- Real talk about artificial intelligence and blockchain, July 2017
- What is blockchain?, July 2017
- Why CPAs need to get a grip on blockchain, June 13, 2017
So the difference between bitcoin and blockchain is that blockchain is the underlying technology that delivers the cryptocurrency of bitcoin. So if you think about how we receive emails or file transfer or websites, those are delivered by different computer protocols that are layered on each other to provide those services. So, for instance, most people are aware that a computer has an IP address. That’s the internet protocol. So the internet protocol kind of defines how a computer transmits information back and forth. So that protocol is part of the stack that gives us email and gives us websites. So you can think of the blockchain as kind of like being the IP protocol. IP protocol gives us services such as email where the blockchain protocol ultimately gives us an asset such as bitcoin or other transactions.
So let me explain kind of how a transaction works. So if I am doing a transaction on a blockchain, and I want to send you an asset, then that asset is sent with information, my encryption key. That transaction is actually validated, you know, by the blockchain, and it’s then added to the chain in the form of a block, and those transactions happen about every 10 minutes.
You can think of the blockchain as a secure, decentralized database or decentralized ledger, and the transactions are written to the database. There are multiple blockchains, so there is not just one, there is—right now there is the bitcoin blockchain, which is what most people associate with blockchain, but other blockchains are being developed for other uses.
The most difficult thing right now for people, for the general public is separating bitcoin from blockchain. So blockchain is the technology, and it’s so much bigger than the cryptocurrency of bitcoin. So if we can actually get away from thinking about bitcoin and think more about blockchain, the uses for blockchain are endless.