto.
Blockchain technology is making the Internet more secure through a creative solution. Rather than keeping important information in a single database, the information is spread across a network of computers. Because all the computers record the information, it doesn't matter if one computer is hacked. The information is saved in a "block" that is connected to the blocks that came before and after it. A chain of information blocks is created, which gives the process the name "blockchain."
Because blockchain can be used on different types of transactions, it is sure to become part of our everyday lives. Blockchain can be used to record financial transactions, agreements, and contracts, and to store data and cryptocurrency. Satoshi Nakamoto created blockchain to keep records of people buying and selling with Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency. Technology companies are already using blockchain. Microsoft and IBM are using blockchains to help companies keep track of their supply chain. For example, food companies quickly track food that has made people ill. They can also save money by using the data from the blockchain to prevent food waste. Blockchains can be public, for transactions between two people, or private, for transactions between two companies.
The Harvard Business Review called blockchain a "quiet revolution." As more companies use blockchain, businesses will increase efficiency as they buy and sell. Information and records will be secure from hackers. Companies like banks may become less important as people can buy and sell directly using blockchain to record the transaction. With so many ways it can be used, blockchain might become a part of everyday life in the same way the Internet is.