What Is blockchain?

Blockchain has generated a lot of headlines over the last few years as many cryptocurrencies have increased in value. It has a vast number of applications though that include trade finance, cyber security and supply-chain management. Blockchain’s business applicability has been described by PwC as a type of next-generation business process improvement software, that can lower the cost of trust between companies. What is it though?

There are lots of definitions of blockchain out there but perhaps the one from Oracle is one of the better ones:

“Blockchain technology enables a collective group of select participants to share data. With blockchain cloud services, transactional data from multiple sources can be easily collected, integrated, and shared. Data is broken up into shared blocks that are chained together with unique identifiers in the form of cryptographic hashes. In a blockchain system, fraud and data tampering are prevented because data can’t be altered without the permission of a quorum of the parties. A blockchain ledger can be shared, but not altered. If someone tries to alter data, all participants will be alerted and will know who make the attempt.”
As the video above notes, there are challenges to its wider adoption.

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