Blockchain – What is it and how does it work?

To get a basic understanding of what Blockchain is, you have to first understand what a shared document is.

Think back 10 years. If you were working on a document in Microsoft Word and you wanted someone to go through and edit what you were working on, you would have to save the file and send it to them then wait for them to edit it and send it back. Sometimes this process could take weeks or months, depending on the level of editing or altering that needed to be done. This was a single user system; only one person at a time. This is how banks operate. They will lock your account, do their transaction, update, then unlock your account. For a brief moment in time, the two sides of the ledger were out of balance until they unlocked the account.

The above is also how databases operate. They prevent multiple users access while someone is in editing a record. This introduces the possibility of failures into the process.

Where Blockchain is different, it allows multiuser functionality and thus, eliminates the possibility of failures. A prime example of this is Google Docs. You can create a document, share it, and keep working on it while someone else is in editing your work. This “collaboration” style of document control is quite unique in it’s structuring and coding. Without going into too much detail, instead of creating a single instance of the document, it creates multiple identical instances. When you update your document, it blasts out an update to all instances and updates them all. Instead of the document being controlled by single entity, it’s controlled by an infinite number of possible entities.

This update occurs every 10 minutes (or so). Every 10 minutes, the network reconciles every transaction and creates a block which is tied directly to all preceding blocks. This makes them near impossible to corrupt because you would need an incredible amount of computing power just to corrupt or hack into a single block because the block is no longer a single entity, it’s the entire network; last time I checked, no one was able to hack the internet as a whole (parts of it yes, but not the whole).

The best example of this technology in use is Bitcoin. Bitcoin was actually the reason why Blockchain was invented. They needed a way to transact in real time that was so secure, no one could hack the transaction. Maybe one post will be on cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin…

So after reading all of that, you ask, how is this relevant to me and my business?

Well at first, it isn’t unless you are using technologies such as Google Drive or Bitcoin. Google Drive uses a very close identical cousin to Blockchain that is quickly developing into Blockchain (if it isn’t already!). Blockchain is a great technology for the Finance industry because of the types of transaction that are taking place. This includes things such as stock trading, banking, ecommerce, etc; the list is endless.

Accountable Value Financial Services utilize Google Drive for securely storing all of our client information. We embrace technological advancement and are always seeking new ways to securely transact and engage our clientele. Ask us today, how we can help your business save time and money!