Blockchain is hailed to be a technology similar in impact to the Internet.
With its complex but strong theoretical foundation,
it is expected to lead to a paradigm shift in data structures and application design.
It is disrupting the way countries, businesses, people, and things operate.
In simple terms, a Blockchain is a distributed ledger that facilitates transfer of assets among participating peer-entities.
Some of the foundational concepts that distinguish it from existing technologies are a robust trust model,
strong encryption model, peer-peer mode of operation without an intermediary,
immutability of records and consensus by the participants.
Though the Blockchain originated from the cryptocurrency Bitcoin,
assets other than currency can be transacted over it.
Newer Blockchain-based application models and platforms are emerging.
There is an urgent need for people who can design and develop applications on Blockchain.
What are we doing about it?
We are planning to offer a Coursera Specialization on Blockchain. Standby for more information.
Here are some resources to get you started. Learning about Blockchain involves a lot of reading, listening, doing it yourself.
Start with the paper by Satoshi Nakomoto.
S. Nakamoto. Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, here.
You can learn from Block watching
live Bitcoin actions here
How about Ethereum? Yes, you can see its public block chain actions here
Click on the various links for blocks, transactions, visualization coin tree chart etc. Explore.
The Genensis Block
of Bitcin was released in January 2009.
It had 1 transaction of 50BTC. It was from Satoshi to Hal Finney, a brilliant software developer and Bitcoin code contributor. By the way, Hal Finney passed away in 2014.
Timestamp on it shows January 3, 2009. Difficulty is 1. (For your reference difficulty of the current Bitcoin block is: 1,123,863,285,132.)
Yahoo!!! On October 24th we had our first formal prototype of Ethereum Blockchain deployed.
Our CSE 700 on Blockchain
See the sidebar.
More good news: we have permanent CSE Blockchain and cse "blockchain" domain locked for us!
More news on this soon....next Tuesday.
What if Bitcoin Implodes?
Remember we are interested in Blockchain, the technology behind the Bitcoin.
What will happen to the Blockchain revolution if the Bitcoin implodes?
The Bitcoin Blockchain technology will still be there. It is open source
and the code is on GitHub here
You can still do something with it. Maybe your token, coin or whatever.
Bitcoin Blockchain has charted a whole new roadmap for a decentralized trustless world for us to thrive in, with or without Bitcoin.
No way! Ethereum Foundation may reorganize, the Blockchain itself may take several turns (hard forks). But it will not go away.
Ethereum has gone where no other Blockchain has gone.
Ethereum has permeated most crevices of the technology world. Today, if you want to launch a coin or create a new blockchain "Who you gonna to call?". Of course, Ethereum. Microsoft Coco uses Ethereum for its reference implementation.
IBM Fabric/Open Linux Foundation's Hyperledger used Ethereum for their reference implementation. And much more.
So don't worry. Do Ethereum.
What if Ethereum vanishes into thin air?